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I S S UE21-DEC 2013/J AN2014


L ockheed

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T heL ockheedC141St ar l i f t erwast hef i r s tj ett obes peci f i cal l yd Dec1963,andwentont os er vet heUS AFf orover40year s ,gai n t hehi s t or yoft hi smuchmi s s edai r l i f t er .


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Wor ds :PaulDunn Pi ct ur es :Ascr edi t ed

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des i gnedasapur et r ans por tai r cr af t .I tmadei t sf i r s tf l i ghton17 i ni nganex cel l entr eput at i ondur i ngt hatt i me.PaulDunnl ooksat I mage-L i nds ayPeacock


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he US AFbecame ani ndependentpar tof t he t he USmi l i t ar yon18S ep 1947.Att hat t i me,mos tofi t st r ans por tai r cr af tcame undert he cont r olofAi rT r ans por tCommand ( AT C) ;t heUSNavyal s ooper at edt heNavalAi r T r ans por tS er vi ce ( NAT S ) ,per f or mi ng a s i mi l ar r ol e.I n or dert oi ncr eas et he ef f i ci encyoft he s er vi ces , t hes e t wo or gani s at i ons wer e combi ned i nJ une 1948t of or mt he Mi l i t ar yAi r T r ans por tS er vi ce( MAT S ) . T he1950swer eat i meofr api ddevel opmenti n ai r cr af tt echnol ogy,wi t h new t ypesent er i ng s er vi ce ever y year ,and s ome ai r cr af thavi ng onl y a br i ef s er vi ce car eer bef or e bei ng s uper s eded by newer , mor e advanced machi nes .Byt heendoft hatdecade,t heUS AF was abl e t o boas t ar guabl y t he mos t t echnol ogi cal l y advanced and capabl e ai r f or cei nt hewor l d. S t r at egi c Ai r Command ( S AC) was mai nl y compos ed ofj etbomber ss uch ast he B47 S t r at oj et and B52 S t r at of or t r es s , and t he f ut ur i s t i cB58Hus t l erwasont hecus pofent er i ng s er vi ce.S i mi l ar l y,T act i calAi rCommand ( T AC) wasi nt r oduci ng a whol er af tofnew j etf i ght er ai r cr af ti nt he f or m oft he f amous ' Cent ur y S er i es ' ;by 1959 al loft hes ej et shad ent er ed s er vi ce.

Mi l i t ar yAi rT r ans por tSer vi ce AtMAT S ,however ,i twasa di f f er ents t or y.T he s er vi ce s t i l l r el i ed on l umber i ng, r eci pr ocat i ngengi ned beas t s whi ch,f or t he mos tpar t ,dat edbackt ot he1940s .Ast heCol d Warbegant oes cal at e,wi t hi tcamet heneed f orUS f or cest or api dl y depl oy wor l dwi de,i n par t i cul art ocount erpot ent i al S ovi etaggr es s i on i nEur ope.T heagei ngMAT Sf l eetwass i mpl ynot capabl e ofpr ovi di ng t hi ss er vi ce;i nt er msof s peed and t echnol ogy,MAT S wasbei ng l ef t behi ndandbadl yneededt oent ert hej etage i nameani ngf ul way.

Above-Anear l yC141t ax i espas ta l i neofKC 1967,j us tt woyear si nt ot heS t ar l i f t er ' scar eer .T h bat ch ofdel i ver i est hatwas n' tconver t ed t o NC s er ved asa t r ans por tf ori t sent i r e car eer ,bei ng s t andar d,bef or ebei ngdes t r oyedi nagr oundr ef wi t ht heT ennes s eeANG

Bel ow -S een l andi ng atF r ankf ur ti n 1970,t hi s conver t ed t oa C141Band l as ts er ved wi t ht he s cr appedbyOct2004 ( bot hi magesL i nds ayPe


C97satRhei nMai nAi rBas e( F r ankf ur tAi r por t )i n T hi sai r cr af t( 612778)wast heonl yoneoft hef i r s t NC141A s t andar d and us ed f ort es tpur pos es .I t ng pr ogr es s i vel yupdat ed t o C141Band C141C ef uel l i ngi nci dentatMemphi si n2001,whi l s ts er vi ng

i sC141A oft he 437t h MAW ( 640618)wasl at er e62nd AW atMcChor d AF B.Ret i r ed i nApr2001, eacock)

T hef i r s tpur ej et st obedel i ver edt oMAT Swer ea bat chof48Boei ngC135S t r at ol i f t er s .T heC135 wasdevel oped f r om t he Boei ng 36780,whi ch was al s o t he bas i sf or t he s i mi l ar ( but not i dent i cal )Boei ng 707 j etai r l i ner .I ni t i alai r cr af t wer e del i ver ed i n 1957,and t he S t r at ol i f t er pr ovi ded a us ef ulcapabi l i t y,buti twasver y muchani nt er i m meas ur e,asi tcoul d notcar r y s omeoft hel ar geri t emsofcar go,s uchast hos e r equi r edbyt heUSAr my. Af t eri ni t i al l y encount er i ng s ome bur eaucr at i c r es i s t ance,MAT S commander s wer e abl et o convi ncet heAi rF or ceoft heneed t oi nves ti n t he t r ans por tf l eet ,and i ns pr i ng 1960,S peci f i c Oper at i onal Requi r ement182wasr el eas ed.T hi s det ai l ed a need f ora new ai r l i f t ercapabl e of per f or mi ng s t r at egi c and t act i calmi s s i ons .T he s t r at egi c mi s s i on r equi r ed t he new ai r cr af tt o car r y60, 000l bs( 27, 000kg)ofpayl oad overa r ange of3, 500 nm.T act i caloper at i onswoul d r equi r e aer i al del i ver y of equi pment and par at r ooper s . Des i gns wer e r eques t ed and s ubmi s s i ons r ecei ved f r om L ockheed,Gener alDynami cs and Boei ng.L ockheed' spr opos al ,whi ch was t er med t he Model 300, f eat ur ed a hi gh, s houl der mount ed wi ng and r eardoor s ,gi vi ng acces st oas paci ousf r ei ghtcompar t ment .I t waspower ed by f ourPr at tand Whi t ney T F 33 engi nes ,mount edi npodsundert hewi ngs . I nMar ch1961,Pr es i dentJ ohnF .Kennedy' sf i r s t of f i ci al act af t er hi si naugur at i on was t o announce t he s el ect i on of t he L ockheed pr oductf ordevel opmentast heC141.Ani ni t i al or derwasf orf i veai r cr af t ,wi t havi ew t oof f er i ng t henew ai r cr af tont ot heci vi l i anmar ket ,aswel l ast of ul f i l t heUS AFr equi r ement . Devel opmentwasr api d,es peci al l ybyt oday' s s t andar ds ,wi t ht hef i r s tai r cr af tbei ngr ol l ed out i nAugus t1963andf l yi ngf ort hef i r s tt i meon17 Decemberoft hes ameyear .T hei ni t i alai r cr af t wentt o Edwar dsAF Bf ort es t i ng t he f ol l owi ng year ,andi nOct ober1964t heC141t r ai ni nguni t at T i nkerAF B,OK,r ecei ved i t sf i r s t ai r cr af t , 638078,named' S pi r i tofOkl ahomaCi t y' .


T hef i r s tC141t obedel i ver ed t oanoper a chr i s t ened' T heGol denBear ' .I twasl at eras andt he60t hAMW.Onr et i r ementi twasr e dur i ng2009 ( PaulDunn)

Gol denBear r F i r s tdel i ver yt oanoper at i onaluni tcameon23 Apr i l1965,whenai r cr af ts er i al638088( dubbed ' Gol den Bear ' )wasdel i ver ed t ot he 44t h Ai r T r ans por tS quadr on oft he 1501s tAi rT r ans por t Wi ng at T r avi s AF B, Cal i f or ni a. Wi t h US i nvol vementi nt heVi et nam Wares cal at i ng,t he new ai r cr af ts oonbeganf l yi ngt r ans por tmi s s i ons t oS out hEas tAs i a,ar ol ewhi cht heS t ar l i f t erwas t oper f or m wi t hdi s t i nct i onf ort her emai nderof t heconf l i ct .

