Back Kaman H-43 "Huskie"
1956

Kaman H-43

Kaman won a US Air Force contract in 1956 for a Crash/Rescue/Fire-Fighting helicopter. Designated the H-43A the first Huskies were delivered in 1958 and eighteen of these piston-powered helicopters were delivered until 1959 when Kaman switched entirely to turbine power.

Designated the H-43B/HH-43B, the turbine-powered Huskie was built in 1958 and lasted nine years. Powered by a Lycoming T53-L-1B the helicopters continued to be used in the USAF Crash/Rescue role. Later addition of an uprated Lycoming T53-L-11A engine re-designated the helicopter the HH-43F and a total of thirty-seven HH-43Fs were built up to 1968. The Kaman HH-43B set a world's altitude record for helicopters with a flight to 9850m and three world's time-of-climb records to 3000m, 6000m, and 9000m.

P.Allen "The Helicopter", 1996

Kaman H-43

Charles H. Kaman established the Kaman Aircraft Corporation in December 1945 to manufacture a new helicopter rotor and control system of his own design. Development of the basic intermeshing rotor system and its servo flap control was completed in late 1946 and the first experimental Kaman K-125A helicopter was flown on 15 January 1947. From it was evolved first the K-190, flown in 1948, and then the K-225 three-seat utility helicopter; two examples of the K-225 were acquired by the US Navy in 1950. Used for evaluation purposes, they led to an initial contract for 29 HTK-1 trainers which, in 1962, were redesignated TH-43E. Contemporary with production of the HTK-1, Kaman developed the K-600, ordered for service with the US Marine Corps and US Navy under the respective designations HOK-1 and HUK-1; these were redesignated UH-43C and OH-43D in 1962. Eighteen aircraft similar to the US Navy's HUK-1s were also acquired by the US Air Force under the designation H-43A Huskie.

One HOK-1 was flown as a testbed aircraft with an Avco Lycoming XT53 turboshaft engine, and service testing confirmed the considerable performance improvement offered by this powerplant. This led to the H-43B, first flown on 13 December 1958, which became the major production version of the Huskie with a total of 193 built; of this number 31 were supplied under the US Military Assistance Program to Burma (12), Colombia (6), Morocco (4), Pakistan (6) and Thailand (3). Slightly larger than the earlier H-43A (later HH-43A), the H-43B (later HH-43B) had a cabin seating up to eight passengers and was powered by a 615kW Avco Lycoming T53-L-1B turboshaft engine. Final production version was the HH-43F (40 built for the USAF and 17 for Iran). Generally similar to the HH-43B airframe, except for internal rearrangement to seat 11 passengers, this last version of the Huskie had an 858kW Lycoming T53-L-11A derated to 615kW for improved performance in 'hot-and-high' conditions.

An interesting variant of the Huskie family derived from a conversion of one of the original K-225s. Under US Navy contract, Kaman installed in this aircraft a 130kW Boeing YT50 (Model 502-2) gas-turbine engine. When first flown with this powerplant on 10 December 1951, this was the first helicopter in the world to have its rotors powered by a turbine engine.

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

Kaman H-43


Photo Gallery 

A Navy HOK-1 (later OH-43D) leads a flight of Kaman helicopters - an HTK-1 fitted with floats, the turboshaft-powered K-225, and the second K-225 prototype

A U.S. Air Force HH-43B Huskie practices rescue operations at an air base in South Vietnam during 1966. Note the exhaust pipe projecting over the tail assembly, four tail fins, wheel skids for operation in swamps or marshes, and two men coming aboard via the rescue hoist. The HH-43s were used mainly for base operations and rarely for combat rescues in Vietnam

Technical data for Kaman H-43F "Huskie"

Crew: 1, passengers: 11, engine: 1 x Lycoming T53-L-11A turboshaft, rated at 850kW, rotor diameter: 14.33m, fuselage length: 7.67m, height: 3.84m, width: 4.58m, take-off weight: 4150kg, empty weight: 2095kg, max speed: 193km/h, cruising speed: 177km/h, rate of climb: 9.15m/s, service ceiling: 7010m, range: 810km

Comments 
Bart Anderson, bartand=aol.com, 27.03.2014

I crewed hh43's at Eglin AFB and at Moody Airplane Patch. I loved flying on Pedro! I was selected to accompany my Helo To Eglin AFB for the prototype of the conversion to HH43F by a civilian team. The only thing I was allowed to do was sit in a chair and answer all the technical questions they had. I could do none of the work as it was a timed project.

DENNIS SOKIE (RET. MSGT ), DBSOKIE=FTC-I.NET, 18.03.2014

STARTED OUT ON PEDRO AS A FIRE FIGHTER AT DULUTH MIN,THEN ONTO MISAWA AB JAPAN,LAST PEDRO FLIGHT WHEN I LEFT DANAG.MET AND FLEW WITH THE BEST.BEING ON PEDRO WAS THE
BEST PART OF MY 22 YEARS IN THE AF.

Bobby Morgan O, moeda =att.net, 28.02.2014

I was a Med Tech in det 8'Cam Rahn Bay 65&66. While there I received a DFC and 3 Air Medals. I recall Dale Britton and Capt Lynn Fialko. I returned to Eglin where I was the MTIFE for four years. Maj Charley Trapp was the CO. My best memories are my times as a H43 crew member. Had a few good missions at Elgin, also had tour at Kunson Korea.

Tony Fiducia, flatony43f=yahoo.com, 24.02.2014

"The HH-43F's were used mainly for base operations and rarely for combat rescues in Vietnam"

Whoever wrote this is full of s$%t. The HH43F still holds the record for combat saves.

Rick Cobbett, rgcmt=yahoo.com, 17.02.2014

I was a Flight Medic with The Flight Surgeons office assigned to the "Pedro" unit at Danang AB from '71-72. The memories I have flying on the numerous training and rescue missions in the HH43 are the best of my life. The hueys I flew in stateside were no comparison to the HH43. Hope to see one at a museum someday.

steven l sorensen, orionsteven=aol.com, 11.01.2014

I was a crew chief on the HH43 while stationed at McChord afb from 1967-1969. We flew Mt rescue missions to Mt ranier and provided base support . Loved the job. We Moved to Edwards afb. After that i left with 8 yrs of service.Also served in Udorn Thiland and taegue south Korea.

