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Douglas C-124C Globemaster II

History of the C-124 Globemaster II

Based on the Douglas C-74 Globemaster, the C-124 could accommodate 200 troops or 127 patients on litters and their attendants and carry up to 74,000 pounds of cargo. Space within the C-124 was so extensive that ninety-five percent of the Army’s field equipment could be loaded on the aircraft without being disassembled. Called “Old Shaky” by the flight crews and passengers that flew with the aircraft, it received the dubious distinction of being called an “all-weather aircraft,” simply because it hit all the heavy weather it would find on its flightpath since it couldn’t climb over it.

Douglas C-124C Globemaster II

Serial Number: 53-0050

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company

Crew: Eight

Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney R4360-63A radials; 3,800 horsepower each

Wingspan: 174 feet 1 inch

Length: 130 feet

Height: 48 feet 4 inches

Weight: 216,000 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 230 mph at 10,000 feet; 271 mph at sea level (maximum)

Range: 4,030 miles (with 26,375 pounds of cargo)

Service Ceiling: 18,400 feet

Armament: None

Cost: $1,646,000

The C-124 Globemaster II and Hill Air Force Base

The C-124 has had a strong connection with Hill Air Force Base since the early 1950s. With maintenance, a major disassembly and overhaul effort occurred on 37 C-124s from Larson Air Force Base, Washington in May 1953. Operationally, the 28th Logistic Support Squadron (28 LSS) was activated and assigned to the Ogden Air Materiel Area at Hill Air Force Base and flew the C-124C. The primary mission of the 28 LSS was to provide world-wide airlift of nuclear weapons and related equipment, with a secondary mission to airlift other Department of Defense cargo, as required, when space was available.

The United States Air Force (USAF) bought a total of 448 C-124s before production ended in May 1955 and before they were retired in 1974. “Old Shaky” was capable of carrying 68,500 pounds of cargo in the 77-foot cargo bay which featured two overhead hoists which could each lift 8,000 pounds. It had the ability to carry tanks, guns, trucks, heavy equipment or 200 fully equipped troops. The C-124 was the only aircraft of its time with the capability to transport heavy equipment without disassembly.

During its service, the C-124 performed airlift support of Far East and Southeast Asia, delivered supplies to stations in Antarctica, helped with refugee evacuation in the Congo and made mercy flights to Morocco and Chile. Tirelessly working to provide food and medical supplies around the world, the C-124s logged many hours following floods and other natural disasters.

The C-124 at Hill Aerospace Museum was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Corporation in Long Beach, California. It was delivered to the USAF in May 1955 where it was assigned to the 15th Air Transport Squadron (Heavy) in Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

In October 1955, it was moved to Goose Air Base in Labrador, Canada, to serve with the 6606th Air Base Wing, Northeast Air Command for a few days before being returned to Dover. While there, the C-124 was transferred to the 1607th Flight Line Maintenance Squadron (MATS) and then on to the 607th Air Transport Wing (Heavy) in February 1958.

Hill Air Force Base first received this Globemaster II when it was stationed here with the 1501st Air Transport Wing (Heavy) in June 1965. Just two months later, August 1965, it was transferred to McChord Air Force Base in Washington where it remained until November 1969 with the 62nd Air Transport Wing (Heavy). Finally, it was stationed with the 151st Military Airlift Group (Air National Guard) at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

In June 1972 the USAF dropped the aircraft from the inventory and transferred it to the United States Army. It stayed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland where it was used as a storage facility. It was scheduled to be used for ballistic research but Hill Aerospace Museum acquired it in 1992 for static display.

Are any C-124 still flying?

All remaining C-124s are on display; none are considered air worthy.

Why was C-124 called Old Shaky?

Whether a design flaw or an aspect of the aircraft’s size, the C-124 would regularly shake and wobble in flight, regardless of conditions.

What engines did the C-124 have?

The C-124 used four Pratt & Whitney R-4360-63A Wasp Major 28-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engines, capable of lifting 74,000 lbs for 4,030 miles.

What replaced the C-124?

The C-5 Galaxy would replace the C-124 by the late 60s.

What was the first Globemaster aircraft?

Developed in the mid-1940s, the V-74 Globemaster I was the first of the “Globemaster” aircraft.

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