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c/n 338
51-16542 of the USAF.
Photo: Jim Hawkins © May 1959 - David W. Menard Collection

c/n 338



51-16542 USAF #1147. L-20A No: 148. Command AF-1. Delivered 19-Aug-1952. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

Fate Unknown

USAF History

51-16542 was made available on 25-Jul-1952 and accepted on 30-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 and the 314th Medium Troop Carrier Wing at Stewart AFB, NY between 18 & 20-Aug-1952 and remaining at Stewart was passed to the 5th Liaison Squadron on 08-Sep-1952 where it remained until 16-Mar-1953. Its next allocation was to the 7th Liaison Squadron at Donaldson AFB, Greenville, SC until 15-Aug-1953.

The next move was an allocation to the 63rd Heavy Troop Carrier Wing (TCH) at Altus AFB, OK and the aircraft remained with the unit when it transferred to Donaldson AFB, Greenville, SC in Oct-1953. In fact this unit was the dominant feature in this aircraft’s history through to Dec-1956 as it kept returning despite other attachments to the 7th Liaison Squadron at the same location between 30-Oct & 3-Nov-1953 and a longer period from 14-Dec-1953 to 22-May-1954. There was also a return to the DHC facility at Downsview for a period of maintenance from 18-Mar-1955 until 18-May-1955.

Emblem of 63rd Troop Carrier Wing

After its time with the Tactical Air Command there was an unsettled period in its history as it was assigned to the Alaska Air Command at Elmendorf, Anchorage in Alaska and operated with the AACCM, believed to be the unit supporting the far flung communication and radar sites around the coast and interior of the state. There were two short stays with this unit, the first for a matter of days 16 to 19-Dec-1956 followed by a lengthy stay at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, joining the host unit the 2750th Air Base Wing between 19-Dec-1954 and 14-Jan-1957. Next another brief visit to the AACCM at Elmendorf between 14-Jan-1957 & 01-Feb-1957.

Another new assignment saw it with the Air Defence Command (ADC) location at Sioux City AFB, Iowa with the 53rd Fighter Group but this lasted for just four months until 27-May-1957 when the lure of Alaska proved too much and it is found back at Elmendorf, now with the 5039th Air Base Wing. It remained at Elmendorf also being attached to the 5039th Air Transport Squadron from 01-Jun-1957 to 01-Oct-1957, the 5040th Operations Squadron from 01-Oct-1957 to 10-Oct-1957 and the 5040th Composite Wing from 01-Nov-1957 until 27-Jan-1958. Another move with the ADC then saw it move to Aiken Air Force Station in South Carolina, part of the Eastern Air Defence Command. Here it was allocated to the 861st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron and which was re designated as 861st Radar Squadron in early 1962 and remained at least until Feb-1963.

Emblem of 861st ACW Squadron

The aircraft’s further USAF history is to be researched.