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Howard DGA -
Page 6, c/n 892 through 1022

They are a mixture of USN NH-1 and GH-3's. Click on the desired c/n or scroll down.

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-Mfg. CN



Mil. Model

Mil. SN Notes
  892 N66294 DGA-15P GH-3 44921 Ex N74636, FAA file
  898 N68189 DGA-15P NH-1 44927 Ex C-GYWF, N29999, on floats, FAA file, FEATURED
  909 N68119 DGA-15P NH-1 44938 6/81 at HAO. Now N681CF, metalized fuselage, FAA file
  936 N71G DGA-15P GH-3 44965 1960 photo - the way it was!
  978 N5553N DGA-15P GH-3 45007 Painted as NH-1, at Tullahoma 1998
  985 N67465 DGA-15P GH-3 45014 1999 photo, 2004 EAA-Oshkosh trophey winner
  991 N68431 DGA-15P GH-3 45020 EAA Oshkosh 2010, a beauty!
  993 N63592 DGA-15P GH-3 45022 1991 photo, FAA file
  998 N58856 DGA-15P GH-3 45027 Crashed in Canadian Yukon in 1963
  1011 N4638N DGA-15P GH-3 45040 "White Bear", one family since 1954!
  1015 N26J DGA-15P GH-3 45044 Ex N58803, metalized fuselage, FAA file

c/n 892, DGA-15P N66294, ex N74636
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 44921

Photo ID: N66294_1

9/10/10 - I got this early morning shot at EAA Oshkosh 2010. I also have a 1994 slide of it, in the same colors. Here is a summary from the FAA file of 2/10, on paper.

1/10/47 337, aircraft converted from Navy GH-3 to civil DGA-15P, aircraft disassembled, inspected, refinished, installed rear seat; 2/48 Annual Inspection form shows airframe total time 306-hours with 27:00 since airframe overhaul; 5/52 448-hr. total time; several later 337’s on avionics. Not much there!
11/13/46, sale of Howard GH-3, Ident. No. 44921, Mfg. 892 by War Assets Administration top J. E. Horn (Jesse E. Horne) of Orangeburg, SC, for $5,000. It appears to have originally been assigned N74636 but was soon changed to N66294; 8/47 sale to Southwest Aero Exchange, Tulsa, OK (Chuck Quinn, whom I knew and worked for briefly while in A&P school at Spartan in Tulsa, 1964-65); 9/47 to William H. Patey of Winona, MS; 6/49 to Beaufort Flying Service, Beaufort, SC; 9/52 to L. B. Cazort, Lemon Grove, CA; 8/54 to John S. McKibbin & Co., Carlsbad, CA; 4/55 to Albertlea Hanson of Vista, CA with a $1,000 mortgage; 3/56 to Earl W. Miller of Milroy, PA; 4/56 to Murvale O. Belson, Macon, GA; 3/60 to Wallace D. Simpson, Jr. of Savannah, GA; 11/60 to Colman Motors Inc., Augusta, GA; 10/64 to Coastal Airservice, Inc., Savannah, GA; 10/73 to Vernon C. Ford, Ft. Pierce, FL; 4/86 to Florida Airmotive, of Lantana, FL; 2/00 to John J. Brausch, Medina, OH; 10/07 to Jerry L. Sugten, Leslie, MI;
c/n 898, DGA-15P N68189, ex C-GYWF, N29999
U.S. Navy NH-1, BuNo 44927
Featured aircraft, click here

c/n 909, DGA-15P N68119, now N681CF
U.S. Navy NH-1, BuNo 44938

9/14/10 -  A pretty Howard on a nice day for taking photos in June 1981 in Ohio! It’s a 1943 DGA-15P built as U.S. Navy NH-1, BuNo 44938. The fuselage is obviously metalized; it has an extra window on the side; and it looks like a left-side door but I’m not positive. The left main gear collapsed when ‘909 suffered the indignity of a groundloop at Vacaville, CA in 10/16/88.

