AIR AMERICA: CURTISS C-46s

In Oct03 I stumbled on this website The Aircraft of Air America, because I recently had photographed a C-46F (c/n 22451) at Fairbanks,AK with a CIA past; however I found the page difficult to read due to the many sources mentioned in the text. I did a cut/paste of the Adobe document to MS Word and transferred the edited text to HTML. I found the information detailed and fascinating.
Please note that errors may have been caused by the various transfers of text; when in doubt please compare with the original document:
Air America's C-46 (.pdf document)
Also note that the document below will see no or very little revisions / updates; for this I refer again to the original webite The Aircraft of Air America and the emailadress mentioned.
While the Adobe document carried no copyright, I later found it mentioned on the indexpage of the website; please consider this when using the information below.
I think Dr. Joe F. Leeker did a tremendous job in his research on Air America's aircraft (many other types, besides the C-46, are mentioned) and hope that through his effort remaining mystery airframes will be identified.


The types of missions flown by Air America's C-46s
Like the C-47, the C-46 was one of the types of aircraft Air America had inherited from CAT Inc. in March 59, but in larger numbers. At that time, much of Air America's operations was still concentrated in Japan and in the Republic of China. All that changed in 1960: Already in the fall of that year, a number of Air America C-46s had been transferred to Central America to fly arms and supplies to anti-Castro guerillas in Cuba, but most of them returned the following year. At about the same time it became evident that Communist support to Neutralist and Pathet Lao forces in Laos made it necessary to strengthen the pro-Western forces in that country.

So in the fall of 1960, an endless stream of Air America C-46s moved thousands of tons of arms and supplies from the secret base at Takhli (T-05) in Thailand to General Phoumi Nosavan at Savannakhet. In January 61 Vang Pao was added to the CIA's list of receivers, and since that time, some of the supplies flown out of Takhli were delivered to a drop zone near Vang Pao's headquarters at Pa Doung in Laos (Trest, Air Commando One, pp. 109 and 116). Such numerous air drops were possible because Air America had inherited from CAT an agreement with the Civil Aviation Administration of Taiwan which went back to the early fifties. No less then 7 CAA-owned C-46Fs were leased to Air America to supplement their own aircraft. When CAA-owned C-46 B-130 was lost in November 1960, it was even replaced by another CAA-owned C-46: B-156. Although Air America C-46s continued to fly in other theaters as well - two of them were used out of Japan to deliver the Stars and Stripes to Korea in the early sixties; two of them were used by Scheduled Air Services Ryukyus out of Naha, Okinawa between 1964 and 1967; one to two of them were used on CAT domestic flights until 1968; and two of them were apparently destined for another use against Cuba, but eventually flew for the Aviation Research Center of India (Conboy/Morrison, The CIA's secret war in Tibet, p. 191) -, South East Asia became the center of Air America's C-46 activities.

In Laos C-46s were used for all types of air drops, especially to drop palletized rice and salt, but also other types of supplies and even arms and ammunition were flown in by C-46s. C-46s could also be used to transport troops and refugees, as the 39 standard seats of nearly all of Air America's C-46s could be upgraded to 68 high density and centerline seats (aircraft and avionics information as of 1 April 73, in: UTD/Kaufman/B1F14). Two C-46s should particularly be mentioned: XW-PBV and XW-PBW. They were former Air America aircraft which had been sold to USAID-Laos in 1963 and then to the Royal Lao Government in 1964, who leased them first to Bird & Sons and their successor Continental Air Services and then in 1969 to Air America, who transferred them to Royal Air Lao in December 73. Because of their Laotian ownership, they always carried an Erawan on the fuselage that is the symbol of the Kingdom of Laos consisting of three white elephants in a red circle.

In South Vietnam Air America's C-46s flew the usual mix of passengers and supplies for both USAID and military customers, except for some scheduled services like the one linking Saigon and Danang. Although USAID was officially the main contractor to Air America in South Vietnam, all CIA missions in South Vietnam were flown as part of the USAID contracts, and within those contracts, all CIA requirements were handled with priority. Since 1965, Air America's services in South Vietnam were also supplemented by some C-46s owned and operated by China Airlines, whose aircraft adopted strange serials like CA-1 or EM-2 when they flew for Air America: The reason is evident: They were under operational and contractual control of the CIA (Harnage, A thousand faces, pp. 81/2), and they were also used on secret missions for the Studies and Observations Group (see the photo in: Plaster, SOG, p. 72). Already in the early sixties, Air America was involved in secret flying in South Vietnam - not as a transport company, however, but with maintenance, as they supported the C-46s of VIAT, the front used by the CIA in South Vietnam between 1961 and 1964. And at the end of the Vietnam war, the C-46s shared the destiny of other Air America aircraft: Many of them were scrapped, but at least N67984 was given the honor of being operated by ICCS Air Services.

Statistics according to official Air America documents:
1962: 3 surplus Chinese AF C-46As were offered to AAM in October 62 (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 9 October 62)
1963: - Total in February 63: 8 + 6L (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 26 February 63)
- USAID-Laos wants to buy 2 C-46s from AAM for use in Laos, to be maintained and operated by AAM (Minutes ExCom AACL of 22 January 63) B-914 + B-918 were sold to them in March 63
- wanted to sell up to 6 C-46s to the customers in February 63, but to continue to operate and maintain them > 4 C-46s were sold in July 63, i.e. B-846, B-854, B-858 and B-910?? (Minutes ExCom-AAM of 14 May 63; Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 10 September 63)
- 1 C-46F (to become B-) was bought in July 63 (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 25 June 1963) (= B-920)
- Total of C-46s in July 63 after the loss of B-148: 5 + 5L (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 23 July 63)
- 6 more C-46Ds were to be bought in 63 (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 13 August 63)
1964: 1 C-46F (N67984) was added in August 64 (Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 11 August 64) (= N67984)
1965: 2 fuselages were bought in March 65 at $14,000 each to be rebuilt (Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 25 February 65); this is not the properties of former VIAT but former CNAF C-46s "001" and "006", for the acquisition and repair of which $ 80,000 were approved in June 65; bought in June 65; these were probably the two fuselages, which always remained at the Air America ramp at Udorn, and which were given to the Royal Thai Army at Udorn and to the Royal Thai Border Police at Udorn for training purposes in 1973 and which were airlifted to their new homes by Air America CH-47C "016" in 73 (photo in: Air America Log, vol. VII, 1973).
1966: purchase of + 1 C-46 approved
1966: Inventory of 1 February 66: 10 under B-registry and 5 under N-registry with 2 more for contract 1092 planned
1967: purchase of + 2 C-46s approved in January 67; 6 + 1 XW-regd. C-46 in late 67 to be assigned to contract AID-439-342 (= XW-PFL)
1972: Air America inventories of 31 March 72 > 30 November 72: 9 + 5L > 9 + 2L

The individual aircraft histories:
(I) C-46s owned by Air America Inc. or Air Asia CoLtd:

Curtiss C-46D B-846 (cn22215)
(Air America since 31 Mar. 59) B-846 of CAT Inc since June 51; previously USAF 44-78392, then "392", then XT-802, then N8406C, then XT-846

Service history: owned by Air Asia Co Ltd; de-registration of B-846 was requested by Air Asia on 1 April 63 for sale to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama; a conditional Sales Contract to sell C-46s c/n 22215 and c/n 33372 was stipulated on 25 April 63 and accepted by Los Hermanos on 30 April 63.

Fate: Sold on 1 May 63 to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama; on 18 May 63, the interests of Los Hermanos were transferred to TASA (Turismo Aéreo SA), Panama, with concurrence of Air Asia, and the aircraft was registered as HP-315P (no.2) to TASA; the provisional HP-reg was not taken up, but cancelled on 10 August 64; the aircraft was sold in July 63, regd. to the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs, as VT-DRH on 5 October 63; operated by the ARC or Aviation Research Center, Charbatia Air Base ("Oak Tree"), India, on clandestine supply missions; cancelled on 23 September 64.

B-924 (cn22215) Air America since 8 Sept. 1964
Purchased from Govt. of India VT-DRH

Service history: acquired by Air Asia in "53/8", that is in August 64 according to Air Asia's Statement of Property of 31 March 66; regd. to Air Asia CoLtd as B-924 on 8 September 64; current on 1 November 65; used out of Vientiane on USAID contract AID-439-342 at least 20 September 64 to 18 December 64, replacing N1383N which was still at Tainan; still in November 65, in April 66, and in May 66, called thru 30 May 66; a rice bag struck the stabilizer during an air drop over Laos on 16 November 64; repaired; in use out of Vientiane at least between 20 August 65 and 26 December 65; transferred from Vientiane to Saigon and assigned to contract AID/VN-23 on 15 June 66, still in May 68; a photo taken at Danang (V-03) in September 66 by Tom Hansen can be seen in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 22; on 26 February 67, the left engine of B-924 caught fire upon landing at Saigon (V-01), but was extinguished.

Fate: sold to Air America on 28 November 68 and reregd as XW-PEJ; the reg. B-924 was cancelled on 5 December 68.

XW-PEJ (c/n 22215) Air America since Dec. 1968
Previous id: B-924, rereg'd.

