Grumman HU-16E 'Albatross'
Courtesy of the National Museum of Naval Aviation
Grumman designed the "Albatross" to meet a U.S. Navy requirement for an amphibious utility aircraft that could also operate with skis from snow and ice. The Albatross has been likened to a "bird of good omen." It has also been called "The Goat" because of its stubborn, slow response to controls and was known as "Old Dependable" due to its ruggedness.
It has been a primary search and rescue craft for the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force. The Albatross was active in the Korean Conflict and rescued nearly 1,000 United Nations personnel including hazardous rescues behind enemy lines. It later saw action in the Vietnam War.
Introduced into service in 1949, the craft had a long operatonal history with the final USAF flight taking place in 1973, the final Navy flight in 1976 and final Coast Guard flight in 1983.
This plane, the "E" U.S. Coast Guard version, was used for twenty years for air-sea rescue in the South Pacific and later along the Atlantic Coast.