'909 is now N681CF. I have the FAA file on CD dated 2/10 and some info is summarized below: Photo was taken at Butler County Airport (HAO), Hamilton, OH, 6/81. An AirPix slide by Marion Pyles.

howard dga n68119, n681cf, metalized fuselage
Photo ID: N68119_1

1/26/48 the War Assets Administration sold Howard NH-1, Mfg. SN 909, Ident. No. 44938, to William Steiner of Anaheim, CA for $2,000, became N68119; 8/50 sold to Price Bruner, Seattle, WA; 4/52 to William S. Levy, Kotzebue, AK; 11/53 to L. L. Richardson of Des Moines, IA for $1150; 12/54 to Ashton Oil Company, Arkansas City, KS; 4/56 to Morgan Masonry Construction Co, Topeka, KS; 9/56 to Topeka Piper Sales, Topeka, KS; 9/56 to Billy O. Brownback, Topeka, with a $2,800 mortgage; 8/57 to Charles D. Ballou and Marquis I. Smith, Topeka, for $2,400; 2/58 to Richard W. Taylor and Rodney M. Randall of Wichita, KS for $2,200; 2/59 to Richard W. Taylor, Robert L. Wallick and Jack N. Funk of Wichita; 9/61 to Jack N. Funk and John M. Hickman of Wichita; 5/65 to Jack N. Funk, Wichita; 12/76 to Daniel F. Kumler, St. Petersburg, FL; 10/87 to Palmer L. Blote and Irene D. Blote, Atherton, CA; 3/90 to Albert H. Ansell, Lake Stevens, WA; 3/94 to Russell E. Henry, Brinkley, AR; 9/94 to Henry E. Russell and Darrin Henry, Brinkley; 1/96 to Lynmor International Inc, Wilmington, DE, changed registration to N681CF; 8/99 to Ellis Airtaxi Inc, Glennallen, AK; 6/08 to Lynn Ellis, 8-2 LLC, Glennallen, AK;  7/08 to 8-2 LLC, Glennallen.

1/19/47 337, make up and install 3-place seat per factory drawings and per Howard NC56255; shows mfg. date of 12/18/43; some early documents show cn9803; 9/50 Annual Inspection form shows 725-hr. total; 6/52 337 shows 2D30-235-6101A-21 prop; 9/59 337 shows installation of six-seat arrangement; 9/79, recovered wings and control surfaces with Stits Poly-Fiber; 6/94 installed Cleveland wheels and brakes.

c/n 936, DGA-15P N71G
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 44965

9/14/10 – This is a 1960 photo and it represents how a lot of Howards looked at the time. Bear in mind that it was only about 16-years old and had probably never been restored. This was when they were in the hands of more common folks than is typically the case today and they were not lavished upon as is often the case now.

There’s not much on the ‘net on N71G. Maybe someone can fill us in. Is ’71 Golf being restored?

howard dga-15p aircraft N71G, 1960
Photo ID: N71G_1

Here’s a partial owner’s list from the FAA registers: 1963 -76, Elmer E. Rullman III, Wayne, IL;  1977-83, doesn’t appear;  9/89, Robert E. Toliver, Waco, TX;  3/91, 8/92 Russel L. Ladue, Kent, WA;  current, John D. Mouchou, Reno, NV since 4/94.

c/n 978, DGA-15P N5553N
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 45007

9/14/10 - A beauty here, painted to look like an NH-1. My friend Paul Minert, a regular at the Beech fly-ins at Tullahoma, TN, captured it there in 1998.

A parttial ownership info includes: 1963-67, Quenten L. Freeman, Gustine, CA;  12/01, Robert C. Chandler, Beverly Hills, CA, from 6/90;  7/06, Sale by Chandler was Pending;  12/09 & 9/10, General Levitation LLC, registration application in process.

howard dga-15 n5553n, gh-3, nh-1, buno 45007
Photo ID: N5553N_1

Five three November had a hard life in 1983 and 1984. Feel the pain! Obviously Howards are an airplane to be respected by even experienced taildragger pilots.  In my story "No Fear" I write about what it means to have a healthy fear of what a taildragger will do to you if you don't respect it. Most of my flying now is in a 450-Stearman that belongs to my sons and I approach that incredibly pretty bird with a lot of respect - every time.

c/n 985, DGA-15P N67465
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 45014

N67465 won the “Outstanding Closed-Cockpit Monoplane” award at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004, but with new paint and other updates since this 9/00 photo. I’ll post a current photo if someone will send it to me.

