Lockheed C-141 "Starlifter"
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Jody Ammerman, e-mail, 22.02.2022 02:20

My dad, Bruce Hopper was a 141 loadmaster at Norton 1972-1973. Perhaps you knew him? If so, I would love to learn more about that time.


Jody Ammerman, e-mail, 22.02.2022 02:17

Hi Pat,

My dad, Bruce Hopper was a 141 loadmaster from 1972-1973 at Norton. He was in the 728th. I wonder if you knew him? If so, I would love to learn more about some of your flights. Thanks!

Mike Tabone, e-mail, 22.01.2022 18:42

Hello Mr. Enfield.
I would love to include you in my collection of signed letters and photos from POW’s. I have been connecting by mail with some of these inspirational folks and I intend to leave my collection in tact for my grandchildren to appreciate.
If you could kindly email me a mailing address, I will send a couple of photos for you to please sign and a SASE so all you need to do is pop it into a mailbox. This would mean the world to me. I live in Stoney creek Ontario Canada.
Thanks Mr. Enfield
My name is MIKE TABONE

Mike Tabone, e-mail, 22.01.2022 18:41

Hello Mr. Enfield.
I would love to include you in my collection of signed letters and photos from POW’s. I have been connecting by mail with some of these inspirational folks and I intend to leave my collection in tact for my grandchildren to appreciate.
If you could kindly email me a mailing address, I will send a couple of photos for you to please sign and a SASE so all you need to do is pop it into a mailbox. This would mean the world to me. I live in Stoney creek Ontario Canada.
Thanks Mr. Enfield

Robert Cassey, e-mail, 08.01.2022 07:23

Hello Bob..
Are you still looking for interesting 141 stories? I know one of a 2 striper who road a bicycle on the top of the wing at Charleston AFB around 1981.

Robert Isabelle, e-mail, 24.08.2021 23:54

I am looking for a copy of the C-141B dash 1 and 1-1. I want the manuals that were used by pilots on the line/during Altus training.

Bob Archer, e-mail, 15.03.2021 16:10

I would like to contact former C-141 personnel, especially anyone with stories of sorties into Vietnam. Also operation Home Coming. Plus the 1976 sortie involving 65-9402 (from Norton ??) that is reported to have exceeded Mach One in a dive over north western Canad.
I am researching the C-141 for a project, which I hope will culminate into a book on the operations, and individual markings of the C-141. The book will be aimed at the enthusiast and modeller market.

Please reply to me on my email carlscroop@aol.com. Many thanks for any help. Bob Archer near RAF Mildenhall.

Bob Archer, e-mail, 15.03.2021 16:01

Dear Bill I have seen you details on a C-141 site. I am fascinated with your story about 64-0624 flying a regular US Embassy support mission, taking her around the world. Was that particular aircraft especially configured for this task, or a regular aircraft that just happened to be frequently chosen ??

I am working on a project on the c-141, which I hope will be produced into a book. I regularly saw the 141 at Mildenhall from August 1966 through until the end. I have slides of almost every C-141 built. Best wishes and thanks Bob Archer near RAF Mildenhall

Bob Archer, e-mail, 15.03.2021 15:53

Dear Jeff. I have seen your wonderful stories about flying the C-141 during the early period. I am intrigued about your first combat op into Vietnam in Jan 1968. It is possible you could look at your log book and see which tail number was that jet.

I am working on a C-141 project, which I hope will become a book with details of operations and specialist markings on the type. I remember seeing my first 141 at Mildenhall in August 1966. Was 65-0270. I photographed many at the base and elsewhere during the following 40 or so years. I would love to hear from you. Best wishes Bob Archer, near RAF Mildenhall.

Bob Archer, e-mail, 15.03.2021 15:42

Good day Bob.. pleas excuse me writing to you.. I found your details on a C-141 web site. I believe you were at Norton during the mid 1970s.
I am trying to find out more details about the C-141 65-9402 which was stationed at Norton AFB when in 1976 the aircraft went out of control over northwest Canada. While the crew fought to regain control, the aircraft is believed to have exceeded Mach One in the dive. Do you ever remember this incident. Best wishes and thanks. Bob Archer, near RAF Mildenhall.