TONY FIDUCIA, FLATONY43F=YAHOO.COM, 10.12.2013

I PROUDLY SERVED AS A MEDIC ON PEDRO AT TON SAN NHUT AND BIEN HOA AIR BASES FROM 1971-72.
ALTHOUGH I AM 69 YEARS OLD IT SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY AND EVERY TIME I SEE A CHOPPER FLYING OVERHEAD IT BRINGS BACK MEMORIES.
WISH I COULD GO ON ONE MORE MISSION.
ANTHONY M. FIDUCIA, SSGT, USAF

W.W.BILYK, WBILLVILL=AOL.COM, 04.10.2013

CAM RAHN BAY 1970, NKP 1971 HH-43B/F, CREW CHIEF FLYING MECHANIC. LOVED THE ACFT..TO FLY IS FINE TO HOVER IS DIVINE

Wayne Kee, wayne.m.kee=nasa.gov, 18.09.2013

Fly Pedro as Airborne Firefighter at Craig AFB AL, and Zaragoza AB Spain. Served with Pedro at Tuy Hoa, but never flew there. Greatest time of my life. Retired 1990 as CMSgt.

John Rennie, Dragintail=earthlink.net, 07.07.2013

As a child I flew as a passenger in the Imperial Iranian Air Force IIAF HH-43F, from Vadati Airbase to Dez Dam in Iran on numerous occasions. One day General Janbani flew us to the VIP Dan site. If I remember correctly one of these crashed at the VIP landing site while being piloted by (I do not know his rank)Mr. Kananpour. I still have parts of the rotar blades from this crash. Can anyone elaborate on what caused this crash and how it happened?

Joe Canzoneri, xchicop=centurylink.net, 02.07.2013

I was assigned as a firefighter to the crash station on the flight line at Laredo Air Force Base Texas in late 1961. I remember seeing the H-43B for the first time on the flight line and I asked what it was. I was told it was a helicoptor, certanly not like one I had ever seen. I was somewhat it awe of this unusual looking flying machine and also very intrigued. I was told that it was manned by firefighters from our own unit. After several months on the base, I walked over to the Local Base Rescue office where I met the Captain who was the unit commander. We talked for a while and I asked what it would take to be considered for the unit. I was just an A2C at the time and I got the impression that he liked my tanacity but felt that I was perhaps trying to climb to high to fast. I thanked him for his time and left. About 2 months later I went again to visit the good captain and asked if I could get a ride on one of their training runs. He said yes and a couple of days later I was in the back end of an HH-43B, Pedro 1 call sign. I was hooked. I bugged the captain for months and asked what I can do to help. He finally responded tha I could act as standby in a firetruck during the rescue simulations(where they used real fire and exreacted a 200 pound dummy from the cockpit). I did that for several months and in 1963 I was assigned to Detachment 36 Central Air Rescue Center Laredo Air Force Base. I was officially a Pedro firefighter. The next 2 years were the best I can remember. I love flying and I got all I wanted.
There was nothing like the comradarie of the pilots and crewman. We all got along and in any crisis situation we had each others backs. Bottom line, my experience with this most unique aircraft and the pilots and airman I had the privelege of working with, is one I will never forget

Horace "Sam" Field, 10.06.2013

I worked at Kaman at experimental flight test in Bloomfield helping to develope both the H-43B and the HU2K-1. When deliveries started I was transferred to Kamans Field Service Deparent. I served as a H-43B Field Service Tech. Rep. At Stead AFB on Reno, then to Thule, Greenland, than to Burma, then Pakistan and then Iran. After these I was transferred to the HU2K customers and spent the rest my KAMAN time on US Navy assignments. KAMAN-a wonderful company I am very proud to have worked for.

Al, cvguy61=gmail.comI, 02.06.2013

I was a med tech responding to the call when Pedro crashed. I recall the call coming in for in flight emergency
coming in at 8:25 PM October 10, 1968. We used to try to get to the flight line before Pedro lifted off. We beat Pedro that day and I remember saying there is Pedro, a day late and a dollar short, a term which I never used after that fateful day. My friend Angel Luna was the medic on board.
Pedro was shadowing the aircraft when it appeared that the rotor blades got out of sync and the bird came crashing down. The fire crew put out the fire in what had to be record time, but there was nothing we could do for the crew.
By the time we got to them, they were already deceased, victims of the intense heat generated by the fire. That had to be the worst day of my life.

jerry wolford, jwwolford=aol.com, 03.05.2013

i was assigned to the HH43B at minot AFB, North Dakota in 1964. we was the first to go to vietnam in aug 1964 and went to Da Nang. I was a firefighter at Minot.

Jim Gasser, midsota=gmail.com, 22.04.2013

Great memories of flying on this helicopter as a firefighter at Ramstein AFB from 1969-1972. Was involved in an accident when the pilot landed hard on the tail section during auto-rotation excersize. After repairs, helicopter was put back into service. A lot of memories lifting off with the "FSK" fire suppression kit and fighting many pit fires while simulating pilot rescues. Still have a few pictures to bring back the memories.

dave rehnberg, travlinman_14=yahoo.com, 16.04.2013

i loved that bird. was a a902 med tec working lbr and crash resuce 64 thru 68. what a joy to fly. most dont believe we could be airborn in 60 seconds which included running from ready room to our bird. chocs out, clear l, clear r, clear back...liftoff. ya..........

Roland R. LaFrance, Sr., disabldfirefiter=hotmail.com, 11.04.2013

I wanted so much to get into the "Pedro"/ Huskie U.S.A.F. firefighter program, but it was phased out before I could. If only I had been born sooner! I knew one firefighter, whose last name was Novotny, from Loring who went to the school, and he must have been in one of the last classes, in 1972.

jeff kelly, jefkelly=gmail.com, 07.01.2013

Jeff Masterman, you were probably my replacement at Woodbridge in 1969, which was the year I returned to the States. I was there 3 years and in Clark AFB, PI for 1.5 years prior. Great job and memories.

Ronnie Scott, rscott9=yahoo.com, 04.01.2013

I was in air rescue at Chaumont France from 1962 until 1964 we would put are H43B on transports and go to places we were needed. I would like to here from any of the Airmen that was there

Mike Katz, loboman=charter.net, 16.11.2012

Just came across this site --- I was a jet engine mechanic that worked on the Huskie from '60 > '62 while stationed at Stead AFB (Reno, NV.) Stead is at 5,000msl and the nearby hills go up to +10,000. A great performer - loved to work on them and get my occasional ride to the flight test area.

David, sarge2062=hotmail.com, 23.10.2012

While stationed in Korea with the AF In 1972 I had a chance to fly on one of this helos as a guest. I loved evert minute. I only had the one flight

Dwayne Powell, listddp3=yahoo.com, 15.10.2012

My dad(Donald Powell) was a fireman in the USAF. We were stationed at George AFB between 71-74. I've tried to describe the helo to folks over the years and that he flew on it as a fireman, but no one could recall ever seeing it in action fighting fires. I appreciate the verification from everyone. Dad went to work in a flight suit every day for a couple of years, as I remember. We PCS'd to Chanute AFB after that where he became a fire instructor. Sure loved being around those choppers and F4's, there at George.

Diane Trott, trottwitsend=wilkes.net, 12.10.2012

My husband served in Vietnam out of Ubon RTAFB. Was with 35th or 38th ARRS, Detachment 3, 1967 - 1969. If anyone knows him, or was with him, during that time, please contact us. His name is Bobby Gene Trott. He is disabled now but speaks often of his time at Ubon. Told of a time he was in a HH43 that crashed outside of Ubon...would love to know more about that. He received the Air Medal for flights August 1968. Thanks to anyone that will respond.

Joe Fiorillo, GSCMFiorillo=aol.com, 04.10.2012

Was crewchief on HH43B and HH43F in Newfoundland at Harmon AFB (624529 and 624530 tail numbers), at Sheppard AFB Texas (1966-67) helicopter pilot training and in SEA at Da Nang and Ubon Thailand. Loved working on these helicopters.

John Bradberry, bberrys2=aol.com, 30.09.2012

I was stationed Osan AB,Korea 70-71. Flew with buddy also named John. Both Attached to 6045th USAF Hosp.

Jeff Masterman, jeffarabia=yahoo.com, 18.08.2012

I was an Airborne Fighter/Rescue Specialist on the HH-43B at RAF Woodbridge, England from 1969 to 1971.

Rebecca VanScoder, rebeccavs=hotmail.com, 07.08.2012

Does anyone know if there is a book of photographs of the HH-43 huskie? There are several great action shots on many different websites -would be great if somewhere all of these great photos are compiled into one book. My dad was a pilot and flew this aircraft in Vietnam and Korean wars. I think he would love to receive such a book for his birthday at the end of this month, if such a book exists!

RON YORK, SOF1938=GMAIL.COMwAS, 15.07.2012

wAS ASSIGNED TO HH43-BS FROM 1963 UNTIL 1967DUTY AT McCHORD AFB WN,WHEELUS AFB LIBYA,MOODY AFB GA,SOME OF THE MOST REWARDING YEARS OF MY MILITARY CAREER.THE AIRCREWS WERE TOTALLY DEDICATED TO THE MOTTO(THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE),SOME OF THE RESCUE MISSIONS THAT WE WENT ON,WOULD MAKE YOU ASK WHEN THE MISSION WAS OVER,AS A AIRCREW DID WE REALLY FLY INTO THAT SITUATION?BUT THE BEAUTIFUL OLD BIRD ALWAYS GOT US HOME WITH A LOT OF AFFECTION FOR THE HELICOPTER,SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY IT WAS CALLED THE FLYING SHITHOUSE.I GUESS FOR ITS UNUSAL DESIGN.

Martin O'Donnell, Theodx7=gmail.com, 31.05.2012

There was a couple of them at Da Nang AB in Viet Nam when I was there in "71/72". I think one flew over playing X-Mas music at Christmas time. I never saw them used to fight any aircraft fires though. I did see the last F-100 skidding down the runway and thought it was on fire, but I guess it was just "Sparks". The Kaman's never moved.

harold bayne msgt,ret, bayne.harry=yahoo.com, 30.05.2012

served on hh43f in bihn thuy ab rvn as a firefighter.great duty

David Casteel, davidecasteel=yahoo.com, 28.05.2012

For jafari mohamad. I was the Radar Advisor to the IIAF in 1969-1971 and several times flew around the country in H-43B helicopters. Perhaps you were one of my pilots?

Brett Hightower, brett.hightower=coxmedia.com, 02.03.2012

One more thing... to all those that have posted here... thank you! Reading all these posts makes me feel closer to my father. I wish more people knew of these incredible de-comissioned aircraft. I salute each and every one of you for your service and wish you all the best.

Sincerely,
Brett G. Hightower

Son of the late David B. Hightower - Major USAF Ret.
USAF service from 1956 - 1976

Brett Hightower, brett.hightower=coxmedia.com, 02.03.2012

To Robert Cavinder - Hello! I just happened upon this link again and noticed you were trying to contact me. my two valid emails are bnahigh@cox.net (you might have missed the "a" in the email from what I can tell OR brett.hightower@coxmedia.com

I will try your email and see if I can help you out. If you see this post feel free to try and email me again. Converting the slides has been on my project list for a while now. There are thousands of them as my dad was a bit of a shutterbug lol.


