Images of various Artifacts of the Month's

October 2020

Artifact of the Month

CH-21C Shawnee

The Cargo Helicopter (CH) - 21 Shawnee was introduced into service in 1950 by the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation. The Army purchased 331 CH-21Cs plus sixteen more CH-21Bs from the Air Force. The Shawnee served as a multipurpose helicopter capable of carrying twenty troops or 2,300 pounds of cargo. The Shawnee was the Army’s workhorse during the early years of the Vietnam War. The CH-21C was the main transport helicopter with the 57th Transportation Company when it became one of the first complete American units to serve in Vietnam from 1961 – 1963. The Shawnee continued in service until 1964, when it was replaced by the UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) and CH-47 Chinook. By 1965, most Shawnees were withdrawn from active inventory in the U.S. Army and Air Force.

The CH-21 displayed in the museum’s Aviation Pavilion is a veteran of one of the first U.S. Army combat units in Vietnam, the 57th Transportation Company, and is so marked. This aircraft saw service in Vietnam and later was returned to Fort Eustis. The aircraft remained in service until 1967 when it was turned over to the U.S. Army Transportation Museum.