The Sikorsky R-5 was the second helicopter type to go into full production for the U.S. Air Force. The R-4 used in the last stages of World War II was primarily a trainer, while the R-5 was intended for observation and rescue duties. The R-5 prototype first flew in August 1943. When the U.S. Air Force became an independent service in 1948, the designation letter for helicopters was changed from “R” to “H,” and the Dragonflies were redesignated H-5. In June of that year, the Air Force ordered 39 Dragonflies specially equipped for rescue operations with a hoist mounted on the left side of the helicopter. The H-5 remained in service up to the early 1960s but is best known for its service rescuing downed pilots during the Korean War.
6th Air Rescue Squadron, Goose Bay Air Base, Labrador, 1949
Pima Air & Space Museum