Bob Archer, e-mail, 15.03.2021 15:30

Good day Lewis. I am so impressed with your total number of flight hours on the C-141.. Would be able to email me, as I am writing a project on the operations and individual markings of the Starlifter. This may culminate into a book. I would love to contact you. Best wishes Bob Archer near RAF Mildenhall

Noname, e-mail, 31.03.2020 10:24

I practically lived on this wonderful aircraft...many memories of the numerous flights with my husband.

CMSgt Lewis H. Fountain USAF(R, e-mail, 27.01.2017 20:35

I was an aircraft and engine mechanic at McGuire AFB for a period of time.Then I was stationed in the Middle East and Europe there I became a flight mechanic,on C-47's. My whole world changed when I started flying.I Returned to the states went to 141 Engineers school, retired from Active Duty. Then Joined the Air Force Reserves and stayed until 1992. I was fortunate in the Reserves to have flown the most flight hours in history in the C-141,a total of 16441.6. My total hours in all aircraft flown are 17,309.2 My total military time was 39 years.

Bob Schlegel, e-mail, 19.01.2017 22:27

It was a beautiful plane - Subsonic, Swept Wing, T-Tailed Four-Engine BUGSUCKER! As Navigator, the 17 years at Travis - Reg and Reserve were idyllic - the crew harmony, the great peer groups, the awesome bases we served, all spoke to a career of great and pleasant memories. A great plane to crew!

Jim Parks, e-mail, 11.11.2016 18:43

I came out of Chanute to Norton in January of 1969 as an Environmental Systems Tech. Loved to work on the 141. Great memories. Left the Air Force in August of 1972 as a SSGT.

Bob Humphress, e-mail, 28.08.2016 17:47

I was assigned to the 15 th MAS at Norton from July 74 to Sep 92. I was a Loadmaster on this great aircraft both the A and B models... Wonderful experiences and surperb crew and maintenance personnel. Due to the closure of Norton I went to the AMC/IG, finished my career in Mar 95.. I was attached to the 14th MAS at Charleston during this time... More class act

David M Miller Sr, e-mail, 17.08.2016 20:43

I was at Norton AFB 1977-1979 63rd OMS Alpha 6 When I got there Joe Balogh's acft 0176 was still in it's Bicentennial colors with the Thunderbird Logo near the crew door Joe was also on Alpha 6 He was my sponsor when I arrived. Left Norton in Nov 1979 and went to Incirlik CDI Turkey the 63rd was my best assignment worked with awesome people and flew with some great crew dogs especially freom the Blackjacks.

Joseph Balogh III, e-mail, 23.03.2016 19:52

The C-141A was the first plane for me out of tech school at Norton AFB. I was the assistant crew chief on 66-0176 during the Bi-centennial year. I spent many an hour sanding he tail, stripping the interior from front to back, getting it ready for it's facelift for '76'. She was the lucky bird that was used as the support bird for the Thunderbirds in 1976. I really missed that plane.

William Childress, e-mail, 07.02.2016 04:50

I am looking for information on the crew chief who was killed in the t-tail on aircraft 0199. Who was he, when did it happen, and where did it happen? I thank all of you who served ont he 141; I miss her greatly! The 2nd reunion is coming up in July 2016 at McGuire - Come on out!

Roger Bringhurst, e-mail, 01.02.2016 02:54

Forgot to mention my flying buddie, Spence Isa, We roomed and worked togeather At Travis AFB 66-69. We flew LTF and spent lots of time on The golden Bear now on Static display. The other LTF bird we meched on was 63-8075. Lots and lots of memories of Nam flights, and Heavy munition hauls out of Hill field. Some loads 80-90 thousands, heaven forbid if we collided with someting!! As Mark Twain wrote "it's better to be careful a hundred times than to be dead once!

