On various forums discussions developed concerning the identities of these 2 C-119s.
My assumption by various research, for the time being, is: N15505 = c/n 10684. This was confirmed in 2005 when it was offered for sale (see below).
And 131679 = c/n 10676. This is more tricky...
Please read on, nothing is what it seems..
Photos © Patrick B. Allis
The C-119 clearly marked as N15505 and is stored in the warehouse lot of the museum; the museums's historian, John O'Brien, was kind enough to climb on board and came back with the following info: "There are no markings on the plane. I can find nothing of much help on the history of the plane in our files. It came here well before my time. I just climbed into it this afternoon. There was a small data plate between the pilot and the copilot position with the following information:
Control Number W33-038-AC-19200
N15505 was offered for sale on the internet during May 2006: http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucalcat/ (link no longer valid, july 2015) opened May 10th, and offered the following description:
AIRCRAFT, FAIRCHILD C-119G. N15505. S/N:10-676 DATA PLATE SEAL NO. 10684.
NOT OPERATIONAL. WINGS ARE OFF AND LAYING NEXT TO THE FUSELAGE. SOME MAJOR COMPONENTS ARE MISSING.
Don F. Pratt Museum
Fort Campbell, KY 42223-5919
During 2006 a price of usd 5.000,- was quoted to me as the asking price for this C-119.
A discussion on Air-Britain's Yahoo list (for members only) again raised some doubt about the true identity of N15505; Luc Wittemans sent me this in Oct03:
"The construction plate on board, read by Mr. O'Brien, is tied to a Norwegian Air Force (former Belgian Air Force) C-119; restoration or use of spares is thought to be unlikely. Documentation with the FAA of N15505 corresponds with a Canadian Air Force C-119 and this aircraft's paintwork seems to indicate former use by the Canadians."
The white top on this aircraft does not necessarily mean a RCAF history: many of the tops of USAF Reserve C-119s were painted white after they came back to the USA. An example:
Sabena did most of the IRAN (Inspection and Repair As Needed) work on USAF(Europe) C-119s and most of the refurbishing before they went to Belgium; and they painted their Air Force C-119s silver gray -- not white. A history reading: USAFE - Belgian AF (repainted) - Norwegian AF (wrecked) - back to USAF (repaired and repainted grey/white) .... seems highly unlikely !
If only we could take DNA tests on some of these airframes !!
The following exchange led to the above info:
....131679 is confirmed in AMARC records as having departed storage (off inventory Sep81). Recent inspection of the c/n plate of N15505 showed C-119C c/n 10684, which would make this aircraft the former 51-2695 and ex Belgian CP4/OT-CAD. However, N15505 is registered as c/n 10676 and still wears basic RCAF c/s!
CP-4/OT-CAD was one of a number of F models that went to the Norwegian Air Force following service with the Belgian AF. In Norway it was allocated the code BW-E although I think it had no serial assigned.
Seven of the eight C-119Fs, transferred from Belgium to Norway in 1956, survived; the only loss being, as it happens, 51-2695 (the former CP-4/OT-CAD) that crashed on 06Dec68. The others were taken back by the Americans when the RNoAF no longer had need of them and they were placed in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, 51-2693/698/699 during May 1969 and 51-2692/697/702/705 in July 1969. All seven remained there until 1976 when they were sold for scrap to some of the adjacent yards.
Do you or anyone else know if any or all of the Norwegian C-119Fs were converted to G model? The example in the museum's backyard certainly has the fin under the tailboom of the C-119G.
The fact that N15505 showed a white top (photo top), resembling part of ex/Royal Canadian Air Force colourscheme (see also Bill Reid's photo below), would support c/n 10676 except the plate inside is definitive in my opinion and shows c/n 10684. The trouble with N15505=cn10684 is that it never flew with the RCAF (so where did the paintscheme come from) and c/n 10684 allegedly crashed while on lend/lease in Norway 06Dec68.
The search continues......... There seems to be no details on the crash in Norway; perhaps it was a mishap on an airport, quite possibly deemed "beyond economic repair", but.... maybe, just maybe, ...the remains were shipped back to the USA, for use of spares if you like or to complete the transfer of what was previously leased to the Norwegians by the Americans ...?!!
Gordon Reid visited the museum in July 2003 and noted that N15505 was now all silver, but apparently the tailnumber had been removed too.
Aad van der Voet's explanation has some clear cut logic and brings the theory back to
N15505 = c/n 10684
He wrote: "The link between the crashed 51-2695 and c/n 10684 is merely based on a continued count of the production batches and the math dictated 51-2695 to be c/n 10684. But this has never been proven and most likely is an incorrect assumption."