Vi et nam War ByAugus t1965,C141shad beendel i ver ed t o Char l es t on AF B and Dover AF B, wi t h ever i ncr eas i ng number sent er i ng s er vi ce.T owar ds t he end oft he year ,a numberofC141st ook par ti n Oper at i on Bl ue L i ght ,t he ai r l i f toft he Ar my' s3r d Br i gade,25t hI nf ant r yDi vi s i on,f r om Honol ul u, Hawai i ,t o Pl ei ku, S out h Vi et nam. Al ongs i de C133 Car gomas t er s( pl us s ome C124sandC130s ) ,t heS t ar l i f t er smovednear l y 3, 000menand near l y5, 000t onsofcar go i nt o t hecombatz one. I nt er es t i ngl y,bot ht heC133sandC124smade t wos t opsenr out et oVi et nam,s ot hatf uel coul d beupl i f t ed t ocutdownont ur nar ound t i mesi n t hecombatz one;t ypi cal l yt heai r cr af twer eon t he gr ound atPl ei ku f oronl y 25 mi nut esand engi nesr emai ned r unni ng t hr oughout .T he bi g di f f er encewasi nt hef l i ghtt i mes .I ncl udi ng t he i nt er medi at es t opover s ,t he t ur bopr op C133 made t he t r i pi n 30 hour s ,t he C141 r equi r ed onl y18. Att he end of1965,an i mpr es s i ve t ot alof65 C141shad been del i ver ed t o MAT S .Wi t ht he dawni ngof1966,MAT Si t s el fceas edt oex i s t ,as t heUSNavyel ect edt owi t hdr aw i t ss uppor tf or t he s er vi ce.I ni t spl ace,came Mi l i t ar y Ai r l i f t Command ( MAC) ,whi ch as s umed t he cont r ol of t he US AF ' st r ans por t as s et s ,i ncl udi ng, of cour s e,t heC141f l eet .

T ypi caloft he ear l yC141si ns er vi ce,6502 s een l andi ng atRAFMi l denhal li n 1969,w met al col our scar r i edbyt heS t ar l i f t erf l eetu wasl at ers t r et ched t obecomea C141Ba t he97t hAMW atAl t usAF B.I twasr et i r edt o br okenupi nOct ober2005 ( L i nds ayPeaco


r at i onaluni twas638088,whi chwasas s i gned t ot he1501s tAi rT r ans por tWi ngatT r avi sAF B,CA and s s i gnedt ot her edes i gnat ed60t hMAW,andaf t ers er vi cewi t hot heruni t sf i ni s hedi t scar eerwi t hAMC r es t or edt oi t sear l i ergr ey/ whi t ecol ours chemeandpl acedondi s pl ayatT r avi sAF B,wher ei ti ss een

0220oft he 437t hMAW i s wear i ng t he or i gi nalbar e upondel i ver y.T hi sai r cr af t and f i ni s hed i t sdayswi t h oAMARC i nJ ul y2001and ock)

T he nat ur almet als cheme gave way t ot he f ami l i argr ey/ whi t e col our sofMi l i t ar yAi r l i f tCommand,t ypi f i ed byt hi sC141A s eenat Mi l denhal li n 1980;wi t ht he C141B conver s i on pr ogr amme wel l under waybyt hatt i me,unmodi f i edj et swer ebecomi ngs omewhat r ar e.Al s oas s i gnedt ot he437t hMAW,660167wasl at erconver t ed t o a C141Band s ubs equent l yupgr aded t o C141C s t andar d,l as t s er vi ng wi t ht he 452nd AW atMar chARB.I tmade i t sf i nalf l i ghti n Oct ober2003 and wasbr oken up atAMARG i nJ anuar y 2010 ( PaulF i l mer )


T he' not or i ous ' 640612!T hi sai r cr af twass uchacommonvi s i t ort oRAFMi l denhal l i n atF r ankf ur ti n1970,i twasl at ermodi f i edt oC141Bs t andar dandmadei t sl as tf l i gh

Mi l i t ar yAi r l i f tCommand

Of f ens i ve;t hi shel ped t of r ee up s ome oft he C130s f orai r dr ops and del i ver yt of or war d T he es t abl i s hmentofMAC came att he hei ght l ocat i ons . ofUS i nvol vementi nt he Vi et nam War ,and C141s( j oi ned i n1970byt hei rl ar gers i bl i ng t he Not abl y,dur i ngt heconf l i ctC141cr ewswor ked C5Gal ax y)bor emuchoft heai rt r ans por tl oad. har di ndevel opi ngt heconceptofaer omedi cal T hef l eetmai nl yoper at ed i nt hes t r at egi cai r l i f t evacuat i on.I nt hi sr ol e,t heS t ar l i f t erbecamean r ol e,br i ngi ng i n hi gh val ue car go f r om t he US ai r bor ne ambul ance,abl et o car r ys er i ous l y i nt ooneofs ever all ar geai r por t si nt het heat r e, i nj ur ed pat i ent sf r om Vi et nam t o hos pi t al si n f r om wher ei tcoul d be di s t r i but ed byt act i cal J apan,t he Phi l i ppi nesand t he US ,i mpr ovi ng t r ans por t ss uch as t he C130. However , on t hei rchances ofs ur vi valand al s or el eas i ng occas i on,C141sal s of l ew s ome i nt r at heat r e hos pi t alcapaci t y wi t hi nt he combatz one t o mi s s i ons ,s uch as dur i ng t he 1972 Eas t er deal wi t hf ur t hercas ual t i es .


i nt he1970s ,t hati tgai nedas omet hi ngofar eput at i onamongs tagr oupofl ocal ent hus i as t s .S eenher e htt oDavi s Mont hanAF Bi nF ebr uar y2000 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

Ant ar ct i cMi s s i on Whi l s tt hef ocusofmos toft heUSmi l i t ar yatt he t i me wasVi et nam,t he C141f l eetwasabl et o chal kup a not abl ef i r s ton 14November1966 whenCaptHowar dGeddesandhi scr ew f r om t he86t hMi l i t ar yAi r l i f tS quadr on( MAS )atT r avi s AF B, l anded t hei rS t ar l i f t er on t he i ce at McMur do S ound,Ant ar ct i ca.T hi swast he f i r s t t i me a j etai r cr af thad l anded i nt he Ant ar ct i c and wast he s t ar tofa l ong as s oci at i on wi t h Oper at i on Deep F r eez e, t he US Ant ar ct i c r es ear chpr ogr am.

Oper at i on Deep F r eez e cont i nued unt i ls hor t l y pr i ort ot heS t ar l i f t er ’ sr et i r ementi n2006 ( U. S.Ai r F or cephot obyMas t erSgt .Ki m M.Al l ai n)


Above -By 1970,C141Aswer e becomi ng a common s i ghti n Eur ope. Rhei nMai nwasapopul ardes t i nat i onf orMAC t r ans por tai r cr af t ,s uppor t i ng USf or cesdepl oyedt oGer many.T hi sai r cr af t( 640625)wasl at erconver t ed t o C141B s t andar d,butwasa f ai r l y ear l y wi t hdr awal ,bei ng r et i r ed t o AMARC i n1997af t ers uf f er i ngamai nl andi nggearcr ack.I twasevent ual l y br okenupi n2004 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

Whenpr oduct i onendedi n1968,at ot al of285C141shadbeenbui l t .Al l butoneoft hes ewasdel i ver edt ot heUS AF ;t hes ol eex cept i onwast he 110t hai r cr af tbui l t ,whi chwasr et ai nedbyL ockheedasademons t r at i on ai r cr af t ,f ori nt ended ci vi l i an us e.F r om t he out s et ,L ockheed had des i gned t heai r cr af tt obeabl et obecer t i f i ed f orci vi loper at i onsand of f er ed i tt os ever alcar go compani es .T he demons t r at i on ai r cr af t ex t ens i vel yt our ed t heUSand t r avel l ed f ur t heraf i el dt oEur ope,Af r i ca, As i aandAus t r al as i a,buti nt heend,noor der swer ef or t hcomi ngandt he ai r cr af twass t ood downand s t or ed f ors ever alyear s ,awai t i ng a new oper at or . T hes i gni ngoft hePar i sPeaceAccor dsi n1973br oughtaboutaceas ef i r e i nt he Vi et nam War .Aspar toft he negot i at i ons ,an agr eementwas r eached f ort he r et ur n ofAmer i can pr i s oner sofwar ,who had been capt ur edbyt heNor t hVi et names e.T hes epr i s oner swer er epat r i at edt o t heUSaspar tofOper at i onHomecomi ng,andt heC141wast hepr i mar y ai r cr af tus edt opi ckt hemenupf r om Hanoi ,i nNor t hVi et nam. T hef i r s tr epat r i at i onmi s s i onwasf l ownon12F ebr uar y1973,andi nvol ved t hr eeC141AsandaC9A.T heai r cr af tl andedatGi aL am Ai r por tnear Hanoi ,t opi ckupt hei ni t i al gr oupoff or merPoWs .T hef i r s tC141t oar r i ve was660177,whi chl at erbecameknownasHanoiT ax ii nr ecogni t i onof i t shi s t or i cmi s s i on. Eachai r cr af tcar r i ed40POWsont hej our neyt oCl ar kAF B,t hef i r s ts t opon t hei rr et ur nt ot heUS .Manyoft hes epr i s oner shads pents i xt oei ghtyear s i ncapt i vi t y,and t her ewer ej ubi l ants cenesamongs tt hes emenast he ai r cr af tgotai r bor ne,t aki ngt hem ont hef i r s tl egoft hei rj our neyhome.

