Sikorsky LH-34D (S-58) 'Seabat'
Courtesy of the National Museum of Naval Aviation
The Sikorsky S-58 was ordered by the military and designated the H-34. It was first used in a anti-submarine role by the U.S. Navy with the first flight in 1954. The U. S. Army used the H-34 (known as the “Choctaw”) as its principal transport helicopter from 1955 through 1964. The Marines adopted it in 1957 (known as the “Seahorse”) as their standard troop carrier for "vertical envelopment" landings, operating from carriers.
The H-34 in our museum was one of four modified for operation in Antarctica with the Navy and was given the “L” designation. It served as a rescue and utility craft with Squardron VX-6.
Other H-34s served in executive flight attachment, serving the President. Still others were used as recovery aircraft for the Mercury Program. Commercial models were used to transport cargo and passengers. They also were provided to over 23 countries. Westland in the United Kingdom was licensed was built a turbine-powered version as the “Wessex.”