Fairchild C-119 "Boxcar", Background Information

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There was very little literature on the Fairchild C-119s and no reference books on the individual C-119 individual histories. So I started this page in an attempt to learn a little more about "the Dollar Nineteen"; when I started Wikipedia wasn't available yet.
Meanwhile the invitation to send contributions for sharing first hand experiences on these airplanes still stands.

Graham Robson sent me this image and explained:
"Thought you might like these, as part of your string on N3276U. These shots are of the C-119 that didn't make it to Namibia for that movie, but was ready to go.
131706 had been a resident of South Western Alloys since at least 1982, when I first visited Tucson and there it remained, until the movie project emerged, when it moved across to DMI. This is where these pics were taken, the first in April 2004, at which time Don Howell of DMI did say the aircraft fuselage was originally meant to go to Africa but the movie producers then said they didn't need this one...
By April 2006, when I took the other pictures, it is interesting to see that the nose numbers had been over-painted. The fuselage pod was still there in April of 2007, when I last visited."

More about C-119s used for Flight of the Phoenix click HERE...

"I was the USMCR copilot in VMR-234 that flew 131706 from NAS Glenview to Davis Monthan AFB on June 6, 1975.
The flight took us 8.6 hours.
This was the next to last C-119 we had in the Marine Reserves. We got KC-130F's from VMGR-352 later in 1975 and changed our Squadron to VMGR-234.
We also had 131677, 131679, 131690, 131691, 131700, 131708."

Phil Matievic

C-119 131706

John Wiseman wrote me in Feb.2021, he included this photo:
C-119 BuNo. 131706 by John Wiseman
Sometimes it is nice to be useful and to be thanked: "This is just a thank you!
I found your trip report for the AMARG scrap/storage yards, which was very usefull when trying to sort out
what we saw in Nov. 2018 on a visit. Also, looking back at my last visit in 2009, I had two queries: a C-123 Provider proved elusive (a search on Google yielded nothing). Someone suggested a serial and using that your
'Mystery aircraft page' came up and confirmed that it was 54-0661. Another page of yours identified my
mystery C-119. I enclose a picture of the Marines C-119 I now know to be 131706, taken in October 2009.
Once again many thanks."


N801W Douglas sent me this C-119 photo, asking me to help with the identification.
The tailnumber N801W has been painted on, rather crudely. The photo was made by Steve Robbins at Eloy,AZ on 12Apr1980.
I hope someone can help me on its construction number and what happened to it.
close up

I browsed to 1979 - 1983 (Vol. 1-18) of Propliner magazine, but found no images of this N801W.

Bob Reid offered the following theory:
"I am wondering if the date on the photo may be incorrect? N801W has always been registered to a Beech 65!
The aircraft in the accident as shown below was a drug runner and I recall this accident well, as I was working for the State of Arizona as an investigator..
The C-119 exploded on impact, as it was filled with 55gal barrels full of avgas. There wasn't much left.
The N-number on the photo taken by Steve may have been fictitious?
NTSB Identification: LAX79FA059 - 14 CFR Part 91 General Aviation
Event occurred Sunday, July 08, 1979 in CASA GRANDE, AZ
Aircraft: FAIRCHILD C-119L, registration: N1040E
Departure point: Chandler,AZ.
Type of accident: no.1 engine failure during flight cruise, emergency landing, made an intentional wheels up landing off airport in open field, fire broke out after impact.

Note: no mention of the operator. See also ASN report.
Fact remains that the date is earlier than the alleged date of photography and quoted tailnumber is different than the N801W roughly painted on.
Images of N1040E to compare? N1040E was also a Lockheed Learstar, see 1970 photo.

Simon Beck, researcher and bookpublisher on the C-82 Packet (C-119 book in the works anno 2018) wrote me the following (20Sep2018):
"... the C-119 you mention with a mystery serial number 'N801W'. I have FAA files for N4234S and during 1980 it was briefly registered 'N8?01W'...
The second digit is covered by a stamp and cannot be made out but it could be a '6' or a '9', or... nothing at all?
The only problem is the aircraft was a R4Q-2 BuN.131690 and the C-119 in the photo is an ex-ANG one from the livery..?
It was owned by Dross Metals and many of their FAA paper work is sloppy to say the least."
Simon later came back to me: "I think it might be N8501W (10880) of DMI Aviation. The aircraft is certainly an ANG C-119L which does narrow things." (Nov.2018).

N8501W is still with us and relatively well at Palmer,AK!
But was not a C-119L, but rather a C-119F, according to Joe Baugher:
'(BuNos 131662/131719) - Fairchild R4Q-2 Packet. 131690/131719 were (msn)10875/10904
Navy equivalent of C-119F - redesignated C-119F in 1962.
BuNo.131695 (msn 10880) to MASDC as 4C0021 Aug 22, 1973. To civil register as N8501W, John Reffett, Eagle River, AK.
(I have not made a study of the difference(s) between the type identifiers C-119L and C-119F -RL webmaster)
N8501W appears on my website a number of times, e.g. Alaska 2003

I thought you might enjoy what Jay Carter wrote me:
"I flew mostly out of Anchorage from 1977 to 1984. In particular, the C-119 Boxcar N9027K was one of the airplanes that got my attention.
In the summer of 1982 I flew that one along with 5 others that belonged to Jack Gifford's Flying Service.
Late in the season, I was departing Dillingham at about 3 am for ANC. We used to carry up to 24,000 pounds of fish, but we only had about 18,000 this night. It was September, so it was dark at 3 am now. The 30 inch check on run-up came up just a wee bit short of the 2600 RPM that is supposed to show at 30 mg... But it was close.
So we let off the brakes and rolled for takeoff. Right about V1, FO Ken Johannssen, calls out that the number two is failing! It still showed positive BMEP, so there was really no choice but to rotate and go...
Number 2 indeed was working itself backward, so I called for "Throttle, mix, prop, feather, check for feather, check for fire". Checklist complete, started my turn back, and Ken says "yep, she's on fire"... panic!
We had fire bottles on those. It's also incredibly loud at takeoff in a 119, even with one in feather. It climbed, but not much. Went downwind at about 300 ft. I knew the airport well enough to make a visual turn to a rounded base leg. Rolled onto a short final but couldn't see the runway. There is a river on short final so I knew right where I was but couldn't see the runway. Ken and I spotted it about the same time, and I was not lined up exactly right. Ken says better go around. No way! I skidded it over, called for gear down, was in the flare, nose gear still up, said don't worry about the nosegear Ken we are gonna live, and right as the mains hit, the nose wheel came down and locked!
Made the first turn off. Praise!
The Boss was there. He said nice job, but I have one question. I asked what?. He said how come you didn't use the Pilot controlled runway lights here at Dillingham that were installed last year? Dunno boss, I never flew here at night..
I had made the take off without runway lights before so I wasn't too worried about the TO. But it sure would have helped to land!!
True story.
But the best part of my Alaska experience was flying with Merrill Wien in 1977. I see that his son Kent sent some pictures that you used on your website. The Wien Family were the best and most influential Alaskan aviators that I ever had the pleasure of knowing.

See N9027K N9027K on my Anchorage 2006 report


Bryan Doty sent me these photos, taken on 01Sep08. Bryan wrote:
"I saw your page about this C-119 and thought you may want to add an updated picture... I took this last monday at Morristown Airpark,AZ.
Morristown is just NW of Wickenburg, by a few miles. That was the only plane there; it is a private dirt strip that doesn't look like it is used very often.
I live in Mesa on the SE side of Phoenix. I could see the twin tail from highway 93 on my way back from Las Vegas, so I made a side trip to check it out..."

Fairchild C-119G N15501 (c/n 10955) has been registered on 23Jan07 to Hans O. Lauridsen, who has various large aircraft to his name and intended to start an airmuseum (the website www.lauridsenairmuseum.com was not online in Sep08 and this cannot be good..?)
N15501 participated in the remake of the movie Last Flight of the Phoenix (starring Dennis Quaid); more about this HERE...

In June 2009 I received word that N15501 was being prepared for a ferry flight to Buckeye,AZ. They needed to change a fuelpump before they could take off. At Buckeye (a suburb of Phoenix) it will join the collection of Hans O. Lauridsen who is working to get an aviation museum started.

In Oct.2017 I visited Buckeye myself and found N15501 in excellent shape!

Ralph Pettersen recently went to the Hagerstown Aviation Museum (Hagerstown, Maryland) and made some fine shots of these ex-H&P aircraft (date of visit 23Dec08)

After a 5 day journey from Greybull, Wyoming to Hagerstown, Maryland the crew landed the C-119 for the last time on Sunday 16Nov08. For many years it had been stored with Hawkins & Powers at Greybull and C-119 N8093 faced a dim future had it not been for this worthy initiative to preserve it here..
I notice the jetpod with the Tanker number 140 has been removed.

Frank Lamm interviewed before departing to Hagerstown: YouTube

This military cargo plane was donated to the museum in 2006 and was one of more than 1,000 C-119s produced by Fairchild Aircraft in Hagerstown.. It will join the museum's C-82 N9701F (below) as a centerpiece in a growing collection of Fairchild aircrafts, museum President Kurtis Meyers said during the ceremony upon arrival of the Flying Boxcar.

It took almost two years and about $95,000 to restore the plane to flyable condition for this ferry flight.Last-minute repairs and weather forced its flight crew to reschedule the homecoming several times but in the end the arrival at Hagerstown was there.N9701F C-82
C-82 Packet N9701F, an impressive beast...

Ken Swartz came across N9701F at the Hagerstown Aviaton Museum in Oct.2018, see the
Kenneth I. Swartz gallery on my website


Jim Cunningham sent me this photo in January 2009:
C-119s in Japan
Jim wrote: "I took this photo in Misawa, in 1956, just prior to coming home. We had an 8 ship formation flyover. Note the 'Beaver tails'."