*********

robert cavinder, drcavinder=aol.com, 10.11.2011

Brett hightower,I tried to send an email to this addree,bnhigh=cox.net, then to bnhigh@cox.net, but it wasn't delivered and I'm not proficient enough with a cp to figure out what to do next. I think your dad was my commander at Tahkli in "66" but my light records were distroyed in a fire and it leaves me with memories. I would like very much to have some pictures of Tahkli and the "Bird". I would be glad to reimburse you.

edward garcia, billgarcia=bellsouth.net, 26.02.2012

served with 56 ars at maxwell fld ala 1963 to 1964 best time i had in a hh43b as a pj wish i could go back

jafari mohamad, jafari=helipars.ir, 28.01.2012

I received my advanced helicopter training on HH43B at Shepperd AFB in Texas in 1966 after a complete training in USAAVN center FtRucker ALA. then back to my country IRAN I flew more than 2000 hours in HH43F while I was in AF. IT WAS A WONDERFUL TIME. I wonder that if my instrutor is still alive,I dont remember his name.If He still remember me Iwill be more than glad to hear from him .

Gary W. Potter USAF Msgt (ret), 19.01.2012

I was a medic on HH-43B and F at England AFB, LA 70-72 and Bergstrom AFB, TX 72-75. Was extremely proud to have served in Rescue Service.

Paul Garza, paulrgarza=aol.com, 02.12.2011

Was a flight engr/mechanic on HH-43B Whellus AB Libya 1966-68. Need information on names and types of lubricants that were used in the maint of the helicopters. I remember some but not all. Any info will help. Thanks

Jens Pete Paulsen, paulsen45=charter.net, 19.11.2011

I was in Crash Rescue back in the early 60’s -70's, and the HH43b was our airborne firefighting and rescue vehicle. After the 57150 H-43B Helicopter/Fire Fighting Tng. course the rewarding duty began. We had some wild rides, but "Pedro" never let us down. I know that a lot of guys were relieved to hear the unmistakable sound of those intermeshing rotors when we were on our way.

robert cavinder, drcavinder=aol.com, 10.11.2011

Brett hightower,I tried to send an email to this addree,bnhigh=cox.net, then to bnhigh@cox.net, but it wasn't delivered and I'm not proficient enough with a cp to figure out what to do next. I think your dad was my commander at Tahkli in "66" but my light records were distroyed in a fire and it leaves me with memories. I would like very much to have some pictures of Tahkli and the "Bird". I would be glad to reimburse you.

bg. c, okisahn=aol, 28.10.2011

Barry are you the same barry that served with at charleston afb and tdy at clark afb in P I. I was in south korea while you were at kdena couch817@bellsouth.net

Joe Leech, jvleech=gmail.com, 14.09.2011

Several years flying the HH43 starting with the A Model at James Connoly AFB, Tx (Pasco Parker and Henry B Fogg a couple of the key offices, Fogg being the OIC), then on to Minot with one of the first deployments of the Pedro to SEA (DaNang.. Alvin B Graham, OIC). After about 4 months there, on up to NKP to finish out the alloted 179 days TDY. Other pilots were John Christianson, at one time, President of the Pedro Rescue Helicopter Assn. After returning, sent to Ramstein AB Germany, with a prolonged TDY to Addis Abbaba Ethiopia where the '43 was used in support of the photomapping of that country and we supplied mountain top radio sites.. often landing with heavy loads over 12,000 ft. This was a unique capabilitie of the 43 due to the very low rotor loading and high altitude capability. Then back to DaNang for a second tour (Lt Col Cleave Holley, Det Co). Some memorable crew chiefs Ed Lusk, MSG, TSg Chas Husby just to mention a couple. The '43 was ensrhined not long ago at the USAF Museum at Wright Pat.

The 43 crew and ground support family was truly that.. a very close knit group of people, often "orphans" at the bases where we were just a "detachment" and from those groups I was part of, it was a small, close, dedicated group and the best assignment in the USAF "That Others May Live". Sorta surprised not to see the names or comments here of some of the people I served with prior to being transferred within MAC to fly the T29/C131.

Lou A, lpana=aol.com, 09.09.2011

I just finished a 1/72 scale model of the H-43B and was looking at this website for some images for detail. I was a flight instructor on the H-43 at Stead for three years. I agree with all the positive comments about this bird. It was the most enjoyable time in my 32 years of flying.

Joel Johnson, jjohn6272=aol.com, 17.08.2011

Pedro was my first as a flying crew chief at Little Rock in 67. Yes George Townsend, I know you. I will try to contact you. For Charley, I have some info on the pedro crash at phan rang. I was at cam rahn and had met the pilot just a few days before the crash as he returned from R&R in Hawaii. I know what caused the crash. I will try to contact you. For Mike Seymour, i had crossed trained to Loadmaster and ended up at Pope in Nov. 74 in the 39th TAS.
Still work at Pope as a civilian contractor.

Phillip Rush, p_rush4=yahoo.com, 12.07.2011

I served as a mechanic at Andrews in 1969. our mission was to cover Tricky Dick when he was in the air.

I was mechanic and crew chief on one of the HH-43 Fs at DANANG, VietNam from march 1970 - March 1971.

If you were there with me, i probably still have a picture of you (unless you were an officer) lol
Anzianti, Plank, Matlock, Long, Belcher, I remember all of you guys.

In retrospect, that is the one year of my life that I wish I could relive. Yes, we were in a bad place, but some of my fondest memories are from there.
I absolutely loved the HH-43 and when I was assigned to Randolph to work on Hueys, it was a tremendous letdown.
While at Randolph, one of thier HH-43s crashed and pilot error was the intial determination.
I was assigned to the investigation team and was the only one with HH-43 experience. As soon as I was told that the pilot moved the stick one way and the bird rotated the opposite way, I knew to look at the reverser box.
The pilot was cleared, all HH-43s were grounded pending inspection and since I was the low ranking man on the team, the team leader (Super Sarge) got all the credit.
but, thats how the military operated.

if I could have stayed with the 43s, I would have stayed in the Air Force as long as they wanted me, but it didnt work out that way.

Joe Coggiano, 20.06.2011

Where did we serve together in VietNam please send email to fegbdf@yahoo.com

shoes, chianpeson=yahoo.com, 16.06.2011

thank you for doing service, everyone to the usa!

Idar, Idar.moller=lyse.net, 08.06.2011

Statoil at Randolph in Texas , Osan in Krea and Da Nang and flew th good old H:43b! Still miss her!!!