Service history: bought by Air America from Air Asia on 28 November 68, and reregistered as XW-PEJ in early December 68 (Status as of 15 January 74, in: UTD/CIA/B56F4); photo in Davis, Across the Mekong, p. 24; assigned to contract AID-439-342 at least 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-15 July 71, but released from the contract on 15 July 71 for storage at Tainan; on 16 July 69, a pallet of four rice bags got away from an Air Freight Dispatcher on XW-PEJ near Houei Sang (LS-206), Laos, and landed in a Lao village killing one indigenous person on the ground and breaking the leg of another (XOXO of 16 July 69; in the Air America documentary; rice dropper; current on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); put into inactive storage at Tainan without reg. on 20 July 71; still there on 1 December 73.

Fate: broken up at Tainan on 8 February 74 and scrapped.

Curtiss C-46A B-848 (c/n 427 ) Air America since 24 Oct. 60
Previously CAT B-848; previously USAF 43-47356, then XT-?, then N8372C

Service history: acquired by CAT Co.Ltd in March 55 according to CAT Co Ltd's Statement of Property of 31 March 66; leased from CAT Co.Ltd as B-848 on 24 October 60; subleased to Air Asia on 24 October 60.

Fate: reregd. B-910 in November 60.

B-910 (c/n 427) Air America since Nov. 60
reregd. from B-848

Service history: owned by CATCL; subleased to Air Asia since Nov. 60; suffered from unfriendly action over Laos on 18 March 62; repaired; struck by an improperly controlled forklift at Bangkok, Thailand, on 4 August 62; repaired; used out of Vientiane on USAID contract AID-439-342 at least between 7 October 62 and 1 October 64; was to be sold to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama in April 63; not taken up; still in use with Air America in May 63: On 8 May 63, improperly packed supplies hit the stabilizer during an airdrop over Laos; repaired; owned by CAT in September 63; made a miscalculated rice drop over Laos on 29 January 64; still assigned to contract AID-439-342 in April 64, in July 64, and in November 65; had an incident in Laos on 5 January 65, because the loading crew had incorrectly tied down the cargo; in use out of Vientiane at least between 10 November 65 and 24 December 65; photos taken at Vientiane in the mid-sixties in UTD/Hickler/B29; assigned to contract AID-430-1092 for use out of Saigon in April 66 and in May 66, called thru 8 June 66; assigned to contract AID/VN-23 for use out of Saigon in May 68; assigned to contract AID/VN-41 at least 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; on 10 January 67, the engine of B-910 was damaged at Loc Ninh (V-31); repaired; in use out of Saigon at least between 7 January 69 and 28 August 71; on 12 June 69, in a fourteen knot crosswind, the wing tip of B-910 contacted a tree, while landing at Tuy Hoa (V-19), South Vietnam; there were no injuries and the damage was minor, so that the aircraft was repaired and returned to service; current on 1 July 70; photo taken at Saigon on 18 May 70; seen at Hong Kong in the summer of 1971; on 23 November 70, B-910 made an emergency landing at Nha Trang (V-07) due to hydraulic problems; the aircraft had been en route from Saigon to Danang and was later repaired; in use out of Saigon at least between 20 April 71 and 24 July 71; used as a spare aircraft out of Saigon 1-31 July 71; put into inactive storage at Tainan on 22 January 72; still there on 1 May 74.

Fate: in January 74, the cost of restoration of this aircraft far exceeded the current market value; sold for scrap at Tainan on 13 November 74.

Curtiss C-46F B-850 (c/n 22451)
Air America since 31 Mar. 59
Origin CAT B-850; previously USAF 44-78628, then XT-850, then N8369C

Service history: leased from Air Asia; arrived at Retalhuleu, Guatemala ("Rayo Base"), in September 60; used to fly airdrops of arms and ammunition to Cuban guerillas in the Escambray Mountains near Trinidad in central Cuba from late September 60 to March 61, as a preparation to Operation Puma, the invasion of the Bay of Pigs on 17-20 April 61. During this time, i.e. from 20 October 60 to 9 March 61, it was officially regd. to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez, Panama, as HP-316, apparently a CIA front; used in April 61 as "857" during the Bay of Pigs operation, carrying small Fuerza Aérea Guatemalteca insignia; photo in Hagedorn, Central American and Caribbean air forces, p. 146; during the Bay of Pigs operation, it took heavy ground fire and made an emergency landing at Retalhuleu, Guatemala, where its left main landing gear collapsed and a wing was wrapped around a utility pole; it was repaired.

Fate: sold to Southern Air Transport, Miami, as N74811 on 14 September 61; regd. on 11 October 61; sold to Intermountain Aviation, Marana, AZ, on 11 July 69; sold to Rosenbalm Aviation, Medford, OR, on 24 November 73; to International Airlines Academy, Ypsilanti, MI, on 2 September 75; to Trans Continental Airlines, Detroit, MI, on 16 October 75; to F. A. Conner on 11 August 78; to Cryderman Air Service / Century Airlines on 11 August 78; sold to Air-Tram Leasing Inc, Bossier City, LA, on 31 August 84; regd. on 25 October 84; sold to American Airfreight Company Inc in July 85; reregd. N777AF in November 85; sold to Military Aircraft Restoration; Anaheim, CA, on 29 March 90; sold to Erickson Aircrane Co on 6 April 95; regd. on 13 July 95; reregd. N18AC in October 95; sold to Erickson Air Crane Co LLC, Central Point, OR, on 26 February 97; regd. on 7 March 97; reregd. N23AC on 15Oct97.
--HOW THINGS CONTINUED FOR N23AC AND HOW IT MOVED TO ISRAEL IN 2017 CAN BE FOUND HERE--

Curtiss C-46D B-854 (c/n 33372)
(Air America 31 Mar. 59)
From: CAT B-854; previously USAF 44-77976, then XT-156 (no.1), then N8379C

Service history: arrived at Tachikawa in a plushed configuration on 30 June 59; owned by Air Asia CoLtd; de-registration of B-854 was requested by Air Asia on 1 April 63 for sale to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama; a conditional Sales Contract to sell C-46s c/n 22215 and c/n 33372 was stipulated on 25 April 63 and accepted by Los Hermanos on 30 April 63.

Fate: sold on to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama, on 1 May 63; on 18 May 63, the interests of Los Hermanos were transferred to TASA (Turismo Aéreo SA), Panama, with concurrence of Air Asia, and the aircraft was registered as HP-314P (no.2) to TASA); the provisional HP-reg was not taken up, but cancelled on 10 August 64; the aircraft was sold in July 63; regd. to the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs, as VT-DRI on 5 October 63; operated by the ARC or Aviation Research Center, Charbatia Air Base ("Oak Tree"), India, on clandestine supply missions; cancelled on 23 September 64; returned to Air Asia CoLtd in September 64.

B-922 (cn33372)
Air America: Sept. 64
From: Govt. of India VT-DRI

Service history: regd. to Air Asia Co.Ltd as B-922, probably on 8 September 64; believed to be the C-46 "22 Bravo" mentioned by Robbins, Air America, p. 163; on 22 December 64, Air Asia requested the Chinese CAA to transfer the title of this aircraft from Air Asia to Air America and then to CATCL, as it was to be a replacement for the ill-fated C-46 B-908; after some more paper work, C-46 B-922 was sold by Air Asia to Air America and on to CATCL, and leased back to Air America, all transactions being made on 3 February 65, and the aircraft was reregistered to CATCL as B-926 on 6 February 65.

B-926 (cn33372)
Air America: 6 Feb. 65
From: Air Asia Co.Ltd B-922

Service history: regd. to CATCL on 6 February 65 and leased to Air America the same day; assigned to contract AID-430-1092 for use out of Saigon in November 65; still in April 66, and May 66; assigned to contract AID/VN-23 for use out of Saigon in May 68; on 8 March 66, the left aileron was damaged by a forklift at Saigon; on 19 December 66, the right horizontal trim tab of B-926 was damaged, when the aircraft was towed on the ground at Nha Trang (V-07); repaired; on 29 July 67, B-926 taxied into C-47 "147" on the Air America ramp at Tan Son Nhut (V-01); the left wing tip of B-926 was damaged, but repaired; on 18 January 68, the rotor wash of Bell 204B N1307X damaged the elevators of B-926, which was parked at Danang (V-03); repaired; in use out of Saigon at least between 24 October 68 and 5 February 69; sold by CATCL to Air America on 30 May 69; reg. B-926 canx on 30 June 69.

Fate: reregd. XW-PGD in May 69

XW-PGD (cn33372)
Air America: May 69
From: B-926 (reregd.)

Service history: used as a spare aircraft out of Vientiane 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; current on 1 July 70; at Bangkok on 16 December 70; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-15 July 71, but released from the contract on 15 July 71 for storage at Tainan; flown to Tainan and put into inactive storage there on 22 July 71; still there on 1 December 73.

Fate: scrapped at Tainan in February 74.

Curtiss C-46D B-856 (cn 32950)
Air America: 31 Mar. 59
From:Air Asia B-856; previously USAF 44-77554, then NC51743, then XT-156 (2nd), then N8380C

Service history: had been transferred to CAT Inc as N8380C on 8 July 50, reregd. B-856 in 52 (?) and transferred to Air Asia in 56 (?); arrived at Tachikawa in a plushed configuration on 30 June 59; subleased by Air America to Air Asia since 7 September 60.

