Some twelve years ago I was in touch with a Mr. Gene Rossel, I believe, of the Air Commando Association regarding the use of the U-10 Helio Courier. Mr. Rossel referred me to Gen. Heinie Aderholt and Col. Bob Gleason. Col. Gleason sent me a copy of his book Air Commando Chronicles and I purchased a copy of Gen. Aderholt’s book Air Commando One.
Currently, I am researching the warbird we are currently flying, a 1961 U-10A/H-395, Helio Super Courier, USAF S/N 62-3603A. In some of the owner’s research at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, it was found to be the first U-10A delivered to the USAF in 1962 where it was assigned the Air Commandos at Hurlburt Field.
In 2005-2006 the aircraft was restored to brand new condition and given the paint and markings U-10s would have worn in Southeast Asia and at Hurlburt Field. 603 participated in its first airshow at AirVenture-Oshkosh in 2006. In 2007 it was again featured at AirVenture-Oshkosh at AeroShell Square as one of the historic aircraft celebrating the 50th anniversary of the USAF. This year we had the honor displaying 603 at the Charleston Air Expo in Charleston, SC which featured the Thunderbirds.
Gen. Heinie Aderholt was the guest of honor at our ’50th Anniversary of the Helio Courier’ event in 2004. He spent the entire week with us, which I found quite remarkable. He and I had some great conversations together and he is deeply missed.
We hope to schedule a number of airshows in 2012 to celebrate 603’s’ silver anniversary. During the upcoming season we would like to honor the Air Commandos at all of our airshows by using the name “Air Commando Warbird Team”. We would like to tell the story of the Air Commandos within the demonstration itself and tell how the Helio was used.
Any information, history specific to Helio 603 or the U-10s with the Air Commandos that you could provide would be most helpful. Warmest Regards, Nathan Mackey Charlotte, North Carolina
Nathan L. Mackey, Charlotte, North Carolina, Cell 803-804-0645 Office 704-464-8572
I got this web page of Air America history of the B-26s in SEA today. I thought we flew the B-26 in Vietnam when we arrived there in Nov 61 and continued until about 1969. It seems like the Air America and CIA were flying these at various times according to this report. I never saw any but USAF pilots flying them in Vietnam and never saw any in Laos except for the ones in Udorn. I worked with the CIA both in Vietnam and Laos and never heard of them flying B-26s. I never saw any Air America pilots near anything that resembled a B-26. The web site is a long an interesting read. Gene
Mr. Rossel, here is a video of our U-10 performing. It’s so much fun!