Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 7: Sikorsky H-19 and HO4S-3 Sea Horse

Sikorsky H-19 and HO4S-3 Sea Horse

Data current to 22 April 2021.

Sikorsky S-55 Horse, RCAF H-19 Chickasaw Helicopter (15), (Serial Nos. 9597, 9598, 9599, 9600, 9619, 9620, 9621, 9622, 9623, 9624, 9625, 9626, 9627, 9628, 9629), RCN HO4S-3 Sea Horse Helicopter (13), (Serial Nos. 55144, 55305, 55320, 55867, 55875, 55876, 55877, 55878, 55885, 55886, 55887, 55891, 55892), for a total of 28 helicopters.

The H-19 and HO4S-3 were multi-purpose utility helicopters flown by the RCAF and RCN.  The HO4S-2 was an air-sea rescue version powered by an R-1340 engine, derated to 550 hp (410 kW).  Three were built for the RCN, and two surviving helicopters were subsequently converted to HO4S-3 standard, powered by a 700 hp (522 kW) Wright R-1300-3 engine.

(DND Photo via Luc Dubé)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9628). 

(RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw Helicopter, RCAF. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3585152)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9624), 11 Jun 1955.

 (DND Photo via Francois Dutil)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9622), Sikorsky CH-126 Choctaw (Serial No. 9632) and Vertol Canada CH-125 Workhorse (Serial No. 9639).  These helicopters are from No. 108 Communications Flight which was heavily involved during the construction of the DEW Line. On the 1st of June 1958 the Flight was re-designated as No. 5 (Helicopter) Operational Training Unit and was tasked with training H-21 and H-34 pilots. No. 108 Flight was based at Rockcliffe and Bagotville.

 (Author Photo)

Sikorsky H-19 (S-55D) Horse Helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9620), C/N 55-213, Reg. No. C-GMFY.  This aircraft has been re-painted as (Serial No. 9632).  9620 is on display at the Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia.

 (NAFMC Photo via Chris Charland)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 55875), coded 3, with RCAF Vertol CH-113A Labrador (Serial No. 10405), sometime after 1965 when the new flag came into use.  

 (RCN phto via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S-3 helicopter formation, RCN (Serial Nos. 55305, 55875, and 55887)

 (RCN phto via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 55254).

 (RCN phto via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 55875), being prepared for flight.  55875 was preparing for the Labrador forest fires in 1967.  At this point most of the RCN's HO4S helicopters had been retired. Note the uniforms and the Bell HTL in the background.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 55222). 

The large, 3 digit code displayed by many RCN helicopters is usually a pennant number, and may or may not be based on the  the aircraft serial number.  

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821305)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 55226), ca 1957.  

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821412)

Sikorsky HO4S-3 Horse, RCN (Serial No. 55228), 1956. 

(DND Photo via Luc Dubé)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 55250). 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821233)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 250), 5 April 1957. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821228)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Serial No. 55254), 5 April 1957.  

 (DND Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3 Horse Helicopters, Sikorsky HO4S, RCN (Serial Nos. 55866, 55252, 55251 and 55254, on board HMCS Bonaventure.

 (RCN Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S, RCN (Serial No. 254), HS-50 Sqn,  being hosed down after hovering low over salt water.  

 (Author Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3 Horse Helicopter RCN (Serial No. 55885), (Serial No. 739B), Shearwater Aviation Museum.  55885 was taken on strength on 31 Aug 1955, and flew with Utility Squadron HU 21.  It was used to ferry emergency supplies to Springhill, Nova Scotia from 23 Oct to 1 Nov 1958, following a mine disaster.   On 8 May 1970 this helicopter was shipped to Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario, to replace 55875 which had been shipped to Canadian Forces Base Penhold.  It was struck off strength on 15 Aug 1965 and stored.

 (Author Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3 Horse Helicopter (Serial No. 55877).  On display in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.  55877 participated in eight rescue missions and was credited with rescuing thirty-two people and four animals over its lifetime.  Eight maple leaves decorate the nose of the helicopter, one for each rescue mission.  Its most famous mission was its rescue of twenty-one crew members of the Liberian freighter Kismet II, along with the ship's dog and cat, which took place on 26 Nov 1955 off the coast of Cape Breton Island.  (CA&SM)