Fate: sold to CATCL on 7 September 60; reregd. B-908 in November 60.

B-908 (cn32950)
Air America: Nov. 60
From: B-856 (reregd.)

Service history: leased from CATCL and subleased by Air America to Air Asia; owned by CAT in September 63.

Fate: returned to CATCL in ?; photo in Air Pictorial, August 64, p. 240; crashed near Taichung on 20 June 64 after engine fire on take off from Taichung en route to Taipei, causing 57 fatalities, including Yung-Kung Chang, C. K. Chen, H. S. Chen, N. C. Chen, Ching-Ching Chen, H. G. Cho, H. Y. Choi, C. C. Chou, T. H. Hu, K. C. Kan, C. Y. Lee, Ruby Lee, Benji Lin, Mu-Shuen Kung, K. H. Shia, K. H. Shih, B. Y. Van and H. C. Weng.

Curtiss C-46D B-858 (cn 22228)
Air America: 31 Mar. 59
From: CAT B-858; previously USAF 44-78405, then XT-806, then N8408C

Service history: acquired by CAT in "44/3", that is in March 55 according to Air Asia's Statement of Property of 31 March 65 arrived at Retalhuleu, Guatemala ("Rayo Base"), in September 60; used to fly airdrops of arms and ammunition to Cuban guerillas in the Escambray Mountains near Trinidad in central Cuba from late September 60 to March 61, as a preparation to Operation Puma, the invasion of the Bay of Pigs on 17-20 April 61; photo in Hagedorn, Central American and Caribbean air forces, p. 143; photo taken at Kusan, Korea (K-08) in ? by Robert Mikesh in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 18; operated out of Bangkok into Laos on 29 May 61 (Vientiane Daily Flight Operations Log of 29 May 61); was to be sold in April 63 to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama; sold in July 63; but current in September 63; assigned to contract AF62(562)-656 for use out of Tachikawa on Booklift flights in April 64; still in July 64; used as B-858 out of Saigon as a spare aircraft for daily calls in November 65, in April 66, and in May 66; assigned to contract AF49(604)-4395 from ? to 26 September 67; on 28 May 66, the tail wheel collapsed, when B-858 landed at Saigon (V-01), SVN; there was only minor skin damage, which was quickly repaired; on 13 January 67, a passenger walked into the prop, when B-858 was at Saigon (V-01), and was taken to hospital.

Fate: regd XW-PFL in November 67 (see below)

XW-PFL (c/n 22228)
Air America: Nov. 67
From: B-858 (reregd)

Service history: assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane on 13 November 67, still in May 68, 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; current on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20).

Fate: crashed into a hill near Bouam Long (LS-32), Laos, on 2 June 71, when it was hit by gunfire during a drop mission, killing the first officer, Trikit Thuttanon; the captain, Herbert W. Clark, is missing; the aircraft was destroyed.

Curtiss C-46F B-860 (c/n 22236)
Air America: 24 Oct. 60
From: CAT B-860; previously USAF 44-78413, then XT-810, then N8372C

Service history: officially acquired by CAT Co.Ltd in March 55 according to CAT Co.Ltd's Statement of Property of 31 March 66; on 11 August 60, B-860 piloted by Captain Douglas R. Price, experienced landing difficulties on the Tachikawa runway, when a crosswind caused this aircraft to land on the left of the runway; but there was no apparent damage to the aircraft or the 11 passengers aboard; so operated by Air America at that time; leased on 24 October 60 from CAT Co.Ltd as B-860; subleased to Air Asia on 24 October 60.

Fate: reregd. B-912 in November 60

B-912 (c/n 22236)
Air America: Nov. 60
reregd. from B-860

Service history: owned by CATCL; subleased to Air Asia since November 60; used by CAT; owned by CAT in Sept. 63; used on CAT domestic flights in July 64, in November 65, in April 66, in May 66, and in May 68; flew Tainan-Taipei on 12 February 66; stored at Saigon 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; current on 1 July 70; on 3 November 70, the rotor blast of a CH-53 taking off behind B-912 at the Air America ramp at Danang (V-03) damaged the elevators of B-912; repaired; in use out of Saigon at least between 20 November 67 and 29 July 71; assigned to contract AID/VN-100 for use out of Saigon 1-31 July 71; put into inactive storage at Tainan on 26 January 72; still there on 1 May 74. Fate: in January 74, the cost of restoration of this aircraft far exceeded the current market value; sold for scrap at Tainan on 13 November 74.

Curtiss C-46D B-864 (c/n 22362)
To Air America 31 Mar. 59
CAT B-864; previously USAF 44-78539, then XT-826, then N8415C

Service history: leased from CATCL (was leased from CATCL since 17 March 56 to CAT Inc and subleased to Air Asia) and subleased to Air Asia until 7 September 60, when it was sold by CATCL to Air Asia CoLtd and possibly leased to Air America (Bill of sale dated 7 September 60); arrived at Retalhuleu, Guatemala ("Rayo Base"), in September 60; used to fly airdrops of arms and ammunition to Cuban guerillas in the Escambray Mountains near Trinidad in central Cuba from late September 60 to March 61, as a preparation to Operation Puma, the invasion of the Bay of Pigs on 17-20 April 61. During this time, it was officially regd. to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez, Panama, apparently a CIA front, to whom it was officially sold on 20 October 60; returned to Air Asia in 61; reportedly withdrawn from use and stored in 61; reregd. B-916.

B-916 (c/n 22362)
To Air America: 1961
reregd. from B-864
(the c/n "22262" given in the list of aircraft preserved in: in his e-mail to the author dated 8 April 2003, Mr. Chang Kuo-Cheng, the Director of the CAA of Taiwan, confirms the identity of B-916 as 22362)

Service history: ?

Fate: shot down near Xieng Khouang (L-22), Plain of Jars, Laos, and crashed at UG 4035, on 4 February 62, while flying under the provisions of contract 57-08 on a drop mission, killing Herbert S. Strouss (pilot), Howard F. Heinrich (co-pilot), Hsu-Chiu Lee (co-pilot) and 3 Air Freight Dispatchers (List "Company operated aircraft lost or destroyed", List "Total number of company employees killed in aircraft accidents", Aircraft accidents 1962, Aircraft destroyed or lost).

Curtiss C-46D B-866 (c/n 22366 )
To Air America: 31 Mar. 59
From: CAT B-866; previously USAF 44-78543, then "543" with CAT; then XT-830, then N8417C

Service history: had been fitted with long-range tanks for Operation Repat in October 1953 (Leary, Perilous Missions, p. 221); owned by CATCL, leased to CAT Inc (Air America since 31 March 59) and subleased to Asiatic Aeronautical Co.Ltd (Air Asia since 1 April 59) since 17 March 56; lease to Air America and sublease to Air Asia terminated on 24 October 60, when it was sold to Air Asia the same day; had been regd. to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama, as HP-314 on 20 October 60; arrived at Retalhuleu, Guatemala ("Rayo Base"), in September 60; used to fly airdrops of arms and ammunition to Cuban guerillas in the Escambray Mountains near Trinidad in central Cuba from late September 60 to March 61, as a preparation to Operation Puma, the invasion of the Bay of Pigs on 17-20 April 61. During this time, it was officially regd. to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez, Panama, apparently a CIA front, and mostly flying unmarked; used in April 61 in the Bay of Pigs operation; crashed during the operation, but was repaired; repossessed by Air Asia in April 62.

Fate: sold to Intermountain Aviation, Marana, AZ, as N8417C on 12 July 62; reregd N9279L on 15 February 65; canx 23 February 65; at Dakar in March 65; sold to the Fuerza Aérea Mexicana as TEC-6051 in 1990; current in September 93; noted in December 93 in the scrap area at Santa Lucia airfield.

Curtiss C-46D B-870 (c/n 22232)
To Air America: 31 Mar. 59
From: CAT B-870; previously USAF 44-78409, then XT-808, then N8409C

Service history: owned by CATCL, leased to CAT Inc (Air America since 31 March 59) and subleased to Asiatic Aeronautical CoLtd (Air Asia since 1 April 59) since 17 March 56; lease to Air America and sublease to Air Asia terminated on 24 October 60, when it was sold to Air Asia the same day; officially sold to Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez SA, Panama (probably a CIA front), reportedly on 22 October 60, but probably some days later; believed to have been used out of Retalhuleu, Guatemala ("Rayo Base"), to fly airdrops of arms and ammunition to Cuban guerillas in the Escambray Mountains near Trinidad in central Cuba from late October 60 to March 61, as a preparation to Operation Puma, the invasion of the Bay of Pigs on 17-20 April 61; returned to Air Asia in May 1961.

Fate: reregd. B-914 in May 1961

B-914 (c/n 22232)
To Air America: May 61
reregd. from B-870

Service history: participated in the flight Vientiane-Xieng Khouang on 27 November 62, when C-123 N5004X was shot down; photo on the video made by Ed Eckholdt (at 0.49.34 minutes).

