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, when I started these C-119 Info Pages. I started these pages 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. Thanks to those who did!



Michael Mayher shared these photos with me in April 2020; he wrote: "I have enjoyed and revisited your website many times over the last few years!
I was born at Ft. Campbell in 1961, where my father served with the 187th.

I served at Ft Bragg and at Ft Lewis, between ’79 – ’86 (118th ABN MP Co / 9th ID LRSC / 11th SFG (Res.)).
Back in the day I jumped C-7A, C-123, C-130, C-141A & B, assorted helicopters but sadly, never a C-119... Although I know some people who went through Jump School at Ft Benning a few years before me (1979), who did.
I just love the Boxcars but everyone I know who is a little older than me and jumped them said they vibrated like crazy and they would watch rivets spin!
I share a couple of photos from our family album that might interest you."

C-119 jumpship
Michael's father, in front of a C-119 'jumpship'.
Sgt. Eugene Mayher (187th Rakkasans) Ft. Campbell, served from 1960 – 1963 - from Cleveland,Ohio. In
the photo he was still a private and not yet a sergeant. Passed away December before last.

C-119 Swift Strike II, 1962
Fairchild C-119G 12675 during Operation Swift Strike II, 1962
From www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1951: '51-2675 (MSN 10664) converted to C-119G.
Was preserved at Pate Museum of Transportation, Fort Worth, TX. This museum closed in 2009. Moved to Hood County US Vets Museum, Granbury, Texas.'

US Veterans Museum @Facebook.
C-119 51-2675 at US Veterans Museum, Texas
Screendump dated 25Apr20


David Mullikin sent me this photo in March 2020; he wrote: My grandfather was a master Sargent in the air force.
I have many pictures of interesting planes. This picture was in a frame and I just took it out and saw the info on the back ('FAIRCHILD AIRCRAFT, Hagerstown, MD. Photo by VIRTS').
C-119 48-319

From Joe Baugher's USAF Serials: '48-319/355 Fairchild C-119B Flying Boxcar MSN 10301/10337.
C/n 10301: 319 to MASDC as CJ0459 May 19, 1975. Sold to Dross Metals.


Ken Swartz visited the 1941 Historical Aviation Group at Geneseo,NY and noted C-119 22103 had received a fresh coat of paint.

C-119 22013 at Geneseo's warplane museum (2018)
Fairchild C-119F N8092 (c/n 10678; ex/ RCAF 22103)
A detailed history can be found on my page HERE..
See also details about its donation on Photo by Friends & Guests (item by Bob Reid)

Jerry Vernon wrote me some of his 'Canadian C-119' memories: "I only flew in an RCAF C-119 once, from Saskatoon to Vancouver THROUGH the Rocky Mountains... Very scenic!
We flew through low rather than OVER the Rockies, with a load of passengers, because the aircraft is not pressurized!!
On the trip East, I went by road rather than flying, but one of the two C-119s carrying our squadron personnel lost an engine over the mountains and just barely made it back over the hills into the Penticton Airport.
I flew back to Vancouver with the same pilot, a bit of a character, a Canadian Aviation Historical Society Member and an avid airplane photographer; and he said that he hoped he would lose another one on the way back because it was a great week on the beach at Penticton while the crew waited for the engine change!!
Aussie Maxwell, who had been an RAAF Sgt Pilot in WW II.
Another old RCAF friend had spent some time as a Navigator on C-119s. He told me the procedure for loss of an engine on take off: gear up and land straight ahead."