Above - T hi s ( 667948) was Mi l denhal li n198 wi t ht he437t hM AF B. T he Bmo pr ogr amme w bet ween 1977a t he t i me t hi sph t he ent i r et r ans been conver t e wasr et i r ed i nM l at t er l ys er vedw atMcChor dAF B


s s mar t C141B s a vi s i t or t o 983,whi l s ts er vi ng MAW atMcGui r e odel s t r et chi ng was conduct ed and 1982,s o by hot o wast aken, ns por tf l eet had t ed. T hi s ai r cr af t May2002,havi ng wi t ht he62ndAW F B( PaulF i l mer )

Overt he nex tcoupl e ofmont hs ,a t ot alof17C141mi s s i onswer ef l own, br i ngi ng backa t ot alof567pr i s oner s .T he r epat r i at i onmi s s i onwasa huge s t or yi nt heUS ,andt heS t ar l i f t erwi l l bef or everas s oci at edwi t ht hes emi s s i ons t oNor t hVi et nam. Dur i ng t he ai r l i f tt o and f r om Vi et nam,i tbecame appar entt hatt he C141 wasan ex cel l entai r cr af t ,buthad one dr awback.When f ul l yl oaded, es peci al l ywi t hbul kycar go,i twasf ound t hatt he ai r cr af twoul dr unoutof s pacef orcar gobef or ei twoul dr unoutofper f or mance.I not herwor ds ,t he ai r cr af twascapabl eofcar r yi ngagr eat erwei ghtofcar got hant hephys i cal di mens i onsofi t scar gohol dwoul dal l ow.

T heC141B I nor dert ocor r ectt hi s ,andal l ow t heai r cr af tt obeus edt oi t sf ul l pot ent i al ,a f us el ages t r et chwaspr opos ed.T hi si nvol vedt hei ns er t i onoft wo' pl ugs ' ,f or e and af toft he wi ng,r es ul t i ng i nani ncr eas ei nl engt hof23'4"( 7. 11m) .T he modi f i ed ai r cr af twasdes i gnat ed C141B,and t he vas tmaj or i t y oft he s ur vi vi ngMAC f l eet( at ot alof270ai r cr af t )wer et husmodi f i ed.T heBmodel wasal s of i t t edwi t har ecept acl ef ori nf l i ghtr ef uel l i ng. T heconver s i onpr oces s t ookpl acebet ween1977and1982,andt hei ncr eas edcapaci t yoft hef l eet hasof t enbeencompar edt obuyi ngat ot al of90new ai r cr af t !


T heNC141A

T hef i r s tS t ar l i f t er . . . 1997,t owar dst he r es ear chi ngnew i twasr et i r ed i nF CommandMus eu

T he s mal lnumberofai r cr af twhi ch di d notr ecei ve t he f us el age s t r et ch t ended t o be as s i gned t ot es tr ol es , wher et he ex t r a capaci t y was notr equi r ed.S ever al NC141Aswer eas s i gnedt oAi rF or ceS ys t emsCommand f oravar i et yoft es tpr ogr ammes ,i ncl udi ngt es t sofr adar s ys t ems ,war ni ngr ecei ver sandgener al avi oni cswor k. I n addi t i on,t he f or merL 300 demons t r at orr et ai ned i t s or i gi nalpr opor t i ons ,havi ngf oundanew r ol ewi t hNAS A. I n 1972,L ockheed pas s ed t he ai r cr af tt ot he agency, whi chneededaj ett r ans por tai r cr af ti nwhi cht oi ns t al la l ar ge t el es cope.T he ai r cr af twasmodi f i ed dur i ng 1973, andent er eds er vi cet hef ol l owi ngyear ,becomi ngknown ast heKui perAi r bor neObs er vat or y( KAO) . T heKAO s er vedNAS Af orover20year s ,unt i l bei ngr et i r ed i n1995.Abl et of l yabovemuchoft hewat ervapouri n t heat mos pher e,i twasus ed i nmanyr es ear chpr oj ect s , and made s ever aldi s cover i esi n ourgal ax y,aswel las s t udyi ng i nf r ar ed emi s s i onsf r om deepers pace.I twas bas ed atNAS A' sAmesRes ear chCent eratNASMof f et t F i el d,wher et heai r cr af ti snow pr es er ved.Asof2007,i t s wor k has been cont i nued by S OF I A ( S t r at os pher i c Obs er vat or yF orI nf r ar edAs t r onomy) ,amodi f i ed747S P.

Ri ght-NC141A ai r cr af tbui l tas demons t r at or-i s i t st r ans f ert o NA s er vi ce as t he Obs er vat or y( NA

L ef t- NC141A s econd S t ar l i f t er s penti t sent i r ec f l eet .I t sl as tas s t he t es t i ng of a cont r ol s ys t em,an Edwar dsAF B wi t T es tS quadr on. ni cknamed ' Des e r ar evi s i t ort oRAF F et e 98.T he ai r s May1998;byAug ai r cr af t had b AMARC, and i t dur i ngF ebr uar y2


r . . .NC141A612775s pentt hewhol eofi t scar eerast es tai r f r ameandi ss eenher eatEdwar dsAF Bi nApr i l t he end ofi t scar eer .One ofi t sf i nalr ol esi nvol ved t owi ng an F 106,aspar tofa NAS A pr ogr amme waysofl aunchi ngas pacecr af t .Oneofonl yf ourUS AFai r cr af tt onotbes t r et chedt oC141Bs t andar d, F ebr uar y1998and made i t sf i nalf l i ghtt o DoverAF B,wher ei ti snow pr es er ved att he Ai rMobi l i t y eum ( T om Gi bbons )

A NAS A 716 -t he st he ci vi l i an L 300 i ss eeni nf l i ghtaf t er AS A wher ei ts aw e Kui per Ai r bor ne ASA)

612776 was t he rt o be bui l t ,and car eeri nt he t es t s s i gnmenti nvol ved an el ect r i c f l i ght andi twasbas edat i t ht he 418t hF l i ght .T he ai r cr af t was s er tRat 'and wasa AFMi l denhal lf orAi r i r s how washel di n ugus tt hatyeart he been r et i r ed t o i t was s cr apped 2004 ( PaulDunn)


. . . andt hel as t .S eenar r i vi ngatRAFF ai r f or df orI AT87,670166wast hef i nal C141del i ver edt ot heUS A t oCI NCMAC f ormuchofi t scar eer ,i twasal waysver ywel l t ur nedoutandi ndeedaf ai r l yl ow t i meai r f r r et ai ned t he ol dergr ey/ whi t es cheme l ong af t ert he maj or i t y oft he f l eetadopt ed camouf l ag i nt r oduct i onoft heC17,i tl os ti t sVI Pr ol eandbecamear egul art r ans por tai r cr af t ,s eei ngouti t scar e 445t hAW atWr i ght Pat t er s onAF B.I twasoneoft hef i nal ai r cr af ti ns er vi ce,andi nf actmadet hef i na f l i ght ,wheni twasf l ownt oS cot tAF B,I L ,f orpr es er vat i onon7Apr i l 2006 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

' T r i pl eDeuce' ( 650222)oft he437t hMAW i ss eenon di s pl ayatRAFMi l denhal ldur i ng Ai rF et e' 82.L at er conver t edt oC141C s t andar d,t heai r cr af tl as ts aw s er vi cewi t ht he164t hAW,T ennes s eeANG,maki ng i t sf i nalf l i ghti nJ anuar y2003,bef or e bei ng br oken up at Davi s Mont han AF B i n December 2009 ( PaulF i l mer )

Chr i s t ened ' Ci t yofChar l es t on' ,640624w C141as s i gned t ot he437t hMAW.I nJ u ai r cr af tcr as hedont akeof ff r om NASS i g af t eranuncont ai nedf ai l ur eofengi ne#3 debr i sent er i ng t he car go hol d and s t a Ei ghtcr ew member sandonepas s enge ( PaulF i l mer )


S AF .As s i gned r f r ame,whi ch ge.Wi t ht he r eerwi t ht he al C141' l i ne'

4wast hef i r s t J ul y1984,t he i gonel l a,I t al y #3r es ul t edi n t ar t i ng a f i r e. erwer eki l l ed

670021 wast he onl y C141 t or ecei ve t hi st wot one gr ey col ours cheme.I t appear st o have been a t r i al ,wi t ht he mor ef ami l i arEur opean One s cheme adopt ed f ort he f l eets hor t l yaf t er war ds .T hi sai r cr af twasl at erconver t ed t oa C141Bands ubs equent l yaC141C,s er vi ngwi t ht he164t hAW,T ennes s eeANG.I t wasr et i r edi nApr2004andbr okenupi n2010 ( L i nds ayPeacockCol l ect i on)


