Fairchild C-119G "Flying Boxcar" 53-3221

Chuck Lunsford sent me this photo and wrote me the story behind it:
This is 53-3221 of 11th Squadron. It had a prop overspeed and bellied in at Athens in 1958. Ouch!
This picture was taken by a C-119 Radio Operator (he was based at Evereux,France), and I think it was taken after they dragged this 'Box to a place where it was being dismantled.
Wonder what happened to the cargo deck?

33221Jim Eastham wrote me in August 2006-
"Attached is a photo of same incident you describe on your website."


"Prior to this photo I was on a flight that was departing Athens when we had a late abort... I don't think it was an overspeed but could have been.
The reverse was disabled on all C-119s due to several in the Far East going into reverse in the air! We managed to stop with our nose sticking across the fence at the end of the overrun next to the abandoned house...
The Pilots were Capt. Blankenship and co pilot John Brown. I don't remember the engineer.
Our brakes caught fire and the engineer jumped out to keep the Athens Air Port crash crew from putting water on the brakes. He used a powder extinguisher and we taxied back to the ramp."
Jim Eastham, radio operator 39th TCS 1954-1957

Jim Reed (C-119 Flt. Test and Instructor Pilot 782nd TCSq. Neubiburg,Germany & Evreux,France '55-'58) noticed this page and wrote me in May 2006, to share details about a crash he himself remembered well:
"On Takeoff from Evreux, there were indications of an engine failing on C-119C 51-2602. I believe it was on the right engine, with backfiring and smoke coming from the engine, as reported by the tower.
The pilot in the left seat retarded the throttle somewhat and put both hands on the yoke to start a turn to downwind, to return for landing. No one had their hands on the throttles and they had failed to put the friction lock on... The throttle on the good engine vibrated back to idle and the next thing the pilot knew was that the airspeed was 80 knots!
They were headed for a field off the end of the runway.
As in the crash at Athens the weight of the wings and engine collapsed the cargo compartment, more seriously than the Athens accident and the airplane was totalled. Fortunately, there were no passengers in the cargo compartment and no there were injuries to the crew. The only injuries were to their careers."

"The 465th was based at Evreux,France and the 317th was at Neubiberg,Germany. When the 317th moved to Evreux they integrated the personnel and equipment in two wings and disbanded the 465th.
The 465th originally went to Toul Rosieres (Toul Air Base) in northeast France not too far from the city of Nancy.
About mid 1955 they moved the 465th personnel and equipment to Evreux. Later in 1957, the 317th moved from Neubiberg to Evreux. I transferred out in January 1958 after ferrying two C-119's back to the States. I was in the 317th Wing for a short period of time.
My form 5 (Flying Record) shows that in June of 1957 I was in the 465th TC Wg. and in July of 1957 I was in the 317th."

Chuck had this to add on the above-
Yep, that was 51-2602, a C-119C. The 465th did not transition to C-119G models because they were going to get the first C-130s in Europe. They did, and the 60th got the new C-119Gs, which they flew until 1962. The 60th was inactivated in 1958, and the three C-119 squadrons at Dreux were attached to 322nd Air Division at Evreux, and they never got C-130s.
Most all USAF aircraft had the full number (or the last 5) on the tail and the last 3 numbers on the nose, as did the 465th and they would have referred to the airplane as 602. For some unknown reason, the G models of the 60th had the last 4 numbers on the nose. I think the reason was because half of them were Kaisers and the other half Fairchilds, so some of the last 3 numbers would have been the same--very many of them had the last 2 numbers the same. 8144/7844, 8139/7839, 8141/7841, 8145/7845 etc. Some of them in the same squadron, as with 8144 and 7844--both 12th squadron airplanes. The two 41s were both in the 10th squadron, and 7841 was one of the airplanes lost in the collision of 8-11-55. Brand-new airplane. The G models modified into AC-119K Stingers, were again referred to by the crews by the last three, as with 8145--it was just 145 to them.


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Last updated 12.6.2005