Fate: sold to USAID-Laos, Vientiane, on 8 March 63, as XW-EAA or XW-EAB; operated by Bird & Sons, Vientiane, and Air America, Vientiane; XW-EAB carried the Erawan; photos on the video tape made by Ed Eckholdt, taken in 1964 over Ritaville Ridge near Vientiane (at 1.01.10 and 1.15.18 minutes); sold to the Royal Laotian Government, Vientiane, as XW-PBV on 29 May 64; leased to Bird and Sons, which became Continental Air Services, Vientiane, on 1 Sept. 65, from May 64 to 1 July 69; used by Continental Air Services on 17 December 68 (Log book of D. Keele); not with Air America on 15 June 69

XW-PBV (cn22232)
Air America: 1 July 69
From: USAID-Laos XW-EAA or XW-EAB reregd.;
leased from the Royal Laotian Government

Service history: not current with Air America on 15 June 69, but assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane on 1 July 69; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-31 July 71; two Lao paratroop trainees struck the stabilizer over Laos on 9 April 70, when they jumped against red light, while the aircraft was climbing; the two Laotians were killed, but there was no damage to the aircraft; current with Air America on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); noted as "grant aircraft" in May 72 (Company confidential dated 26 May 72); assigned to contract F04606-71-C-0002 for use out of Vientiane 1-30 November 73, noted as "grant aircraft"; Hamilton standard props were installed at Tainan between 22 May 73 and 26 May 73; while XW-PBV, piloted by PIC A.D. Wilson and F/O D. R. Whittaker, was over the drop zone near UF 9678, Laos, on 1 November 73, the aircraft encountered severe clear air ambulance, causing the cargo to spill from the pallets; two (V. Soukanyna and B. Kalavong) of the three kickers received minor head injuries and were treated at the Company clinic upon return to Vientiane; was a rice-drop plane (Robbins, Air America, p. 25).

Fate: given to Royal Air Lao on 1 December 73; a photo of the tail of XW-PBV in RAL colors can be seen in: Conboy, War in Laos, back cover; damaged in a storm at Vientiane on 24 March 76; repaired; taken over by Lao Aviation, Vientiane, as RDPL-34040 in 1975 (?); reg. N9265Y reserved for J. D. Melvin Co, Glendale, CA, on 4 September 81; not taken up; candidate for reg N9265Y again in August 84 (AMCAR 24, p. 25); US reg canx in December 85; Lao reg. canx, as it is now used on a Mil Mi 8 (see photo in Airliners, Fall 1993, p. 17).

Curtiss C-46D B-918 (c/n 33451)
Air America: Dec. 61
From: N9895Z of Jaime Camargo
Previous: USAF 44-78055

Service history: was to leave the United States on or about 12 October 61 (Memorandum by Jerry Fink of 11 October 61); leased from Air Asia

Fate: sold to USAID-Laos, Vientiane, on 8 March 63, as XW-EAA or XW-EAB; operated by Bird & Sons, Vientiane, and by Air America, Vientiane; XW-EAB carried the Erawan; photos in the video tape by Ed Eckholdt, taken in 1964 over Ritaville Ridge near Vientiane (at 1.01.10 and 1.15.18 minutes); sold to the Royal Laotian Government, Vientiane, as XW-PBW on 29 May 64; leased to Bird and Sons, which became Continental Air Services, Vientiane, on 1 Sept. 65, from May 64 to 1 July 69; some damage was received to the rudder and horizontal stabilizer by a thunderstorm on 25 May 68, while XW-PBW was parked at the Air America ramp at Vientiane (L-08); repaired; the damage is shown on photos; not with Air America on 15 June 69.

XW-PBW (c/n 33451)
Air America: 1 July 69
From: USAID-Laos XW-EAA or XW-EAB reregd.; leased from the Royal Laotian Government

Service history: not current with Air America on 15 June 69, but assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane on 1 July 69; current with Air America on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); at Hong Kong on 22 August 70; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-31 July 71; converted to a 69 passenger configuration on 19 July 71; noted as "grant aircraft" in May 72 (Company confidential dated 26 May 72); assigned to contract F04606-71-C-0002 for use out of Vientiane 16-30 April 73 and 1-30 November 73, noted as "grant aircraft"; Hamilton standard props were installed at Tainan between 30 June 73 and 6 July 73; flown in R.Lao AF colors in 73; slid off the runway (ground loop on touch and go) at Vientiane on 15 May 73; was a rice-drop plane (Robbins, Air America, p. 25).

Fate: given to Royal Air Lao on 1 December 73 (F.O.C. of 1 December 73, in: UTD/Hickler/B8F7C); crashed 75 miles NNE of Vientiane, Laos, on 15 October 74.

Curtiss C-46A B-928 (c/n 26866)
Air America: August 1965
From: Chinese Air Force (?); previously USAF 42-60991

Service history: acquired by Air Asia in "54/8", that is in August 65 according to Air Asia's Statement of Property of 31 March 66; assigned to contract AID-430-1092 for use out of Saigon in November 65; still in April 66, and in May 66, called thru 24 August 66; assigned to contract AID/VN-23 for use out of Saigon in May 68; assigned to contract AID/VN-41 at least 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; undershot the runway at Quang Ngai (V-23), SVN, on 5 January 66, damaging the landing gear (List "Aircraft accidents/incidents 1966"); returned to service on 27 January 66; on 21 February 67, B-928 received a minor hole in the fuselage by customer laborers, while parked at Nha Trang (V-07); repaired; on 6 July 67, B-928 had an engine fire in the power section at Dong Ha (V-022), but the fire was extinguished; on 20 December 67, B-928 taxied into C-47 "559" on the Air America ramp at Saigon, damaging the right wing tip; repaired; a photo taken at Danang (V-03) in March 68 by Robert Mikesh can be found in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 15; swerved to the left when landing at Quang Ngai (V-23), South Vietnam, on 20 March 68, and damaged when it struck a road grader; repaired; based at Saigon 16-30 June 69; on 16 December 69, a Land Rover of the World Relief Commission struck B-928, which was parked at Cho Reo (V-27), SVN; repaired; current on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p.20); at Hong Kong on 29 December 70; in use out of Saigon at least between 12 December 68 and 6 January 72 (Crew member duty report of H. F. Miller); assigned to contract AID/VN-100 for use out of Saigon 1-31 July 71; also based at Nha Trang (V-7), South Vietnam (photo in Air America Log); put into inactive storage at Tainan on 7 March 72; still there on 1 December 73.

Fate: scrapped at Tainan in February 74.

Curtiss C-46D N1383N (c/n 33641 )
Air America: 10 Oct. 63
From : Braniff N1383N; previously USAF 44-78245, then XT-?, then N8320C

Service history: regd. to Air America on 22 October 63, later revised to 10 October 63; transferred to Tainan on 25 October 63, still being worked on in April 64 (AAM Aircraft availability of 1 April 64); put into service for all-cargo operations in April 64; assigned to contract AID-439-342 in July 64; still in November 65), in April 66, in May 66, called thru 24 August 66, in May 68, 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; was at Tainan in September 64; on 11 May 67, N1383N returned to Vientiane (L-08) due to hydraulic problems; repaired; flew Vientiane-Luang Prabang on 13 December 68 (Log book of D. Keele); based at Vientiane 16-30 June 69 (F.O.C. of 15 June 69); flight plan shown in the Air America documentary; air freight dispatcher T. Homhuan fell out of N1383N near Ban Nam Thao (LS-161), Laos, on 26 March 70, but was rescued by UH-34D H-62; at Vientiane 1971-73; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-15 July 71, but released from the contract on 15 July 71 for storage at Tainan; to inactive storage at Tainan on 9 August 71; was in use out of Saigon as a spare aircraft at least 16-30 April 73, 1 November-31 December 73, and 1 April-31 May 74; while offloading a heavy wheel mounted pump at Battambang (C-09), Cambodia, on 21 July 74, the cargo slipped, injuring F/M Rene Ankle, but there was no damage to the aircraft; the aircraft was flown on the AID-1029 contract for the A40E customer; at Hong Kong in 1975.

Fate: was to be delivered from Tainan to the Continental US on 23 May 75 (Telex dated 20 March 75), then was proposed to Air Vietnam, Saigon (Telex dated 29 March 75), but was eventually sold to OASIS, Manila, on 18 June 75; registered as RP-C1461 on 25 July 75; cancellation of registry requested on 4 August 75 (Letter by CS Carter); withdrawn from use and stored in 1980.

Curtiss C-46D N1386N (c/n 22265)
To Air America 01 Oct. 63
From: Braniff N1386N; previously USAF 44-78442, then Chinese Air Force, then XT-?, then N8322C

Service history: transferred to Tainan on 25 October 63, still being worked on in April 64; used out of Vientiane on USAID contract at least from late April 64, when it was put into service as an all-cargo aircraft to 1 September 64; assigned to contract AID-439-342 in July 64; still in November 65, in April 66, in May 66, called thru 24 August 66, and in May 68; the chute of a sky diver failed to deploy over Laos on 3 September 64; in use out of Vientiane at least between 12 November 65 and 16 November 65 (Log book of D. D. Wharton); at Pakse (L-11), Laos, on 16 December 66; a fast moving thunderstorm of more than 70 knots passed thru Vientiane's Wattay airport, damaging the engines of C-46 N1386N; repaired (XOXO of 24 March 68).