Hermen Goud sent me this image of Fairchild C-119 N3560 (c/n 10957), reading on my C-119s at Battle Mountain webpage how this Flying Boxcar crashed on 10Jun78..
N3560 C-119G Tanker 140 This photo was taken in May 1976, operating as Tanker 140 for Hawkins & Powers, at Tucson Int'l Airport.
That fateful day in June 1978, N3560 had a runaway propeller on no. 2 engine shortly after departing Greybull, for a test flight. A belly landing was carried out and the subsequent damage made it a write off.
In 1979 parts of the aircraft were reported to survive at Greybull,WY but I have no sightings after that date.

Hermens website is www.aviaslide.eu


Browsing through my 'archive' of Black & White negatives, I found this one which was sent to me by Lucio Alfieri, with whom I exchanged negatives & slides during the 1970s...
This is C-119G 46-10 of the 46 Aerobrigata 2 Gruppe, at Pisa (Italy) on 30Sep1975.


Philippe Cantinaux wrote me in June 2009:
"I have read your website with interest. None of the former Norwegian C-119 survived.But as you probably know they were modified (by SABENA Techniques) former Belgian Air Force C-119F.
Maybe, You could find some interesting info in the below website (all Norwegian AF C-119 are in Part 1: C-119F CP-1 to CP-18)
2: C-119 remains in Belgium, one in the Royal Military Museum in Brussels and a second at Melsbroek AB (15 Transport Wing) near Brussels, that keep also some relics of a third (mainly wing and tailboom parts)."


C-119s delivered to Balgian Air Force
Brad Tinkham sent me the above list (july 2016) for use and reference.


In June 2009 I received following request:
"In your travels or aircraft research have you any information on C119 display aircraft in The Kingdom of Morocco?
I have googled one C-119, located at Marrakech (Menara Int'l) Airport, Morocco. I have been given to understand there is a second one at "Kenitra Airport", also in Morocco.
I have referenced documentation (Canadian) that these aircraft may be ex RCAF aircraft, which were processed back to the USA from Canada, refurbished in the USA and delivered to Morocco during the 1962/1963 (also 1966) time period...
My understanding is that these aircraft (13 ?) were flown by the 1st Air Transport Squadron of the Royal Morocco Air Force at that time.
Any assistance on your part in identifying these display aircraft would be greatly appreciated."
John Carleton

Reply: 'SURVIVORS' by Roy Blewitt (Gatwick Aviation Society, 2007) has 2 C-119s in Marocco listed-
1. CNA-MH C-119G (c/n 11283) Marrakech - Menara AB
2. CNA-MN C-119F (c/n 10943) Kenitra AB
Sightings date from 2003 and 2006 resp. Photos of CNA-MH below by Richard Vandervord, taken in 2010.


Paul Stefaniak wrote me:
"I went to our local library here in Newton Falls, Ohio to do some research on a C-119 crash that occurred when I was very young. It happened on 09Dec1953, just outside of our town.
I have not found any other information about it other then this typed copy of the original newspaper article. I searched the internet and could not find anything to add to this info, including any other names of the killed crewmen.
Please post this on your site and in the event you find anything else out please let me know.
Attached are to .jpgs of the typed pages.
Reactions welcomed."

Crash C-119 in Ohio   Crash C-119 in Ohio

Paul Stefaniak

Some details can be found on www.aviationarchaeology.com (thank you, George!). It concerns C-119G 51-8086, of 48TCS/313TCGp, was based at Sewart AFB,TN and the pilot's name was Thomas H. Frondorf.

Another C-119 crash, this one in Idaho...
Chris Liggett wrote (01Mar2016): "My grandfather flew in a C-119 in 1958. He and 7 other passengers had to bail out over the Wasatch mountains, near Ogden in Utah on 14Nov1958. The plane flew on its own after being switched to auto pilot! It crash landed (by itself) in Swan Valley, Idaho.
On that 14Nov1958 8 men left Fort Bridger AFB, which was 25 mins from Hill AFB; the plane lost the right engine and the right deicer quit, causing the plane to list badly to the right. All the instruments froze up...
The men began to bail out, while outside in blizzard conditions raged. They'd came from Texas, clad still in summer fatigues; in the plummeting tempreatures the men wouldn't last long.
My grandfather and 3 other men died that night; the other 4 men either walked out or were rescued. While the plane was switched to autopilot, it traveled 150 more miles to the north, crash landing in Idaho.
Any pics or story's would be awesome. Thank you so much."


C-119 N15501 ferried to Buckeye Frank Lamm wrote on 28Jun09:
"I flew the "Flight of the PHOENIX" plane (N15501) this week. From Wickenburg, AZ to the Buckeye Airport in Phoenix, about 35 miles.
Since the plane had not been flown but once in 3 years I decided to leave the gear down ...but removed the pins! It is a "dog" flying with the gear down! No problems though.
The owner is determined to get it certificated to fly again for Display etc. Maybe some day we can fly it to a C-119 reunion!"

A 'thread' developed:
Les wrote: odd to see a three bladed prop on there.
Jim: First thing I noticed in movie and photos was the three blade prop. I thought the 3350 and 4360 engines all had 4 blades?
Frank replied: The people at the museum call this an F model. Chuck has all the info on the F model. This plane originally had the 4 blade Aero Products prop on it but when they were getting it ready for the trip to Africa for the movie, they felt that the 3 blade Hamilton Standard was a more reliable prop or at least required less routine maintenance. I must say however that after 8 years and over 3000 hours I wave never had a prop problem with the Aero Products prop.
Then Lee: In a nutshell, the AeroProduct prop was replaced with the Hamilton Standard (3-bladed) prop for reliability and safety reasons.
As everyone knows, the 4-blade could "runaway". That meant that it would go to an uncontrollable flat pitch that created a huge amount of drag. That proved to be too deadly, over the years.
The 3-blade could NOT runaway! If it lost oil pressure, it would go to a fixed pitch that permitted continued use of the engine, albiet without pitch control (think Piper Cub).
There was a decrease in the thrust when the conversion was made, the equivalent of about 200 HP. The jet engines more than compensated for the decrease in thrust.
No C-119s were ever lost due to prop failure after the conversion.
Chuck (Lunsford) added: I flew the C 119 models G, C, and CF. One item I have not seen mentioned is that with the four blade Hamilton Standard you had to carefully preflight not only the entire blade but with particular attention to the tips for any bulge caused by internal slippage of the nylon filler.
If a bulge occurred it could set up harmonics that would lead to blade tip failure and then you will probably bail out or crash. Also I recall a directive that under no condition would you ever make a lead pencil mark on the, I believe zinc coated, blade as it could set up an electrical condition eventually leading to blade fatigue and possible failure.
Any comments on this?


"I only had one trip in a Packet while in the RCAF.
We were returning from Summerside,PEI after a 6 week conversion course to P2V Neptunes from our old Lancasters. Approximately summer of 1958.
While crossing over the Rocky Mountains we ran into some severe icing and the skipper diverted all heat from the cargo comprtment to de-icing the wings . Needless to say, sitting at about 20,000 feet, it got quite cold as we all had summer gear on and were sitting in racks of stretcher carriers.
The next day I didn't feel well and went to see to MO . He diagnosed dual Pneumonia, which grounded me for about a week!
Crew compartment was quit spacious compared to the Lancaster."
Fred Burton, ex RCAF wireless operator 407 (MP) Squadron


"I am doing research on a paper that involves the C-119 that left Mitchell Airport here in Milwaukee and was lost on June 6th, 1965.
What has interest is that my uncle was on that plane, Norman Mimier. I was two years old."
Norm Kopp

[Aviation Safety Network has no details on a C-119 crash that date; it does have an item on a C-119 which disappeared on June 5th during a flight from Homestead AFB,FL to the Bahamas and never arrived -Webmaster, Oct, 2009]

Rich PInkall Pollei wrote me in august 2011:
"My uncle was Capt. Richard Bassett, the navigator on that flight.
I was almost 11 years old at the time, and it made a very big impression me as our family gathered and stood vigil in northern Wisconsin during the search."

Hugh Blackburn wrote me in Oct.2009:
"I saw you web page on the C-119, on which type which I have a lot of experience on as mechanic and engineer.
All that experience assured me that I would never ever work on another airplane unless I went to Hell...
I noticed the name Robert Dickinson on that webpage and he was a very close friend of mine and I bought him his last cup of coffee that afternoon when he left for Okinawa. Just about 30 minutes into that flight the right engine's prop went into reverse, as I was told, but it might have been a run away.
Robert went back to the rear and opened the clamshell doors and kicked out the life raft and then returned to put on his 'chute and help the radio operator with his.This was the radio operator's first day in our outfit and his first aircraft flight and he was as white as a sheet, as told to me by a passenger whose name I have forgotten ( it's been 55 years or so now).
I talked to several prop mechanics and only one told me that there had been a problem that day with that plane and the line chief insisted that they get into commission or else. Exactly what the problem was I'm not sure but the entire prop regulator should have been changed, but then again the USAF was at that time a screwed up outfit when it came to planes and their maintenance."

Bob Schenk wrote me in Nov.2009:
"I saw a C-119 crash at Ft. Polk airstrip around May of 1964. It does not show up on the C-119 crashes web sight linked to your site.
Ft. Polk is an army base in western Louisiana, about 100km north of Lake Charles and the Golf of Mexico.
The C-119 landed hard, breaking the left tail boom and right landing gear. It slid off the runway to the right and stopped with its nose in some pine trees.
This happened when I was at a rifle range, a mile or so off the end and to one side of the runway.
The C-119 took off toward us and as it passed you could see the angle of climb being reduced...
It never climbed more than a few hundred feet as it circled around and made an approach to the runway. On final it was noticeably crabbing into the wind, when it was within less than 50 feet above the runway, it quickly dropped while still crabbing.
After the impact the plane appeared intact except for the broken boom and collapsed right landing gear.
It was still there, nose in the trees, several weeks later."

"Would like to know anything further about this incident."