Bob Harvey, rcharveyco=yahoo.com, 17.05.2011

Upon arriving at RAF Alconbury UK in 1975 I was trained on the HH43 that was there, unfortunatley as soon as I went through the training program it was shoved in a hangar, the engines removed and it was still there in Sept. 1977 when my DEROS sent me back to the states. SRA. R.C. Harvey 10thCES/10thCSG

George Townsend, gtown9659=att.net, 09.05.2011

I was a crew chief on an HH43B from 1964 to 1967. Was at Glascow AFB, Mont. and Little Rock AFB, Ark. I really enjoyed flying with the helicopter and went up at every opportunity. Met some great people.

Ray A. Gandy Sr., gandy1=earthlink.net, 07.04.2011

I was returning to England AFB, La. from Germany [Berlin Crises,1961] by Pan Am and ended up at Alexandria/Pineville airport. I called the base to report in and they said the base helocopter [H-43B] was up on a test hop and they would radio him to see if he would pick me up. They did and I flew around with them for about an hour, Even as tired as i was, I really enjoyed that, my One and only experiance with Copters. I was a Jet engine specialist on the F100 Super Saber.

Barry Bullock, okisahn=aol.com, 06.03.2011

I was atationed at Kadena AFB Okinawa 68-69 and was the engine mechanic on our 3 HH43B Huskies. It was a great experience to watch those choppers airborne in less than 3 minutes for local base rescue. I would like to get in touch with anyone from Det.6, Maj. Dale Potter, SMSgt Clemons, SSgt Charles Douglas, SSgt Tom Brownlee, anyone from the old crew. If you're out there let me know.

Charley, crva43=gmail.com, 05.02.2011

A HH-43 crashed at Phan Rang AB, Vietnam in 1968. I think it was responding to a B-57 Canberra that was returning to base with hydraulic problems. I remember the accident since I had been a passenger on that HH-43 about 30 minutes before it crashed. Luckily, I jumped off when the copter landed to pick up the fire supression unit.
Do any of you remember this incident, or know the cause of the crash??

Angel Carbajal Sr., angel.carbajal=kaman.com, 02.02.2011

Folks to everyone leaving comments...the pioneer of the air craft we are speaking about Mr.Charles Kaman passed away yesterday 02/01/11 at the beautiful age of 92.I am proud to say I am an employee of his in the distribution sector and we lost a legend in my boss's death.RIP Charlie Kaman..

james Middleton, jamesr3016=yahoo.com, 01.02.2011

I was at Sheppard afb from 69-70;got orders to det-8 47th rescue yakota ab japan. Fell in love with Pedro 43. We were shut down in spring of 71 to go to Kadena ab okinawa the 33rd rescue squadron. We had two hh-43s and three Jolly Greens. Lt. col Roy Crawford was commander. Best time of my life!!!!

Mike Pettibone, indysrus=msn.com, 31.01.2011

We had 2 H43-B hilos at grand forks afb in the mid-60's. They were used for fire fighting. They were both sent to Udorn Thailandand i believe were shot down

Mike Seymour, mvseymour=live.com, 30.01.2011

Great memories, I was a flight mech and crew chief for 4years on the Huskie. Started out at Seymour Johnson, moved detachment from there to Columbus AFB,Miss. Next stop,Kunsan AB,Korea 1971-1972.Ended up at Craig AFB,ALA,and was there when the Huskies were phased out in 1973. I spent the last 2 years as a C-130 crew chief at Pope AFB,NC where I got out after 6 years of service. I met a lot of people in the AF,but the best by far were the guys I served with in Air Rescue. "That others may live"

Shahid Ali Rizvi, rizvishahid13=yahoo.com, 22.01.2011

I worked on this helicopter from 1976 to 1984 in Pakistan Air Force as maintenance person as well as aircrew/ airborne hoist operator. I found wonderful helicopter for aviation fire fighter. If I talk about its auto-rotation procedure EXCELLENT . This helicopter is preserved in PAF museum, Karachi.

sgt. verne romero, vvrom78=msn.com, 17.01.2011

i was crew chief of hh-43 tail number 848 in kunsan 71/72...great tour...would love to go back...

John C. Ratliff, j.ratliff5=frontier.com, 11.01.2011

I had a year as a PJ in Kunsan, Korea on the HH-43B, and a lot of good stories to go with the experience. We had several med-evacs, and a few rescues. One happened when there was flooding, and we pulled about a dozen Korean civilians off a flooded island (normally not an island). I remember watching one F-86 come in for a super-smooth landing, which was really remarkable because the Korean pilot was blind at the time. His canopy had disintegrated at altitude (over 20,000 feet), he put it into a dive and told the Korean control tower that he was blind, and that they would have to tell him when to level the plane. They did, he did, and brought it in for a remarkable landing. Another time, a different F-86 had problems with their altimeter, and the crew of two were coming in VFR. They descended through the clouds thinking they were at 10,000 feet, and were actually at less than 1,000 feet. The ocean was flat calm, and they essentially flew it into the water. I was the PJ who recovered their bodies after jumping into the water in swim gear (full wet suit--it was cold water). So I have a lot of very interesting memories with the Husky and Pedro Rescue. I even had about two weeks in Thailand working LBR with the Pedro in 1970.

Timo, timothyalanbest=yahoo.com, 21.11.2010

I work on the Very last of the Working Huskys left on the planet... We have two flying logs out of Laclede ID... What an awesome machine!!! If you wanted meuseum pieces, there they are, you can have em when we wear em out or crash them....

