Air Force of the Kampuchea Liberation Army Aircraft
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Air Force of the Kampuchea Liberation Army

Aircraft Types


Bell UH-1H Iroquois
Depending on the source, between 19 and 24 UH-1H helicopters are said to have been captured by the Khmer Rouge, and used by the AFKLA. Some of the Hueys were used for primary flight training at Pochentong. One group of students receiving training in early 1976 included five Kampucheans and five Chinese. Their flight instructor was a Kampuchean national, Pech Lim Kuon, who defected to Thailand using a UH-1H, on April 30, 1976.

It appears that some propaganda missions, which may have included leaflet dropping or the use of loudspeakers, were flown, particularly in the eastern zone, near the border with Vietnam. Some Hueys were used to carry Pol Pot and his aides to Thailand in January 1979.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
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?        
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?        
?        
?        
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References:

  • TBA


Cessna O-1 Bird Dog
Between 10 and 15 Bird Dogs may have been captured by the Khmer Rouge. Nothing is known of their use. Some of the captured Cessna lightplanes, O-1s and T-41Ds, may have seen limited use as primary trainers.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
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References:

  • TBA


Cessna T-41D Mescalero
It is possible that about ten T-41Ds remained in Kampuchea. It is possible that some were used as primary trainers at Pochentong. Apparently, North Korean advisors attempted to return to airworthiness as many former Khmer Air Force aircraft as possible. This may, or may not, have included the T-41Ds. It has been suggested that some T-41s were transferred to Laos after the Vietnamese invasion. This is unlikely, though.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
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References:

  • TBA


Cessna A-37B Dragonfly
A total of 24 A-37B Dragonflies are said to have been supplied to the Khmer Air Force during 1974. No documentary evidence, photographic or otherwise, of their actual delivery to Cambodia is known. After the Vietnamese invasion, ten A-37s were included among the aircraft captured. Nothing further is known of these aircraft.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
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References:

  • TBA


Douglas C-47/AC-47D
Fourteen C-47/AC-47Ds are said to have been captured by the Khmer Rouge. The type appears to have been the mainstay of the AFKLA, being used as a transport aircraft as late as the spring of 1977. At least two were flown to Siem Reap, in northwestern Kampuchea, during an insurrection in nearby Region 106, Oddar Menchay province. Six C-47s were captured by Vietnamese forces in 1979. A photograph taken in February 1980 appears to show 6 C-47s still in use.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
42-24055 9917 42-24055 10 Aug 1956 ex AdlA, Noted 1966
42-24139 10001 42-24139 6 Sept 1971 RAAF A65-19, to VH-SBN, to Dept of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid).
43-16105 20571 43-16105 10 Aug 1957 F-OAPD, to F-KHAB ntu 25 Aug 1955
23732 9594 42-23732 16 Nov 1971 RAAF A65-14, to VH-AIG to Dept of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid), to CAF as foreign aid, to Lao Air Lines 13 May 1974.
76388 15972/32720 44-76388 1958? ex USAF, to N9860F for delivery flight
76765 16349/33097 44-76765 5 Nov 1977 RAAF A65-96, to VH-AID Dept of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid). 476765. to United Khmer Avn
292292 12076 42-92292 16 Nov 1971 RAAF A65-30, VH-AIC Dept of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid).
316254 20720 43-16254 14 Aug 1970 ex USAF
348562 14378/25823 43-48562 Aug 1970 ex USAF
348640 14456/25901 43-48640 10 Aug 1956 ex AdlA
348946 14762/26207 43-48946 13 Aug 1970 ex USAF
348960 14776/26221 43-48960 Sep 1970 ex USAF
349085 14901/26346 43-49085 24 Sept 1970 ex USAF
349236 15052/26497 43-49236 13 Aug 1970 ex USAF. to RTAF?
349373 15189/26634 43-49373 22 Sept 1970 ex USAF
349426 15242/26687 43-49426   ex USAF, N86457.
349433 15249/26694 43-49433 24 Sept 1970 ex USAF
349703 15519/26964 43-49703   ex SVNAF, Cambodia after 1973
476282 15866/32614 44-76282 12 Aug 1970 ex USAF
476337 15921/32669 44-76337 12 May 1960 RAAF A65-79, VH-CDB. to IDF/AF 1963
476340 15924/32672 44-76340 5 Nov 1971 RAAF A65-80, VH-AIQ Dept of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid).
476548 16132/32880 44-76548 30 Nov 1971 RAAF A65-88, VH-AIX Dept of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid).