As of 9/15/10 the aircraft is still listed for sale by Ragtime Aero of Placerville, CA.  says of N67465. “Original restoration by Ken McFarland, Ragtime Aero repainted, updated interior and instrument panel.”

howard dga-15 n67465 airplane, eaa oshkosh 2004
Photo ID: N67465_1

Their more detailed description says: “1945 HOWARD DGA 15 AMBULANCE • $187,000 • FOR SALE • FRESH ANNUAL N67465 with R-985 Pratt & Whitney SMOH 255, Hamilton Standard 2D30-235 Blade 6101-A-12, Ambulance, Drop down instrument panel, Apollo GX-65 GPS/Com, Narco Mark 12D, JP Instruments Fuel Totalizer Model S-450, Restored with new wings, covered in polyfiber in 1988, Repainted in 2003 and maintained by Ragtime Aero, Black with Daytona White trim, very classic design. Interior is beautiful gray tones. Wood panel look to instrument panel, window frames and storage box.”

That 2D30 prop with 6101A-12 blades is 8” longer and somewhat wider than your typical 6167A-15 Howard blade. It would be quite a performer, and much more a “talker” on takeoff.

Here’s a partial list of owners over the years, from my FAA registers: 1963, missing;  1967-68, Southeast Aviation, Hammond, LA;  1970, Southern Parachute Center, Hammond, LA;  1976-77, missing;  11/80, 1/83 Sale Reported;  9/89, Kenneth E. McFarland, Placerville, CA;  3/91, B and B Sales, Modesto, CA;  8/92, Algimantas Balciunas, Margaret Jo Balciunas, Trustees, Diamond Springs, CA;  12/09, William D. Reddin, Placerville, CA since 9/96;   9/10, Gross Aviation LC, William R. Gross, Clear Lake, IA.  

I am very happy with my place in life, but wow - sometimes it’s a bit hard to not be just a little bit jealous!

c/n 991, DGA-15P N68431
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 45020

Howard dga-15, n68431 photo, eaa oshkosh 2010
Photo ID: N68431_2
I caught this beauty in both evening and morning light at EAA Oshkosh 2010. What a gem! If it was mine I’d take it to Oshkosh too! I can’t fill the gap from 1983 to ’87, but this Howard has been in very few hands over the years! From 1960 – 1983 it belonged to Donald J. Coonrod, Montague, CA, and since 1987, to Edward R. Moore, W. Mystic, CT. Howard dga aircraft, airplane photo, U.S. Navy GH-3
Photo ID: N68431_1
As I researched Howards it seems that there have been several gear collapses due to rust inside the landing gear, as this one did in 2005. I think I’d give careful thought to that if I owned one.
c/n 993, DGA-15P N63592
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 45022
howard dga airplane, n63592, navy gh-3 aircraft
Photo ID: N63592_1
9/17/10 – ‘993, N63592 was seen at Phoenix, AZ, in Nov. 1991. It belonged to Eric Lorentzen, of Scottsdale, AZ at the time, and he owned this Howard for 25 years – from 1978 to 2003. It must have been part of the family!
As of 12/09 N63592 was advertised for sale with 1700-hours total time, 80-SMOH, recent leather and a fresh annual, for $99,500.

Here’s some details from the FAA file: On March 19, 1947, the W.A.A. (War Assets Administrator) sold Howard GH-3, 45022, to Gene Hughes Drug Stores of Sacramento, CA, for $2,000. The “Mfr’s Serial Number” space said “None available” but a handwritten note says, “993 per W.A.A. 5/2/47, JS.” (I sure wish I had the information base that they got that from!) The 4/22/47 Operations Limitations says that the date of manufacture was 6/44.

On 5/26/47 the drug store sold it to Eugene P. Hughes, of Sacramento, for $2,000. In 7/51 the fuselage and tail surfaces were recovered and a new windshield installed. 4/53, both airframe and engine total time were 515:25 hours. 4/53, sold to James Heenan, Live Oak, CA; 6/56, total times 612:08 hours; 5/66, bolted 20# of lead to the tailpost and placarded “Intentional spins prohibited” and “For take off and landing use main tank except use rear tank last when flying solo.”

1/72, the James Heenan Estate sold it to DeHaan Aviation, Tucson, AZ (T. Alan Moseley, Paul H. DeHaan) for $2,700. Next was C. W. Best, Tucson, AZ in 2/73, soon changed to Charlie W. Best; 3/77, recovered fuselage and all control surfaces with Stits; 7/77, installed King and Dare avionics package; major wing repairs, recovered with Stits; 12/77 to Eric Lorentzen, North Caldwell, NJ, with address changed to Scottsdale, AZ; 6/95, replaced stock tailwheel with Scott 3245-01; 11/95, installed DARTON “Clean Kit” Oil Recovery System; 5/03 sold to Charles M. Nickerson, Bonita Springs, FL; 3/06 to Thomas P. Zuber, Valley, AL;

c/n 998, DGA-15P N58856
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 45027

Do you remember the Reader's Digest story, decades ago, about the Howard that crashed in the Canadian Yukon in 1963, and the pilot and passenger survived for 49-days without water? Ralph Flores was the pilot and Helen Klaben Kahn the passenger. I've never forgotten the article, probably because of my fascination with Howards, and while doing research for this project I determined to find out which one it was.

