CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Air National Guard has had a wide variety of aircraft going back to the postwar P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustangs.
This fine amphibian -- HU-16 -- was often seen practicing takeoff and landing on the Kanawha River.
The common name for the craft was Albatross and most often seen in Navy service.
The concept of an airplane that can take off or land on water or pavement is intriguing. As you might imagine, the primary use of the HU-16 was rescue of personnel in the ocean.
During its service with the West Virginia National Guard there was a tragic accident resulting in the death of Lt. Harlow D. Sheets. His family owned the well-known Sheets Bakery.