Fuselage skin from DHC-4 Caribou A4-208 : Flying Officer B G Young, No.35 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force

Accession Number REL33801
Collection type Technology
Object type Technology
Physical description Duralium or Duralimin
Maker de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd
Place made Canada
Date made c 1964
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

A rectangular piece of duralium aircraft skin painted matt Olive drab on one side and oxide primer on the inside. Handwritten in black ink on the olive drab painted exterior surface is "TEAR ON DOTTED LINE" and several lines around the top bullet hole. At the bottom of the skin is a second bullet hole mark. The extremities of the object show a hand drawn black line which was used as a guide when removing the object from the aircraft. The top of the object has a 35mm wide band of unpainted Duralium. There are many 2mm wide rivet holes through-out the object, these show the unpainted aircraft skin around them. The interior of the skin has 33mm high stampings in red ink such as "ALCLAD 2024-T8" and "ALCOA (R) .022"-".

History / Summary

On Friday 30 July 1967, DHC-4 Caribou A4-208, flown by 33200 Squadron Leader (later Wing Commander) Anthony John Fookes and 43754 Flying Officer Brian Geoffrey Young was hit by two rounds of AK-47 automatic weapon fire at an altitude of approximately 700 feet above ground level during descent for landing at Dak Seang Airfield, South Vietnam. One round hit and cut the aircraft's rudder cable, while the second round struck the fuselage aft roundel, side unknown. This section of fuselage was removed from A4-208 as part of damage battle repair. The Official History states that A4-208 served in South Vietnam from June 1965 to February 1972. This object has two colours, matt olive drab and a distinctive bright yellow/green colour for the interior primer. The former is the standard camouflage scheme used on Royal Australian Air Force Caribou's during the majority of the Vietnam conflict and the latter is an oxide paint used by the manufacturer of this particular piece of skin, Alcoa to help protect the metal. It is impossible to determine precisely what type of bullet hit this aircraft, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces were equipped with weapons sourced from a variety of places such as the United States, Germany, France, Eastern Europe, China and Russia.