Fate: crashed 2 miles from Savannakhet (L-39), 170 miles SE of Vientiane, Laos, on 25 November 68, at approximately 1533 hours local time, when an engine failed on take off; one wing separated and burned, and the fuselage inverted and broke into at least two sections; Lester M. Porter, Baltazar Reyes, Pilot in Command Emmons B. Hodgkins Jr., Jon Charles Murray, Chaveng Yuphaphin, and 19 others were killed; was operated for USAID (XOXO of 25 Nov. 68, List "Aircraft destroyed or lost").

Curtiss C-46F N67984 (c/n 22579)
Air America: 27 Aug. 64
From: Johnson Flying Service, Missoula, MT, N67984; previously USAF 44-78756, then N67984, then CF-HYU, then N67984

Service history: purchase approved on 11 August 64; regd. to Air America on 27 August 64; used by Air America / Scheduled Air Services Ryukyus, Okinawa, from 1 November 64 to July 67; assigned to contract AID/VN-23 for use out of Saigon on 21 November 67, still in May 68; on 26 February 68, N67984 received battle damage, when a rocket hit the center of the Air America ramp at Saigon, where it was parked; repaired (XOXO of 26 Feb. 68 ); damaged by a thunderstorm on 25 May 68, while parked at Vientiane (L-08); repaired; in use out of Saigon at least between 16 August 68 and 1 September 68 (Crew member duty report of H. F. Miller); based at Saigon as a spare aircraft at least 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; regd. in October 69, so possibly B-regd. for a short time (Inventory list made up by R. Dixon Speas Associates Inc and dated 10 and 11 November 1975); a photo taken at Saigon (V-01) in February 70 by Bob Livingstone can be found in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 24; on 11 August 70, a female passenger died of cancer on board of N67984, while the aircraft was en route from Saigon to Danang; assigned to contract AID/VN-100 for use out of Saigon 1-31 July 71; in use out of Saigon at least between 20 April 71 and 24 July 71 (Saigon daily flight schedules); used by ICCS Air Services, Saigon, under contract ICCS-73-008 at least 16-30 April 73, 1 November-31 December 73, and 1 April-31 May 74; in use out of Saigon on 31 December 73 (Saigon daily flight schedule of 31 Dec. 73).

Fate: staged through Air Asia at Tainan (Inventory list made up by R. Dixon Speas Associates Inc and dated 10 and 11 November 1975); ferried back via Adak, AK, in September 75; arrived at Roswell, NM, in 1975; TT 29.183 hours (Inventory list made up by R. Dixon Speas Associates Inc and dated 10 and 11 November 1975); sold to Omni Aircraft Sales, Washington DC, at $ 25,000 according to the Sales Agreement of 13 November 75; sold to Omni Aircraft Sales, Washington, DC, on 2 February 76; de-registration requested on 6 February 76 (Letter by Clyde S. Carter dated 6 February 76); sold to Lease Co General Inc, Miami, in 1976; sold to LANICA, Managua, as AN-BRG in 1976; damaged while taxiing at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, on 22 January 77; repaired; transferred to Aeronica, Managua, as YN-BRG in May 81; withdrawn from use and stored in 87.

Curtiss C-46F N67985 (c/n22538)
Air America: 17 May 63
From: Keener/Warner/Sullivan/Winslow/Lane/Carlson N67985; previously USAF 44-78715, then N1671M, then N67985

Service history: bought at $ 50,000; regd. to Air America on 11 June 63.

Fate: sold by Air America to Air Asia Co Ltd on 16 August 63 and reregd. as B-920 on 4 October 63 (Status as of 15 January 74)

c/n 22538
Air America 16 Aug. 63
From: N67985 reregd.

Service history: leased from Air Asia; during an air drop over Laos, a pallet struck the empennage on 21 April 64 (Aircraft accidents 1964); repaired; used out of Udorn under CEECO contract 59-069 in April 64 (AAM Aircraft availability of 1 April 64). Fate: sold back to Air America on 19 May 64 and reregd. as N67985 on 2 June 64 (Status as of 15 January 74).

N67985 (c/n 22538)
Air America: 19 May 64
From: B-920, reregd on 2 June 64

Service history: regd. in June 64 (Inventory list made up by R. Dixon Speas Associates Inc and dated 10 and 11 November 1975); used by Air America / Scheduled Air Services Ryukyus, Okinawa, from 1 July 64 to July 67; undershot the runway at Ishigaki, Ryukyus, on 13 August 65 (List "Aircraft accidents/incidents 1965"); at Okinawa in May 67; assigned to contract AF49(604)-4395 for use out of Saigon on 26 September 67, still in May 68, called thru 30 June 68; assigned to contract AID/VN-41 at least 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; in use out of Saigon at least between 15 July 68 and 29 April 69 (Crew member duty report of H. F. Miller); an Army tractor trailer ran into the wing tip in South Vietnam on 6 December 70, causing minor damage to the left wing; repaired and returned to service on 9 December 70; in use out of Saigon at least between 20 April 71 and 24 July 71 (Saigon daily flight schedules); assigned to contract AID/VN-100 for use out of Saigon 1-31 July 71; still assigned to contract AID/VN-100 for use out of Saigon 1 November-31 December 73; assigned to contract AID SA-C-1029 for use out of Saigon 1 April-31 May 74; at Bangkok on 5 April 73; at Hong Kong in 1975.

Fate: staged through Air Asia at Tainan (Inventory list made up by R. Dixon Speas Associates Inc and dated 10 and 11 November 1975); ferried back via Adak, AK, in September 75; arrived at Roswell, NM, in 75; sold to Omni Aircraft Sales, Washington DC, at $ 25,000 according to the Sales Agreement of 13 November 75; sold to Omni Aircraft Sales, Washington, DC, on 2 February 76; deregistration requested on 6 February 76; seized by the Taylor County (FL) Sheriff in 1977; sold to A.D. Mallard, Shelley, ID, on 3 February 78; sold to Omni Transport, Fort Lauderdale, on 16 May 78; left Miami on 18 April 79 to the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana; serialled as FAC 931; leased to DAINCO Colombia / Programa Coinco, as HK-3079X in 1984; sold to Trans Oriente Colombia, Villavicencio, in March 94; sold in to DAINCO Colombia / Programa Coinco, as HK-3079G in July 94; crashed into a hillside near Villavicencio, Colombia, on 9 May 95; US reg canx on 7 November 97 as scrapped.

N9458Z (c/n 32985)
Air America: 10 Nov. 65
From: Southern Air Transport N9458Z; previously USAF 44-78589, then N9458Z

Service history: regd. to Air America on 24 November 65 (Status as of 15 January 74, in: UTD/CIA/B56F3); flew Vientiane-Bangkok on 14 April 66 and Bangkok- Vientiane on 15 April 66; flew Vientiane-Bangkok on 3 May 66 and Bangkok-Vientiane on 18 May 66; assigned to contract AID-439-342 in April 66, in May 66, in May 68, 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-15 July 71, but released from the contract on 15 July 71 for storage at Tainan to inactive storage at Tainan on 31 July 71; a photo taken at Danang (V-03) in March 68 by Robert Mikesh can be found in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 19; at Bangkok on 25 March 70; had a ground accident at Luang Prabang (L-54) on 19 April 71, when damaged by flying fragments of rotor blade parts (XOXO of 19 April 71); repaired; was in use out of Saigon as a spare aircraft at least 16-30 April 73, 1 November-31 December 73, and 1 April-31 May 74; based at Saigon in March 75 (Telex dated 20 March 75); at Hong Kong in 1975.

Fate: departure from Saigon to the Continental US was scheduled for 15 June 75 (Telex dated 20 March 75), but probably escaped on 29 April 75; sold to OASIS, Manila, on 18 June 75 (Summary of aircraft sales); registered as RP-C1462 on 25 July 75; photo in Air-Britain Digest, Sept./Oct. 78; cancellation of US registry requested on 4 August 75; withdrawn from use at Manila in February 81.

II) C-46s leased to Air America from the Civil Aviation Administration of the Republic of China, Taipei:

Curtiss C-46F B-130 (c/n22379)
(31 Mar. 59) CAT B-130
previously USAF 44-78556, then XT-?, then N8388C

Service history: leased from the Taiwan CAA

Fate: made an emergency landing in the Plain of Jars, Laos, caused by elevator control loss, and crashed on 26 November 60, when flying under contract 57-060; the pilot (J. R. Dexheimer) was seriously injured, the copilot (S. L. ["Eddie"] Tong) and the radio operator (K. S. Wong) were killed (List "Operational casualties in SEA"; List "Aircraft destroyed or lost").

Curtiss C-46F B-136 (c/n 22465)
(31 Mar. 59) CAT B-136
previously USAF 44-78642, then XT-?, then N8390C

Service history: had been fitted with long-range tanks for Operation Repat in October 1953 (Leary, Perilous missions, p. 222); leased from the Taiwan CAA.