I, as we say, "googled" it. Actually, I googled and googled and googled and finally found a 1999 Seattle Times story. I got the name from there and found the Howard that way. Click here for the story. Please send any updates on this story to

c/n 1011, DGA-15P N4638N
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 45050

“White Bear”, as captured at Casa Grande, AZ by Charles E. Stewart, March ’02. This Howard appears to have been in the Dickenson family for long enough to be considered a family heirloom – or would that be airloom?!

The engine cowling is longer than most. Can someone fill us in on that?

howard dga n4638n, white bear, dickenson family
Photo ID: N4638N_1
The 1963 FAA register shows Donald E. Dickenson of Santa Paula, CA as the owner since 1954. A later register indicates Bruce E. Dickenson, since 3/91, and 12/09 shows Bruce E & Janice J. Dickenson, Trustees, Santa Paula, CA since 12/05. Assuming that Donald and Bruce are family, and unless there was a short lapse somewhere, it has been in the family for at least 47 years as of 9/10! What a treasure, probably a record for flying Howards!

c/n 1015, DGA-15P N26J, ex N58803
U.S. Navy GH-3, BuNo 45044

howard dga aircraft, n26j, n58803, nc58803
Photo ID: N26J_1

howard dga-15 aircraft, jobmaster conversion, right side door, n26j
Photo ID: N26J_2

howard dga floatplane, jobmaster, cargo door, conversion
Photo ID: N26J_3

9/17/10 – I saw this pretty Howard at Merrill Field (PAMR), Anchorage, AK in July 2004. I was in Alaska again in 2008 and 2010 but didn’t see it.

On August 23, 1946, the War Assets Administration, Spokane, WA office, sold Howard GH-3, c/n 1015, Army 45044, to “Detwiler & Jensen”, of Bremerton, WA for $3,260. (The WAA Bill of Sale says “Army”, but both the model and serial number are Navy, so it was a Navy aircraft.) It was subsequently registered to Otto C. Jensen, Tilford F. McCowen and Harry A. Detwiler, of Bremerton as NC58803.

The Howard is not an airplane to be taken casually. They are a taildragger - - and more ornery than some. Someone must have “lost” this one because in 1947 the vertical fin, wings and engine mount had major repairs and the prop was replaced. Actually, it appears that the trio probably bought it in damaged condition although, compared to other Howards of that era they paid a lot if it was damaged.

Note the large, left-side cargo door and the entrance steps. It has been modified to six-place and they added a window for the passengers in the third row.

I only ever flew a Howard once. I bought N9126H (now N663H) at an auction in 1965, for $1250, and ferried it with one brake inoperative.* It had been parked for some years and blew oil all over the windshield on the flight home to our 2800’ grass strip. We sold it for $2,500 before the engine had cooled down and thought we were in tall cotton! Now, back to NC58803.

In June 1952 it was sold to Gilbert H. Quantz of Seattle. In May 1956, Jobmaster Company of Seattle registered it as N26J. Their letter to the FAA stated that the aircraft had been laid up for some time and they were now rebuilding it. A January 1972 ‘337 shows that Jobmaster remanufactured the aircraft. They metalized the fuselage, installed a cabin door on the left side and set it up for six seats. Note the extra windows.

They also installed a Hamilton Standard 22D30, Hydromatic type prop (which has subsequently been replaced with the typical counterweighted prop). I believe it has float fittings which were most likely installed at that time. In May 1989, Jobmaster sold it to Robert C. Higbee of Issaquah, WA, who sold it in January 2000 to Daniel N. Owen, of Portland, OR, the present owner. In May, 2004 Owen’s address was changed to Anchorage.

*Okay, I’ll come clean. To complete the story about ferrying the Howard with one brake inop, I have to confess that it had been neutered (converted to tri-gear) and was quite docile compared to the taildragger-stallion. Actually, there's an anticle and photo on N9126H near the bottom of


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