Joe Coggiano, fegbdf=yahoo.com, 12.11.2010

"The Best" send me an email

Bob Reeves, Lt Col, mypapagg=aol.com, 02.11.2010

MSGT Steve Mock was "right on" in his correction that the HH-43B & F was the first USAF Rescue helicopter in Southest Asia and having more saves than all USAF combat choppers. We even went into North Vietnam as close as 25 miles from Hanoi. The Pedro was probably the first to experience in-flight refueling. 55 gal drums were loaded into the cabin and fed into the main fuel tanks while airborne, thus extending the range considerably! When the powers to be discovered this they immediately terminated this risky business(Regardless, this is a great example of innovation and extremes the aircrews went to to save lives). I flew Pedros for 16 years, nearly 2,000 hrs, in and out of combat without even a serious incident. The aircrew members were the most dedicated and proficient professionals I served with in my 30 year career. I even sacrificed a promotion to
stick by Pedro to her end. A decision I never regret! "That Other's May Live"

Mike Bauer, mbauercustoms=yahoo.com, 27.10.2010

Flew on Pedro in Guam . . . best time I spent in the AF.
I was in Guam Dec 1969 - May 1971.
Would love to hear from anyone in my group . . . Det 12

husky, 22.09.2010

thank you for doing service, everyone to the usa!

jeff kelly, jefkelly=gmail.com, 29.08.2010

I was also a fire fighter/rescue specialist on the HH43 at Clark AFB, PI., during 65/66 and again at RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge, England 67/68. Great job!

John Ferren, jm52f=charter,net, 03.08.2010

Firefighter on pedro71 AT torrejon ab spain 1967-68.What a thrill

don Hillberg, donhillberg1=hotmail.com, 01.06.2010

KAMAN DID NOT REVERSE ENGENEER THE HELICOPTER AFTER THE FLENTNER GERMAN SHIP! 1 Kaman was design engeneer for Sikorsky in the mid 30s Kaman was fired/quit Sikorsky for his blade servo idea the german ship was smaller,differant controls,differant rotor masts,differant power plants ,The Flettner ship pilot in front gunner in back Kaman both in front ,The size and configurations all wrong,TWO TOTALY Differant Machines just because the rotors sync do not make it a German idea, Get the Facts not fiction,Charlie Kaman had no contact with the other side,10+ years met the man at HAI in L.A. KAMAN DID NOT COPY GERMANS!!!!!

Bill Irwin, bee2watch=yahoo.com, 12.04.2010

7 1/2 years as a Med Tech over 1500 hours flying time
Cannon Afb nm. Cigli Ab Turkey Zaragosa Spain an Andrews AFB until they were retired miss it still

Bud Mehringer, bkmehringer=sbcglobal.net, 05.04.2010

I flew aboard the HH43B (Call Sign Pedro One)as a firefighter assigned to 31st Air Rescue Squadron,Clark AFB Phillippines 65'/66'. The overall experience was most memorable, but the dedication and focus of my fellow flightcrew was unforgetable. Thanks!

Ken Joyce, kenj1946=gmail.com, 27.03.2010

I was a firefighter on the H-43B, first in Duluth, Mn. where I was fortunate to be chosen, then at Nha Trang, AFB in Viet Nam and lastly England, AFB in Alexandria, La. It was the highlight of my military career and I volunteered to go up every time the opportunity presented itself, earning two Air Medals over combat territory in Nam for hours flown. The story that sticks out was when we were leaving CamRahn Bay after dropping off two guys who were going home. We made it to 900 feet when there was an explosion and we had no more engine. A mechanic had left a rag in the intake while working on the aircraft and it got sucked into the engine and she blew. We had an experienced Capt. on board who immediately took control of the bird and got us back over land. When we hit the sand, the right front gear collapsed causing us go flip to the right side. It was a lot of noise as the blades were hitting the sand and each other but after they stopped we all got out safely, resulting in a fun night in Camrahn Bay. I think that mechanic's backside is still sore from the chewing he must have gotten. I was so glad to see land as I couldn't swim (they never asked and I never told) as we were over water when the explosion occurred. My confidence in the bird to fly without an engine was never doubted as we used to practice for just this occasion all the time. Fond memories to say the least.

Oberstminga, oberstminga=gmail.com, 25.03.2010

Kamans are a reverse-engineer clone of the fully operational Flettner FI-282. My grandfather was a aeronautical engineer (and due to 1938 laws a Nazi party member (you could not be employed if not a Nazi party member)) who worked between Henschel then Flettner. He was kidnapped to USA in 1946 away from my grandmother her 4 sons (one of them my father) and had to work for ten years by USAF under pressure he would be charged as being a war criminal.
My grandfather had nothing to do with politics or Jews and was legally forced not to talk of experience when return to FDR (West Germany). He was very bitter about being kidnapped by the USA- and not receive any compensation. USA stole billions of dollars of Nazi-era patents as their reparations scheme. The USA stole all working Flettner Kolibri from Luftwaffe Mühldorf in Bavaria to USA.
When you see a Kaman- should give credit to whom it is due: another brilliant German engineer Dr Anton Flettner.
If you wear or use Nylon- remember it was invented by a proud Nazi party engineer from Siemens-Krupp and stolen by DuPont

John f. Kolar, eagle41=sbcglobal.net, 28.02.2010

I had the pleasure of flying Pedro from 1967-70. Sheppard AFB, McCord, Bien Hoa and Randolf. Many war stories from Bien Hoa. Any of my flying buddies out there. Please e-mail.

David Cunningham, grapevin=inreach.com, 12.02.2010

I was a firefighter at utapoa ab on july 19,1969, when the hh43 heli crashed. I talked to the only survivor last Chrismas, 2009. His name is tom miles.

alfred.ibru7@yahoo.com, post=normal.no, president=cannabisclub.o, 23.01.2010

Dear Friend,

I am Barrister Adamu iDRIS, a personal attorney to the
deceased(Engr.Richard) I am compelled to write you this email for the
following reason:-The above named person, who is now deceased, in His
Will, left for someone who bears your name his entire Estate and Cash
deposit(US$16.522Million).

The truth is that, l do not know if you are the beneficiary or not.For two
years now, l have tried effortlessly to locate the name on the will
without success hence l have contacted you,Can you please get back to me
urgently.if you think you are the one or you desire further
explanation,get back to me immediately.

Do not forget to include your confidential telephone/fax numbers and your
full residential address.

I look forward hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Adamu iDRIS Esq.

Chilly Glance, r_fernandez_rojo=hotmail.com, 07.01.2010

5th DASF, 1968-69. When I was hurt and my left arm was paralyzed, one of these wonderful helos came to get me. It was a wonderful ride, much quiter and smoother than the Huey. I always say a prayer of praise and thanksgiving when I remember this aircraft and the people who flew them.

Paul Marchesseault, pmarche=aol.com, 03.01.2010

I had the privilege to work as a tool planner on the H43-B in the Moosup, CT plant for Kaman Aircraft during summer vacation while a student at the University of Connecticut in the early 1960s. I always wanted to ride in one after seeing the finished product fly demos for the big-wigs on family day. I got my wish in Vietnam on 23 Nov 1966. I was an aerial observer in a Bird Dog (L-19) that overheard a mayday from an O-1E (USAF version of the L-19)that had crashed in the jungle northwest of Tuy Hoa. My plane stayed over them until an H43-B came out from Tuy Hoa air base and extracted them from the jungle (Capt. Dave Disbrow and 1/LT Al Whiteside.) Capt. Ed Fishbeck (USAF) was the H43 pilot. We all adjourned to Tuy Hoa north field for debriefing. After that meeting Captain Fishbeck flew us both back to our home base at Tuy Hoa south field, about 10 miles away. We climbed out so fast and straight up it was exhilarating to say the least.

lou maloney, hotchevy3=hotmail.com, 01.01.2010

i was a airborn fighter in vietnam and enjoyed every minuite the years 1971-1972

R. Otto, safebet.fl=gmail.com, 22.11.2009

I worked as a firefighter (military) assigned to "Petro" from 1967 to 1968 at Suffolk County AFB. It is difficult to find any reference to this Rescue unit on the web!??
Any answers or links, please email me.

Roy Moseley, brendamoseley=charter.com, 02.09.2009

I was an Airborne FireFighter and flew many hours in Pedro in the back and in the left front seat.Next to women I think I loved her best. I was assigned to Pedro at DMAFB in Tucson,ColumbusAFB Ms,and Nakhon Phanom AB where I took 226 rides across the river. She was one sweet Lady

Stephen Mock, MSGt(ret), hh43huskey=Hotmail.com, 02.07.2009

Your description in the box with the H43 making a Hoist Recovery is inaccurate. The HH43 is credited with more Combat saves in Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, than the CH3 and CH53 Jolly Greens combined. Please visit www.pedronews.org Rescue Stories can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the HOME PAGE and clicking on any date under Pedro News Archieves. Also visit www.talkingproud.us/Military020105B.html for a complete comprehensive history..

Steve Mock
EDITOR PEDRO NEWS

James Eatmon, MSgt, Ret, gman007=embarqmail.com, 31.05.2009

Re MSgt Davis' post. There was a survivor from Pedro-43. The PJ was critically injured but we managed to piece him back together. A few years later he returned to duty as a PJ. When asked about it, he would just laugh and say "If I walk away from the next one, I'll quit."

Austin Lindsey, alindsey=cableone.net, 17.05.2009

I remember this A/C well. Oct 28, 1965 It pulled myself and my back seater, Navy F4B, out of the woods along the Mugea (sp) pass in NV. The 2 Kamans came over from Thialand. We were both burned and had back injuries. Great recovery from our viewpoint. A few days later they brought onto the ship a Kaman Hoist operator. His helo was trying to find a downed aircrew in NV. The Helo got hit and caught fire, Pilot & Co Pilot bailed and were captured. This fellow jumped from the rear But he had forgotten to unhook his safety line. He climbed back into the burning helo, unhooked and jumped. Because of this delay He landed on a Karst ridge with nothing but a Cig lighter. It was very dark. Our ship's helo (SH3) found him and brought him to the carrier. This was around Nov 1 1965.

Mike Bolline, micbollini=cox.net, 16.05.2009

I flew this bird at Cam Ranh Bay and at Big Spring,TX. Loved it! Great mission and fun to fly. One of the hardest things to do was to thover with the rear gear or the front on a rock. We practiced this in order to deploy PJ's in unusual terrain. I think I was the only pilot to ever expend the fire kit on an airplane in the US. My last flight was a check flight to bring the alert bird back on flight status. You don't see much about this aircraft.

SMSgt Davis (Ret), rd_55=lycos.com, 22.04.2009

The one I remember was when I was driving out of the munitions area at Utapao in '68 or '69 and traffic was backed up and we stopped. I then saw the dark smoke in the distance and a Pedro flying around. Not long afterwards a huge fireball and there was no more helicopter in the sky. The APs turned everyone around and we had to take the back way out to get over to the main base.

It turns out that when the B-52 slid off the runway the aircrew got out okay but the Pedro crew were all killed by that first explosion.

R Harper, bawingi=gmail.com, 15.04.2009

I was in Crash Rescue back in the early 70's, and the HH43b was our airborne firefighting and rescue vehicle. We had some wild rides, but "Pedro" never let us down. She may not have been the most beautiful bird in town, but a lot of guys were mighty relieved to hear the unmistakable sound of those intermeshing rotors when we were on our way. I'd love to have saved one from the boneyard while they were still around. (I'd just sit in her and pretend I was 19 again! Lol)

Brett G. Hightower, bnahigh=cox.net, 02.04.2009

Hello All...
My father, Major David B. Hightower was an H-43B pilot in the AF and was stationed at Takhli, Thailand in the 60's. Stateside he was stationed numerous places but had fond memories of his time in Tucson, AZ in the formative years of his air resuce career. He passed away in 2005 but lives on in memory through the numerous film slide images he left me. I always felt a tremendous sense of pride whenever I saw his service photos or when he would share his stories as we smoked cigars on his deck in Omaha, NE. He retired in 1976 at Offutt when it was still SAC HQ. I'm sorry I have nothing to offer here but I came across this site and wanted to share. I enjoyed reading all the posts left by others and I'm glad that there is a bit of a legacy behind one of the lesser known helicopters of the era.
If anyone would like some additional photos I'd be happy to dust off my slide scanner and scan as many photos as I have of the Huskie.
Thanks for letting me share!

Sincerely,
Brett Hightower

Eric Bishop, ericbishop5417=yahoo.com, 02.03.2009

I love the kaman helicopter would ofloved to fly the Huskie as I flew the seasprite and K-max and they fly so great.

Chuck Meston, bowchuck=netzero.com, 02.03.2009

My dad was a fireman with the USAF and trained on the H43-B in Reno, NV 1960 or 1961. He was then stationed at England AFB Alexandra,LA from 1961-1964 in fighter rescue. I think we still have some film of him fighting aircraft fires with the H43-B. Oh, what memories!

Phil Sutherland, philburt=hotmail.com, 17.02.2009

I have many hours as a medic aboard the HH43. I served in Thailand, U-Tapao RTNB from 1972 to 1973. Participated in Linebacker II. Your site brings back many memories. Thank you.

Terry Sage, sundanceexpress=aol.com, 09.02.2009

I flew as crewchief from 1963 to 1967. Got a lot of co-pilot time. I flew the H-43B stateside and H-43F in Pleiku, VN. Great bird when you weren't flying in the rain. The blades where fabric like the wings of an airplane and would come loose at the trailing edge. Lots of duck tape and glue where always carried aboard. Great helio!!

Steve Richmond, srichmond=foxwoods.com, 29.01.2009

My parents worked at Kaman Aircraft when this particular aircraft (H43B) came to be. I worked there when the SH2 and K-Max were developed and manufactured. I wish I could have piloted the aircraft I had the previlege to build. Looking the photos brings back fantastic memories. "Fly On".

gerald kershenbaum, gkershenba=aol.com, 13.12.2008

i flew as a medic in the air rescue service at suffolk county afb in riverhead, li, ny in 1967.we flew the hh43-b at the base.it was a very good workhorse.

Carl Highgenboten, cshigh=msn.com, 10.12.2008

I remember one night in 1967 when I was accompanying a patient from Delta Med in Dong Ha to NSA Hospital in Danang as a young Navy Doctor from 3rd Med Bn, 3rd MarDiv. We went fixed wing to Danang AFB and then were shuttled onboard a Kaman to NSA. I had never seen such a bird with what I thought was a weird loading procedure with the rotors turning. However, it was much smoother ride than the H-34s and H-46s I was used to.

P. Bellotti, bellottinuthouse=aol.com, 17.08.2008

Is there anyone out there with details and maybe photos of the Huskie stationed at RAF Lakenheath Suffolk England in the mid sixties. I remember seeing it flying around as a kid and would love some imformation on it.

Johan Ragay, johan.ragay=tiscali.nl, 24.07.2008

Dear Sir,

Can you please help.
I am trying to get a message out to two of the persons who have left a message on your site :
1) Abraham R. Thomas
2) SHER AHMED
I do understand that I have to omit the ( ) in the given EMail address but never the less the address of Mr. Ahmed seems to be wrong. Yahoo does not know the person.
Thank you very much in advance,
Johan Ragay

Abraham R. Thomas, wilmat2=earthlink.net, 15.07.2008

I was a tech rep from Kaman on contract with ARMISH/MAAG
in Iran in 1967 and 1973-77 and I thoroughly enjoyed working
with this helo

Israel Sanchez, izzydoesit=gmail.com, 28.06.2008

I once flew on a Huskie while stationed in Myrtle Beach in the early '60's. I was assigned to the 354th Armament and Electronics Squadron.

It was only a short trip to the "compass rose", but it was exiting! I sat on the floor and no doors and it felt like I was going to fall out, especially when the pilot went straight up and banked the chopper to the right!

I was an "instrument weenie" and once in a while we had to do a "compass swing" to set/adjust the whiskey compass that was onboard.

Bruce N Jones, b_jones00=yahoo.com, 13.05.2008

I am looking for any one with information and photos of Huskie while tested at Edwards around the late 50's. My dad was a Kaman engineer during these tests, Joseph Jones. I was five, we lived in Lancaster.

Thanks

Bruce Jones

Andrew, Kiwibird68=gmail.com, 03.05.2008

I'm looking for one for a helicopter museum - If anyone out there knows of any T53 examples available, please contact me at Kiwibird68@gmail.com - Any condition considered - Thanks.

SHER AHMED, KASHI_LAWA=YAHOO.COM, 19.12.2007

I HAVE WORKED APROX 14 YRS ON H-43 F
S NO 62-4552
62-4555
62-4553
62-4554
WITH PAK AIR FORCE
YOU CAN ASK ANY THING ABOUT AIR CRAFT

mikey, mpakarpen=aol.com, 02.10.2007

It was always a neat old bird not really pretty but neat

Paul Emack, senor_citizen=juno.com, 27.07.2007

One of the most fun times I ever had was in the summer of 1962, while in the Air Force at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. I was in the control tower when one of the Air Rescue pilots, who was getting in some required flight hours, called in to see if anyone wanted a ride. I radioed that I did, so he dropped down to the tarmac at Base Ops and I went out and climbed aboard. We spent the next two hours or so chasing rabbits through the underbrush not far away from the Air Base. We'd cruise at about 200 feet, he'd spot a rabbit, and we would drop down to nearly ground level and give the rabbits a laundry problem (ha!). The pilot would then climb back up, while doing "wheelies" and backward flying. I was really impressed, and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon!

Kim G Sweet, sweetwaterpoolservice=cox.net, 02.05.2007

I have a brand new set of brake calipers for this helo if you know of any being restored I would sell for a good price thanks
assy# 9531945 Part # 9540837

ken fritz, pkfritz=earthlink.net, 12.12.2006

I worked with this awsome helo while I was stationed in Guam Oct 70 to March 71 with the USAF fire fighter

Do you have any comments concerning this aircraft ?

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FACTS AND FIGURES

© Ex-US Huskies have served with the air forces of Burma, Colombia, Morocco, Pakistan and Thailand.

© The Huskie established seven world records using its T53-1 engine.

© The first flight of the prototype in this series took place on 13 December 1958.

© The USAF received 263 Huskies (18 H-43As, 203 HH-43Bs and 42 HH-43Fs) between 1958 and 1968.

© The rescue hoist of the Huskie has a capacity of 272kg for lifting personnel.

© A few civilian Huskies remain in use undertaking logging operations.



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