References:

  • The Douglas DC-1/DC-2/DC-3: The First Seventy Years (Air-Britain)


Fairchild C-123K Provider
About six C-123s were captured by the Khmer Rouge. Nothing is known of their use by the AFKLA. Three were captured by Vietnam in 1979.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
?        
?        
?        
?        
?        
?        

References:

  • TBA


Harbin H-5 (Ilyushin Il-28)
As part of their military aid and support of the Pol Pot regime, China delivered some H-5 medium bombers to Kampuchea. The extent of their operational use is unknown, although one was reportedly shot down during the Vietnamese invasion. No photos of AFKLA H-5s are known to exist.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
?     1977 Shot down
?     1977 Captured at Pochentong
?     1977 Captured at Pochentong

References:

  • TBA


Helio AU-24A Stallion
Of the six AU-24As captured by the Khmer Rouge, some may have seen use as basic trainers and/or light transports. At least one remained in 1979, apparently being transferred to the Kampuchean People's Air Force in 1985.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
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References:

  • TBA


North American T-28 Trojan
The Khmer Air Force main strike aircraft, a total of 22 are said to have been captured by the Khmer Rouge. This may be too high an estimate, though. Of the twelve T-28s based at Ream, five were reportedly destroyed during two US Naval attacks on May 15, 1975, in conjuction with the Mayaguez rescue operation. Two T-28s were intentionally destroyed by Khmer Rouge troops when they reached at Battambang airport in April 1975.

Some of the remaining T-28s were resurrected, though. A Chinese propaganda film, shot in 1977 by the Xinhua News Agency, shows at least four T-28s taking off on what appears to be an operational sortie. It is possible that the pilots were Chinese, instead of Kampuchean nationals. The extent of the use made of the T-28s by the AFKLA is unknown, though.

Although no T-28s are listed as having been captured during the 1978/79 Vietnamese invasion, a few apparently were captured, and used against Khmer Rouge rebels.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
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References:

  • TBA


Shenyang F-6C Farmer
At least six F-6Cs were part of the massive Chinese military aid to Kampuchea in 1977. Some sources quote as many as 16 being supplied to the AFKLA, with only six being assembled. They were based at the Chinese constructed air base at Kompong Chhnang. One solitary photo of an AFKLA operated F-6C exists, taken at Pochentong just after the Vietnamese invasion. Here, an F-6C s/n 30-950 is towed in front of a United Nations C.160 Transall. The photo is very interesting, as it show apparently operational C-47s and C-123s in the background.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
30-950 6-8837   1977 F-6FC, Pres at War museum, Siem Reap.
563        
686        
914        
1062        
?        

References:

  • World Air Forces Directory 2006/07 (Mach III)
  • Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-19 (Aerofax)


Sud Aviation SA 316B Alouette III
Three Alouette III's are said to have been captured by the Vietnamese. The provenance of these helicopters remains unknown, though. It is possible that at least one was a former AVRK/Khmer Air Force helicopter.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
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References:

  • TBA


Sources:

I'm indebted to Steve Darke, who maintains the excellent web site thai-aviation.net as well as being the moderator of the Apichart smartgroup, and Martin Best for their considerable input. Cessna Bird Dog expert Minard Thompson supplied the O-1 data.

Gordon, Yefim. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 The Soviet Union's Long-Lived Korean War Fighter. Midland Publishing, Hersham, UK 2001.
Gordon, Yefim. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 The Soviet Union's Jet Fighter of the Fifties. Midland Publishing, Hersham, UK 2002.
Gordon, Yefim. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 The Soviet Union's First Production Supersonic Fighter. Midland Publishing, Hersham, UK 2003.
Gordon, Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitriy. Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle Light Attack Bomber. Airlife Publishing Ltd, Hong Kong 2002.
Grandolini, Albert. L'aviation Royal Khmere. The first 15 years of Cambodian military aviation. In Air Enthusiast 37, p 39-47.
Jane´s All the World´s Aircraft. 1968/1969 edition. Compiled and edited by John W.R. Taylor F.R.Hist.S., ARAeS.
Kiernan, Ben. The Pol Pot Regime. Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79. Yale Nota Bene, USA 2002. Second Edition.
Walg, A.J. Curtain Over Cambodia. In Air International, March 1993, p 134-140.

FAA Registry Aircraft Enquiry
Aviation-Safety.net
ACIG Article 410
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ACIG Article 412
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NTSB Aviation Accidents
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thai-aviation.net
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First Created: 5 December 2004 - Last Revised: 22 April 2007
Copyright © 2004 Jan Forsgren.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk