H-34 CHOCTAW HELICOPTER

By Philip Jaeger, Director of Operations

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum recently welcomed a new arrival, the Sikorsky H-34 Choctawhelicopter.  As always, the helicopter seemed to grow once it got inside the building. It always seems that once I have a spot picked out for an aircraft, it is never the right size. 

The aircraft, as you can see in the pictures below, started out in bad shape. The Museum restoration crew in Marana, Arizona refurbished the helicopter to how you see it now.  As they were cleaning the paint of off the helicopter, they noticed it had the markings of the South Vietnamese Army, which meant that the aircraft had seen combat at one point in its life. So, our curator decided to repaint the aircraft with those markings. 

From the research we have done, this is only one of 20 that were given to the South Vietnamese from the Marines in 1969. Later, some of these were reclaimed by the U.S. Army. In its standard configuration, the helicopter can hold up to 16 troops. Sikorsky built 1,000 of these helicopters in total.  To the best of my knowledge we are only one of five museums to have an H-34 Choctaw on display.

We hope you can come out and see this large helicopter inside the Aviation Museum.  We have more aircraft coming this year so stayed tuned to the blog and facebook for more updates.

H-34 Before

The H-34 Choctaw when the Museum first acquired it

H-34 004

The H-34 after restoration

H-34 001

The H-34 with the restoration crew in Marana, Arizona.

H-34 008

The H-34 repainted with its original South Vietnamese markings

 

1 Comment

Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

John Stryker Meyer

Dear Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum,
I just discovered your website with the incredible H-34 photos, most notably the S. Vietnam Air Force version.
I recently had the honor of riding in YL-37, the Flying Memorial in OK.
During the Vietnam War, the S. Vietnamese Air Force's Special Operations Squadron, code-named Kingbees, flew top secret missions into Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam transporting Green Beret recon teams across the fence.
As a recon Green Beret I can say those fearless pilots saved our team on many numerous occasions flying those Sikorsky war birds. In fact, we preferred them over Hueys.
The Kingbees had a different, camouflage paint pattern on their aircraft that made them truly distinctive.
At some point, I would like to talk with you about possibly using some of your images for publication.
Thank you for your time.
And, more importantly, thank you for your extraordinary work on maintaining this piece of aviation history.

Respectfully,

John Stryker Meyer
RT Idaho 68-70
619-892-5983

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