T heEur opeanOnecamouf l ageadopt edi nt hemi d1980swasequal l yef f ect i veov t akennearPopeAF Bi nJ une1990 ( L i nds ayPeacock)


overt hegr eener yofNor t hCar ol i na,ass eeni nt hi si mage T hr oughout t he 1980s , MAC' s C141Bs wer e a r egul ar s i ght i n Eur ope and es peci al l yi nt he UK, wher eRAFMi l denhal l wasar egul ar des t i nat i ont hr oughoutt heai r cr af t ' s car eer ;f ormanyyear sone oft he eat i ngf aci l i t i eswi t hi nt hebas ewas known ast he S t ar l i f t erBur gerBar ! Wi t hr enewedf ocusonaEur opean conf r ont at i onwi t ht he US S R,MAC' s t r ans por tf l eetbegan t or ecei ve a t oned down camouf l age s cheme known as ' Eur opean One' , t o r epl ace t he pr evi ous gr ey/ whi t e s cheme. Dur i ng t he 1980s ,t he C141 f l eet al s o s uppor t ed US mi l i t ar y oper at i ons t hr oughout t he wor l d, not abl y i n Gr enada ( Oper at i on Ur gentF ur y)and al s oi nL ebanon. Cr ewsal s o del i ver ed humani t ar i an ai d wor l dwi de and as s i s t ed i n di s as t err el i efef f or t s .One s l i ght l y unor t hodoxmi s s i onwasdes i gnat ed Oper at i onS out her nHayl i f t ;i n1986, C141sand C130sdel i ver ed over 500t onsofdonat edhayt of ar msi n t he s out h eas t er n US whi ch wer e s uf f er i ng f r om dr oughtcondi t i ons . T he ai r l i f t s aved t he l i ves of t hous andsofcat t l eandal s ohel ped t o pr ot ect t he l i vel i hood of t he f ar mer s . T he l at e 1980s s aw a t haw i n r el at i onsbet weenEas tandWes t ,as t he Col d Warbegan t o dr aw t oa cl os e.I twass omet hi ngofas ur pr i s e t her ef or et hatMAC woul ds uddenl y be cal l ed upon t o per f or m t he mi s s i on whi ch i thad r ehear s ed f or t he l as tcoupl e ofdecades :t he r api d depl oyment of l ar ge quant i t i esoft r oopsandequi pment t oa f r i endl y nat i on over s eas ,i n or dert ocount eraggr es s i onf r om a bel l i ger ent nei ghbour . However , i ns t ead of t he ant i ci pat ed des t i nat i onbei ngEur ope,i twast he much l es sf ami l i ars ur r oundi ngsof t heMi ddl eEas t .


ManyEur opeanOneC141swer edevoi dofuni tmar AF Bi nJ une1990 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

Gul fWar1 On 2Augus t1990,I r aqif or cescr os s ed t he bor der i nt o Kuwai t , qui ckl y over r unni ng t he s mal l er count r y and gai ni ngcont r ol .Wi t hKuwai tconquer ed, t he I r aqiAr my mas s ed on t he bor der wi t h S audi Ar abi a, t hr eat eni ng t o cont i nue i t s mar ch and capt ur et he S audioi lf i el ds ,whi chwoul dbr i ngmuch of t he wor l d' s oi ls uppl y under I r aqi cont r ol .F ol l owi ngar eques tf orhel pf r om Ki ngF ahdofS audi Ar abi a,t heUSqui ckl y di s pat ched ai r ,l and and s ea f or cest o def end t he Ki ngdom f r om I r aqi aggr es s i on. T he mul t i nat i onal mi s s i on was t er med Oper at i on Des er tS hi el d, andt heC141woul donceagai nbet he wor khor s eoft hecampai gn. Dur i ng Des er tS hi el d,and t he combat oper at i ons whi ch f ol l owed ( Des er t S t or m) ,t he C141 f l eetf l ew over8, 500 mi s s i ons , car r yi ng a wi de var i et y of car goand pas s enger si nt obas esi nt he Mi ddl e Eas t .Al t hough t he C130 f l eet was mor e numer ous , and t he C5 Gal ax yabl et ocar r yagr eat erl oad,t he cont r i but i on of t he S t ar l i f t er t o t he s ucces s f ulout come oft he oper at i on wasvi t al . I ns omeways ,Des er tS t or m del ayedt he pos t Col d War r eor gani s at i on of t he US AF ,butoncei thadconcl uded,t her e wer es ome bi g changesaf oot .I n1992, T AC,S AC andMAC wer edi s es t abl i s hed and r epl aced by Ai r Combat Command ( ACC) and Ai r Mobi l i t y Command ( AMC) .T he l at t eri nher i t ed MAC' st r ans por tf l eet ,and al s os omeof t he f or mer S AC t anker s ;l ogi cal l y,mos t oft he C141f l eetbecame as s i gned t o AMC, al t hough i ncr eas i ng number s wer e al s o al l ocat ed t ot he Ai rNat i onal Guar d( ANG) and Ai rF or ce Res er ve ( AF RESunt i l 1997,t henAi rF or ceRes er ve Command,AF RC) .

C141swer er egul ar l yt obes eenatRAFMi l denhal l ' sa wast o be s een atAi rF et e 97;byt he f ol l owi ng y oper at i ons )s t andar d.I tl at ermoved t ot he305t hA 2002.S cr appedi nOct ober2005 ( J ohnHi ggi ns )


ar ki ngs ,s uchast hi sai r cr af t ,s eendepar t i ngPope

' sannual Ai rF et e.T hi sai r cr af t( 659401,437t hAW) yeari thad been modi f i ed t oS OL LI I( s peci al AMW atMcGui r e,whi chr et i r ed i t sS OL LI Ij et si n

Above - A t ypi cals cene i nt he ear l y1990sat RAFMi l denhal l ,f eat ur i ngaC141Bi nt her at her dr ab ' Eur opean One'col our s ,onl yr el i eved by t hegr eent ai l bandoft he62ndAW atMcChor d AF B,WA ( PaulDunn)

Above - A C141B f r om t he 305t h AMW at McGui r e AF B vacat es t he r unway at RAF Mi l denhal ldur i ng Oper at i on Al l i ed F or ce,t he NAT Oi nt er vent i on i n Kos ovo.T hi sai r cr af ts aw outi t scar eerwi t ht he305t hAMW andwasone oft hel as tai r cr af ti ns er vi cewi t ht heact i vedut y US AF ,bef or e bei ng r et i r ed i nS ept ember2004 and br oken up at AMARG i n May 2009 ( PaulDunn)

Above-T hi sC141Bwasas s i gned t ot he172nd AW,Mi s s i s s i ppiANG,and s eenatMi l denhal li n 1995.I tl at erbecameaC141C ands aw outi t s dayswi t ht hes ameuni t ,bef or ebei ngr et i r edi n December2002.I tr emai ned i ns t or age f ort he nex ts even year s bef or e bei ng br oken up ( J ohnHi ggi ns )


S eenl andi ngatR t he459t hAW,bas 2003.I tl i nger edi n

T hi sC141C car r i est hemar ki ngsoft he164t hAW,T ennes s eeANG,andi s s eendepar t i ng depar t i ng RAFF ai r f or d af t erRI AT1998.T he ai r cr af twas r et i r edt oAMARC dur i ng2003ands cr appedi nApr i l 2009 ( PaulDunn)

Byt hemi d1990s ,t heai r cr af twhi chhadbeendevel opedt or epl acet he C141wasbegi nni ng t o become avai l abl et of r ont l i ne s quadr ons ;t he C17Gl obemas t erI I Ipr ovedi t s el fawor t hys ucces s ort ot heS t ar l i f t erand abl et ocar r youtawi dervar i et yoft act i cal mi s s i ons ,i ncl udi ngl andi ngon unpr epar edai r s t r i ps .T her ewas ,however ,s t i l lapl acef ort heC141,and t he ai r cr af t wer e heavi l y ut i l i s ed dur i ng oper at i ons i n t he f or mer Yugos l avi at hr oughoutt he1990s . Dur i ng t hi sper i od,t wo f ur t hermodi f i cat i onswer emadet os omeoft he f l eet .A s mal lnumberofC141Bsr ecei ved t he S peci alOper at i onsL ow L evelI I( S OL LI I )updat e,addi ng a ni ghtt i me l owf l yi ng capabi l i t y, enhanced navi gat i on equi pment and i mpr oved def ens i ve count er meas ur es .Modi f i ed ai r cr af tcoul d be i dent i f i ed bya F L I Rt ur r et undert henos e,wi t hcount er meas ur espodsei t hers i de.T heS OL LI I ai r cr af t r emai ned wi t h AMC,and bas ed atChar l es t on AF B,butwor ked i n cooper at i onwi t hAi rF or ceS peci al Oper at i onsCommand( AF S OC) .