Fate: destroyed at Pha Khao (LS-14), Laos, near Vientiane, on 13 August 61, while dropping supplies according to the provisions of contract no. 57-060, killing Norwood N. Forte (pilot), Roger J. Sarno (co-pilot), David W. Bevan (kicker), Darrel A. Eubanks (kicker), John S. Lewis (kicker) and 1 passenger; the aircraft had unexplainably executed a sharp turn, so that the wing struck on a mountain ridge (List "Company operated aircraft lost or destroyed", List "Total number of company employees killed in aircraft accidents").

Curtiss C-46F B-138 (c/n22500)
(31 Mar. 59)
CAT B-138; previously USAF 44-78677, then XT-?, then N8391C

Service history: leased from the Taiwan CAA; seen at Vientiane in 63; based at Bangkok in April 64, unassigned; assigned to CEECO contract 59-069 in July 64; used out of Vientiane on USAID contract AID-439-342 at least 1 September 64 to 1 October 64, replacing N1386N; still in November 65; used out of Vientiane on 27 December 65 and on 25 June 66 (Flight crew member monthly movement report of A. J. Zarkos); assigned to contract AID-430-1092 for use out of Saigon in April 66 and in May 66, called thru 8 May 66 on loan from contract AID-439-342; on 22 August 67 (?), Caribou "430" taxied into B-138, which was parked at Vientiane (L-08), damaging a wing tip; repaired (XOXO of 22 August 67 [?]); used as a spare aircraft at Saigon from 13 November 67 to 14 April 68; assigned to contract AF(604)-4395 for use out of Saigon on 14 April 68, still in May 68; in use out of Saigon at least between 27 July 68 and 9 June 69 (Crew member duty report of H. F. Miller); assigned to contract AID/VN-41 at least 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; current on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); in inactive storage at Tainan 1-31 July 71; not current on 1 November 73.

Fate: returned to the CAA of Taiwan in 1972; cancelled from the Civil aircraft register of Taiwan on 3 October 72 and scrapped (e-mail dated 8 April 2003, kindly sent by Mr. Chang Kuo-Cheng, Director General, CAA, Republic of China, to the author).

Curtiss C-46F B-146 (c/n22461)
(31 Mar. 59)
CAT B-146; previously USAF 44-78638, then XT-?, then N8401C

Service history: leased from the Taiwan CAA; seen at Vientiane in 63; in the CAT video as "146"; had a taxi accident at Bangkok on 10 March 64 (Aircraft accidents 1964); repaired; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane in April 64, thru 9 June 64 (Operations circular of 1 April 64), in July 64, and 8 September 64 to 6 December 64 (Availability list of 1 Oct. 64); assigned to contract AID-430-1092 for use out of Saigon in November 65, April 66, and May 66; assigned to contract AID/VN-23 for use out of Saigon in?, but used as a spare aircraft at Saigon since 21 November 67, still in May 68; received battle damage at Nhon Co (V-21), SVN, on 23 March 66; there were no injuries; repaired (XOXO of 23 March 66); photo taken at Danang (V-03) in September 66 by Tom Hansen in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 21; photo taken at Tan Son Nhut (V-01) in September 66 by Terry Love in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 23; in use out of Saigon at least between 13 August 66 and 1 March 70 (Crew member duty report of H. F. Miller); photos in Air America Log, vol. I, no.1, 1967, p. 1; the left tail surface was damaged while taxiing at Tuy Hoa (V-113), SVN, on 27 July 66; returned to service on 1 August 66; on 29 September 67, B-146, during taxi from the parking apron to the runway, had to move to side for other aircraft at Ham Tan (V-132), SVN, and so, the left main landing gear broke into a shallow appearing ditch which turned out to be full of soft ground; repaired and returned to Saigon on 30 September 67; based at Saigon as a spare aircraft at least 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; current on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); in inactive storage at Tainan 1-31 July 71; not current 1 November 73.

Fate: returned to the CAA of Taiwan in 1972; cancelled from the Civil aircraft register of Taiwan on 3 October 72 and scrapped (e-mail dated 8 April 2003, kindly sent by Mr. Chang Kuo-Cheng, Director General, CAA, Republic of China, to the author).

Curtiss C-46F B-148 (c/n 22510)
(31 Mar. 59) CAT B-148
previously USAF 44-78687, then XT-?, then N8402C

Service history: had been fitted with long-range tanks for Operation Repat in October 1953 (Leary, Perilous missions, p. 223); leased from the Taiwan CAA; seen over Luang Prabang in 1959 (photo in Airliners, summer 93, p. 16), and at Vientiane in 1963.

Fate: hit a mountain in foggy weather during an airdrop mission near Ban Xieng Lom (LS-69) at Pak Tha, Laos, 200 miles NW of Vientiane, on 17 July 63, killing Gerald I. Prudhomme (pilot), George A. Verdon (co-pilot), Gideon A. Newton (kicker), Aubrey A. Wooten (kicker), Charuk Milindre (kicker) and Narong Tantilohakul (kicker); the wreckage was found on 18 July 63 (Log book of A. Rich in; List "Operational casualties in SEA"; Aircraft accidents 1963).

Curtiss C-46F B-150 (c/n 22526)
(31 Mar. 59) CAT B-150
previously USAF 44-78703, then XT-?, then N8403C

Service history: had been fitted with long-range tanks for Operation Repat in October 1953 (Leary, Perilous missions, p. 223); leased from the Taiwan CAA; hit a ground obstacle on 13 May 61, while taxiing at Okinawa (Aircraft accidents 1961, in: UTD/CIA/B49F2); repaired; seen at Vientiane in 63; photo in UTD/Hickler/B28.

Fate: shot down on rice dropping mission at Ban Phone-Mouang, Central Laos, on 5 September 63 and destroyed, killing Captain Joseph C. Cheney and F/O Charles G. Herrick; Radio operator Yik Chiu To and kickers Eugene H. De Bruin, Prasit Promsuwan, Prasidhi Thanee and P. Indradat were captured; the latter walked out later (List "Total number of company employees killed in aircraft accidents"; List "Operational casualties in SEA", List "Company operated aircraft lost or destroyed").

Curtiss C-46F B-154 (c/n 22370)
(31 Mar. 59) CAT B-154
previously USAF 44-78547, then XT-?, then N8405C

Service history: leased from the Taiwan CAA; material failure resulted in the loss of control upon landing in Laos on 5 July 62 (Aircraft accidents 1962); repaired; participated in the flight Vientiane-Xieng Khouang on 27 November 62, when C-123 N5004X was shot down; assigned to contract AF62(562)-656 for use out of Tachikawa on Booklift flights in April 64; still in July 64; used as a backup aircraft for CAT domestic flights and based at Tainan in November 65; still in April 66; still in May 66, now based at Taipei; still in May 68; flew Tainan-Taipei on 8 February 66 (Flight crew member monthly movement report of A. J. Zarkos); in use out of Saigon at least between 15 November 67 and 15 January 69 (Crew member duty report of H. F. Miller); stored at Saigon 16-30 June 69 and 16-31 August 69; current on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); in inactive storage at Tainan 1-31 July 71; not current 1 November 73.

Fate: returned to the CAA of Taiwan in 1972; cancelled from the Civil aircraft register of Taiwan on 3 October 72 and scrapped (e-mail dated 8 April 2003, kindly sent by Mr. Chang Kuo-Cheng, Director General, CAA, Republic of China, to the author).

Curtiss C-46D B-156 (c/n 22353)
1960?
leased from the Taiwan CAA; ex B-844 of CAT
previously 44-78530, then XT-818, then N8413C, then XT-844

Service history: as B-844 was last reported in 1960, acquired about or after that date; leased from the Taiwan CAA; operated out of Vientiane into Laos on 29 May 61 (Vientiane Daily Flight Operations Log of 29 May 61); on the Aircraft list of June 62; assigned to contract AID-439-342 from 10 August 64 to 7 November 64; photo taken at Vientiane in 63 on the video made by Ed Eckholdt (at 1.02.07 minutes); used out of Vientiane on USAID contract at least 10 August 64 to 7 November 64; photos in UTD/Hickler/B29 + B32, probably taken at Vientiane, show the aircraft as "156" only; probably the reason for dropping the "B-" was that China and Laos broke off diplomatic relations in mid-1962 which also affected the registration of AAM aircraft (see Minutes ExCom-AACL of 25 September 62); assigned to contract AF49(604)-4395 for use out of Saigon in November 65, in April 66, and in May 66, called thru 30 June 66; at Saigon on 30 July 66; on 26 October 66, B-156 struck an unlighted power unit in the run up area at Saigon (V-01), SVN, damaging the right horizontal stabilizer and the tail cone (XOXO of 26 Oct. 66); repaired.

Fate: B-156 was hit by heavy communist machine gun fire, while carrying 34 VIP passengers, and crash-landed at Tam Ky (V-40), South Vietnam, about 340 miles north of Saigon, on 17 November 66. Several passengers were injured, but none was killed; the aircraft burned, and major components were salvaged (XOXO of 17 Nov. 66; List "Aircraft destroyed or lost"; photo taken by Ward Reimer is in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 96); Air America had to pay $35,000 to the Taiwan CAA for the loss a of this aircraft (Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 10 January 67).

