The U.S. Coast Guard in Vietnam And The Albatross Flight At The Palm Springs Air Museum

Grumman Albatross owned by Row 44
Grumman Albatross owned by Row 44
Grumman Albatross owned by Row 44

On Saturday November 30, 2013 at 1 pm the Palm Springs Air Museum will present THE US COAST GUARD IN VIETNAM by Dr. Douglas Kroll .Vietnam is usually remembered as a war fought in jungles and rice paddies. But there was another conflict as well, a sailor’s war, much of it fought from the decks of United States Coast Guard Cutters. The Coast Guard played a significant role in securing Vietnam’s 1,200-mile coastline. Coast Guardsmen destroyed enemy supply ships, supported ground units, rescued American and other friendly forces, and performed many humanitarian duties. Yet the Coast Guard’s involvement in the Vietnam War is still little known. Prof. Douglas Kroll, a Coast Guard veteran himself delivers the too often overlooked story of “The U.S. Coast Guard in Vietnam”. Flight Exhibition by the Albatross follows program, weather permitting.

The Grumman HU-16 Albatross is a large twin-radial engine amphibious flying boat that was used by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, primarily as a search and rescue and combat search and rescue aircraft. Originally designated as the SA-16 for the USAF and the JR2F-1 and UF-1 for the USN and USCG, it was re designated as the HU-16 in 1962 ( Source Wikipedia).

Currently, satellite technology company Row 44 uses an HU-16B Albatross (registration “N44HQ”) to test their in-flight satellite broadband internet service. Purchased, restored and named Albatross One in 2008, the company selected this aircraft for its operations because it has the same curvature atop its fuselage as the Boeing 737 aircraft which the company manufacturers its equipment for. The plane purchased by Row 44 was used at one time as a training aircraft for space shuttle astronauts by NASA. It features the autographs of the astronauts who trained aboard the plane on one of the cabin walls.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and honor our veterans while educating future generations. One of the largest collections of flying WWII aircraft, vintage cars, 8,500 volume Library, flight simulators and tours through a flyable B-17 and C-47 are housed in 65,000 square feet of climate controlled exhibit space. Movies show in the Buddy Rogers Theatre continuously after 11 am. Open daily, 10 am – 5 PM, admission ranges from $8 to $15, free for children under 6 and for active military with ID. 760-778-6262. www.PalmSpringsAirMuseum.org

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