T heS OL LI Imodi f i t hePi maAi randS Whent he437t hr e


RAFMi l denhal l i nApr i l 2003,t hi sai r cr af thadonl ymont hsl ef tt ogount i l r et i r ement .S eenwi t hi t sf i nal uni t , as edatAndr ewsAF B,650216wasaC141C,whi chmadei t sf i nal f l i ghtt oDavi s Mont hanAF Bi nOct ober i ns t or ageunt i l F ebr uar y2010,wheni twasf i nal l ys cr apped ( L i nds ayPeacock)

i f i cat i ons( al bei twi t hF L I Rt ur r etr emoved)canbes eenont henos eoft hi sC141Bwhi chi spr es er vedat dS paceMus eum,Ar i z ona.T heS OL LI I ai r cr af twer eor i gi nal l yas s i gnedt ot he437t hAW atChar l es t onAF B. r ecei vedC17s ,t hemodi f i edai r cr af tpas s edt ot he305t hAMW atMcGui r eAF B( Kar lDr age)


T he f i nalupdat e package was t he C141C upgr ade. T hi s was an avi oni cs i mpr ovement whi chof f er ed enhanced navi gat i oncapabi l i t i es and a gl as scockpi t .A t ot alof63ai r cr af twer e modi f i edt ot hi ss t andar dandmos toft hes ewent on t os er ve f ort he r emai nderoft he ai r cr af t ' s car eer . Asmor eC17sr eachedf r ont l i nes quadr ons ,mor e C141swer epas s ed t ot heANG and AF RC,and f ur t herai r cr af twer er et i r ed f ors t or age att he Aer os pace Mai nt enance and Regener at i on Cent er( AMARC)atDavi s Mont hanAF B,AZ .


Mai n -S een get t i ng s mar t l yai r bor ne f r om RAF Mi l denhal l i nApr i l 1999,660158s pentmuchofi t s car eerwi t ht he62ndAW atMcChor dAF B.I tl ef t s er vi ce i nJ anuar y 2002,and was event ual l y br okenupatAMARG i n2010 ( L i nds ayPeacock) L ef t-Des pi t ei t st i r ed appear ance i nt hi sApr i l 2003s hot ,669750( a C141C)wentont os er ve wi t ht he 445t h AW f oranot hert wo year s ,unt i l cl os et ot heendoft her oadf ort heC141f l eet . F i nalf l i ghti nMay2005,br okenup atAMARG i n November2009 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

L ef t-Anot herr at hers habbyl ooki ng C141C,t hi sai r cr af tf r om t he459t hAW at t endedRI AT2002atRAFF ai r f or d,i nt het wi l i ght ofi t scar eer( J ohnHi ggi ns ) F arl ef t-S een depar t i ng RAFF ai r f or d af t erRI AT2004,640620 wasdes t i ned t o be t he l as tC141 t o at t end t he ai r s how.I t became t he l as tC141 t o ar r i ve atAMARC,when i twas del i ver ed t her ef ors t or age and r ecl amat i on on 16J an 2006; s cr appeddur i ngMay2009 ( J ohnHi ggi ns )


T he t er r or i s t at t acks on New Yor k and Was hi ngt on on 11 S ept ember2001 i ni t i at ed a new r oundofcombatoper at i ons ,wi t hUSf or ces l aunchi ng Oper at i on Endur i ng F r eedom ( Af ghani s t an2001t odat e)andOper at i onI r aqi F r eedom ( 20032011) .Al t houghbynow ent er i ng t he f i nalphas e ofi t s car eer ,t he C141 s t i l l pr ovedaus ef ul ai r cr af tands uppor t edUSf or ces i nbot hoper at i ons .I r oni cal l y,gi vent heai r cr af t ' s pr evi ousus ei nr et ur ni ng Amer i can PoWsf r om Vi et nam ast he HanoiT ax i ,i nJ anuar y2002 a C141once agai n made t he newswor l dwi de, del i ver i ng t he f i r s tbat ch ofcapt ur ed ' enemy combat ant s 't o t he det ent i on cent r e at Guant anamoBay. ByS ept ember2004,t he C141had l ef ts er vi ce wi t h act i ve dut y US AF uni t s and was s ol el y conf i nedt oAF RC andt heANG.T wel vemont hs l at er ,onl yoneuni twasl ef tf l yi ngt heai r cr af t ,t he 445t h AW atWr i ghtPat t er s on AF B( AF RC) .T he uni twaskeptver y bus yi ni t sf i nalmont hsof s er vi ce,i ncl udi ngbr i ngi nghumani t ar i anr el i eft o peopl eaf f ect edbyHur r i caneKat r i na. Oneoft hef i nalgr oupofai r cr af ti ns er vi cewas 660177, t he l egendar y Hanoi T ax i .I n t he mi d1990s ,i thad been r ecogni s ed t hatt hi s ai r cr af twasnot abl east hef i r s tC141t ol andi n Nor t hVi et nam t or epat r i at eUSPoWs .F r om t hen on,t heai r cr af twasear mar kedf orpr es er vat i on when i t s car eerwas over ,and t he ai r cr af t car r i ed s ever als peci alt ouches and ar t wor k i nt er nal l yt or ecogni s ei t sher i t age.I n2002i twas r epai nt ed i nt oa' r et r o'col ours cheme ofgr ey and whi t e,t or epr es entt he col our si twor e dur i ngOper at i onHomecomi ng,andt heai r cr af t wor et hi ss chemeunt i l r et i r ement . F i t t i ngl y,on 6May2006,HanoiT ax imade t he f i nal C141f l i ght ,maki ngt hes hor tt r ans i tf r om i t s home bas et ot he r unway at t he Nat i onal Mus eum oft heUS AF ,wher ei tnow s t andsasa monumentt oi t s own accompl i s hment s and t hos e ofal lt he C141f l eetovert he 41year si t s er ved. Mai n -Cockpi tofHanoiT ax i ,i l l us t r at i ng t he di gi t aldi s pl aysf i t t ed t ot he upgr aded C141C ver s i on ( cour t es y ofJ ohn Ros s i no,L ockheed Mar t i nCodeOne)

T heC141" Hanoi T ax i "f i nal f l i ghtcr ew.T heai r t ot he Nat i onalMus eum oft he Uni t ed S t ( U. S.Ai rF or cephot obyJ ef fF i s her )


ai r cr af tmadei t sf i nal f l i ght S t at esAi rF or ce i n 2006

HanoiT ax it ouchesdown att he Nat i onalMus eum oft he Uni t ed S t at es Ai rF or ce on 6 May 2006, t he f i nal C141 l andi ng ( U. S.Ai rF or cephot obyJ ef fF i s her )


Hanoi T ax i wasoneoft hel uckyones ;t hevas tmaj or i t yoft heC141f l eet ended up pas s i ng t o AMARC ( known asAMARG af t erMay2007)f or s t or ageand event ualdi s pos al .S t ar l i f t er shad beenar r i vi ng f ors t or age f ors ome year sbyt hi spoi nt ,and t her e wer e cons i der abl e number sof ai r cr af twhi chhad beenpr epar ed f orl ongt er m des er ts t or age.Ast he f l eetdr ew downhowever ,l at erar r i val sr ecei vedonl ymi ni mal t r eat ment bef or ebei ngpar kedi nt hedes er t .

Above & l ef t-T s t or age atAMAR r et i r edai r cr af thad and wer e not d mi ni mal pr es er va ar r i valatDavi s M s ome ai r cr af tl i ng whi l e,t he maj or i t andr emovedby2

T opl ef t-HanoiT a wi t hi t sf i nalr es t i n Mus eum oft he U ( U. S.Ai rF or cepho


T wo vi ewsofC141si n RG dur i ng 2008.Ast he adr unoutofai r f r amel i f e des t i ned t o f l y agai n, vat i on was appl i ed on Mont han AF B.Al t hough i nger ed i ns t or age f ora r i t yhad been br oken up y2010 ( Kar lDr age)

T ax ir ol l soutaf t erl andi ng, s t i ng pl ace,t he Nat i onal US AF ,i nt he backgr ound hot obyJ ef fF i s her )

As mal l numberofC141spas s edt omus eum col l ect i ons ,butt hebul kof t he f l eetwasr api dl y' pr oces s ed'and s cr apped.I n or dert o br eakup s uch a l ar ge ai r cr af t ,cont r act or s us ed t he s ame cr ane mount ed ' gui l l ot i ne'mos tf amous l yus ed t odi s memberB52si naccor dancewi t h t heS T ARTt r eat y. T oday,onl yas mal l numberofC141sar el ef ti nonepi ece.Happi l ymos t oft hes ear ewel l car edf ori nmus eumsar oundt heUS ,wi t hmanyf or mer S t ar l i f t erbas eshavi ngai r cr af tondi s pl ay,f i t t i ngf oranai r cr af twhi chwas hel di n hi gh es t eem by t hos e who f l ew i t ,and al s of ort hos e who benef i t t edf r om i t ss peci al i s ts er vi cesovert heyear s .

Wi t ht hankst oMi keNovack,f or merC141pi l otandf ounderoft he excel l entwebs i t e c141heaven. i nf o.T hanksal s ot o Char l es" Pat " Gi l mor e,whos ememor i esoff l yi ngt heC141f ol l ow t hi sar t i cl e.


F l yi ngt heSt ar l

T heC141S t ar l i f t erwasver yhi ghl yr egar dedbyt hos ewhof P." Pat "Gi l mor ef l ew t heai r cr af tf ornear l yt went yyear s , dut yUS AFandAi rF or ceRes er ve,event ual l yamas s i ngal m t ype.Her ehes har ess omememor i esf r om hi scar eer .

U. S.Ai rF or ceph


r l i f t er

f l ew i t .Maj Char l es s ,i nbot ht heact i ve l mos t6, 000hour son

hot obySt af fSgt .J er r yMor r i s on

Iwents t r ai ghtf r om f l yi ngT 38sat UPTt ot hemi ght yC141i n1972. I n gr ound s chool I f ound i t s s ys t ems over l y compl i cat ed ( I l at erl ear ned i nt he ai r l i nest hat EVERY L ockheed ai r cr af t had over l ycompl i cat eds ys t ems )but I" l ear ned good" and pas s ed gr ound s choolwi t hf l yi ng col or s ( puni nt ended)and f i ni s hed t he s i mul at or phas e wi t h no pr obl ems ( Iact ual l yS PUN t he s i mul at ori nf i nal appr oachwhen Iwass i t t i ng i nt hepi l ot ' ss eatf or mypar t ner ' scopi l otcheckr i de becaus e Iwasl ocked ont o hi m wor ki ng an emer gency pr ocedur e and l et t he ai r s peed bl eed down s of art hatwe s t al l ed out . . . I us ed myT 37t r ai ni ng t o det er mi ne whi ch waywe wer e s pi nni ng, ki cked i n oppos i t e r udder and s l ammedt henos eovert ogai nai r s peedandf l yout oft he di ve wi t h hundr edsoff eett os par e on t he r adaral t i met er .T hes i m checkpi l ots ai dIhadt obe t hef i r s tand l as tpi l ott oeverr ecoverf r om a s pi ni n C141t r ai ni ng! Al s o,s i nce Iwas n' tbei ng checked outi nt hel ef ts eatIpas s edt hecheckr i de! ) Myf i r s ti mpr es s i on dur i ng t he f l yi ng phas e atAl t us wast hati twasHUGEand i tf l ew l i ke a beached whal e.I nt heT 38youmadea60ยบbankt ur nandyou wer eonheadi ngwi t hi na f ew s econds .I nt he141 youhadt ol eadyour30ยบmaxbankt ur n,wai taday ort wo,and youevent ual l yr ol l ed outonyournew headi ng.Al s o,t heT 38l andi ngdi dn' tr equi r eaf l ar e. T heC141l andi ngdi d.I t ' sawonderanyoft hemai n geart i r esonAl t us ' sC141ss ur vi vedmyt r ai ni ngt i me t her e.Ihadapr obl em f l ar i ngt heC141f orqui t ea whi l eaf t erIgoti nt ot heai r cr af t . T he ai r cr af twas ver yf or gi vi ng f ora 325, 000 l b. behemot h. I twasver ys t abl e and i fyou kepti t t r i mmed up r i ght you coul d act ual l yf l ya f i nal appr oach t ol andi ng us i ng el evat ort r i m onl y( we had a f l i ght ex ami ner i n t he 14t h MAS who demons t r at ed t hi son ever yl ocalt r ai ni ng f l i ght . . . I us edhi st echni quewheneverIf l ew PARsandgott o t he poi nt wher e Icoul d f l y a near l y hands of f appr oachever yt i me) .


T h p I f


T hecockpi twasdes i gnedf orcr ew i nt er act i onandgoodt eamwor k. . . al lt henavi gat orandengi neer hadt odowast ur ni nt hei rs eat sandt heycoul ds eeever yt hi ngt hepi l ot swer edoi ng.Anyhel pt he pi l ot scoul dgetf r om t hes eval uabl ecr ew member swasappr eci at edwhenwewer ei nt i ghts i t uat i ons . I fyouknew whatt heai r cr af tcoul dandcoul dn' tdoyoucoul ddoj us taboutanyt hi ngwi t hi t .

Oper at i onNew L i f e Oper at i onNew L i f ewast heevacuat i onofar ound100, 000r ef ugeesf r om S out hVi et nam att he endoft heVi et nam War .Mos twer egi venas yl um i nt heUS . T hi sphot owast akenatCl ar kAB,PIj us tbef or ewehoppedaboar dt hi sMcGui r ebas ed141t o f l yours econdmi s s i ont oT anS onNhutAB,S ai gon,S .Vi et nam on27Apr i l 1975dur i ngOper at i on New L i f e.Yes ,wewer eal li s s uedbel t sandhol s t er swi t hr evol ver sf ort hemi s s i on,butwedi dn' t weart hem i nS ai gon.I nt hepi ct ur ewewor et hem and cl owned f ort hecamer a aswewer e ' goi ngt owar ' .

I wasonmys econd" buddyr i de"asanew ai r cr af tcommanderatt het i meandmycopi l ot ,t he f el l ow cl owni ngwi t hhi sf l i ghtcapas kew and hol di ngt heM16r i f l e( whi chhebor r owed f r om oneofouraccompanyi ngS ecur i t yPol i ceguar dsf ort hephot o) ,wasact ual l yanot herai r cr af t commander ,Capt .J ohnMcAl eer ,whof l ew asmycopi l otont het r i p. I gues sal l wentwel l ,becaus ewes ur vi vedt womi s s i onsi nt oS ai gonandevacuat ed588peopl e ( of f i ci al l y. . . unof f i ci al l y,i twaspr obabl ywel l over600)outofS out hVi et nam t oGuam.


As mar tC141A f r om t he63r dMAW atN MAW att het i met hi sphot owast aken.T h i nDecember1997.S cr appedatDavi s Mo One par t i cul ari ns t ance waswhen we wer e appr oachi ng Cl ar k AB, Phi l i ppi nes f r om t he s out h,comi ngf r om abas ei nT hai l and,andwe l os t cont act wi t h Mani l a Cont r ol . As we appr oached 200mi l esoutf r om Cl ar kAB and wes t i l lcoul dn' tcont actMani l af orourenr out e des cent , wecont act edCl ar kAppr oachCont r ol and t ol d t hem we needed t o des cend i mmedi at el youtofoural t i t udeof37, 000f eeti f we wer e goi ng t o be abl et ol and atCl ar k. Us i ng Cl ar kAppr oach asan i nt er medi ar y,we f i nal l yr ecei vedourdes centcl ear ancel es st han 100 mi l es s out h ofCl ar k( at37, 000 f eetwe neededt obegi nourdes centatl eas t125mi l es outf ora nor mals t r ai ght i n appr oach)and I i mmedi at el y chopped t he powert o al lf our engi nes( ex ceptt o keep number s2and 3at 1, 500 pph f uelf l ow f orai r cr af tpr es s ur i z at i on) and popped t he s peed br akes f ul lout t o i ncr eas e ourdes centr at e( we wer es howi ng mor et han6, 000f pm i nourdes cent ) ,andwhen wer eached 20, 000f eet ,t hemax i mum al t i t ude f orf l apdepl oyment ,Is l owedt o200knot s( max f l ap and l andi ng gearex t ens i on s peed)and s el ect ed f l apsappr oachand geardown,t hen s l owed t o 185knot s( maxf l apsl andi ng s peed) and l ower ed t he f l aps al lt he way. We des cended at 185 knot si n a f ul ll andi ng conf i gur at i on f r om 20, 000 f eett oas t r ai ght i n l andi ngonRunway04atCl ar kandIs t i l lhadt o add power t o t he engi nes j us t bef or e we cr os s ed t her unwayt hr es hol d!T HAT ' swhatyou coul d do wi t ht he C141i fyouknew herl i mi t s , bl es sherhear t ! T he C141wasa s t r ong and agi l e ai r pl ane. I t wasbui l tl i ke a t ankand coul dt ake a l otof puni s hment . L ook out t he s i de wi ndows i n t ur bul ence and you woul d s ee t he wi ngs f l appi ng l i ke a bi r d' s . . . t hos e wi ngs wer e des i gnedt of l exandovert he' L i f t er ' s40year sof s er vi ce t heyf l ex ed a l otand onl yf ai l ed once ( t heMcGui r eRes er veai r cr af tl os ti nt heex t r eme t hunder s t or m overEngl and) .T he ai r cr af twas al s oover power ed f ors uchahugeai r cr af twi t h a bet t ert han1: 4powert owei ghtr at i o( 80, 000 l b.combi ned t hr us tf r om i t sf ourengi nes t o poweri t s325, 000l b.maxt akeof fwei ght ) ,whi ch wasunhear d off ora t r ans por tai r cr af tatt he t i mei twasdes i gned.

Wi t hl i ghtl oads and r el at i vel yl i ghtt ake o wei ght syou coul d act ual l yt empor ar i l yz oo cl i mb i tat10, 000 f pm t hr ough 10, 000 f eet , maneuverI accompl i s hedanumberoft i meso S peci alWeaponsmi s s i onswhenweneeded cl i mb hi gh ver yqui ckl yt o avoi d mount ai no t er r ai nors ur r oundi ngconf l i ct i ngt r af f i c.

