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Douglas C-124C Globemaster II

  • Douglas C-124C Globemaster II
  • Douglas C-124C Globemaster II
  • Douglas C-124C Globemaster II
  • Douglas C-124C Globemaster II
  • Douglas C-124C Globemaster II
  • Douglas C-124C Globemaster II
  • Douglas C-124C Globemaster II

C-124 Globemaster II

Big Plane, Big Cargo

The Douglas’ C-124 Globemaster II had one job—carrying as much cargo as possible. This aircraft’s massive two-deck fuselage featured clamshell doors and a hydraulic ramp under the nose to accommodate loading cargo. Space within the C-124 was so extensive that large cargo such as tanks, bulldozers, cannons, and trucks were frequently carried inside of the aircraft without needing disassembly. It was also capable of converting to a troop transport able to carry 200 fully equipped Airmen or 127 medical patients and their attendants. C-124s used their massive cargo capacity to provide airlifts during the Korean War and the Vietnam War, along with humanitarian efforts across the globe.

Nuclear Flights Out of Hill

Hill Air Force Base and the C-124 have a strong historical connection dating back to the early 1950s. In 1953, the US Air Force activated the 28th Logistic Support Squadron and assigned them to Hill. The primary mission of the 28th Logistic Support Squadron was to provide airlifts of nuclear weapons and equipment out of Hill.

Old Shakey

Flight crews and passengers of the C-124 gave it the nickname Old Shakey. It earned this loving title thanks to the creaks, groans, and shaking that plagued this aircraft even during a calm flight. This C-124 arrived at Hill in 1965 and served with the 1501st Air Transport Wing. In 1992, the Hill Aerospace Museum acquired the aircraft for static display.

This aircraft is on loan from the U.S. Air Force Heritage Program.

Virtual Tour
Douglas C-124C Globemaster II Blueprint

Douglas C-124C Globemaster II

Serial Number: 53-0050

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company

Primary Function: Military Transport

Crew: Eight

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

Wingspan: 174 ft 1 in

Length: 130 ft 0 in

Height: 48 ft 4 in

Weight: 216,000 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 200 mph (cruising); 320 mph (maximum)

Range: 4,030 miles

Service Ceiling: 18,400 ft

Armament: None

Payload: Up to 200 passengers

Cost: $1,646,000

Years of Service: 1950 – 1974

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.

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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