"I was a crew chief on CH-37ís for the Iowa National Guard in the late-1960ís. The CH-37ís were the last of the large piston powered helicopters, with 2 R2800 engines and one 72 ft diameter 5 blade main rotor. Noisy, hot, and high maintenance."

Chuck Lunsford shared his opinion on this incident:
"All I know about it is mostly scuttlebutt and rumor, most recently discussed at our 12th Troop Carrier Squadron reunion in Sept. 2009. Emphasizing the rumor bit: allegedly a student crew chief topped off the water/alcohol injection tank with 115/145 avgas. One of these liquids will float on top of the other (I don't know which one--I was only a radio operator) but speculation is they had enough water to get it off the ground and then fuel was injected. In 1964, it would have been a C-119G. The engines were Wright R-3350 Turbo Compounds and the water injection was engaged just before the takeoff roll, so no problem would have shown during the run-up. They were lucky to get it around and back to the runway.
I think the reason you can't find any record of it is because the aircraft was probably repaired and put back into service. All the records on the net only show a written-off airframe. If we knew the tail number, we could inquire at Kirtland AFB, or at Maxwell AFB, but without the number it would be almost impossible to find."

Bob responded to this:
"I'm surprised the Ft Polk C-119 would be repairable.The right gear must have been wiped out and left boom was on the ground.  Also there may have been damage to the right engine and wing.  I could see parts of trees being thrown in the air by the right prop as it came to a rest in the trees.  There was no sign of smoke or other distress other than a low fly around.  The approach to landing seemed ok except for the crab angle and sudden drop."  

Chuck: "You could be right, maybe it was written off and perhaps salvaged for parts, but I've learned of situations where they did some pretty drastic repairs, e.g. replacement of both booms and empennage on a bird that did a 360 on an icy runway in Norway and skidded into a snow bank, a gunship that had 14 feet of the right wing shot off by ground fire, was repaired and put back into service, etc."


David 'Dave' Navarre wrote me in Feb.2016:
"I wanted to drop a note because I believe that my father-in-law, Richard Henry Henderson, may have been among the paratroopers on the C-119 that Bob Schenk saw crash at Fort Polk in May of 1964.
While Dick (Richard Henderson -Webmaster) passed away in 1996 and I never met him, his wife Marylou has asked me to see if I could find out anything about it.
I did some web searches, but as Bob Schenk found, it wasn't recorded, most likely due to being recovered.
The family story is that Dick was on the plane for a training jump and switched seats with another student at that student's request. During the flight, the pilot realized he had a problem and the students were instructed to link arms to prepare for a crash.
As the story goes, the students to his left and right both perished, as did the student with whom he switched seats...
It's possible that this was not the same crash, of course, since my mother-in-law remembered Alabama, but Dick also tried to hide the fact he was on the crashed plane from her! A sudden new limp gave it away.
I also found a link to another crash that same month, in Ohio: http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/lifestyles/looking-back-man-survived-plane-crash-he-cant-reme/nNqsn/ "

Chuck Lunsford (RIP) wrote me in Dec.2009:
I've been playing with my DVD edit program, Check out this link:

C-119 Formation over Normandy 1957
C-119 in formation

I hope you enjoy it.
Chuck Lunsford
Author of "Departure Message" & "Boxcar Down: The Albanian Incident"
Reviews available at the link below


Gary Newman wrote me in Dec.2009 and sent along some C-119 images.
C-119 52-5900

Gary wrote me: "I purchased some photos about a year and a half ago from the widow of a C-119 crew member. I have no other information on the man or the location of the photos; my guess would be DEW line support/exercise."
"C-119G 52-5900 (cn 11067) went into storage at MASDC as CJ0413 on 24Sep1971"
For more C-119 photos see my C-119 Info Page
C-119 Flying Boxcar, 945
C-119 in flight formation
Gary identified the tailnumber by the original photo as 18065; that would make it USAF 51-8065.
C-119G-FA 51-8065 (cn 10959) went to Brazil AF under MAP as 2300 (serial).

Gary wondered: "...what the open doors are on the bottom of C-119 51-8065 just aft of the last cockpit window aft edge, on the photo above? They appear to be to far back and large for the gear doors."
Chuck Lunsford replied: "Those are the doors of the Paratainer delivery system-- a method of delivering bundles without leaving the clamshell doors on the ground.
The bundles moved from back to front. The outer doors opened electrically or hydraulically--I don't know which-- and the inner doors were opened manually. The bundles were hung on the monorail on the roof of the cargo compartment and when the button was pressed, a motor moved the bundles forward until they were over the door and dropped through... The chutes were static line.
You should know that the paratainer system was rarely used. I personally flew C-119s as a radio operator for 3 years, did a lot of drops of troops and equipment, but never saw it used. I don't think it was a reliable system-- too many things to go wrong. The bundles could hang up on the rail and there may have been a communications problem, as the controls for it were operated by the crew chief, not the pilot. It was a good idea, but didnít work well in practice."


C-119 dropping parajumpers

Chuck wrote: "Researching the tail numbers, in my opinion these aircraft are C-119G models, attached to the 314th Troop Carrier Wing, possibly the 817th TC Squadron , based at Ashiya, Japan; pictures wee probably taken in 1953-54."


I am a former loadmaster (1964 - 1967) on C-119 aircraft and an aircraft electrician (1967 - 1970) on C-119 and C-124 aircraft assigned to the 433rd Troop Carrier Wing (later Military Airlift Wing and now simply Airlift Wing), the Alamo Wing, of the U.S. Air Force Reserve in San Antonio, Texas. I have continued to be interested in the C-119 and recently found your web site and enjoyed reading it.

I have some additional information about the item from Andre Swygert about the development by the 433rd of the Sling Shot method of heavy cargo drops from the C-119. This information is from my remembrances of more than 40 years ago. I do not have any documentation or photographs.

1. I flew as a loadmaster or observer on several flights during the development of Sling Shot.
2. The Air Reserve Technicians (ART's) in charge of the loadmasters at the 433rd during this time were Elmer Schilling
and Carl Depp. I believe both were master sergeants at the time although one or both may have been senior or chief master sergeants.
3. It would be great if one or both of these men were responsible for the Sling Shot idea, but if my memory and knowledge are correct, a colonel whose name I cannot remember was the driving force behind Sling Shot. This colonel was a pilot and was very hands-on with the development.
4. One of the major development problems was determining the correct weight cord to secure the static line for the cargo chute to a cable running overhead from the front to the rear of the cargo bay. If the cord was too weak, it would break before the cargo chute opened and the load would crash to the ground. If the cord was too strong, it would not break and the load would not eject from the rear of aircraft correctly.
5. Sling Shot used two cables, a strap, two pulleys and the overhead trolley system. The movable head on the trolley system was placed in the appropriate position toward the rear of the aircraft based on the size of the load. Each cable was routed from the trolley head through a pulley on each side of the floor at the rear of the cargo bay. The cables were then attached to a canvas strap behind the last (most forward) pallet of cargo to be dropped creating a sling shot appearance.
6. As mentioned above, a static line was connected from the cargo chute that was connected to top of each pallet to the overhead cable in the cargo bay.
7. When it was time to drop the load, the trolley was activated from the cockpit. The "bomb bay" doors were deactivated so they would not open. The trolley head moved forward, shortening the cables between the pulleys and the strap, and thereby moving the load toward the rear of the aircraft.
8. I do not remember the incident with the watermelon trucks, but I do remember one incident when pallets landed very close to a farmer's house.
9. We would usually fly at 300 feet over South Texas prior to arriving at the drop zone in Hondo and then climb to 600 feet nose-up just before dropping our load. Flying at 300 feet over South Texas on a hot summer day can be rather bumpy.
10. Our standard load during testing was four 55 gallon drums of water in a canvas bag sitting on top of a 4' X 4' sheet of plywood. I do not remember the maximum number of these pallets that we could carry but it may have been four.
11. The 55-gallon drums would look like smashed beer cans if the cargo chute did not open properly.
12. I remember one test that made a real impact. I was flying in a C-119 that was to take photographs of the test drop from another C-119 of a sled holding 20 or more 55-gallon drums. The test was to simulate dropping a jeep. The cord connecting the static line to the overhead cable was too weak, and when the load went out of the back of the aircraft, the cargo chutes failed to open. It looked as if a bomb exploded when the sled and water barrels impacted with the ground.
13. The system was very accurate after the bugs were worked out.
14. It is too bad that this system was not developed earlier in the useful life of he C-119.

As a C-119 loadmaster in the 433rd I also participated in live paratroop drops at Hondo, kicking smaller simulated cargo bundles out of the rear of the aircraft with and without the clam shell doors at Hondo, the test drops of small experimental parachutes at Camp Stanley near San Antonio and two hurricane relief flights to New Orleans. We were required to wear parachutes whenever we flew without the clam shell doors. The "old heads" advised us not to use the safety straps that were available as they were just long enough for one to fall out of the back of the aircraft and be beat to death against side of the aircraft. Also we were cautioned to stay away from paratroopers when they were jumping because they would take you with them. We would open the paratroop doors and enclose ourselves between the open paratroop doors and the back of the aircraft (within the clam shell doors).

The 433rd has several photographs of C-119's in the history section of their web site -


Those were the good old days,

Michael Marke
San Antonio, Texas


Pablo Romero sent me the following details of a C-119 crash in Spain.
Crashsite C-119 in Spain 1954

Pablo wrote:
Fairchild C-119C-18 / Registration 50-0163 / Date: Wednesday, February 9th., 1954.
"I was an eighteen years old student of the Merchant Spanish Navy and before going to bed, I was studying at my working table, fighting with some problem about sea navigation.
Cáceres was covered by a bad fog. At about 01:30 AM, I heard an airplane flying over my house, two times; the second one was too low for a normal flightpath on the track Madrid-Lisbon. I was sure that they were in trouble, perhaps looking for an emergency landing at Cáceres militar airport, which was closed at night...

Early in the morning a broadcasting by local radio informed us of a plane crash, at about 8 kms from town. Fortunately the whole crew had jumped with parachutes from the plane and all had landed safely.

The people of Cáceres celebrated the good fortune of the American crew, which was invited by the city council for a 'Spanish wine ceremony'.

The crew members were: Capt. Guillermo (Williams) Adams (aged 37), Lieutenants Thomas Johnson (27), Jhon Mattheso, Sergeants Clement Seric (22) and Merven Strang (32).

The picture shows 3 crew members, accompanied by some Spanish military authorities, plus an American representative of the US Embassy at Madrid, amidst the wreckage of the C-119 Flying Boxcar; the plane crashed at only 7 meters from a small house where a family of shepherds were sleeping and fortunately no one was injured.

I wonder if any member of the crew of that flight C-119C-18 tailnumber 50-0163 has ever read this comment or is recognized in the photo by anybody.

I hope that above history is interest to you and your readers. Please let me know if somebody can identify any of the Americans crew of that plane.

I would like to add that the plane had departed from Frankfurt (Germany) with destination Azores Islands and when they were west of Finisterre (Spanish NW coast), one of the engines was gone. In an attempt to reach Lisbon´s airport, they continued flying south over the Portuguese coast, but the foggy weather and the loss of altitude made them change course in order to avoid any mountains. And while going east, they were looking for Cáceres airport. When they arrived at Cáceres, the heavy fog prevented them from finding their alternate destination and fuel starvation made them decide to leave the C-119 by parachutes."




I just spent a couple of hours reading through your C-119 pages and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Another name for the 119 was "propellor driven wheelbarrow".
I was stationed at Dreux-Senonches (frequently misspelled Senoches) AB for three years beginning in March, 1956. I was an A/C Reciprocating Engine Mechanic and worked in the Engine Buildup shop. I estimate that I built or supervised the building of as many as 280 engines during that time. A few of them were P/W R-2800 models for the C-123 birds, while the majority were Wright R-3350-89A Turbo-Compound models for the C-119G. Every C-119 engine that I worked on had an ID tag with that label.
Various websites, including yours, mistakenly identify the 3350's on the 119 as the -85 model. I think this came about due to some sloppy editing on some website, which will go nameless, where a description of the
C-82 was followed by a similar description of the C-119. Evidently, the author did a copy and paste and then replaced "2800" with "3350" leaving the "-85".
One author, on another site, even claimed these engines did not have superchargers. It is true they did not have turbo-superchargers as used on the B-29, but they were equipped with internal, gear driven two-stage, two-speed superchargers just like the B-29 and the Super G Connie. The turbines in the exhaust were geared to the crankshaft through fluid couplings and provided an additional total of 450 horsepower at takeoff power.
The following line is from your website:
"YC-119F: As C-119C, but with two 3.500 horsepower, R-3350-85 engines. One built."
I need to do a thorough search for the -85 but until now I haven't found a description.
As stated in your C-119 article, the C-119 C-F models were equipped with R-4360 Pratt and Whitney 28-cylinder engines. I do not know which dash number engines these were, but the least powerful of the 4360's produced about 3,000 hp.

If the YC-119F was equipped with two R-3350-85 engines, it would have been severely underpowered since these engines were rated at only 2,500 hp each. See, this Wiki article for a table of R-3350 models.
Your writing says the engines on the YC-119F were rated at 3,500 hp which would have been in the proper power range for the application. The R-3350-89A was rated at 3,500 hp. While I don't know for certain, I believe the engine used on the YC-119F was the -89A just as I saw on all the G models that I serviced at Dreux.
The "Y" designation indicates that the YC-119F was a prototype and the -85 engine may have been used in resizing the engine nacelles for the later installation of the -89A.

Here is what little I know; keep in mind I'm not an A&E -- I've just done a ton of research on the C-119.
The C models carried R-4360-20WA engines.
The F modification came in the middle of the 1951 assembly line run and the F called for R-3350 Turbo Compound. My Dash-1 says the G model could have -85, -89 and -89A. All three Turbo-Compound. It lists the -85 at 3200 BHP at 2900 RPM, and 3500 BPH at 2900 RPM with water injection. Only small modifications changed it to -89 and -89A--with no change in BHP. One big change to the -89 was the addition of armor-plated housings for the PRTs so the passengers and crew didn't get riddled with turbine buckets if one of the PRTs let go.
I think the error comes from the fallacy that people like to talk about the C-119 had the same engines as the B-29. They assume it was the same engine--it was not. I can't tell you which version it was, but it wasn't turbo-compound. The other fallacy is the 3350 was inferior to the 4360. Not so-- they were well rid of it and its maintenance problems, engine fires and the Ham Standard props that kept getting out of balance and throwing blades and ripping the engine from the wing. The biggest problem they had with the 3350 was old 4360 pilots over-boosting on takeoff.
There was a group of C models modified to F on the assembly line that retained the 4360s -- the 51-82xx group. The 60th had almost all of them at Rhein-Main and they referred to them as C/F models--unofficially. Officially they were C models. We had engineers who made the transition from Cs to Gs, and they are about 50-50 about which was the best engine. Do you remember the plugs in the tops of the cylinderheads? The B-29 was fuel injected, the C-119 was not. One of the least happy things was to blow one of those plugs and have the fuel ignite on the plug wires. If it happened at night, it was like the 4th of July inside the nacelle. I had a couple of those--not a serious emergency, but we didn't waste any time getting down.
So, I believe the Air Force and Fairchild welcomed the change to 3350s with the F model--it was not a situation where it was a stop-gap half measure as some say, or that LeMay wanted all the 4360s for SAC. The 3350 gave a shorter takeoff run and a longer range because it used less fuel. The AeroProducts props mated to it had a runaway problem, finally addressed by the Air Force in 1970 (closing the barn door after the horse was gone) with the Ham Standard 3 bladed props from the Connies (which also carried the 89-A), but the APs weren't quite as dangerous as the Ham Standards on the 4360s.
You might fill me in on something I never quite understood. The engine had the three PRTs putting power back to the crankshaft, but we also had a supercharger ? for high altitude that as I understand it, had nothing to do with the PRTs. I don't think it was a turbo charger. I used to watch them pull the power back, fiddle with the mixture, and after they engaged it, the engine note changed. I don't think it was done below 15,000 feet.
I got to Dreux/Senonches (also called Dreux/Louvielliers) from August of '56 for 3 years flying as a radio operator with the 12th Squadron. You probably worked on some of the engines that always brought me back safely. Thank you very much for your fine work !! Attached, an excerpt from my book about you guys over there in the big hangar.

I have located a few other internet sources for Wright engines, but most of them are not detailed enough to distinguish differences between 3350 modifications. The Wright online histories are mainly concerned with the development of the company and its aircraft models, its association with Curtis, and, of course, the first flights of the Wright Flyer. I accept your Dash-1 as the authority.
There is a lot of information out there and much of it is erroneous. A prime example is the tale about Le May issuing the edict concerning the use of the 4360. This is so patently ridiculous that I wonder that anyone would actually publish such a tale. I know there is always a political component to the military's acquisition process (see, the KC-x fiasco), but the idea that a man as intelligent as General Le May would issue such an order is absurd. Imagine hanging 4360's on a B-47.
Although the 29 and the 119 both used 3350 engines there were several differences. The B-29 used mechanical fuel injection (as you pointed out), it used turbo-charging (helpful for high altitude) rather than the exhaust-driven PRT, and, of real interest to mechanics, these engines had a hard-wired engine analyzer. I would be surprised if that were the extent of the differences. Every one of the -89A's had the mounting bosses for the fuel injection pumps - covered with bolt-on cast aluminum covers.
The 3350's on the 119 had a hard-wired ignition analyzer. The difference being that the 29 version could pick up mechanical problems on a cylinder to cylinder basis as well as ignition problems on a spark plug to spark plug basis. You may recall the cannon plug connection for the analyzer above the radio op's table. My memory is hazy about where the connections were actually located, but I recall that when we analyzed ignition we always used the radio op's table.
A confusion factor pertaining to the fuel injection system related to the 119 being equipped with a "direct injection" carburetor. In most carburetors, the fuel is mixed with the incoming air in the throat (venturi) area. In the direct injection system, the fuel is metered by the carb but is injected directly into the back of the crankshaft-driven supercharger where it is mixed with the air and distributed to the cylinders via the intake manifold tubes.
The crankshaft-driven supercharger, common to most if not all 3350's, was driven through a gear train and was a two-stage, two-speed unit on the 119. In tech school at Shepard AFB, we were familiarized with the B-29 version and my fuzzy memory informs me that the B-29 engines had the same two-stage, two-speed supercharger but I wouldn't swear to it.
Two-stage means that there are two impellers (fans) in the induction system, the output of the first being the input to the second. The two-speed feature was controllable from the cockpit with a toggle switch for each engine labeled "lo" and "hi". Part of the start up procedure was to check that the blowers were in "lo" before cranking. Thus, when the flight engineer switched to "hi" at altitude he was causing an increase in manifold pressure.
At Dreux, during takeoff, the maximum manifold pressure was something like 59 inches of Hg in low blow. Going beyond that value would be to over-boost the engine with, possibly, very bad results. At Dreux, which is about 600 feet above sea level, a representative atmospheric pressure would be about 29 inches Hg. Since the manifold pressure would be the sum of the static pressure and the boost pressure, the blower was adding about 30 inches Hg to the pressure.
Atmospheric pressure drops about 1 inch Hg per 1,000 feet increase in altitude, so at 10,000 feet the 119's manifold pressure in low blow would drop to about 49 inches if the throttles were advanced to takeoff power. During cruise, the power requirement is much less than for takeoff, but the greater the altitude, the less the air density and the faster the bird has to go to generate the lift required to hold the altitude. The amount of power output by the engine is directly proportional to the manifold pressure. A 20% reduction in manifold pressure means a 20% reduction in power!

Power Recovery Turbine

There's a very good illustration of the PRT system at
The author at this site makes a distinction between power recovery by turbo-charging and the turbo-compound based on the former using the pressure of the exhaust gases and the latter using the velocity of the gases. It's a nonsensical distinction.
In either case, it is all about energy. In both cases, the objective is to recover waste energy. In both cases, the exhaust gas pressure (force per unit area) is used to spin the turbine wheel. The high pressure is caused by the increase in kinetic energy (energy of motion) due to the combustion process within the cylinders. What is actually happening is that the molecules of gas (particles) have had their energy increased within the cylinders by the combustion process. Part of this increase is applied to pushing the pistons, and part is passed out the exhaust. When the particles strike the blades, some of the kinetic energy of the particles is imparted to the blades causing the entire assembly to spin.
The point is that the turbine wheel is connected to a shaft that on its other end is attached to a compressor fan (see supercharger) or is connected through a hydraulic coupling to the engine's crankshaft. In short, the turbine wheel don't care what is on the other end, it's just getting dizzy!
In the collection of pictures, I like this one (notice the broken turbine blades) - http://www.enginehistory.org/TM/V5N2Pics/V5N2PRT/Prt%20no%20cap%202%20%282%29.jpg

My Qualifications

You may ask, "How does he know about this stuff? He was just a freakin' mechanic."
After my AF hitch, I made it to the Los Angeles, CA area where I enrolled at Northrop Institute of Technology, and I eventually majored in Applied Mathematics and minored in Aerospace Engineering obtaining my BS in 1977. (Yeah, it took me a while.) During my school years and subsequently, I was employed by The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, CA. (Note the logo at, http://www.aero.org/.) For the last 23 years of my 33 at Circle A, I was employed as an engineer in varying capacities, finally retiring as an Engineering Specialist, Level 2 working in Orbit Analysis and space flight digital simulation.

A PRT Story - by Wayne King

July 25, 1956 - I worked all that Wednesday in the engine shop but left early so I could get chow and cleanup before going on CQ Runner duty. The only good thing about pulling that duty was I got to go to midnight chow at the chow hall in the 10th, 11th, 12th flight squadrons area. At 0800, on the 26th, I was released, went to chow, and headed back to the barracks for some shut eye. By this time, I had been up for more than twenty-four hours and was really prepared for the bunk.
I just sat down on my bunk to shed my brogans when an announcement came over the PA system ordering each Airman to report immediately to his work station as we were now under a "Maximum Effort Alert." This was repeated two or three times. I was thinking, "They don't mean me, do they?" About the time I had decided I wasn't included, the Squadron XO came in and asked, "Are you getting ready, Airman?" I replied, "Sir, I just got off CQ Runner and I've been up for twenty-four hours." "Get your ass in gear!" I replied, "Yes sir!"
I put my brogans back on and headed for the hangar at the extreme southwest end of Dreux AB. This was the beginning of the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis and we were expected to get every aircraft off the ground. Our engine crew, A/2c Pat DeAngelis, A/2c Ted Trump, and I, had to finish up one engine so the engine change guys could mount it and get their last bird in the air.
After that was completed, we all headed to the periodic inspection docks in Hangar 1. There we took over the engine inspections that were under way.
About 2300 hours that night, I was checking out the left engine on the single remaining PE bird. I climbed up on the stand and shined my flashlight in the cowling to check the left PRT and discovered a (deleted expletive) cracked PRT housing. Now, this is a serious problem. The crack was in an area that was directly exposed to exhaust gas. Such a crack is not going to get smaller, only bigger, until it burns through and then it will become a major engine fire. Probably, it would happen when the bird is on its way at altitude over the Alps, or above the Med, or someplace in the desert of the Sinai.
There was nothing for it but to change it. What I couldn't believe was that there were guys giving me a ration of stuff for having reported that problem. We finished the job at about 0600 on the 27th. I was one tired Airman. Went to the chow hall, and back to the barracks.
I barely got back to the barracks, when over the PA, I was summoned to report to the First Sergeant.
I picked my dead butt up, trekked over to the orderly room, and reported to the Top Kick. Because changing a PRT can be a very dirty job my appearance was not up to par.
The 1st Sarg was rather upset about my appearance and made sure that I understood that, and then he turned his attention to the report he got from the XO about how I was slow to get moving on the previous morning and what was my explanation for that. I explained to him that when the alert started I had just gotten off CQ Runner and, having been up for twenty-four hours when I had the encounter with the XO, I wasn't too energetic and furthermore I had just spent the last six hours changing a PRT on one of the powered wheelbarrows and, at this point, I didn't really give a (deleted expletive) how I looked. I finished with I'm tired and I'm going to bed.
He said, "I understand. Report to your duty station tomorrow morning."
I replied, "Thank you Sergeant." I then reported to the shower and to my bunk.
Saturday morning 28 July 1956. I reported to the engine shop with everybody else at 0800. The first thing I hear is the OIC wants to see me. Chief Warrant Officer Smith was our OIC at the time. The best officer I've ever been associated with.
He asked me what had happened. I explained everything that had happened including the PRT replacement and mentioned that I probably said some things I shouldn't have and I was sorry for that. He asked if I'd repeat that to the CO? I said, 'Yes sir, I certainly would."
He picked up the phone and called the CO, Major X. CWO Smith repeated what I had said and then Major X said something. Then CWO Smith said, "Well Major, Airman King hasn't been here very long but he has been doing a fine job since he arrived, and his performance under pressure the last three days has been excellent. Furthermore, I don't think he deserves anymore crap from Old Blanket Ass." Then he looked at me and said, "Are you still here?" I gave him a big salute and headed for the door.
I can't recall the man's name, but Old Blanket Ass was our 1st Sergeant. He was a Navajo Indian, had fought in Korea and wore the Navajo Army patch on his left shoulder. He was single and lived in the barracks. We called him Blanket Ass because he was known to walk around the barracks at night wrapped in an Indian blanket.
Dreux/Senonches (also called Dreux/Louvielliers)
Dreux/Senonches (also called Dreux/Louvielliers).
Here is a picture I took of the Hangar 4 area--on 31Dec2006. You can still see the mess hall you mentioned, but you can also see the French are letting it all go back to nature. Photo: © Chuck Lunsford



C-119 Flying Boxcar Formation N. Africa to France 1958

Or this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86AR0L2AJPs&feature=channel

Chuck Lunsford
Author of "Departure Message" & "Boxcar Down: The Albanian Incident"
Reviews available at the link : http://tinyurl.com/fjyme


C-119 N2700 Little remained of this Fairchild C-119F N2700 (c/n10689) when I came across it at Aces High on North Weald,UK in 2003.

I don't know in which movie this airframe played a part, but it must have been quite some time ago. It lies disgarded against the hangar.

This Flying Boxcar served the US Air Force as 51-2700 and went to the Belgian Air Force as CP-9. It entered UK's civil register as G-BLSW (after being modified from C-119F to C-119G) and was later reregistered as N2700. Info by Joe Baugher's USAF serials
A fine photo by Dré Peijmen as 3C-ABA at Manston,UK 26Jun83 can be seen at Airliners.net

The cockpit is in even worse condition.

During Sep.2007 it moved to Redhill:
"During late September ex North Weald based C-119 cockpit section was rescued from the threat of potential scrap by members of the Wings Museum which is based at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey. The relic became threatened by ongoing pressure from the local council to 'tidy up' the outside aprons around the hangers at North Weald Aerodrome.
The effort and cost involved in moving these relics was certainly not for the faint hearted! But members of the Wings Museum stepped into the breach once again. The rescue of these otherwise overlooked relics stands as a testimony to the museums dedication and love of old aircraft."

Air-Britain's quarterly magazine 'Aviation World' published a detailed history on the 'British Boxcar in their Spring 2010 issue, see this Acrobat Reader .pdf document


Calling all 'flightsimmers'...
C-119 on Flight Simulator

"In order to fly correctly under MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR 2004 my C-82 and C-119 of BRAZILIAN AIR FORCE,I need to obtain the CHECKLISTS of these aircraft.
Please,where can I to get it?"

Chuck Lunsford contacted C-82 & C-119 pilot Frank Lamm, with a positive result:


Richard Vandervord wrote me in Feb.2010:
"I was very interested to see your piece about the Moroccan C-119s on your website.
Before going to Marrakech, for the Aeroexpo show last month, I'd already seen from the most excellent 'Survivors'-book that CNA-MH was there and I was quickly able to locate it on Google Earth.
I'd been told by people that had been to the first show there in 2008 that it was off-limits and that the Moroccans were keen only to show off their latest equipment and sure enough on arrival at the exhibition area, I found that it was tantalisingly in view, not far away, but partially obscured behind trees and along a road which was well guarded...
For me it was probably the most interesting thing there and I just had to reach it!
Enquiries with the Air Force historical people, that had a very good display in the one of the show halls, were inconclusive; so initiative was needed and eventually I was able to sneak across via a different route. Fortunately the camera shutter clicking didn't alert the commando just the other side of the trees and I was extremely pleased to get a successful result.
See the two views attached.
As you'll see, the paintwork is a bit suspect (compare with the typical USAF-style operational colour scheme on the historical association model) - note the white-wall tyres! At least the '862' is correct for this aircraft which was originally 53-7862."

C-119 Marocco preserved
CNA-MH C-119G (c/n 11283) Marrakech - Menara AB
Richard continued:
"Since then the Air Force has been very friendly and is using quite a few of the shots I took in the show officially; so by the time the next show comes around in 2012, perhaps I'll be able to explore more deeply!

There are lots of historic aircraft scattered around at Marrakech-Menara and also at other places such as Casablanca-Anfa, where the Air Force has the nucleus of a museum collection (and of course it's also the site of the magnificent RAM Connie, which is high on my target list for next time).
I can't find any sign on G/Earth of C-119F CNA-MN at Kenitra, but presumably it's still there along with the only other surviving ex-Qantas 707-138. There is talk of a third C-119 somewhere else in Morocco, but so far I've been unable to pin that down."
C-119 Marocco perserved
Roy Blewitt wrote in response to Richard:
"The Kenitra C-119 is at the main gate to the airfield (you may have been looking around the campus of the military college, which is on the same site, but accessed from a different gate). Coördinates are 34-16'39.86"N 6-35'28.54"W; or, if you prefer: by the river at the south-east corner of the base.
Incidentally, the 707-138 is clearly visible in the Google Earth image."


Fernand van de Plas sent me this image from his archives:
C-119s in maintenance with SABENA

"Fernand wrote:
a unique image of Belgian Air Force C-119s (CP25 en CP30) in heavy maintenance with SABENA...
In the background one can also see the conversion of 'swingtail configuration' on the Spantax DC-6B, EC-BBK.
There is even a glimpse of a Braniff International Boeing 720! Yes indeed, Braniff's 720s rotated through Brussels for a (Boeing) update.
SABENA performed for many years contract work for Douglas and Boeing. Aaahhh.... those were the days!"


C-119 N5216R Battle Mountain Nevada
C-119 N5216R Battle Mountain Nevada

David Schmitt sent me these images of Fairchild C-119G N5216R (c/n 10956), surviving at an abandoned museum outside Battle Mountain, Nevada.
David wrote me:
"Today (20May2010), while driving across northern Nevada, I saw a couple of airplanes at a small airport in Battle Mountain,NV. One was an F-111. The other was a Fairchild C-119.
I could not gain access to the plane, as it was inside a locked chain link fence."

David certainly had better weather then when I visited this location! See my 2008 report. I couldn't get inside the fence either.
This plane was controversial as to its identity: see my page on Battle Mountain's C-119.
See also the photos by Jesse Brinson

See also Feb.2018 update on PAGE #53, revealing its destiny with 'Organic Oasis' in Alaska!
C-119 N5216R to be converted to a mobile coffeeshop!


Ed Rachanski wrote me:
"My name is Ed Rachanski and I have restored a Fairchild C-119 fuselage and have displayed it in my personal museum for several years now. I was on a C-119 crew in the Korean War. Above is a link (no longer valid -Webmaster) that will give you all the details on my personal display."

52-5929? For Sale C-119
For sale; is this C-119G 52-5927 ?
Joe Baugher (website) has 52-5927 as c/n 11106, converted to AC-119G 'Shadow' in 1968 (mod.no. 110), to South Vietnamese Air Force Aug,1971, nose is allegedly at Henderson Nevada Vintage Racing Car and Aviation museum.
??? But is it 52-5927 ???

The ANSWER: no, it is meant only meant to resemble it - read on!

"I'm getting on now in years and will be selling my museum, but would like to sell my C-119 separately so that it goes to a place where it would be cared for and the public will be able to enjoy it.

In 2006 this aircraft sectioned fuselage was purchased from Hawkins and Powers auction in Greybull, Wyoming. The history of this particular C-119G aircraft, to the best of our knowledge, flew in Korea then was sent to Fairchild in Hagerstown, Pennsylvania for a "G" modification (1953) and re-assigned with NATO in Europe. It ended up in Anchorage, Alaska and was transported -by rail- to Greybull, so we are told.

My only request of you, is that you let me know of a listing or site where I can put my C-119 for sale."

Ed Rachanski

Chuck Lunsford threw the mystery in his 'C-119 network' and Ted Quackenbush provided the answer and evidence! (But did he? READ ON!)

C-119 50-0161 for sale in Nevada

Doubt about the quoted identity of 52-5927 was set in because the nose gear on a photo of a photo on Ed's website looked like one from a -C model (-G model had two small nose wheels instead of one big one); and the small mast for the trailing wire antenna visible behind the nose gear, the C-119G models did not carry a trailing wire antenna. Note: relation of the C-119 on a photo display at Ed's collection has no proven relation to Ed's restoration project...
Also all (afaik) of the C-119 gunships, were turned over to VNAF in 1973, none returned to USA or were sold to Civil Registry; so unlikely that 52-5929 ever made it back to the States.
Above is the photo of the left side of the C-119. 50-0161 seems to have been the original USAF serial number of the plane Ed restored. This would confirm it is a -C model. Joe Baugher's website identifies 50-0161 as Fairchild C-119C-20-FA Flying Boxcar c/n 10479 (some of this batch 10465-10479 were modified to C-119G).
It now seems that '161' sitting on a very, very polished fuselage makes it unlikely it was there all the time. So probably fake too...

Ed restored it to make it look like a 'G', to more resemble it more closely to 52-5927, which he did actually fly on at Ashiya.
52-5927 was attached to the 815th in Ashiya before it was modified to a gunship; the 815th TCS were 'The Flying Jennies', Ed has included a Jenny in the nose art on the right side of his C-119.
But we continue in our search for its identity.

Since Ed Rachanski wrote on his website it was moved by rail from Greybull in 2006, I found it a bit strange this C-119C didn't appear on my Greybull log reports pre-2006! That number '161' must have been visible then too..?

N90267 (c/n KF-257, ex/ 53-8154) was sold in 2006 from the H&P inventory to... Ed Rachanski!
See how it looked unpolished at Greybull in May 2003... It was Aad van der Voet who pointed me in the right direction!
I had it as 'cockpit section only' on my Greybull log reports and was staring me in the face all the time...

But this remarkable piece of restoration remained for sale for a long time. How it entered a new chapter can be read in Terry Fletcher's contribution below.

(Ed solved computer problems at the time of email exchange and he did add/confirm "The c/n plate cockpit is 53-8154  and -G Modification on 7-11-53").

Then, Terry Fletcher encountered this transport in May 2013 at Palm Springs Aviation Museum in California!
C-119 53-8154 at Palm Spring Aviation Museum

As Terry could not identify this C-119 he wrote to the museum from home and received the following email in reply: "She was built by Fairchild in 1950 and entered into the inventory in 1951, however the first military usage we know of was as a gunship (AC-119) during Vietnam.
Sometime in the 1980's she was transferred to civilian use, in Alaska, as an equipment transport plane.
Once her flying days came to end, she was sold for scrap, cut and shipped to Wyoming; where the nose section that you see now was purchased by a man named Ed Rachanski (former C-119 flight mechanic).
Mr. Rachanski restored the cockpit and the remaining forward fuselage at great time and expense to himself.
He used the plane as an addition to a small museum (race cars) he was operating in Henderson, Nevada.
As Ed's health began to decline he decided it was time to close the Museum and find new homes for its artifacts, including the C-119.
It was at that point that we came into contact with Ed and agreed to accept the C-119 as a donation.
Two of our staff traveled to Nevada, to arrange for its pick-up/transportation to its current location on our ramp."
Terry found that the Alaska operator was Stebbins Air Transport, a name you find mentioned on my website more often.
And Terry included two more photos of its present location and presentation (28may2013):

C-119 53-8154 at Palm Springs,CA
C-119 53-8154 restored by Ed Rachanski, donated to and displayed at Palm Springs Aviation Museum

C-119 53-8154 at Palm Springs,CA
C-119 53-8154 restored by Ed Rachanski, donated to and displayed at Palm Springs Aviation Museum.
See above text for explanation of fake serials '161' and '927'.

I visited the museum in 2008, see My Report

See an april 2017 update by Tim Chaloner on Photos by Friends & Guests (50): '927' has been moved inside.


Consider this request by Kurt Blackmar:

"Iím trying to solve a mystery about an audio recording I have of radio traffic of a battle in Vietnam.
It is apparent that it is an airfield that is being attacked, by the North Vietnamese, and all American aircraft are referred to by call-sign.
The supposed time of the recording is 1968.
After much research, I thought that the battle was either part of the Tet offensive at Tan Son Knut or Bien Hoa airfields, but in the recording, they kept referring to Shadow Six-Two and Shadow Six-Eight along with Mustang (68th Assault Helicopter Company), and Blue Max (AH1 Cobra Gunships F Battery 77th Artillery).
I can only conclude that these references are to the AC-119 Boxcar Gunships, which were introduced later in 1968.
This would help me place the approximate month in 68 and maybe location.

Also, I was trying to cross-reference a particular aircraft from your database and the story of 'The Last Flight of Shadow 78', to confirm that Shadow Six-Two was indeed an AC-119.
I found the aircraft and details of the crash, but no reference to '78' in the serial number.
To your knowledge, or anyone elseís, is the '78' or '62' supposed to be part of the serial number or some unit designation?
Thanks for any help."

Kurt Blackmar
Engineering Specialist - Houston

Chuck Lunsford (RIP) provided the following reply:
"I have researched and written extensively about the gunships and I bid you welcome to the confusion regarding callsigns and tail numbers...
If your recording refers to 'Shadow', the aircraft would be an AC-119G gun ship. There is no connection between the callsign and the tail number, but in most cases, it is possible to find out which aircraft was Shadow 62 or Shadow 68.

Shadow was the callsign they used, not the name of the aircraft; but it unofficially evolved into a nickname for the attack version of the G model.
The official Fairchild/USAF name of the aircraft was 'Packet,' and unofficially nicknamed "Flying Boxcar" when it was the first-line Combat Cargo and freight hauler for the Air Force during 1951 to 1962.
In 1967, 26 G-models were taken out of mothballs and the reserves, and modified to the attack version by Fairchild-Hiller at St. Augustine, FL.
There were an additional 26 C-119G models also modified to AC-119K gun ships, callsign 'Stinger'.
The AC-119G aircraft were for 'troops in contact' and the more heavily armed AC-119Ks were hunter/killers.
It took me almost 4 years to connect 53-7826 with callsign Stinger 41: the only Stinger lost to enemy ground fire during an idiotic daylight raid!

At several different locations in Vietnam and Thailand, the Shadows served with the 17th Special Operations Squadron. And the Stingers with the 18th SOS.
If you haven't already been there, check out this link www.ac-119gunships.com
All the AC-119 gunships were turned over to Vietnamese Air Force, in March of 1973 when the USA exited the war in SE Asia.
The C-119 in all its versions was retired from the USAF at the same time.

Shadow 78's tail number was 53-8155.
It would have been referred to as 155 as a Shadow, but almost all the stories and accounts written refer to the callsign rather than the tail number.
The 52 gunships were picked from the last C-119s built in 1952-'53, with the best maintenance records and the lowest number of hours.
I got involved in this subject trying to trace the 18 airplanes of the 12th Sqdn. in which I flew, and found that 6 of them were modified to Stingers; and several from the 10th and 11th Squadrons modified to Shadows.

8155 was the next to last Kaiser-Frazer built C-119 accepted by the Air Force, and I remember it quite well as one of the aircraft of the 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, Dreux/Louvelliers Air Base, France when I served there with the 12th TC Squadron in the late '50s.
I may have flown it once or twice, but I have no record to confirm it.

It was also the leader of a big showy formation in Germany when two of the other aircraft collided, 8-11-55. Two C-119s went down with the loss of 66 men... I did some extensive research on this accident for the book and you can read my account of it at this link on the 12th Sq. website. http://geocities.com/betbil.geo/crash.html (found link dead by 15Mar2015)

Hope this helps clear up some of the Shadow mystery."

Jim wrote me on 14Mar2015:
"I was a gunner aboard the original deployment of the AC-119Gs in December 1969. I was reading the posts about the audio tape of a Shadow mission.
I made a copy of that mission onto open reeled tape prior to my departure from Vietnam. The missions were originally recorded on a Sony portable cassette tape recorder with the input kludged into the intercomm system. The tapes were to provide verification of clearance to fire and record of mission activities. The cassettes were recycled and not intentionally archived. 90 minute cassettes were in short supply, so they recorded over as needed.

To clarify for all, that mission was Shadow 62, Sept 6/7 1969 flown out of Phan Rang AB, RVN; Aircraft Commander was LtCol McCullough (sp).
Shadow 62 was one of the early missions. We flew the missions from dusk to dawn. For example, Shadow 61 would be the early mission, taking off at dusk. Shadow 62 would be the next mission flown, commonly taking off a few hours later than Shadow 61. This was a common sequence for our missions out of Phan Rang 1969.
The 7X missions flew out of Tan Son Nhut AB, RVN (Saigon). Shadow 78 was a TSN mission.
We also had a detachment at Tuy Hoa AB and later Phu Cat; I just donít remember what their callsign range was. Shadow 68 was probably a Tuy Hoa or Phu Cat mission, as they only 2 or 3 aircraft at that time.
I believe after 1970 or 71 the callsign reflected a particular Aircraft Commander. The callsign did NOT reflect a particular tailnumber.

I no longer have my form 5, but I do remember a few tail numbers that I flew on as gunner: 907,927,938,942,851 & 852. 851 was my favorite, she always worked and worked well.

If it is an consolation to 119 fans, of the 52 converted into gunships we lost very few. I believe we only lost 6 total; and remarkably, for an aircraft that received much distain, she always brought us home and did her final job heroically!

For everyoneís enjoyment, I have made a slideshow and audio of that mission tape:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQOQLIu_ThI "

Jim Mattison
AC-119G Shadow, gunner, 1968-1969.


Del Mitchell wrote me in May 2010 and sent some images along; he wrote-
"I took this photo at Edwards AFB, back in January of this year.
I am involved with some other retired US Navy guys trying to restore a Navy A-3D (BuNo 135434). It was stored next to a C-123 and C-119.
The A-3 we are working on will eventually be restored to its original configuration and color from the 1950's, then placed in the new Edwards AFB Museum that is currently under construction. We hope to have it completed by the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation in Nov. 2011."

C-119B 48-352 edwards
Fairchild C-119B Flying Boxcar 48-352
Converted to C-119C 1955/56. To MASDC 03Dec1966. To civil registry as N13746
Preserved at Air Flight Test Center Museum, Edwards AFB, CA
{Source: Joe Baugher)

"With Graham Robson I went on a trip in 2008 to Tucson,AZ and photographed two C-119's at the old National Aircraft salvagers on Kolb Road. Don Howell was most accommodating and let us browse the grounds."

C-119 at scrapyard

C-119F 131715 (in the past coded as 715/MV), c/n 10900. Parts of this Flying Boxcar may have been used for filming Last Flight of the Phoenix.


C-119 at scrapyard
Unidentified, an AFRes bird, maybe 53-8071 (c/n 174) or 53-8074 (c/n 177) ???
Del added: "...it looks like the numbers 388 are on the tail, or what looks like 388---.  I've magnified the tail as much as I can, but then when it gets too magnified it becomes blurry."

I contacted Graham Robson and he sent a close up of this C-119:
C-119 53-8071 CJ439

I had some trouble to deduce the identity by the information on this image...
Left of the door, in red, is a number 8366 with partly obscured a '4' which I thought was part of a fiscal year, e.g. 48-8366 but no such serial exists for the C-119. 48-366 doesn't fit for a C-119 either.
On the nose is painted, in white, the AMARC inventory number 'CJ439' but I could find no match for this.
But lo' and behold: below the cockpit, in small black lettering, I can make out 53-8071.
Confirmation I found on Joe Baugher's serial pages: "Kaiser-Frazer C-119G Flying Boxcar,
serial batch 53-8069/8156, c/n 174 53-8071 to MASDC as CJ0430 Jun 10, 1972. Returned to service Jun 24, 1972. Back to MASDC as CJ0439 Dec 28, 1972. 8071 seen in scrapyard near AMARC 8/28/2000."

Graham explained the numbers:
"The CJ439 is the AMARC inventory code. The other number, usually two digits - four digits is the AMARC Auction sale number.
Each auction held at AMARC is given a specific number and each 'lot' within the specific sale will be given a 'lot' number, which is usually hand spray painted onto the aircraft. In this instance, the AMARC Auction sale number is 48-8366 and this airframe was allocated as 'lot' number #42.
Check out other aircraft in any of the yards and they will all have had an auction number and then lot number applied, though most will have faded in the hot sun..."


Mack wrote me in August 2010 this:
"I've been enjoying your website about the C-119, and it reminded me that I once flew across country in one.
It was New Year's Day, Jan. 1st, 1956, and I was on Christmas leave from Ft.Benning GA, where I was attending Basic Infantry Officers' Course.
In an attempt to save plane fare back to Georgia from Southern California, I found that there was a plane leaving from Los Alamitos NAS, going to the Marine Corps base at Cherry Point NC the following day, so my father kindly drove me from Santa Barbara to Los Alamitos.
I checked in at the operations office at Los Alamitos, and spied a pristine C-54 on the tarmac. Soon a Marine Major showed up and asked very general questions about the weather back east, and turned around to the waiting passengers, saying 'Everybody ready to go?' while taking off his uniform tunic and putting on a leather jacket. We followed him out toward the C-54, but at the corner of a hangar, he took off at a right angle, and headed for a Marine Corps C-119!
He told us the crew chief would orient us. The crew chief said 'Okay, gentlemen, on the walls you'll find parachute harnesses, which you'll wear during the flight. When we ditch the aircraft, you'll attach chest chutes to the harnesses, and the personnel sitting on this side (indicating) will exit through this door, and those on the other side will exit through that door. Understood?'
I didn't want to be an annoying guest, so I waited until the afternoon to ask the crew chief why he'd said 'WHEN we ditch the aircraft....' and not IF. He calmly replied that when one engine failed, the aircraft would not stay aloft on the remaining engine, and we were going to exit the aircraft. Happy news indeed!
We took off and headed east, and during the afternoon, I visited the cockpit, where the crew were listening to the Auburn, Alabama football game on long wave, having strung out a long trailing antenna. Finally it grew dark, and we flew on during the evening, until the drone of the engines were so wearying, I'd have given a lot for the engines to be shut down for a few minutes.
Finally after 11 1/2 hours non-stop flight in the noisy bird, we dropped down into Cherry Point MCAS and I found a BOQ for the night. The next day I took two buses into Raleigh, and then a short commercial hop to Atlanta, and another to Columbus, and got a ride out to Ft. Benning.
A few months later, flying to my assignment in Korea, I had a flight that reminded me of the C-119 when I flew from Japan to Kimpo in a Curtiss Commando C-46, of the airline started by Gen. Chennault, called Civil Air Transport, or CAT. It was just as noisy!"
Mack Twamley
Hemet CA


AP Photo by Max Desfor

This item was forwarded to my by Steve Payonzeck:
'Paratroopers drop from U.S. Air Force C-119 transport planes during an operation over an undisclosed location in Korea, in October 1950.' (AP Photo/Max Desfor)

For a larger image click below link; the photo is part of a dramatic portfolio, remembering the Korean War in graphic detail.



Jack E. Hammond wrote me the following:
"This link below is to a 1949 Popular Mechanics page that shows and early idea for fitting a weather radar to the C-119. Or a larger dish weather radar at least. I had to convert it to a tinyurl link because the original link is a whole paragraph!!! The article and photo are at the bottom of the page:
After the Vietnam War, there was private project by a company to convert surplus C-119s into super VTOL aircraft. One was built as a demonstrator and had three powerful turbojets fitted (not the ones used on the AC-119). One on the roof and one under each wing tip. There was never any orders. Have you any information on this project?
Finally, I know you are probably aware, but the last combat action by an aircraft was by a South Vietnamese AC-119 trying to defend the main air base at Saigon on the day Saigon fell... It was downed by an SA-7. The pilot and his crew went up even when told not to. All died. There was an article titled 'My Honor Engraved Here'."


Roy sent me some images of N15505 under preservation in Kentucky; for more on this see HERE...
C-119 N15505


Bill McClinton has two C-119 stories to share:.

1. in the 1950's I was an AF helicopter mechanic. One evening I hitched a ride out of Tachikawa on a C119. A minute or two after pulling the gear up the plane experienced an engine overspeed & inflight shut down...
The pPilot executed a return & safe landing on one engine. Kind of exciting for me: a lone passenger seated in a troop seat adjacent to the runaway engine. Crew told me it was a propeller run away on 3350 engine.

2. In the 1970's & 80's I was Manager of an aircraft service company in Oakland, Calif (Tower Aviation Services). In the 1980's our service marketing mgr was a fellow named Larry Duke, a retired A.F. Officer. One of Larry's Air Force assignments was piloting a C119 support aircraft for the AF Thunderbirds Team. this was in the 70's. 

  He had many stories to tell about that experience but the one I remember was when they visited a South American country (sorry, the name escapes me). That country's president, for whatever reason, was a particular admirer of the Dollar-Nineteen. He requested that they include the C119 in the air show. Larry & his crew stripped the plane of cargo & unnecessary items, took on a light fuel load & proceeded to do some limited 'aerobatics' for this guy!
I could tell you some of the stunts, but I'm certain I have exaggerated them over the years and would probably embarrass myself as well as Larry's memory!  
Larry was an experienced AF pilot who taught secondary flight  in the T-6 Texan, flew on the Berlin Airlift, did a full compliment of missions, plus extras, flying the B-29 in Korea and also did some hurricane hunting in the WB-50.

Bill McClinton,


What happened here?

"This photo belongs to a friend and shows her uncle in front of a broken C-119.
I am trying to learn more about the airplane. It appears to be a C-119F s/n 51-8162 built by Kaiser Frazer. I can't find any info on the mishap.
Do you know anything about it, or can you point me to a source of information that might have something?"

Alex Money
Tullahoma, TN

Chuck Lunsford, former Radio Operator on the C-119, provided the following details:

The C-119 in the picture, taken at Taegu, Korea is one of the very first C-119s built by Fairchild, and was one of the first 55 B models built in 1949 and at some point modified to a C model and served in Korea.
If you look at the tail, the extension on the horizontal stabilizer outboard of the vertical stabilizer is the clue. Those were removed on the pure C models and all C-119s built after that--F and G and various modifications of the G. There were no D or E models.
The partially covered tail number is 0162, not 8162--it looks like 8, but it's not. To make a long and complicated tail number story, short, a zero was added to these tail numbers to conform to the new tail number regs. The only known survivor of this group of B modified to C is at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, and the tail number is 0157.
51-8162 would have been a Kaiser C model, intended to be modified to F on the assembly line, but there is a question whether it was ever built. When Kaiser ceased production, the 71 partially completed airplanes were finished at some point by Fairchild and carried 1953 tail numbers and were delivered to the Air Force in 1955 modified to G models. That 71 airframes ended with the tail number 53-8156.
Also, note the top of the broken boom forward of the vertical stabilizer-- there is no bracing fin which was later added to all C-119s because the booms were structurally weak -- a holdover from the C-82 which had a lot of this kind of trouble. A hard landing could collapse them, and as I recall from somewhere in my aging memory, that was the case with 49-162. The airplane could not have flown in that condition.
Here are photos of 0157 on Airliners.net
49-155/169 Fairchild C-119C-15-FA Flying Boxcar
c/n 10392/10406. Ordered as C-119B but completed as C-119C
156 (c/n 10393) to MASDC Mar 28, 1969
157 (c/n 10394) to MASDC as CJ112 Oct 9, 1965. At Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZ.
159 (c/n 10396) to MASDC Apr 6, 1966
162 seen at Taegu, Korea Oct 1950 with both tail booms broken. <---------
164 (c/n 10401) to MASDC Oct 22, 1965
165 (c/n 10402) to MASDC Oct 22, 1965
167 (c/n 10404) to MASDC Nov 6, 1965
168 (c/n 10405, 314th TCW, 50th TCS) crashed Mar 23, 1951 in South Korea. 2 of 8 onboard killed.
This aircraft was attached to the 314th Troop Carrier Wing, probably the 50th TC Squadron and it and the other C-119s proved the value and versatility of the C-119 applied to Combat Cargo applications in wartime. The result was the Air Force promptly ordered 400 more, and a year later, 400 more--the last G models were delivered in 1954. The Korean C-119s were literally worn out, and many of them were lost to enemy action. 49-162 was probably scrapped at Taegu.


Klaus Nenn sent me this photo in sep.2011:
RCAF C-119 at Nanaimo in 1959
Klaus wrote:
"This picture is of a Canadian Forces (Royal Canadian Air Force - Transport Command) CF-119 Flying Boxcar at CFB Namao taken by my father in 1959.
I always had an interest in aviation and eventually became an Air Traffic Controller. As a controller I got around and saw a lot of aircraft and unusual situations. Unfortunately, because it was everyday work, I hardly thought to take pictures..."


"I'm searching for information regarding an Air Force aircraft which crashed on my great grand parent's farm in the late 1940s or maybe early 1950s. The crash was prior to my birth in July 1952, the crash site is in Marshall County, Alabama, approximately 100 miles south of Sewart AFB which was in Smyrna, Tennessee.

I was told the flight originated from Sewart, my mother always believed the aircraft to be a C-119. In my youth, I recall my great grandparents, their friends and my parents discussing the crash and the Air Force recovery efforts. I've conducted some limited internet research with no success. I came across your web site and would appreciate any information you may happen to have on the accident."

Larry Ayers


Ewald Lang sent me these images in Dec.2011; he wrote: "I have for you four photos taken by myself in 1952/53, when I was a radio operator with the 64th TC Sqd., flying C-119's from Ashiya AFB Japan to Korea.
C-119 in flight
C-119 #8326 off the coast of Korea.
We called her the 'Hanger Queen' since she required a great deal of maintenance work!

C-119 #9195.
Blew two tires after heavy braking; landed 'long' on a very short runway... K-47, as I remember.

P-51s fiting up
P-51's of the South African Air Force, getting ready for a close support mission.


Stumbled on this 1962 article; would welcome identification of the C-119 Flying Boxcar in question:
Crash C-119 at Hill AFB
The Daily News, St,John's (NFLD) - 22Jan1962


Another C-119 crash
'Six AAFB airmen perish in C-119 crash near Annapolis, Maryland along with 12 additional military personnel. The other military people included five airforce men, five sailors, a soldier and a marine. This was the first crash with fatalities from the 463rd TCW since it arrived at Ardmore in 1953 and the first from the 774th Squadron in three years of operation. March 19, 1954'


James Brady wrote me in 2011 with the following query:
"When my mother was a child, she witnessed a C-119 going down, outside of her house in rural Southern York County, Pennsylvania, sometime in the Spring of 1959 to 1960. The farmstead at which the plane actually crashed at, says that it was May 18th 1959, but my mother thought she was 16 which would have made it 1960.
Anyhow I am attaching a Newspaper article about the crash that she saved but unfortunately the date is not on the article.
My uncle was curious, as am I, why we cannot find any records of this crash on databases! But maybe you know of some that we do not know of.
We do know that it crashed at 4:25 PM and that 3 people died.
Just thought you might be interested in this information, and if you could enlighten us some more about the crash it would be greatly appreciated."


Unidentified C-119 Flying Boxcar crash

A follow up email was:
"My Uncle had just recently questioned the family that still lives on the farmstead (the Innerst Family) and they were sure it was 1959, but my mother thought it was 1960. And yes, it is in Pennsylvania, on State Route 214 (Hess Farm Road) between Dallastown, PA and Loganville, PA. It was in the field between the Innerst property structures (barns) and the East Branch of the Codurous Creek across SR#214 from Arbor Drive. Google Map coordinates for the crash site are:
39į52'16.80" N 76į34'48.51" W
That is the field at which it crashed in. The Innerst farm is directly above the location on the map the only farm on the left side of the road when looking at aerial view.
The Gazette and Daily is now called the York Daily Record and is located in York,PA but I have had no luck in finding any info there."

Alas, I could find no reference of a C-119 (also used 'Flying Boxcar' or 'Boxcar') date of crash in 1959 or 1960 in Pennsylvania...
There could be several reasons for no info on the internet about this crash:
1. Crashes of planes were quite a common occurrence and this one had only 3 fatal; thus it lacked exposure, also no major town -major newspaper- nearby.
2. Perhaps USAF downplayed military and/or C-119 crashes because of image; especially when structural failures are considered a probable cause.

Suggest to request advise from the Air Force Historical Research Agency http://www.afhra.af.mil/

Crash C-119 Pennsylvania 1959 or 1960



My gateway to various C-119 pages

External links:
N15501 on Mojave Weblog (Feb.2005)
C-119 crashes in Aviation Safety Net database
12th T.C. Squadron A webpage with lots of information on the C-119
Last commercial C-119s, now in Alaska
C-119 Census at OldProps
C-119 information by David Steiner
Joe Baugher's USAF Serial Number Search Results: C-119
Joe Baugher's Navy & Serial Number Search Results: C-119

Chuck Lunsford wrote a book about his days as a radio operator onboard the C-119:
Click here "Departure Message"

He also wrote a novel, featuring the C-119 Flying Boxcar, called "Boxcar Down, the Albanian Incident" Click here

Both books can be bought through Amazon.com and are also available as eBook for Kindle!

Charles 'Chuck' Lunsford (76) succumbed to cancer; he passed away on 21Sep12.
I will miss our regular correspondence on the C-119 and less mundane subjects. I learned much from him and shared the information on the
C-119 Information Pages, esspecially at a time when so little on this aircraft had been published in writing.
Rest in peace, old friend. - Ruud Leeuw, webmaster


Another writer, Larry E. Fletcher (ex USAF Captain), used his personal experience to write a novel about the C-119 Gunship in Vietnam: "Shadows of Saigon, Air Commandos in SE Asia".
Update Jan.2014: the book CHARLIE CHASERS – History of USAF AC-119 “Shadow” Gunships in the Vietnam War – was published by Hellgate Press in 2013. My website is www.shadowgunships.com. Hardback, Paperback, and Ebooks are available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and from the publisher at http://hellgatepress.com.

To email me, click on the image and write the correct adress as given below
(replace -AT- by the @ symbol).

Sorry for the inconvenience, but this is because spam has increasingly become a problem.

Last updated Jan.2012