Otter 370 was delivered to the RCAF on 13th July 1960 with serial 9408. For most of its service life, its career paralleled that of 9407 (367). It too was assigned to 418 Squadron at Namao, Alberta where it served until 18th January 1961, when it was transferred to 403 Squadron, Calgary. 9408 was involved in a major SAR mission which started on 4th February 1963, searching for a Howard DGA 15P aircraft N58856 lost on a flight from Whitehorse, Yukon to Fort St. John, BC. For the rest of February, search aircraft flew 587 hours, covering 150,000 square miles until the search was called off on 1st March 1963, nothing having been found. Included in the search were numerous RCAF C- 45s, C-47s, C-119s and Albatross, as well as Otter 9408 of 403 Squadron and Otters 9417 and 9418 of 418 Squadron. Remarkably, the two on board the Howard were later found alive, on 25th March 1963.
On 9th March 1964, 9408 as well as 9407 arrived back with 418 Squadron, Namao where they were to serve for the next eleven years. The 418 Squadron history recounts a deployment its Otters made in 1971: “Operating from tents at Norman Wells, 418 Squadron Otters catalogued and photographed the scores of air strips that had been cut into the bush and tundra by the oil and mining exploration companies. These strips had previously been kept secret by the companies due to the extremely competitive nature of their industry. The squadron also dropped into native hamlets to count heads and show the flag. The Squadron also surveyed those DEW Line radar sites which had been abandoned and scouted for pollution violations by oil companies”.
Otters 9408 and 9407 continued to fly for 418 Squadron until 1st November 1975, when they headed east and joined No.1 Air Reserve Wing at St. Hubert, Montreal for use by 401 and 438 Squadrons. Sadly, 9407 was lost in an accident in December 1980 but 9408 continued to fly from St. Hubert until the final phase out of the Otter from Canadian military service. On 15th February 1982 it was flown to the Mountain View storage depot and placed in storage there. Whereas all the other retired CAF Otters were put up for sale, 9408 was selected for preservation. It was painted by 6 Repair Depot at Mountain View in RCAF Air Transport Command colours. On 29th September 1983 it made its final flight, from Mountain View to Rockcliffe, where it was taken on charge by the Canadian Aviation Museum and National Aeronautical Collection* and put on display in the Museum.
* Now known as Canada Aviation & Space Museum / Musée de l'Aviation et de l'Espace du Canada.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)