The Grumman Model G-64 prototype Albatross first flew on October 24, 1947 and was designated the SA-16 by the USAF. In 1962, all designations were combined in the multi-service system as the HU-16.
Built to U.S. Navy specifications, the “Albatross” served with the U. S. Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and numerous allied air forces. Almost exclusively used for Search and Rescue (SAR), they played an important role in both Korea and Vietnam by rescuing downed airmen.
In the United States Coast Guard service, the SA-16 flew long range over-water search and rescue missions. Capable of ice flow surveillance in the North Atlantic to anti-shipping/customs patrols in the Pacific, the “Albatross” is a very versatile amphibian.
The museum’s Albatross, serial number 1293, was an HU-16E and was last flown by the U.S. Coast Guard with “Cape Cod” markings. It was in storage for about ten years when, after four days of repair, it was flown to our museum in 1981 with the help of Mr. Dave Tallichet, founder of Military Aircraft Restoration Company (MARC). This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.
Steve Sullivan was a pilot in the Coast Guard and flew our HU-16E at both Cape Cod and at Corpus Cristi. On 6 November 1981 he flew our Albatross on her last flight here at March Field Museum. He attended the dedication on Sunday, 5 August 2001, and was very pleased, stating the aircraft “looked better than when he flew it in”. He donated an HU16 flight manual, emergency procedures and other manuals, photos of the dedication and a nice letter thanking the museum and my crew for a great job. Included in the letter was a check to the museum for $1,000.00.
Categories: Airplanes - Military - Static Display - Utility