Roger Bringhurst, e-mail, 01.02.2016 02:05

Roger B.
arrived At Travis in early 66 from shepard, Trained on c-130's great Bird
for props. Crossed Trained in the 602 0ms to 141's. A great Jet Bird.
Worked flight line 3 shifts, decided to Fly, got qualified, as i completed Jet Runup on the flight Sim, Was scheduled for Trip to Nam. Flew 60-70 sorties, including several Embassy runs around the world, later to find primarily a CIA courier service. At the time 600 agents in the Embassy in Saigon. Lots of stories, and was very hectic 2 1/2 years of flying class 3.
estimated, i flew 1.25 million air miles. All pilots and crews and maintainers on this craft were the best.
God bless you all. Flew with the 44th, 86th, and 75th squadrons at The T.

ron kagan, e-mail, 28.11.2015 08:48

I Was the admin specialist in the c-141 building, I did all flight manuals, simulator logs etc from 1966 to Aug 1967, does anyone know if Maj John Hamilton is still around. Was a great place to work busy. I also did manuals for the C-124 sim

Jeff Larsen, e-mail, 23.10.2015 07:33

As a former C-124 loadmaster at the 8th MAS at McChord I rotated back from VietNam to Mcchord AFB to the 4th MAS in November 1966 and assigned to the first squadron of C-141s at the base. Flew 1100 plus hours in and out of Vietnam until my discharge in August 1968. Staged mostly out of Yokota Japan during that time. Lots of stories about the early days in the airplane. Most memorable was being alerted at Clark to fly into a closed Tan san Nhut AB in VN in Jan.1968 during the Tet offensive to evacuate the passenger terminal. Heard later it was the first legitimate combat operation by a C-141. Remarkable pilot and skilled crew under extremely difficult combat circumstances (Saigon was under siege and we were being shot at as we had to abort a landing and roll out over downtown Saigon during the siege). Had to offload ten pallets and onload distressed troops (including the assistant secretary of the navy) and evacuate all to Taiwan. All 4 engines running during the entire ground operation, max-performance takeoff after the evacuation. Amazing story. Also in Yokota when the Pueblo was seized off Korea in 1968. All of the aircrews were frozen at Yokota. We participated for 10 days in an amazing 2-3 sorties per day into a variety of airbases on the DMZ in Korea delivering surveillance jeeps and troops. Also flew support missions all over the US after Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. Our main mission was to distribute National Guard troops to Washington DC and other important logistical centers. In 1967 our crew departed Yokota enroute to Cam Ranh Bay when we heard the C-141 in front us crashed on takeoff into the bay. Attended the subsequent investigation board hearing at McChord that told us about the faulty spoiler selector switch (documented). Tough times in tough years. Jeff

Sunshine Kid, e-mail, 29.06.2015 21:47

I first worked on the C-141A at Charleston AFB, right out of tech school. I still love the looks of the "A" model, and think someone hit the "B" model on the head with a club, raising an ugly lump. That "A" model could fly circles around the "B" model! Many a skid pad had to be changed when the A/C left the ground with no cargo, and the pilots put it into a max climb. I've seen the plane go vertical during climb out, and for a four engined cargo plane, that was something to see!

James Rosenbaum, e-mail, 13.02.2015 00:17

I flew the C-141 out of Norton AFB CA from 71'-93' - Seven years active - the rest Reserve. It is an incredible A/C - great engines - good reliability (with respect for the Lockheed hydraulics) - and good flexibility for the different missions. I don't know of anyone who flew her that does not have good things to say about her. The A/C that brought the POW's back, and is now at Wright-Pat museum, was discovered to have the 'autographs' of the POW's in the wheel-well - and when she 'retired' they invited all the surviving POW's and families to the ceremony - and showed the 'autographs' still installed in the wheel well to them. Very moving!

Bill Myers, e-mail, 02.02.2015 15:55

As Pneudraulic Tech at CHS (1967-70, 1972-76), I loved this sleek, overpowered beauty! Really showed their reliability and toughness during ALCE TDYs airdropping the 82nd Airborne. Acft 64-0624 flew a U.S. Embassy support mission that took it around the world ever week. It rarely failed to make the mission. Once flew from Ramey in Puerto Rico back to CHS with the landing gear pinned down, through the Bermuda Triangle. Our rum rations kept everyone calm! BEST BIG JET EVER!!!