Onceyoul ear nedt heai r cr af t ' sf l yi ngenvel op you coul d do t hi ngswi t hi tt hatyou wer e s uppos edt odoi nas wept wi ngai r cr af t . . . l i kes i ti fyou wer et oo hi gh ort oo f as ton f i n appr oach. F orabouta yeari nt he l at e 1970 El mendor fAF B,AK' smai nRunway05wasbei n r es ur f acedandwehadt of l yi t sl engt hat1, 0


Nor t onAF Bondi s pl ayatRAFMi l denhal li nMay1977.PatGi l mor ewasas s i gnedt ot he14t hMAS ,63r d hi sai r cr af tl at erf l ew wi t ht he62ndAW atMcChor dAF Bbef or ebei ngr et i r edf r om s er vi cer el at i vel year l y, Mont hanAF Bi nAug2003 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

of f om t ,a son dt o ous

l ope r en' t s l i p f i nal 70s , ei ng , 000

f eet ,t hen t ur n downwi nd cr os s i ng Runway33 and make a vi s ual appr oach t o Runway 33. . . pr obl em was ,we wer e al s os uppos ed t o avoi dover f l yi ngt heF tRi char ds onBas eHos pi t al , s ot hatmadeourdownwi ndsf orRunway33ver y t i ght .Mor et hanonceIhadt ochoppoweron al lf ourengi nest ol os ehei ghtand ki ckbot t om r udderus i ng oppos i t e ai l er on i nt he 30ยบbank t ur nt o keep me al i gned wi t ht he ex t ended cent er l i ne ofRunway33,and mor et hanonce my copi l ot s comment ed t hat i t was t heor et i cal l yi mpos s i bl et os l i pas wept wi ng ai r cr af tandnots t al loutoft hes ky,butt he141 s l i ppedl i ket het r ooperi twas .

Af uelcr os s f eed i s s ue get sdeal twi t h by t he f l i ghtengi neer s atEnewet ak ( vi aPatGi l mor e)


T ypi cal ofaC141B s er vi ce car eer ,f i n ( J ohnHi ggi ns )

I t sweaknes s eswer ef ew,andi t ' shar dt ot hi nkofone,buti fIHAVEt ot hi nk ofone i twoul d be t hatt he s t r et ched Bmodel ,wi t h an ex t r a 10f eetof f us el agebehi ndt hewi ngs ,hadat endencyt os cr apet het ai li fyouf l ar ed t oohi ghovert her unwayandal l owedt henos et ogett oohi gh.Wecoul d getawaywi t hahi ghf l ar eont hes hor t erAmodel butwel ear nedt of l yt he Bmodel ont ot her unwaywi t hami ni mum off l ar e. Al l myf l yi ngex per i encesi nmynear l y6, 000hour sont heC141wer egood, ex ceptf ort he t wo t i mes( ondi f f er entf l i ght s )t hatIhad t os hutdownan engi nef orei t herl ow oi l pr es s ur eoraf uel f i l t erbypas swar ni ngl i ght ,andt he one t i me Ihad t os hutdown mai n hydr aul i csdue a br oken Bnutwhi ch caus edmi s t i ngi nt hecar gocompar t ment .T heS t ar l i f t erwasaver yr el i abl e ai r pl anewi t hf ew mai nt enancepr obl emsf ors uchal ar gemachi ne.

T heC141f l eett r avel l edwor l dwi deandoper at edi nal l weat hercondi t i ons , i ncl udi ng s uppor t i ng Ant ar ct i cr es ear chwi t hmi s s i onst o McMur do S ound. T hi si mage,however ,or i gi nat esf r om s l i ght l ycl os ert ohome;a s nowyRAF Mi l denhal l( PaulF i l mer )

T op l ef t-T hi sC14 on t he s t r engt ho whenphot ogr aph J une 1979.I n 1987 i nvol ved i na s er i o l andi ng atI waku r es ul t edi ns ever ed wi ng. I t l at er r epl acement wi n C141whi ch was i nci dent at T r avi s bei ng upgr ade s t andar di twento t he end ofS t ar l i f l at t er l ys er ved wi t T ennes s ee ANG, Mar ch 2004 an December2009 ( L


1Bi nt hel at e1980s / ear l y1990s ,650261depar t sRAFMi l denhal l i nMay1992.T hi sai r cr af thadaf ai r l yl ong f i ni s hi ng wi t ht he 445t h AW atWr i ghtPat t er s on AF B.Ret i r ed May 2005,s cr apped December2009

141A ( 670029)was oft he 63r d MAW hedatMi l denhal l i n 87,t hi sai r cr af twas r i ousmi s hap whi l s t uni ,J apan,whi ch damaget oi t sr i ght er r ecei ved a i ng f r om anot her si nvol ved i na t ax i vi s AF B, and af t er ed t o C141C ont of l yal mos tt o r l i f t eroper at i ons .I t i t ht he 164t h AW, , bei ng r et i r ed i n nd s cr apped i n ( L i nds ayPeacock)

S eent ur ni ngont her unwayatRAFCot t es mor edur i ngRI AT2001,660175was s er vi ng wi t ht he 62nd AW.ByJ anuar yt he f ol l owi ng year ,t he ai r cr af thad beenr et i r edt oAMARC,andi twass cr appedi nOct ober2005 ( J ohnHi ggi ns )


T hecr ew ex per i encewasal s ogood,ex ceptf or MAC' s pol i cy ofal l owi ng mul t i pl e nonot i ce checkr i deswhi l e you wer e outf l yi ng i nt he s ys t em.I tgots obadt hat ,ononet endayt r i p ar ound t he Paci f i c,Iencount er ed f ourf l i ght ex ami nerpi l ot sand r ecei ved f ournonot i ce checkr i desi nf ourdays ! On a ni nehourl eg youcoul dex pectni nehour sofobs er vat i onpl us ni ne hour sofor alex ams ! Iwoul dt el lt he s econdandt hi r df l i ghtex ami ner st hatI hadj us t r ecei ved a checkr i de on mypr evi ousl eg but t hatdi dn' tmat t er . . . t heyhadt hei ror der s ,whi ch al l owed t hem t or i de anyai r cr af ti nt he MAC s ys t em,andt heywer eboundanddet er mi ned t o gi ve a checkr i de t o ever ycr ew t heyf l ew wi t h. T hi spol i cywasl at erchanged,s oi fyou wer e j umpedas econdort hi r dt i mei nt hes ys t em al l you had t o do was s how t he new f l i ght ex ami nert hecopyofyourf l i ghtor der ss i gned by t he pr evi ousf l i ghtex ami ner ,buts ome of t hem gave you a checkr i de,anyway! Wi t h enough ex per i ence i nt he ai r cr af t ,t hough,i t gott ot he poi ntwher e you coul d act ual l y s t ump t hef l i ghtex ami nerwi t hs omeques t i ons ofyourown,and i fyou embar r as s ed hi m enough he' dt ake a br eak and l eave you al one. L at er ,dur i ngmyyear sasavol unt eeratt heHi l l Aer os paceMus eum atHi l l AF B,UTI wor kedwi t h t he l oadmas t erwho wr ot et he L oadmas t er Manualf ort he C141i n 1965. He devel oped t hel oadl i mi t at i onsanddr ew upt hecent erof gr avi t y char t sf or t he ai r cr af t , and al s o par t i ci pat ed and wr ot et he bookon t he f i r s t ai r dr op and par achut edr op mi s s i ons .Hes ai d t he new 463L pal l et s ys t em on t he C141 r evol ut i oni z edt hel oadmas t er ' sj obandmadei t s oeas yt hatevenHEcoul d doi t !Iar r i ved on t he C141 i n 1972 and we wer es t i l lhavi ng pr es s ur e doori s s ues ;ever y now and t hen a pr es s ur e doorwoul d buckl e and we' dl os e pr es s ur i z at i on,whi chr es ul t edi nar api ddes cent t o 10, 000f eet . Event ual l y,onl ya compl et el y r edes i gned,r i bbed pr es s ur e doors ol ved t he pr obl em,butwe al lwonder ed why i tt ook MAC,L ockheed and t he Ai rF or ce s ol ong t o f i gur ei tout !

Above-T hes uns t r uggl est obr eakt hr ought hecl o 437t hMAW r es t sbet weenmi s s i onsi nNovember1 C141Bwi t ht he305t hAMW,andwasanot herea 1997,br okenupF ebr uar y2005.