III) China Air Lines C-46s operated for Air America:

Curtiss C-46D B-1535 (c/n 22367)
May 65?
China Air Lines B-1535;
previously USAF 44-78544, then N13500, then XH-TND, then HI-14, then 5N-AFA, then HP-366, then PJ-CLA

Service history: leased from China Air Lines

Fate: coded "CA-1" in 66

"CA-1" (c/n 22367)
May 65?
B-1535 reregd.

Service history: leased from China Air Lines and operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 65-61 of 23 April 65); photo in Propliner, no. 31, p.36; had a near miss with Air America Beech Ten-Two N137L, piloted by Frank Bonansinga, on 20 April 1966 (e-mail dated 2 June 2002, kindly sent by Frank Bonansinga to the author); photo by Peter Marson in: Air-Britain Digest, Summer 2002, p. 95.

Fate: On 28 April 66 at 0345Z time, CA-1 experienced over speed prop to 3000 RPM on no.1 engine at 80 knots during take-off from Kontum airport (V-15), South Vietnam. As there was little runway left and US military tents and aircraft on both sides, the pilot retracted the gear and bellied into a field straight ahead. One Vietn-amese child was killed, one fatally injured, one seriously injured; one US customer passenger was slightly injured. Aircraft totaled. CAL recovered as much as possible; the aircraft was lifted by crane to determine if there were any bodies under the aircraft, but there weren't any. Parts were removed and the aircraft was abandoned due to Vietcong activity (XOXO of 28 April 66).

Curtiss C-46A B-1549 (c/n 30205)
1967
China Air Lines B-1549;
identity confirmed (e-mail dated 21 Jan.2003, kindly sent by Mr. Chang Kuo-Cheng, Director General, CAA, Republic of China, to the author) previously 42-96543 and N91368

Service history: leased from China Air Lines

Fate: coded "CA-1" (no.2) in 67?

"CA-1" (no.2) (c/n 30205)
1967
B-1549 reregd.

Service history: leased from China Air Lines and operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 65-61 of 23 April 65); CA-1 nosed over, while landing at Tan Son Nhut (V-01) on 15 March 67, damaging both props; there were no injuries (XOXO of 15 March 67); repaired; on 23 June 67, the left hand gear of CA-1 collapsed at Vung Tau (V-05); there were no injuries; repaired; damaged by gunfire one mile southwest of Quang Ngai (V-23), South Vietnam, on 29 April 69, slightly injuring the pilot and the co-pilot; CA-1 was temporarily repaired at V-23 and ferried back to Saigon with the same crew the same day; used on Air America flight from V-03 (Danang) to V-01 (Saigon) on 11 May 69 (Crew member duty report of H. F. Miller); in October 1970, this gray and white CA-1 received an aluminum outfit (Saigon monthly base report of October 70); used by Air America on flights from Saigon (V-01) to Danang (V-3), Vung Tau (V-05), Nha Trang (V-07), Dalat/Cam Ly (V-08), Qui Nhon (V-13), Quang Ngai (V-23), Tam Ky (V-40), and Chu Lai (V-194) at least between 28 April 71 and 6 July 71 (Saigon daily flight schedules); suffered from an in-flight fire of the right engine 13 miles northeast of Saigon on 19 May 72, but landed safely at Tan Son Nhut with the landing gear up; the aircraft was towed to the Air America west ramp (XOXO of 19 May 72); the e-mail dated 21 Jan.2003, kindly sent by kindly sent by Mr. Chang Kuo-Cheng, Director General, CAA, Republic of China, to the author, gives 20 May 72 as the crash date at Saigon; it was evidently repaired, as the Saigon monthly base reports continue to mention this aluminum CA-1 until September 72; ferried rice from Saigon to Phnom Penh between 11 and 18 September 72; due to lesser capacity needs, CA-1 was cancelled from the list of aircraft operating for Air America Saigon in late September 72 (Saigon monthly base report of September 72).

Fate: probably returned to China Air Lines in late September 72.

Curtiss C-46 "CA-2" (c/n ?)
May 1965?
China Air Lines B-? P> Service history: leased from China Air Lines and operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 65-61 of 23 April 65); CA-2 ran off the runway into soft sand at Tuy Hoa (V-113) on 21 September 66; both props were bent; CAL mechanics at the site expected 2 or 3 days for repairs and ferry to Saigon (XOXO of 21 September 66); upon landing at Tan Son Nhut on 18 February 67, CA-2 lost hydraulic fluid so that the brakes malfunctioned and CA-2 ran into USAF C-47 0-49679, which was parked there; the damage to CA-2 was a large hole from the leading edge of the left wing thru to the landing light and so on (XOXO of 18 Feb. 67).

Fate: not current in January 68 (Saigon monthly base report of January 68); possibly abandoned or returned to China Air Lines.

Curtiss C-46 "CA-2" (no.2) (c/n ?)
April 72
China Air Lines B-?

Service history: seen at Taipei on 15 April 72, no markings, leased from China Air Lines and operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 70-34); white and aluminum aircraft, added to the list of aircraft operating for Air America Saigon in April 72 (Saigon monthly base report of April 72); ferried rice from Saigon to Phnom Penh between 11 and 18 September 72; due to lesser capacity needs, CA-2 was cancelled from the list of aircraft operating for Air America Saigon in late September 72.

Fate: probably returned to China Air Lines in late September 72.

Curtiss C-46 "CA-3" (c/n ? )
February1968 ?
China Air Lines B-?

Service history: leased from China Air Lines and operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 65-61 of 23 April 65); gray and white aircraft, on the list of aircraft operated for Air America Saigon at least between February 68 and March 1970; no longer on the list in April 70 (Saigon monthly base reports February 68 to April 70).

Fate: probably returned to China Air Lines in late March 70.

Curtiss C-46 "CA-4" (c/n ? )
1966?
China Air Lines B-?

Service history: serial unconfirmed; it is correct, it was leased from China Air Lines and operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 65-61 of 23 April 65); a photo of what looks like CA-4 can be seen in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 21; the aluminum C-46 is shown landing with cargo at Danang in May 1966.

Fate: not current in February 68 (Saigon monthly base report of February 68).

Curtiss C-46 "CA-5" (c/n ?)
1966 ?
China Air Lines B-?

Service history: serial unconfirmed; it is correct, it was leased from China Air Lines and operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 65-61 of 23 April 65); mentioned in Air-Britain Digest, Summer 2002, p. 95, as an overall silver C-46.

Fate: not current between February 68 and January 74 (Saigon monthly base reports of February 68 to January 74).

Curtiss C-46A "EM-2" (c/n 30460)
June 1972
leased from China Air Lines B-1551,
ex 42-96798 and N91370 (identity confirmed by the e-mail dated 6 Jan. 2003, kindly sent by Mr. Chang Kuo-Cheng, Director General, CAA, Republic of China, to the author)

Service history: operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 70-34); not mentioned in the Saigon monthly base reports of 1972, so probably, it arrived the same month it crashed, that is in June 72; a photo of an all silver "EM-2" operating for MACV-SOG appeared in Plaster, SOG, p. 72; this was probably the ill-fated EM-2

Fate: crashed on approach to Pleiku (V-04), South Vietnam, on 5 June 72, killing 32 people, i.e. 3 CAL crew, 11 US military, 14 South Vietnamese military, 1 South Vietnamese civilian woman and 3 CAL deadhead mechanics. The aircraft had been en route Saigon (V-01) - Ban Me Thuot (V-12) - Pleiku (V-04) - Hue Phu Bai (V-06) - Ban Me Thuot (V-12) and was to fly back to Saigon (V-01); the wreckage was sighted on 7 June 72; all 32 dead occupants were transported to Saigon on 15 June 72 (XOXO of 5 June 72; Harnage, A thousand faces, pp. 107/8, gives the serial as CA-2).

Curtiss C-46 "EM-2" (no.2) (c/n ? )
April 1973
leased from China Air Lines B- ?

Service history: operated by China Air Lines under subcontract with Air America (Contract no. 70-34); this camouflaged C-46 EM-2 was added to the list of aircraft operating for Air America Saigon in April 73 and continued to be in service until at least January 74 (Saigon monthly base reports between April 73 and January 74).

Fate: unknown

IV) Bird & Sons C-46s operated for Air America:

Curtiss C-46F N9473Z (c/n 22293)
April 64?
leased from Bird & Sons, Vientiane

Service history: used on an Air America rice drop mission out of Vientiane on 8 September 64 (Vientiane schedule for 8 September 64).

Fate: returned to Bird & Sons in 64?; became Continental Air Services Inc on 1 September 65; crashed after engine failure near Phu Cum (LS-50), Laos, on 13 August 67.

Curtiss C-46F N9760Z (c/n 22574)
April 1964?
leased from Bird & Sons, Vientiane

Service history: used on an Air America rice drop mission out of Vientiane on 8 September 64 (Vientiane schedule for 8 September 64).

Fate: returned to Bird & Sons in 64?; became Continental Air Services Inc on 1 September 65; still regd. in December 70; current with CASI on 26 May 72 (Company confidential dated 26 May 72); sold to Tri-9 Corp. in 1974; damaged beyond repair in a rocket attack at Phnom Penh on 26 August 74.

V) C-46Ds leased from the Royal Lao Government (grant aircraft):

Curtiss C-46D XW-PBV (c/n 22232 )
1 July 69
USAID-Laos XW-EAA or XW-EAB reregd.;
leased from the Royal Laotian Government

Service history:not current on 15 June 69, but assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane on 1 July 69; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-31 July 71; two Lao paratroop trainees struck the stabilizer over Laos on 9 April 70, when they jumped against red light, while the aircraft was climbing; the two Laos were killed, but there was no damage to the aircraft (Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 14 April 70); current with Air America on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); noted as "grant aircraft" in May 72 (Company confidential dated 26 May 72); assigned to contract F04606-71-C-0002 for use out of Vientiane 1-30 November 73, noted as "grant aircraft"; Hamilton standard props were installed at Tainan between 22 May 73 and 26 May 73; while XW-PBV, piloted by PIC A. D. Wilson and F/O D. R. Whittaker, was over the drop zone near UF 9678, Laos, on 1 November 73, the aircraft encountered severe clear air ambulance, causing the cargo to spill from the pallets; two (V. Soukanyna and B. Kalavong) of the three kickers received minor head injuries and were treated at the Company clinic upon return to Vientiane (XOXO of 1 Nov. 73); was a rice-drop plane (Robbins, Air America, p. 25).

Fate: given to Royal Air Lao on 1 December 73; damaged in a storm at Vientiane on 24 March 76; repaired; taken over by Lao Aviation, Vientiane, as RDPL-34040 in 1975 (?); reg. N9265Y reserved for J. D. Melvin Co, Glendale, CA, on 4 September 81; not taken up; candidate for reg N9265Y again in August 84 (AMCAR 24, p. 25); US reg canx in December 85; Lao reg. canx, as it is now used on a Mil Mi 8 (see photo in Airliners, Fall 1993, p.17).

Curtiss C-46D XW-PBW (c/n 33451)
01 July 69
leased from the Royal Laotian Government

Service history: not current on 15 June 69, but assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane on 1 July 69; current with Air America on 1 July 70 (Leary, The aircraft of Air America, p. 20); at Hong Kong on 22 August 70; assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-31 July 71; converted to a 69 passenger configuration on 19 July 71; noted as "grant aircraft" in May 72 (Company confidential dated 26 May 72); assigned to contract F04606-71-C-0002 for use out of Vientiane 16-30 April 73 and 1-30 November 73, noted as "grant aircraft"; Hamilton standard props were installed at Tainan between 30 June 73 and 6 July 73; flown in R.Lao AF colors in 73; slid off the runway (ground loop on touch and go) at Vientiane on 15 May 73 (XOXO of 15 May 73); was a rice-drop plane (Robbins, Air America, p. 25).

Fate: given to Royal Air Lao on 1 December 73; crashed 75 miles NNE of Vientiane, Laos, on 15 October 74.

VI) Unconfirmed C-46s reportedly flown by Air America:

Curtiss C-46F N67987 (c/n 22389)
1966 (?)
L. B. Smith Aircraft Corp, Miami, N67987;
previously USAF 44-78566, then N1811M, then N67987

Service history: reportedly leased from L. B. Smith Aircraft Corp, Miami (Eastwood / Roach, Piston Engine Airliner Production List, p. 146); official Air America records preserved at the Air America Archives (Aircraft status reports, Radio messages, Minutes of meetings) do not show any trace of this aircraft.

Fate: reportedly returned to L. B. Smith Aircraft Corp, Miami, in 67; withdrawn from use and stored in 71; cancelled on 18 February 71.

VIAT C-46s maintained by Air America according to contract no. 61-119:

Curtiss C-46 XV-NIG (c/n ? )
1961?
possibly a former Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez aircraft, that is a former Bay of Pigs runner, possibly c/n 32942 (ex N9894Z, to AN-AMG) or c/n 32992 (ex N9935Z, to AN-AOD in 1965)

Service history: Air America's contract 61-119 with VIAT was for call-type personnel services in South East Asia including Air America's flight, ground, supply and maintenance personnel, as may be called by VIAT (List of Air America's contracts, Memorandum of 27 July 62); this aircraft was at Saigon on 8 July 63, all silver, bearing no titles; a photo of XV-NIG dropping supplies can be seen in: Plaster, SOG, p. 14; the same photo can also be seen at http://ngothelinh.tripod.com

Fate: to?

Curtiss C-46 XV-NII (c/n ?)
1961?
possibly a former Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez aircraft, that is a former Bay of Pigs runner, possibly c/n 32942 (ex N9894Z, to AN-AMG) or c/n 32992 (ex N9935Z, to AN-AOD in 1965)

Service history: Air America's contract 61-119 with VIAT was for call-type personnel services in South East Asia including Air America's flight, ground, supply and maintenance personnel, as may be called by VIAT (List of Air America's contracts, Memorandum of 27 July 62); this aircraft was at Saigon on 8 July 63, all silver, bearing no titles.

Fate: to?

Curtiss C-46 XV-NIH(???) (cn ? )
serial not documented !!
1961?
possibly a former Los Hermanos Sebastian y Gómez aircraft, that is a former Bay of Pigs runner, possibly c/n 32942 (ex N9894Z, to AN-AMG) or c/n 32992 (ex N9935Z, to AN-AOD in 1965)

Service history: Air America's contract 61-119 with VIAT was for call-type personnel services in South East Asia including Air America's flight, ground, supply and maintenance personnel, as may be called by VIAT (List of Air America's contracts, Memorandum of 27 July 62); the serial is not documented; it could be the second VIAT C-46 shown in the background of Kirkpatrick slide A 5419 (UTD), given in the index as "VIAT C-46s", and taken at Saigon on 8 July 63; this second C-46 is not XV-NII.

Fate: to?

VIII) Air America C-46s: Problems and errors:

A) Problems contained in Air America documents:
- 1 C-46 was lost in Taiwan on 24 June 64 (Memorial; List "Company operated aircraft lost or destroyed"; List "Total number of company employees killed in aircraft accidents"): 20 June 64 was the date when C-46 B-908 crashed, so 24 June 64 was probably the date, when some of the survivors died.
- 1 stripped (ex Air America?) C-46 hulk, which was parked at the Air America ramp at Udorn in 73, was given to the Royal Thai Army at Udorn in 73 for training purposes and airlifted there by Air America CH-47C "016" in 73 (photo in Air America Log, vol. VII, 1973): this was probably one of the two former CNAF C-46 fuselages "001" and "006", bought in March 65 at $14,000 each to be rebuilt (Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 25 February 65; Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 8 June 65 and 13 July 65), but probably they were never rebuilt: The project seems to have been abandoned between November 65 and April 66, as the Aircraft status list of 1 November 65 still lists two C-46s to be added to the fleet, which are no longer listed in the Aircraft status list of 8 April 66.
- 1 stripped (ex Air America?) C-46 hulk, which was parked at the Air America ramp at Udorn in 73, was given to the Royal Thai Border Police at Udorn in 73 for training purposes and airlifted there by Air America CH-47C "016" in 73 (photo in Air America Log, vol. VII, 1973): this was probably one of the two former CNAF C-46 fuselages "001" and "006", bought in March 65 at $14,000 each to be rebuilt (Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 25 February 65; Minutes ExCom-AACL/AAM of 8 June 65 and 13 July 65), but probably they were never rebuilt: The project seems to have been abandoned between November 65 and April 66, as the Aircraft status list of 1 November 65 still lists two C-46s to be added to the fleet, which are no longer listed in the Aircraft status list of 8 April 66.
B) Errors contained in some publications:
- 1 C-46 was reportedly destroyed NW of Vientiane on 6 April 62, killing four people, also reported as crashed on take-off from Vientiane on 6 April 62: This was really DHC-2 "L-207" which crashed near Sam Thong (LS-20), Laos, on 6 April 62.
- 1 C-46 was reportedly hit by ground fire over South Vietnam on 4 December 66, landed, and then wing burned off: This was really C-46 B-156 which crashed on 17 November 66
- 1 C-46 reportedly crashed en route Saigon Da Nang into a rain-veiled mountain during a monsoon storm, date unknown, killing 8 American college professors: This was really Volpar Beech N91284, which crashed on 23 March 67 killing 8 prominent US educators (Minutes BoD-AAM 16 May 67).
- the Lao AF C-46 which was reportedly destroyed on a food supply mission in Northern Laos on 15 October 74 having an US pilot, was really Royal Air Lao XW-PBW, which carried the Erawan.
- C-46Es N59483 and N62528 were reported with Air America in the early fifties: This was really another company called Air America, as the CIA airline was still called Civil Air Transport at that time.
- C-46 B-840 was reported with Air America: There was never an Air America C-46 B-840; this was really C-46 B-846. CAT had C-46 B-840 c/n 22359 since about 1950, but this was sold to Delta Airlines in 1957, long before the company was renamed.
- C-46 B-985 was reported with Air America: There was never an Air America C-46 B-985; this was really C-46 N67985. The false registration has its origin in the fact that the last three digits of the correct registration, painted as usually below the cockpit, were taken for a B-registration.


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