Brian Duxbury visited Greybull,WY in august 2017 and I am grateful for his feedback.
"On the main ramp are C-119 N3003 and KC-97 N1365N looking in reasonable condition."
More of Brian's photos see my Photos by Friends & Guests #51

UPDATE re N3003: "I am a member of the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum that is located in Columbus,IN.
Nick Firestone is the President of our organization. We acquired N3003 this past May (2019) from B&G Industries.
It is still at their site in Greybull WY pending dismantling and shipment to Columbus in 2020. The Bakalar AFB was the location of the 434th. There were at one time about 35 C-119’s stationed there. This will be our first full size airplane exhibit that represents a plane that was stationed at either the Atterbury Army Air Field or the Bakalar AFB. When finished, N3003 will be restored to a USAF color scheme (N3003 was originally built for the RCAF).
And unlike many other C-119 exhibits, the interior of what we are fondly calling 'Charlie 119' will opened
for exhibit." ¬Skip Taylor www.atterburybakalarairmuseum.org



John P. Stewart noticed the item on my page Abandoned Plane Wrecks of the North, featuring Interior Airways'
C-82A N208M; John subsequently wrote me: "After seeing the report of the wreckage of N208M possibly being spotted in the Alaska bush, I thought everyone would be interested in a photo of the sister ship, N209M.  This was shot at Fairbanks, September, 1968."

C-82 Interior Airways

Karl E. Hayes wrote an excellent article about Interior Airways in Air Britain's quarterly magazine 'Aviation World', issue June 2009.
For even more detail on Interior Airways I can recommend the book "Triumph over Turbulence" by Jim Magoffin (also the founder of Interior Airways), see MyBooks page.



Ron Mak sent me a glorious selection of C-119 images in March 2017

C-119 line up
The Flying Boxcars formed the main transport element of the Belgian Air Force from 1951 to 1973.

With the arrival of the C-119G Flying Boxcar for 15 Wing a 3rd squadron was formed to share the type with 20 Smaldeel, and this was established on 01Apr1954 as 40 Transportsmaldeel, based at Melsbroek.
Following the pattern set by the other 2 squadrons of 15 Wing, a Sioux indian head was adopted as the unit insignia, but circled in green.
40 Smaldeel remained in commission only until June 1954 when it was disbanded as an economy measure and the Boxcars re-grouped under 20 Smaldeel.
Between 1957 and 1960 the 'green' Sioux was used by the Transport Flight at Kamina, Congo, but 40 Smaldeel was re-formed in June 1961 and once again claimed the insignia.
With the arrival of the Hercules, the Boxcars were placed in storage and 40 Smaldeel disbanded on 31Jun1973.
The unit was later made a helo Smaldeel under a different insignia.
From: 'Belgian Military Aviation', by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties Publications, 1977)


C-119 CP-11 OT-CAK (c/n 10685) served Feb.1961 - Oct.1975, scrap parts used for the CP-10 at Melsbroek.
Its registration would be CP-11 while 'OT-CAK' would be its radio callsign. It was ex/ USAF 51-2702 and went, supposedly, to Norway after its phase out (which is in contradiction to Ron Mak's information - but see below).

Joe Baugher's website has c/n as 10691 for 51-2701 and : "....CP11, radio call sign OT-CAK. Returned to USAF
12Sep1955. Converted to C-119G by SABENA. To Royal Norwegian AF as 12702/BW-H 'Hiawatha'.
Ret to USAF in 1969. To MASDC as CJ308 18Jul1969. Declared excess 26Dec1973. Scrapped in 1976."

But.. Joe Baugher has on that same page another CP11/OT-CAK!
51-2696 (msn 10685) to Belgian AF 13Oct1952 as CP5, radio call sign OT-CAE. Returned to USAF 12Sep1955. Purchased by Belgian government 21May1959. Converted to C-119G by SABENA between 1955 and 1957. Transferred to Spanish AF in 1956 as T.9-4 but not accepted and returned to USAF at Chateauroux, France
that same year.
Moved to Brussels for storage and transferred back to Belgian AF 20May1959, being reserialled CP11, radio call sign OT-CAK.
Struck off charge Jan. 1975 and broken up at Neuville, Belgium

Anyone an idea which CP-11 we are looking at here? I have a feeling it is c/n 10691 51-2701... EMAIL


The batch 51-2690/2717 were C-119F-FA Flying Boxcar of which some were converted to C-119G.