Bel ow -Al s ophot ogr aphedatRAFMi l denhal l ,an conver t ed t oa C141Bwhent hi sphot owast ake 62nd AW,bei ng r et i r ed i nApr i l2002and s cr appe i magesPaulF i l mer )


cl oudsoverRAFMi l denhal l ,wi t haC141A f r om t he r1979.T hi sai r cr af t( 640613)f i ni s hedi t scar eerasa ar l ywi t hdr awal .F i nalf l i ght( t oAMARC)November

nds er vi ngwi t ht he437t hMAW,650267hadbeen keni n1981.T heai r cr af tf i ni s hed i t scar eerwi t ht he ped atDavi s Mont hanAF Bi nOct ober2005 ( Bot h

If l ew t he C141 f or191/ 2 year sand f l ew i n manyunus uals i t uat i onsand depl oyment st oo numer oust oment i on.T heonest hats t andout i nmymi nd,t hough,ar e al lmyf l i ght si nt oT an S onNhut ,Cam RanhBayandDaNang,S out h Vi et nam dur i ng WW Vi et nam and f l yi ng pur pos el ys t eep f i nal si nt ot hes e ai r por t st o avoi d l ong, ex t ended, l owl evel f i nal appr oachest hats etusup ast ar get sf ort he t r i gger happy VC under neat h our f i nal appr oach pat hs ,aswel lasOper at i on Ni ckel Gr as s( I s r ael iAi r l i f ti nOct ober1973) ,Oper at i on New L i f e( evacuat i onofci vi l i ansoutofT anS on Nhuti n Apr i l1975) ,Oper at i onsDes er tS hi el d andDes er tS t or m( t heF i r s tGul fWari n199091) andever yt hi ngi nbet ween. I f l ew aMedevacmi s s i oni nt oPer t h,Aus t r al i at o evacuat ea s ai l orwho had beencutup i na barf i ghtback t ot he hos pi t alatCl ar k AB, Phi l i ppi nes( hedi edenr out ebackt oCl ar kbut t he at t endi ng doc r evi ved hi m. . . he s ai d i t woul d have been t oo much paper wor k, ot her wi s e! ) ;If l ew a Medevac mi s s i on f r om T ai wan t o Hi ckam AF B, HI car r yi ng t he commander of t he Nat i onal i s t Chi nes e Ai r F or ce,who had r ecei ved a br okenbacki na hel i copt eracci dent ,i na S t r ykerF r ame and whocoul dt akeNO r oughai rorr oughl andi ngs ( heneverknew wehad event ouched down, myl andi ng wass os moot h! ) ;Icar r i ed nucl ear weapon war heads on S peci al Weapons mi s s i onst oS AC bas esal lovert heCont i nent al Uni t ed S t at esand ner ve gascont ai ner sf r om Dugway Pr ovi ng Gr ounds , UT t o J ohns t on I s l and.

Above -S t andi ng i nf r ontoft he " pas s enger t er mi nal "atEnewet aki nt heMar s hal lI s l andsi n 1978 ( vi aPatGi l mor e)


Dur i nghi st i measar es er vi s t ,PatGi l mor ef l ew wi t ht he730t hMAS ,445t hMAW.T he ownai r cr af t ,butbor r owedt hos eoft he63r d.WhenNor t onAF Bcl os ed,t heas s et s wasl at err ef or medatWr i ghtPat t er s onaspar tofAF RC,equi ppedwi t hi t sownC1 J ul y2004 ( J ohnHi ggi ns )

If l ew NAS As uppor tmi s s i onsand Oper at i on Deep F r eez e mi s s i onsi nt o Aus t r al i a and New Z eal and,r es pect i vel y( nevermade i tdown t o " T he I ce"i n Ant ar ct i ca,t hough)and on one NAS A mi s s i on t o Aus t r al i at he cont ai nerwe pi cked up atAl i ceS pr i ngswass os ens i t i veand s ot op s ecr ett hatwe had t of l yi ti mmedi at el y f r om Al i ce di r ect l yt o Hi ckam AF B,wher e we wer emetbyar medguar dst hats ur r oundedt he ai r cr af t af t er we par ked and r emai ned guar di ng t he ai r cr af tunt i laf t eri twasr ef uel ed ( ourf l i ghtpl anwasbr oughtoutt ousf r om Bas e Oper at i onsbyt heS uper vi s orofF l yi ng,Is i gnedi t

andhandedi tbackt ohi ms ohecoul df i l ei tf or us )andwecont i nuedonourwayaf t erl es st han one houront he gr ound t oT r avi sAF B,CA ( we wer eanaugment ed cr ew wi t ha 24hourcr ew dut ydayandwer emetbyar epl acementcr ew at T r avi s who f l ew i t" eas t "t o i t s ul t i mat e des t i nat i on) . I l andedata" s ecr et "ai rbas ei nt hedar kofni ght wi t h no l i ght s" s omewher ei nt he Mi ddl e Eas t " dur i ng Oper at i on Des er tS hi el dt hatIand my cr ew s t i l lcan' tt al kabout ;If l ew a UN Peace Commi s s i on del egat i on i nt o Cai r o Wes t ,Egypt


he445t hwasanas s oci at euni tbas edal ongs i det he63r dMAW atNor t onAF B;t he445t hdi dnothavei t s t soft he445t hwer emer gedwi t ht he452ndARW atMar chAF Bt of or mt he452ndAMW;t he445t hAW 141s .T he445t hwoul dl at erbet hef i nal oper at oroft heS t ar l i f t er .C141C 640620depar t sRAFF ai r f or di n

att he end oft he Yom Ki ppurWari n Oct ober 1973;If l ew di s as t err el i efmi s s i onst oManagua, Ni car aguai nDecember1972,t oMaj ur oI s l and, t o Enewet akI s l and,t o Car acas ,Venez uel a,t o Col umbi aandevent oMi ami . Once, I even f l ew Pr es i dent Reagan' s communi cat i ons equi pment f r om S t .L oui s L amber tF i el d t o Andr ews AF B, MD on a Pr es i dent i alS uppor tMi s s i oni n1985t hatended up wi t hmynamef l as hi ng ont heboar d att he Pent agon becaus e ofa di s agr eementI ' d had wi t h one of hi s nonf l yi ng, avi at i oni l l i t er at e

l acki eswhot r i edt omakemyl oadmas t ercar r y s omet hi ng t hatwasi l l egalt o car r yi n a MAC ai r cr af tand who had or der ed me,i l l egal l y,t o or dermyl oadmas t ert oacceptt hei l l egali t em, whi chI r ef us edt odo. . . onl yt hef actt hataf r i end ofmi neatt hePent agon,whom I hadpr evi ous l y knownandf l ownwi t hatNor t on,i nt er venedf or me and s aved me f r om f ur t heri nvol vementi n t he mat t er , whi ch s hal l r emai n f or ever unment i oned.Mys quadr oncommandernever evenhear dabouti t !


WhenNor t onAF Bcl os ed i nt he ear l y1990s ,t he 445t hMAW ( AF RES )t r ans f er r ed t o mer gedwi t ht he452ndARW t of or mt he452ndAMW.T heuni toper at edt heC141 C17swer edel i ver ed.T hi sai r cr af t( 659414)wasoneoft hel as tt os er vewi t ht he452 i nApr i l 2005,andi ti ss eem her eatRAFF ai r f or di nJ ul y1998 ( J ohnHi ggi ns )

T hr us tr ever s esand s poi l er ss t i l ldepl oyed as638084r ol l soutonRAFMar ham' sr unwayi nOct ober1 s t r engt hoft he63r dMAW.T hi sj etf i ni s hedi t scar eerwi t ht he452ndAMW,bei ngr et i r edi nMar ch2004 November2009 ( L i nds ayPeacock)


t o Mar chAF Band 41unt i l2005,when 52nd,bei ngr et i r ed

1979,whi l e ont he 4andbr okenupi n

Par at r oopss t r eam f r om aC141dur i nganex er ci s ei nS out hCar ol i nadur i ng J une1990 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

Myl as tmi s s i oni nt heC141wasbef or eIr et i r edf r om t heAi rF or ceRes er ve i nDecember1990af t erf l yi ng mul t i pl e mi s s i onst ot he Mi ddl e Eas tdur i ng Oper at i onDes er tS hi el d,s omyex per i encewasl i mi t edt ot heC141A and C141B model s ,butf r om whatmy f el l ow Res er vi s t st ol d me aboutt he C141C upgr adei twasapos i t i veex per i ence.Byt hen,al lofuswhower e f l yi ngf ort heai r l i nesi nourr ealwor l dj obswer ef l yi nggl as scockpi tai r cr af t , s oagl as scockpi ti nt heol d,r el i abl eS t ar l i f t erwasawel comedt r ans i t i onf or usol df ar t s . T hat ' smys t or yandI ' ms t i cki ngt oi t . Char l esP." Pat "Gi l mor e,Maj orUSAF R( r et i r ed) 14 MAS ( 19721977) ,63 MAW AL CE ( 19761977) ,730 MAS ( 19771991) Nor t onAF B,CA Wes t er nAi r l i nesL AX( 19781981) ,J etAmer i caAi r l i nesL GB ( 19831985) ,Wes t er nAi r l i nesSL C( 19851987) ,Del t aAi r l i nesSL C( 19872005) Now happi l yr et i r edanddr i nki ngCl as sSi xSt or ehoochonmyf r ontpor chi n Bount i f ul ,Ut ah.


Lockheed's C141 Starlifter at 50