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c/n 343
51-16546 in much used DHC publicity shot.
Photo: de Havilland Canada © 2123 - Dennis Newell Collection

c/n 343



51-16546 USAF #1152. L-20A No: 153. Command AF-1. Delivered 17-Sep-1952. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

Fate Unknown

USAF History

51-16546 was made available on 30-Jul-1952, accepted on 20-Aug-1952 by the 6600th Air Depot AMO (Air Material Overseas Unit), at Downsview, Ontario after which it was delivered to the Alaskan Air Command at Elmendorf, Anchorage, Alaska on 18-Sep-1952. It spent almost eleven years at this location possibly the longest allocation that any of the Air Force Beavers had although many of the allocations to units at the base were short as will be seen. Initially it was attached to the 39th Air Depot Wing until 01-Mar-1953 and then to the 5039th Air Transport Group until 09-Apr-1954. It returned to the 39th Air Depot Wing for a few days until 13-Apr 1953 and then moved to the 5039th Maintenance Group until 28-Apr-1953. Another couple of days with the 5039th Air Base Wing between 28-Apr-1953 and 30-Apr-1953 followed and then a more settled time with the 5th Liaison Squadron saw it through until 26-Jul-1953. A few days at the 5025th Maintenance Squadron between 26-Jul & 14-Aug preceded another attachment to the 5039th Air Base Wing which lasted until 08-Dec-1953 and then back to the 5025th until 14-Aug-1954. Next it was back to the 5039th Air Base Wing (prev Group) until 24-Mar-1955.

The next entry on the record card shows it with the 5039th Aircraft Repair (ARP) Squadron, which is understood to represent “Aircraft Repair” but this is unconfirmed and currently there is no record of any accident prior to this. However the allocation lasts until 01-Feb-1956 after which it returns to the 5038th Air Base Wing until 08-Mar-1956.

Two periods allocated to AAC CM are shown but it is unclear what this acronym alludes to. Alaskan Air Command is known but the suffix of CM is unclear. The dates are between 08-Mar-1956 & 30-Apr-1956 and 31-May-56 & 01-Oct-1957 with the gap filled by a month at the 5039th Maintenance Squadron. On 01-Oct 1957 units at the base were re designated and the 5039th became the 5040th and as a consequence the aircraft was allocated to the 5040th Operations Flight from that date and remained until 01-Jul-1958 after which it joined the 5006th Air Transport Squadron until 06-Oct-1958. And again from 20-Nov-1958 through to 01-Apr-1961. In between it was with the 5040th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Group and again as its last attachment from 01-Apr-1961 until 01-Jul-1963.

Now there was a wrench away from Alaska as the aircraft next appears at Grand Forks AFB, ND attached to the 18th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, a unit of the Air Defence Command. It remained until 29-Sep-1963 when remaining with the ADC it moved to Dover AFB joining the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

Emblem of the 18th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

Its further USAF history is still to be researched.