Sikorsky HUS-1G (HH-34) "Seahorse"

June 3, 2022

Sikorsky HUS-1G (HH-34) Seahorse

A photo of the HUS-1G


Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation



Other Designations:

S-58; HH-34

Aircraft Type

Utility helicopter



Rotor Diameter


Blade Area

2,460 sq. ft.


14' 4"



Top Speed

122 mph

Cruising Speed

97 mph

Sea Level Climb

1,100 fpm


550 miles

Empty Weight

7,900 lbs.

Gross Weight

12,590 lbs.


2 crew; 12-18 passengers or 8 litters; 5,100 lb. payload

Service Ceiling

9,500 ft.


Wright R-1820-84

Historical Information:

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation's Model S-58 first flew on 8 March 1954.  The Coast Guard acquired six HUS-1Gs from Sikorsky in 1959 as a replacement for the HO4S-1G.  The HUS-1G had greater range, in part due to a droppable fuel tank, and payload capacity than the older HO4S as well as the latest electronics, automatic stabilization equipment, and a 600-pound capacity hoist.  This was the first helicopter acquired by the Coast Guard that had complete instrument capability, making flying at night and in poor weather possible for the first time.  A Coast Guard press release, dated 23 September 1959, noted that the HUS-1G was:

"A medium range utility helicopter, its primary mission in the Coast Guard is search and rescue work.  It is also suited for transporting personnel and cargo, reconnaissance, and general utility.  It has a single four-bladed main motor with a single four-bladed anti-torque rotor.  The main rotor blades and the tail rotor pylon are collapsible to facilitate storage.  The main cabin is located directly beneath the main rotor with pilots' compartment above and forward of cabin.  A Wright engine located in the nose is accessible by clamshell doors.  Interior accommodations include side-by-side seating for pilot and co-pilot and 10 seats for passengers in the cabin.  Design features include a 600-lb. rescue hoist, automatic stabilization system, towing apparatus, provisions for instruments and night flying, a droppable fuel tank an port side for range extension, and dual control systems.  Cargo may be carried in the cabin or by means of an external sling under the fuselage.  The HUS-1G is also equipped with modern electronics devices."

Under a DoD directive dated 6 July 1962, the services' standardized all helicopter designations and the HUS-1G became the HH-34F.   Coast Guard Air Detachment New Orleans received three of the new helicopters and garnered considerable press coverage over their SAR exploits.  The Detachment consisted of six officers and 15 enlisted men.  The United Press nicknamed them the "Guardian Angels."  During 1959, the Detachment flew 510 helicopter SAR missions with the HH-19G and HUS-1G, covering a total of 53,943 miles.

The service history of the Coast Guard's HUS-12Gs was marred by tragedy.  Two HUS-1Gs were lost in Tampa Bay within an hour of attempting to go to the assistance of the crew of an Air Force B-47 Stratojet that had ditched in the Bay.  A Coast Guard pilot assigned to the station, Martin Kaiser, provided more detail:

The B-47 had just taken off from MacDill AFB and was still over Tampa Bay when one engine exploded and the crew of four ejected and landed safely in the Bay just south of Albert Whitted Airport where the Coast Guard Air Station  was located. The B-47 crashed into Tampa Bay. . .and the jet aircraft and fuel burned fiercely just east of Coquina Key sending up dense clouds of black smoke. The Duty Helicopter crew having rescued three of the Air force personnel was in the process of bring up the fourth person in the rescue basket when the pilot lost rotor RPM and the HUS ended up settling into the water. The six personnel were rescued by a private boater in an 18-foot outboard. The second HUS arrived on scene and while the pilots were investigating an object floating in the water it lost power and ended up ditching. I believe the 40-foot CG Boat from the Air Station rescued the two pilots and their crewman from the second helo. How do I know this? I was one of the pilots assigned to the Air Station at the time and am familiar with the unfolding of this unusual story. The copilot of the second HUS had stood the duty with me the day before and happened to see the smoke from the burning fuel and rushed into the station to see if he could help. A couple of days later the two of us flew commercial to New Orleans and brought back one of the HUS’s from there so each station would have at least two. There you have it. Martin J. Kaiser, CDR, USCG, Ret 

A third was lost on 29 November 1962 when HH-34F CG-1336, based at AIRSTA St. Petersburg, crashed in the Gulf of Mexico while hovering near a fishing vessel in distress -- the helicopter's rotor blades may have struck the fishing vessel's rigging.  All but one of the crew survived.

The Coast Guard elected not to purchase any further HH-34s after Sikorsky's new turbine-powered HH-52s became available.  For the next two decades, the service's future helicopter fleet was made up of strictly HH-52 Seaguards.

"New U.S. Coast Guard HUS-1G helicopter with droppable fuel tank, visiting Naval Air Station at Anacostia before proceeding to its assigned homeport at Coast Guard Air Detach. in New Orleans (in old yellow paint scheme)."; photo is dated 3 May 1960 but handwritten notation on the negative sleeve states: "taken in Sept. 1960 after acceptance"; CG Photo No. CPI-09-03-60; photo by CPHOT J. E. Watson, USCG.

Sikorsky HUS-1G

USCG HUS-1G; No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


A Country Doctor arrives to help courtesy of a Coast Guard Sikorsky helicopter.

"COUNTRY DOCTOR -- AIR AGE STYLE.  Once a month the Coast Guard's Sikorsky S-58 helicopter flies a doctor around the Louisiana bayous country for calls on enlisted men and their dependents living at isolated light and boat stations.  Here Lt. Lowell T. York, assistant medical officer and flight surgeon for the Naval Air Station at New Orleans, La., visits Head of Passes, a critical light station at the mouth of the Mississippi River.  He is talking with Petty Officer and Mrs. James W. Figueira and their two-year-old daughter, Jean.  The Figueiras, who are from Beaumont, Tex., are one of three families on the island.  The S-58 lands in their yard.  The copter crew stands at the left."; RELEASE - SUNDAY, January 31, 1960; Photo by Sikorsky Aircraft; Frank J. Delear, Public Relations Manager.

Sikorsky HUS-1G

The U.S. Coast Guard HUS-1G helicopter over New Orleans."; 9 April 1960; CG Photo No. 8CGD-040960-01; photographer unknown. 


Arthur Pearcy, U.S. Coast Guard Aircraft Since 1916 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991), pp. 232-233.