Fairchild C-119G CP-22 OT-CBB (ex/USAF 52-6023; c/n 10953)
Joe Baugher has: "52-6023 (msn 10953) to Belgian AF Feb 23, 1954 as CP22, radio call sign OT-CBB.
To storage at Koksijde 02May1972. Returned to USAF July 1974. Scrapped at Koksijde 1977-78.

Melsbroek, some history of the 15 Wing.

In 1950, the 15th Wing of Evere moved to Melsbroek where the buildings and runways, established during the occupation by the Germans, lend themselves for development of a modern airport and which could be adapted to the needs of the increased flight operations. The infrastructure in Evere had become inadequate, not least due to the lack of a paved runway.
That year 2 DC-4's were acquired to be used for flights to the colonies.

On 24Sep1952 the first C-119 Fairchild Packet ('Flying Boxcar') arrived in Melsbroek. They were the first of a total of 46 aircraft in use for tactical airlift of 20 Squadron.
For this purpose, a third squadron, no.40 was established; it had been dissolved in 1955, but was again re-installed for operations between 1960 and 1972.
The remaining DC-3 Dakota was operated by 21 squadron.
When the Oxfords and Ansons were to be replaced in 1953, the 21 Squadron received 12 Percival Pembrokes.
These aircraft (especially the ones with a glass nose) were put to good use for aerial photography and calibration, in addition to the transportation of light cargo.
Meanwhile, it was found that the DC-4 were insufficiently equipped for the task for which they were purchased, connecting Belgium with its colonies.
Thus in 1958 two DC-6 were acquired from the USAF and in 1960 another two from Sabena.

The Flying Boxcars were decommissioned between 1971 and 1973 and disposed at the aircraft park of Koksijde.
The DC-4's had been phased out in 1971. The career of the DC-3 in the 15 Wing ended also at Koksijde,  flown over for storage in 1976. And the Pembrokes and DC-6 were phased out that year too.
From:  www.dakota15wing.be/Vliegtuigen_NL.html (translation by webmaster, RL)


Fairchild C-119G CP-38 OT-CBR (ex/ USAF 52-6051; c/n 11119)
Joe Baugher has for 52-6051 (msn 11119): "to Belgian AF 21Feb1954 as CP38, radio call sign OT-CBR.
To storage at Koksijde 01Dec1972. Returned to USAF July 1974. Scrapped at Koksijde 1977-78."

After the independence of (Belgian) Congo on 30Jun1960, the Europeans in the Congo began a mass exodus. Beginning in July 1960, airlift by the Force Aérienne Belge was provided by 15 Wing, using C-47s, C-54s,DC-6s and C-119s operated out of Leopoldville in the west and Kamina in the south.
Tensions escalated as the Belgians began to intervene in the Congo. A force of 10.000 UN troops was airlifted to the theater, primarily by the USAF (operating C-130s and C-124s).

C-119G CP-36 crashed at Rushengo on 19Jul1960, after an engine had departed the aircraft. Most of the occupants, paratroopers and crew, perished.
C-119G CP-45 was destroyed during an exercise, when it was struck by a live phosphorous mortar shell on 23Jun1963, fired by a British Army unit. It crashed near Augustdorf and while some paratroopers managed to jump in time, again most occupants perished.
No.15 Wing operated 18 C-119F's between Sep.1953 - Oct.1956, and 28 C-119G's between Aug.1953 and Sep.1973.
From: 'Fairchild C-82 & C-119', by Alwyn T. Lloyd (AeroFax, 2005)


C-119 CP-32 OT-CBL (ex/ USAF 52-6045; c/n 11084) served from Feb.1954 - July 1974.
Joe Baugher has for 52-6045 (msn 11084): "to Belgian AF 14Feb1954 as CP32, radio call sign OT-CBL.
To storage at Koksijde 10Feb1972. Returned to USAF in July 1974. Scrapped at Koksijde 1977-78."

The Aeronautica Militare Italiano (AMI) acquired 70 C-119Gs and C-119Js between May 1953 and Jan. 1979.
Adapting to the new aircraft was a major undertaking and required a new mindset in maintenance and operations. The C-119, with almost twice the horsepower, in essence doubled speed and tripled the payload compared to the G.12 and G.212 aircraft which they replaced.
Flight without the rear clamshell doors also posed problems for the crews. USAFE instructors were dispatched to help with training. Some AMI personnel were sent to Canada and USA to gain experience with the C-119s. Some crews were even sent to airlines for training.

From: Fairchild C-82 & C-119, by Alwyn T. Lloyd (Aeroffax, 2005)

Fairchild C-119G 46-22; ex/ USAF 52-6037 (c/n 11076)
C-119G-35-FA 46-22 Italian Air Force (ex/ USAF 52-6037); it crashed at Kwamouth, Congo on 02Feb1961.
Joe Baugher's USAF 1952 Serials offers: 52-6037 (MSN 11076) to Italian AF as MM52-6037.

ASN Crashreport C-119 Italian Air Force 46-22

The Aeronautica Militare Italiano operated a total of 65 C-119's between 1965 and 1979. No.46 Stormo had been established in 1940 as a bomber unit.
C-119s were introduced into the Italian Air Force on 19May1953 and based at Pisa (San Guista). The No.2 Gruppo became the 1st squadron to be equipped with C-119s.
A USAF training unit was in place there to assist with the transition of No.46 Stormo.
The airplanes were finished in aluminized paint; the USAF roundel were removed and replaced by the Italian AF roundel. Codes for No.46 Stormo were applied to either side of the roundel. The USAF serials were retained
on the vertical fins.

In 1954 the 46e Stormo was redesignated No.46 Aerobrigata Transporti Medi (Medium Transport Brigade).
No.50 Gruppo was formed late-1960s when the C-119J's came into the inventory.
In 1963 the C-119G's received a camouflaged scheme, followed in 1965 by the C-119J's. A green/grey paint was applied. Dayglo orange (later yellow) bands were applied to the nose, wingtips and booms.
Smaller USAF-style serial numbers were applied to the fins with an 'MM' -prefix, representing Matricola Militaire or military serial.
While the nose colours remained for each squadron, the codes were changed to provide squadron identity as follows: No.2 Gruppo 46-20 thru 46-39, No.50 Gruppo 46-50 thru 46-69, No.98 Gruppo 47-80 thru 46-99.
Four C-119s (46-55, 46-62, 46-30 & 46-68) were used in a VIP -transport capacity.
Three C-119s were converted for use in the ECM role, by 71 Gruppo / 14 Stormo (46-30 ex/ VIP, 46-35, 46-63).

From: 'Fairchild C-82 and C-119' by Alwyn T. Lloyd (Aerofax, 2005) - the only authoritative C-119 publication in print!

C-119 46-96 Italian AF, by Rolf Larsson
C-119 46-96 of the Italian Air Force, photographed by Rolf Larsson at Stockholm-Bromma airport on 04Jul1970.
As yet I was unable to find the matching USAF serial or the MM-number... EMAIL


Rolf Larsson added another fine C-119 for my C-119 Dossier!
C-119 46-96 Italian AF, by Rolf Larsson
C-119 46-96 of the Italian Air Force, photographed at Stockholm-Bromma airport on 04Jul1970.
Probably another one of the 52-6000/6058 batch on www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1952 for the
Italian- & Belgian Air Force but I saw no reference of 46-90 to an USAF serial or MM-number - EMAIL


Some C-119 photos Paul Weston sent me; more on his gallery on my website HERE...
C-119 crash at Dahl Creek
C-119 N8504W (obviously!) damaged beyond repair, Alaska. (Photo by Paul Weston)

C-119 076 on its ferry north, to Alaska. Photo copyright Paul Weston
C-119 '076' on its ferry north, to Alaska. Photo copyright Paul Weston


These images by Roger Maxwell opened a new page on Photos by Friends & Guests: #54
C-119 N15501

Roger wrote: "Here are a few pics of C-119 N15501 taken this weekend (03+04Mar2018)".

I visited Buckeye,AZ myself last year, SEE MY REPORT

C-119F 51-2675 in Texas
C-119F 51-2675 on static display at the U.S. Veterans Museum in Granbury,TX. It was previously on display at
the Pate Museum of Transportation in Cresson, Texas. Pate's Museum closed its doors around end-2009 afaik. ¬en.wikipedia.org:_Fairchild_C-119_Flying_
C-119F 51-2675 by Tom Recht (Facebook)
A few pics of C-119F 51-2675 were shared on Facebook in May 2019: 'GRANBURY,TX. C-119G BOXCAR.
51-2675. [ 32.448546, -97.788569 ] Taken 30OCT2013.'
One comment stated: "It has been moved since. Not sure of where it ended up. The intent was to restore it
for display, but it never happened."
From www.aerialvisuals.ca: By May 2013 to U. S. Veterans Museum, Ft. Worth, Dallas-Fort Worth,TX. Valid 2018.

One Jason Barnett reacted on the FB post: "100% positive [scrapped]. The C-119 was moved to a small museum
in downtown Granbury,TX, from the Pate museum in Cresson. The museum went under several years ago and the city if Granbury wanted it gobe [sic]. Me and several other people, begged to save the plane. A few months ago, the scrappers came in and mashe'd [sic] this plane into dumpster. Nothing remains of it now." [¬May 2019]


John Olin got himself a scanner for Christmas 2018 and this enabled him to share images on Facebook ('Fire Bombers'); John was a mechanic with H&P and has also worked as an inspector and supervisor. He agreed to having some of the C-119 images shared here on my website; seems to me photos fade soon into oblivion on social media..

C-119 N5216R, Tanker 137 of Hawkins & Powers
C-119G N5216R (c/n 10773), Tanker 137 of Hawkins & Powers (H&P) of Greybull,WY.

C-119 N8832, Tanker 134 of H&P (Photo John Olin)
Fairchild C-119G N8832 (c/n 10927) / Tanker 134 (Hawkins & Powers); Fairbanks, 1981.
John: 'Pilot error, flight crew selected gear up during the takeoff roll. Hot dogging it.'
Both this incident as well as the crash at Battle Mountain,NV in 1985 have no reports on the Aviation
Safety Network (ASN) database.
C-119 N8832 T134 H&P; photo by John Olin
C-119G 'Flying Boxcar' N8832/T134 crashed at Battle Mountain,NV in August'85. It was used to fix N5216R
for use by a local museum; parts from both were removed by Hawkins & Powers for own use at the time.

See also my page C-119 Airtanker Mysteries at Battle Mountain and for last remains of T134 see Jesse Brinson's pics

Paul Weston visited the C-119 parked at Battle Mountain, Nevada. Through various discussions on fora, shared photographs and its construction plate I/we concluded this was C-119G N5216R (as was shown on the tailboom
10+ years ago), inspite of the airtanker number #137 on top: N5216R was T136 and as a confirmation that
tanker had its belly painted red to camouflage the red retardant.
Now we see, after many years in the desert sun, 'N5215R; reappearing. Which is thought to be (without much
certainty I must stress) the C-119 '06' preserved at Greybull's Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting...
Alas, I could not find images online of N5215R in operational use to compare it with N5216R.
More on the background of this discussion on my C-119 at Battle Mountain,NV
C-119 at Battle Mountain,NV: N5216R or N5215R
More photos of this visit on Paul Weston's gallery on my website.

By the end of June 2019 John Wills of Rolling Boxcar wrote me: "Things are going great here in Battle Mountain!
We left Alaska over three weeks ago and have been here in the hot Nevada desert for a couple weeks taking N5216R apart and getting it ready for the trip to California.
Corrosion is terrible in the wings and boom sections, as the entire plane has been left open for the pigeons to set up home for the last 25-30 years...
There are a lot of areas where I can push my finger right through the skin!
There has been a lot more pilfering going on even since 2017 when I was here last. Even lost the escape hatch over the cockpit and the two in the rear on either side of the life raft. Amazing how people can come onto airport property and steal stuff that others own. Local Sheriff is looking into it, but I hold no hope in him finding out anything but they have secured the area a lot more now.

We have several parts and pieces that we will not need such as landing gear and even the boom sections.
Also the radar nose will need a home as we brought down the smaller nose from up north.
Willing to trade for some seats and maybe hatches
, if there is anybody out there that needs such things.
If not I guess some parts will go to my competitive bidders and turned into beer cans.
Hope to hear from someone soon!

Disassembly of C-119 N5216R at Battle Mountain (2019)
'Boxcar Bulletin' May-July 2019. As one can read, for the RCAF nose a home has been found..


Disassembly for transport of C-119 N5216R at Battle Mountain, Nevada
Disassembly for transport of C-119 N5216R here seen at Battle Mountain, Nevada

Disassembly for transport of C-119 N5216R at Battle Mountain, Nevada
The 'new' nose fitted to N5216R

Disassembly for transport of C-119 N5216R at Battle Mountain, Nevada

Disassembly for transport of C-119 N5216R at Battle Mountain, Nevada
I hope some deal can be made with the surplus parts, next to preservation I do believe in recycling!
The nose was soon swapped, seeing the photo below I fear for the tail booms!

Making good progress (date of photo 26Jul2019)
C-119 N5216R beinf disassembled at Battle Mountain,NV - july 2019


Russ Norwood wrote me in August 2019: "I found your website while looking for information about some of
the aircraft I’ve flown, or in this case, jumped out of."

C-119 976 at Pope Field, by Russ Norwood (1968)
Fairchild C-119F-FA Flying Boxcar 51-7976 USAF (c/n 10715), converted to C-119G.
To MASDC at Davis-Monthan AFB as CJ267 on 05Nov1968. Declared excess 09Dec1974.
Not listed among www.oldprops.ukhome.net/C119 Census so presume scrapped many years ago.

Russ: "I made the attached image in August of 1968 at Pope Field near Fort Bragg, North Carolina while in Special Forces training.
My jump log has an entry dated August 12th, 1968 that describes a static line jump out of a C-123, so I didn’t jump from this particular C-119.
However, my airborne training involved five static line jumps, all from C-119 aircraft. I remember that the aircraft were extremely loud and that they seemed to take forever to leave the runway. We used to joke that we’d rather jump out than land in one!
Whether or not you can tell me anything about the aircraft in the attached image I’d like to hear from you.

I’m enjoying your web site, in part because I’m a photographer with an interest in aviation, among other things.
You can see examples of my work on my website, www.perceptivist.com.
The attached image was taken on Ektachrome slide film with a Yashica Electro 35 camera. I 'scanned' the image using an adaptor mounted on a Canon 50mm macro lens and a Canon 1DX camera."
("Nature and wildlife photography are my primary interests, especially birds. Although colorful shapes and interesting textures in man-made environments draw my eye, solitude in the outdoors rewards me in ways the city never will").

C-119G 51-7976 seen from behind, 02Aug68 at Pope Field,NC
C-119 976 at Pope Field, by Russ Norwood (1968)







My gateway to various C-119 pages

External links:
N15501 on Mojave Weblog (Feb.2005)
C-119 crashes in Aviation Safety Net database
David Steiner's C-119 webpage
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
Flying Boxcar Registry on WIX (probably not maintained / updated anymore)




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.



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