James Hill, e-mail, 14.01.2015 19:14

I flew the C141A out of McChord with the 8th MAS from 1966-68, before leaving for Nam to fly an O1E as a FAC - loved both birds, but the 141 was a great airplane and had that great big comfortable cockpit.

Leslie Eichhorn, e-mail, 30.12.2014 04:59

I flew on the c-141 when stationed at the 55th Aero Medical Evacuation Squadron at Elemendorf AFB Alaska in 1971. I was a Medical Technician. I was honored to fly on the C141 and help care for our wounded warriors returning from Viet Nam. The c141 would fly from Clark to Viet Nam loaded with cargo, Once on the ground it was quickly unloaded and reconfigured with seats for our ambulatory patients and litter sanctions for our litter patients. There was also a Special Airborne Medical Care Unit that could be put on like a comfort pallet. But it allowed us many of the benefits of an Intensive Care Unit. Then we would fly into Japan. From Japan patients normally would be flown to Elemendorf, crews would change and the new medical crew would be briefed about out patients on the plane.
By the time we where briefed the plane was serviced and we were on our way to a conus route. I never had a breakdown with the C141. Great plane, great crews, great maintenance and support. For our returning wounded warriors. Thank you for your service and by the way Welcome Home and God Bless

Tammy H., e-mail, 30.11.2014 02:53

I was one of the first female crew chiefs to work on the C141A/B out of the 63 MAW. I was honored to be picked for a test program where we flew with our bird. Loved that plane (66-0193).

Don Buckley, e-mail, 23.11.2014 14:24

I was a Flight Engineer at the 7th Travis 88-91, Like everyone else I truly loved this aircraft and those I flew with for nearly 2000 hours. I Remember on my initial upgrade doing a round the world trip in 10 days. I remember doing the old Diego double dips from Clark to Diego Garcia and back twice,
Boring as hell but you racked up the flight time. Yep lots of great memories.

Mike Skidmore, e-mail, 03.11.2014 00:49

Ihave a web site for Tachikawa AB Japan and someone posted a note that in 1977 a C-141 that had landed by mistake at Tachikawa ab instead og Yokota AB a few miles away and he was with the Yokota AB fire department that was called over to Tachi to watch it take off, the runway at Tachikawa AB was only 5,050 ft, anyonw ever hear of this event. here was his post Steve Sigman sorry Art but in 1977 one of yokotas C -141 landed from Travis by accident at Tachi I was on standby with 40 other firefighters to see it, and it was not sure it could clear takeoff but it did wrecking all the towers protesters built with the exhaust. second post:Steve Sigman Mike a lot of events happened people never heard of, after all its the military, after the aircragt returned to yokota the fuel guys were checking out a posible leak in the wing fuel cell. A young airman crawled down thete and never came out, then his supervisor crawl in neither reyurned. They called rescue and we hsd to stripe to our under wear to crswlin and rescue them. Stars and Strips took a picture of us half nake pulling them out, I think I still habe the picture/article where it statefd prior accidentally lsnding at Tachi. Gene Isabel was a SP then.

Will, e-mail, 11.10.2014 12:32

I was a C-141A/B crew chief for several years at McGuire in the 70s and early '80s, with frequent TDYs to such exotic locales as Charleston (air drop quals), Cherry Point MCAS, "No Hope Pope", et al. We invested our blood, sweat, and tears into those aircraft, many times on TDYs working nearly around the clock and catching a few z's when we could, sometimes getting a quick power nap on the ground under the belly when we had a break in the action. Most of us took great pride in what we did, and I'm sure most would say our time on the Starlifter and in the AF in general means even more to us now in retrospect than it did then. Having my name on the side of "my" 141 will always be a special memory to me. I also crewed B-52D's, KC-135A's, and A-7D's, and served as an ATC instructor teaching new 135 CC's. I wouldn't trade my AF experiences for anything.

