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c/n 327
51-16534 of 33rd TAC at Tan Son Nhut.
Photo John Bessette © 03 February 1969 - via Tom Singfield
51-16534 of 716th Reconnaisance Squadron equipped with loudspeaker system.
MS and MT demonstrating very effective use of camoflage.
Photos: USAF Official © Top image via P.Q. Kheim - Lower via Wayne Mutza Collection
51-16534 coded MT.
Photo: Unknown photographer © from magazine on www.

c/n 327


51-16534 / CT


51-16534 USAF #1137. L-20A No: 138. Command AF-1. Delivered 21-Jul-1952. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

51-16534 Stored at MASDC, Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. Arrival date unknown but departed 26-Apr-1966.

51-16534 Passed to the Fairchild Aircraft and Engine facility at St. Augustine, FL. Apr-1966.

51-16534 Served with the USAF 606th Air Commando Squadron, Nakhan Phanom, Royal Thai AFB Thailand. Circa. 1967.

51-16534 South Vietnam Air Force. Tail code MT, 716th Reconnaissance Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base, Vietnam. Also noted with tail code CT, serving with 33rd TAC, again at Tan Son Nhut in 1969.

Note: Lost in a flying accident 10-Apr-1973.

Presumed destroyed

USAF History

51-16534 was made available on 14-Jul-1952, accepted on 16-Jul-1952 by the 6600th Air Depot AMO (Air Material Overseas Unit), at Downsview, Ontario after which it was delivered to the Tactical Air Command at Donaldson, AFB, Greenville, SC., where it was assigned to the 64th Troop Carrier (Medium) Group on 22-Jul-1952 and re-allocated on the same today to the 4th Liaison Squadron.

In preparation for transportation to Europe it was assigned to the Air Material Command and the 2847th Transportation Control Depot (TPC) Wing at Newark, NJ., from 13-Dec-1952. It arrived in Germany at Neubiberg and was assigned to Air Force Europe from 23-Jan 1953 being initially allocated to the 86th Fighter Bomber Wing at Neubiberg remaining until 18-Feb-1953. It was then allocated to the 85th Air Depot Wing at Erding remaining until 01-Apr-1952 after which it passed to the 4th Liaison Squadron at Furstenfeldbeck until 04-Feb-1954. It then was allocated to the 7030th Headquarters Squadron at Lanstuhl remaining until 01-Apr-1954.

The aircraft then moved to North East France and the NATO base at Toul-Rosiers for the 7325th Air Base Squadron until 15-Apr-1954 when remaining at the same location, it transferred to the 465th Medium Troop Carrier Wing (TCM) before moving on to the 7030th Headquarters Squadron at Landstuhl on 03-Jul-1954. The aircrafts next listing on its record card shows a deployment to the 7485th Air Depot Wing at St Nazaire however our research shows this only at Erding in Germany but perhaps St Nazaire was a satellite unit although difficult to see an aircraft based in Germany flying to the West coast of France when there was a facility in Germany. The record shows it with this unit until 01-Mar-1955.

The next confirmed location is shown as Chateauroux in France where it was assigned to the Air Material Command and the 7373rd Maintenance Group between 01-Mar-1955 and 11-Jul-1955. It was then back to active duty at Landstuhl with the 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing until 29-Jul-1975 and then to Rhein Main with the 60th Medium Troop Carrier Wing (TCM). This lasted until 01-Oct-1955 when remaining at Rhein-Main it moved across to the Base Host Wing the 7310th AB Wing until 07-May-1956.

Pastures new beckoned and the aircraft became the first L-20A to be allocated to Spain as it now moved to the 2750th Air Base Wing in Madrid spending almost seven months there until 01-Jan-1957 in the balmier climes. A prolonged period of service in Spain saw it deployed to the 7602th Support and also Air Base Wings at Seville until 17-Oct-1957 interrupted by two periods on other short deployments. A stay at Getafe with the Air Material Command between 21-Mar-1957 and 08-Apr-1957 was possibly associated with the ferrying of aircrew that took 19 Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars donated by USA to the Spanish Air Force under the Military Assistance Programme, but were “unwanted”, from Getafe to the SABENA facility in Brussels. The other period was between 13-Apr-1957 & 25-Jun-1957 when it went to the Aermacchi facility at Vergiate in Northern Italy.

In October 1957 the base at Seville was re assigned to the Strategic Air Command and the aircraft was attached to the now re designated 3977th Air Base Wing until 10-Nov-1958. It stayed in Spain moving to Moron with the SAC to serve with the 3973rd Air Base Group until 01-May-1960 and then the 3973rd Combat Support Group until 22-Feb-1963.

It now returned to mainland USA and the Fairchild Facility at Hagerstown Maryland until 12-Apr-1964 before returning to active service with the SAC at Lincoln AFB., in Nebraska with the 307th Bombardment Wing. It was later stored at MASDC, Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona. Its arrival date is unknown but it departed on 260-Apr-1966, passing to the Fairchild Aircraft and Engine facility at St. Augustine, FL., Apr-1966. It then re joined active service with the USAF 606th Air Commando Squadron, Nakhan Phanom, Royal Thai AFB., Thailand. Circa 1967.

Emblem of the 606th Air Commando Squadron

Its further military history is still to be researched but the record shows it subsequently with the South Vietnam Air Force.x

Emblem of the 33rd TAC