C/n 10684 did not crash in Norway, so which one did?
This is the URL of the museum:
http://www.campbell.army.mil/ (check tab 'Installation' and select from drop down menu Don F Pratt Museum)
The following was sent to me during Oct.2003:
Hello Ruud; I stumbled on your website accidentally and got very interested. I was assigned to VMR-252 In the late 1950's I flew the R4Q-2 (C-119F) for about three years and about 2.000 hours out of MCAS Cherry Point,NC. Curious, I checked the log book and there was 131679 as my bird from Oct 4-9 , 1958. I was flying with our detachment out of Port Lyautey Morocco.
We kept 4 planes there supporting the Navy's 6th Fleet throughout the Med. We would fly 240 hours off of each airplane we brought over and then return it to Cherry Point for it's major check. We did not have an intermediate maintenance activity at Port Lyautey. The picture looks like old 679 except for one detail, the nose....
At that time all of our "Qs" had been retrofitted with APS-42 weather Radar. The Radome was bulbous as the picture shows but I remember it being smoothly faired into the nose, not looking like an add-on as the picture seems to show. Your notes said the museum had to modify the nose to make it look "Air Force" . It's possible that before 679 came into civilian hands the Radar was removed, since it was usable in several other existing aircraft. A look in the cockpit could tell, the CRT was huge and was fitted directly above the navigators station. All R4Q-2s were F models diverted from USAF contracts. and had the G models ventral fins as did most USAF F models.
The only real way to tell an F from a G is to check the props. The F had Hamilton Standards and the G had Aero-Products. After looking up 679 I realized that she took me to Palma for a 2 RON ("Remain over nights"). In 1958 Palma was absolutely WONDERFUL, but that's another story. About half of the R4Qs that you list are in my logbooks. Hope the info helps.
Major USMC (ret.)
The construction number (c/n or msn) of "131679" is also under discussion; sources have it as c/n 10882 but
Joe Baugher's website with US military serials, shows this:|
131679 (c/n 10846) to MASDC as 4C0024 Apr 11, 1974. The plane preserved at D F Pratt Museum, Fort Campbell, KY marked as 131679 is actually a former RCAF machine 22101 (c/n 10676) !!!
Jeff Rankin-Lowe wrote me this on c/n 10676's history:|
If 131679 is indeed ex-RCAF 22101, then the c/n is 10676 and it was originally slated to be 51-2687 for the USAF, but the order was cancelled, and it, along with '688 and '689 became part of the RCAF's order. The info I have is that 22101 is in the museum at Ft Campbell, but that's based on other peoples' sightings, not my own. It's also been reported to me that the example preserved at Ft Campbell wears 131679, which was an R4Q-2 as has been noted.
22101 was ordered and delivered as a C-119F but like all surviving RCAF C-119s, it was later upgraded to a G model. It was t/o/s on 8 September 1952 and was s/o/s on 21 September 1965. It went to Hawkins & Powers as N15505 on 8 March 1976. (I don't know if anyone else had it between 1965 and 1976.)
Bill Reid: "I found this picture. It was taken in 1957 at Trenton, Ontario. They are numbers 22101 (front) and 22131.
During July 2006 I received following email:
During Oct.2006 I received the following:
So the C-119 in front is possibly 679, the nose looks little different though; but it was said, by the museum's historian, that it was modified to make it look "Air Force". But it adds weight to the theory that 131679 is ex/RCAF 22101 and thus c/n 10676. No reports exist of a recent visit inside 131679.
The photo prompted several reactions, resulting in the following:
Jim Tomlinson wrote me April 2006 with the following observation:
So if '131679' is really the real N15505/01 from Greybull and 'N15505' is really c/n 10684 what happened to the real 131679 which is listed as departing MASDC in 1981 and going to the museum at Fort Campbell?
Trying to fathom all this makes my head hurt!!!
I quite agree Jim!
I received a welcome update in August 2008, on N15505:
On 23Oct08 Bryan wrote me the following update:
Now this really puts me in an identity crisis! Two construction numbers for the same aircraft, how is that possible !?!
Roy Gorris wrote me this update on 10Jan2011:
"Both C-119's are now on display; we just finished the horizontal stab refurbishment for N15505 C-119.
An update followed in early august 2012:
Charles "Chuck" Lunsford (RIP) has educated me a lot on C-119s.
My links on the C-119: |
Gateway to my C-119 pages
My C-119 photos at Greybull in 1994
Ralph Pettersen at Greybull in 2003
A C-119 mystery at Battle Mountain,NV
RoCAF C-119 3173 in Taiwan, another mystery