Rene J. Cusson, e-mail, 03.07.2014 04:07

I was a loadmaster from 1970 to 1972 stationed at McGuire AFB.I was a member of the 30th Mac. My most memorable trip was operation deep freeze which was a 17 day trip. Our crew did six shuttles to ice and then back to New Zealand. Six of us rented a house while we were there.

Walter beisser, e-mail, 01.07.2014 03:33

I was loadmaster with 44th MAS Travis AFB 1966 to 1970. I had over 3000 hrs when I left Air Force . It was a great plane.

Drew, e-mail, 04.06.2014 19:23

Christian, I flew the C-141B from1998-2003 at McGuire. We could roughly figure 15000 lbs consumed for the first hour and 12000lbs for each hour of flight after that. Of course this figure varied based on altitude, gross weight and temperature deviation. Each TF-33 burned about 3000pph at cruise altitude.
Going to Europe from NJ, you would occasionally fill the tanks to capacity...152356 lbs if you didn't have too much cargo.

Herb Richards, e-mail, 09.03.2014 18:28

I flew the C-141A in the 4th MAS, McChord AFB, WA from May 1967- August 1972. Then the 86th MAS, Travis AFB, CA from January 1974- April 1978. Total of 7,142 hours as a Flight Engineer in C-141A. Best aircraft that I had the pleasure to fly on. (Did a little tour in country from August 1972- August 1973)
Also flew on C-47, C-54, C-118,AC-119K, KC-97G, C-97G, C-124A and T-29A SA-16

Gerry Carley, e-mail, 04.12.2013 23:42

I flew the C-141A at Charleston from 1969-1973. Best job in the Air Force. 35 countries, from SE Asia to Africa, South America, the Middle East & of course, Europe. Ended up as an Instructor before leaving the Air Force. Great fun.

Robert Carmack, e-mail, 12.10.2013 00:55

I was an FE in the 14 MAS out of Norton in the mid 80's. Anyone out there recall a medivac mission to pick up a diplomat's wife in Bangladesh? Please email me if you do.

Merle English, e-mail, 05.06.2013 07:00

I was assigned to MAC for 2 yrs at Hickham working the C-141 and C-5, I loved the Starlifter, did thru-flight Insp., refuels, block outs. The sad was the Air-Evacs, walking through the plane to access the Hydraulic filters, then to sit by the refuel carts with the rear side door open. Sad to see our wounded, it still lays heavy on my heart. There is a 141 on static display at the Pima Air Museum in Arizona. You can walk up and kiss the old Gal, great visit, worth the drive

christian, e-mail, 06.05.2013 15:16

pls help me ..i want to know the fuel consumption of the engine or the aircraft itself of Lockheed C141B Starlifter?..

Michael H. NWA 747, retired, e-mail, 24.04.2013 07:28

Flew Vietnamese refugees from Guam to Hickam AFB. After the R/W was cratered in Saigon, I know of no 141's that flew in/out.

Longest leg I flew was Ascension Island to Charleston AFB in 1977.

I recall the ceiling as 45,100'; saw FL450 once, when the bird was capable of 490, per the F/E. 410 was rather routine. An amazing machine, indeed. The VSI tapes maxed out at 20k fpm.

Funny how those old numbers stick...153,352#, 325k#, 323,100#, 20500# thrust. Personnel airdrop was 130 kias, to answer one question.

Russ Withrow, e-mail, 18.03.2013 19:02

I was a maintainer joined the AF in 1969 the C-141A was still new and my first real hands on maintenance at McGuire. The 141 was one bad hot rod however as a Aircraft environmental technician it was not maintenance friendly, it had a hi pressure bleed air system and the HVAC packs were a nightmare to work on. I have never understood why Lockheed put the engine bleed air shut off valves down in the pylon where you couldn't really see what you were changing. Aside from maintenance the 141 was a dam good air lifter and nothing matched it until the C-5A came along. The 141 was a very fast aircraft and it took me all over the world and it was a blast on take off it stayed in service way longer than the life span it was designed to fly. Oh yea I remember the jet troops doing compressor stalls during engine runs that was wild.

