Sikorsky HO4S-3 "Horse"

The HO4S-3, serial Number 55885 is on display in hangar # 1 at the Shearwater Aviation Museum. This “Horse” was delivered to the Shearwater naval air station on 31 August 1955 and was initially assigned to Anti-Submarine Squadron, HS-50, where the assigned squadron number, a large day-glow orange “7” was painted on the nose and sides of the aircraft. On 26 November 1956, No. 885 was reassigned to Utility Squadron, HU-21, where, by coincidence, it also was assigned squadron number “7”. In addition to its normal training and transport duties, No.885 was involved in at least seven rescue missions saving upwards of 20 lives. These missions ranged from hovering over two burning aircraft to blow the flames away from the cockpits, thereby enabling the Shearwater rescue crews to remove the pilots, to rescuing four crewmembers whose Tracker aircraft had bolted over the side of HMCS Bonaventure into the sea, in a landing mishap. However, No. 885's most notable mission occurred in September 1962 while embarked as “Pedro” on Bonaventure. No. 885 was instrumental in saving seriously injured survivors from a Flying Tiger Super Constellation, carrying 76 American military personnel and family members, which ditched in the North Atlantic.

On 8 May 1970, No.885 was retired from active naval duties and transferred to the School of Aerospace Engineering at CFB Borden as an instructional aid until struck off Canadian Forces strength on 15 August 1985. The helicopter was subsequently donated to the Shearwater Aviation Museum which, in turn, loaned the aircraft to the New Brunswick Community College in Dieppe where various aviation trades courses restored No. 885 to working condition to gain practical learning experience. The totally refurbished helicopter was presented to the Shearwater Aviation Museum 26 August 1998.

55885 RCN Employment Record

Taken On Strength 31 Aug 55
HS-50 31 Aug 55, 15 May 62
HU-21 27 Nov 56, 10 May 57, 18 Jul 57, 20 May 58, 12 Feb 60, 28 Mar 61, 30 May 61, 11 Jul 62, 8 Aug 63, 22 Feb 65
HMCS Bonaventure 23 Nov 58, 12 Feb 60, 16 Jul 60 – 22 Jul 60, 8 Jan 61 – 11 Jan 61, 14 Sep 62 – 12 Nov 62
VX 10 17 Jun 61
Struck Off Strength 15 Aug 85