Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw


An H-34 Choctaw, the last piston-engined helicopter used by the United States in Vietnam.

Adopted in 1954, the H-34 Choctaw was one of the most widely-used choppers of the Vietnam War prior to introduction of the Huey, with over 1,800 produced. The H-34 was originally used by the Navy and Coast Guard under the name “Seabat,” but the US Army, true to form, redubbed the H-34 the “Choctaw” upon its widespread adoption. The Choctaw was among the first of many helicopters which attempted to fulfill the role of a gunship, with several H-34s (dubbed “Stingers”) fitted with a pair of general purpose machine guns and two sets of 19 rocket pods. The Choctaw was the last of the piston-engined aircraft to serve in Vietnam, a design which was essentially outmoded by the introduction of turbine-engined choppers in the 1960s. All of the Choctaws still serving in Vietnam by 1973 were handed over to the South Vietnamese government following the US withdrawal from the war.

[1] Military Factory. Sikorsky “H-34 / CH-34 Choctaw,” accessed December 2, 2018.