Gary Klein, e-mail, 08.02.2013 23:45

I served at Travis AFB from 1966 to 1970 as a Aircraft Mechanic and Crew Chief. I was Crew Chief of 64-0650, 65-0231, and 65-0277 on the Grave Shift which meant that I worked on those aircraft when at Travis and if they weren't here I worked on another aircraft that its crew had the night off. The Starlifter was a stellar performer. The C-141A model was certainly over-powered. I bet it used less then half the runway to go airborne while the B-52s used almost every inch. After reading the info about the Tacoma Lifter 65-0277 that is parked at McChord in Washington. I am frankly puzzled if the info presented is factual. Because I either worked on or knew the ground crew assigned to it at Travis for my entire career there from 1966-1970. If both facts be true, it would mean that there were 2 Tail Numbered 65-0277s!

James Snyder, e-mail, 10.01.2013 01:41

AutoPilot/Instrumentation Tech on the 141 from July 1974 to August 1988. Assigned to the 437 AMS, 608 MASS, 438 AMS, and 172 MAG. As is evident by the e-mail address I sure do miss the old girl.

Lauren Eastwood, e-mail, 01.12.2012 16:41

Worked on the Starlifter from mid 72 to mid 76 at Mc'Guire AFB, New Jersey. The hydraulic system was different to say the least. Went many a TDY to chand Spolier, Rudder, and Elevator packs. The most challenging was the spoiler packs as with the frame of aluminum and the bolts of steel, had a lot of difficult times temoving the mount bolts.

Ray, e-mail, 25.11.2012 21:26

Was a FE from 1989 to 1997. Loved the aircraft! Ended up with round 3500 flying hours. Sure miss the missions.

William Nichols, e-mail, 09.04.2012 21:30

Stationed at 7th squadron @ Travis from 1974-1976. Droned many nightime hours at .74 Mach, but the lady always got us to our destination. Flew all over the world, to Europe on reforger missions, all the way to Diego Garcia from Clark AFB, the hawaii week mission to guam, midway, kwajalien. Watched b-52's disappear on takeoffs from Anderson AFB. Loved landing @ Elmendorf, so, we could get boxes of whole king crabs. 10 minute bag drags outbound, and 45 minutes bag drags when getting back to Travis!! (haha)

Troy Wood, e-mail, 19.03.2012 19:40

Started flying in 1952 crewchief C-47 Naha, Okinawa. Continued flying after return to Kelly AFB August 1953 C-54s then went to Moses Lake, Wn on C-124 A Models had a break in service but continued to fly C-124s in the reserves, recalled to active duty after a short stint in Okie Guard flying C-97s, back to 62nd at McChord on C-124s and finally to C-141's at McChord and Altus then to C-5's in Jan 1971 --- Most reliable airplane of all and the easiest for the flight engineer --- the pilot got the same systems training I did so if his memory was any good I did not have to contribute very much. The C-124 and the C-5 were the most challenging for the engineer.

Michael R Gallagher, e-mail, 06.03.2012 08:09

First assigned to the C-141 in 1979 at McGuire AFB with subsequent assignments at Travis, McChord, and Norton along with TDYs to Altus AFB for various schools (aerial refueling, instructor, etc). A wonderful and honest airplane. I'd like to say thanks to those with the vision to start the program, the company that made the plane, all those who supported the fleet, and the crews that flew them. Replaced by the C-17, the Starlifter will never be forgotten by those who were part of the program.

Robert Donez, e-mail, 03.03.2012 22:30

I was a Flight engineer with the 14th MAS 53rd MAW at Norton from 1977 to 1984 The best and the most exciting time of my life, I flew desert shield missions when Kadafi was in power,good to see him gone! Hats off to all airman in harms way, good luck and god bless!

Mike Curley, e-mail, 20.02.2012 03:33

Flew 141A and B models from 1979 to 1983 as a Flight Engineer. Most memorable moment was my very 1st flight as a student at Altus AFB. We landed at Clinton Sherman Field somewhere close to Altus AFB, I was sitting at the panel for the very first time, The pilot announced that he was going to do a TRT takeoff, what happened next scared the shit out of me and at the same time gave me a feel of what raw power was capable of doing. 1st the pilot set the brakes, advanced the throttles to the TRT settingand then said "HERE WE GO". All my books in front of me just disappeared, they all went into the crew bunk to the right of the engineer station, the runway was only 8000 ft,and by that time we were on our way past the 10,000 ft mark. Those memories will be with me forever. What a hotrod!!!!

Michael, e-mail, 18.02.2012 04:20

Awarded a Starlifter @ UPT, I promptly 'grew' a spoon in my flight suit arm pocket; bummed about no fighter, but glad to miss SAC. I met my wife of 36+ years at Altus, of all places; a Cali girl and we still groan when recalling winds from the south!

At CHS, I was once #2 in flight time, of active duty pilots, to Les Smith; flew CAM early on, as copilot. This awesome bird took me to every continent but Antarctica and included an amazing range of missions, from diplomatic and Cold Banner to empty shuttles, to airdrop training at Benning and FayetNam; the incredible improvement in RW vis at Pope, when the fog lifted by the dozens of Panama-bound MITO Starlifters, 82nd aboard. Other crews quickly tired of hearing the treats my gourmet loadmaster whipped up, starting with a nut-encased cheeseball w/ crackers!

Grouper fishing on Ascension, using Moray bait; steel mat RW @ 29 Palms, with RTB at 45M'(ABQ center queried: "U really a 141?"; two trips to Red Flag-- holy cow!; Sondestrom AFB; Vietnam refugees, Guam to Hickam, then Ft. Smith; sitting for days, waiting for <8 kts wind for the new Army jump class, then 20,000fpm climb, momentarily, on departure with only min fuel aboard. Demoed the old close-in formation, but never liked SKE. Only one engine quit and one windscreen heat failure in 5 years.

I think airdrop speeds were 150 for equipment and 130 for personnel; remember the smokin' rollers as those pallets extracted? Remember slipping the lead bird to give #2 more room on approach?

Still owe my classmate 'thnx' for almost getting us into China (Red) enroute to Kathmandu for troop P/U who had their 1st motorized ride ever in a truck to our airplane, passing elephants on the road! I wonder how much they understood about the O2 brief?

Many, many memories, 99% good, about you folks,(2-Lt. Gary Sintes, I remember your lie).

Flew BAC1-11s for an upstart; REALLY illustrated how great the 141 was, then 20/25 at NWA on another tremendous airplane: the 747. The 727 and 757 were fantastic, too.

Enjoyed the stories; keep them coming, and thanks Eric, for this link.

- A Bennett's Bandit. (Is my Israeli money still on the wall in that Madrid tasca?)

Eric Hearnsberger, e-mail, 17.02.2012 06:01

Assigned to the 7th MAS at Travis AFB in'75 right out of UPT. Flew it from Jan '75 through Sep '79. My first operational aircraft and will always be my first love. Awesome airplane, made a lot of history hauling whatever needed hauling. Hell of a ride for a young Lieutenant. I have nothing but respect for all who contributed to her mission.

Chuck Hayes, e-mail, 28.01.2012 17:40

I went through C-141 training with Class 8 at Tinker AFB, OK in spring 1965. Then to Travis AFB, CA that had 1 (one) C-141 at the time. Fantastic aircraft. The only other aircraft that was as thrilling during take-off was the B-36, another remarkable airplane. Flew the "line" during Vietnam. Upgraded to FEFE in two years then went to the simulator. In 1970 went to Altus AFB, OK where I retired in 1973.

Larry Thomas, e-mail, 14.11.2011 03:09

I was stationed at Travis AFB, CA. 69-73. I became a crew chief in 70. I flew over 200 hrs. with my plane and I couldn't have asked for a better one. She was easy to maintain and later was slatted to be one of the Hanoi,Taxi, but at the last minute was bumped to standby, but I was still proud to be part of it all...

Marty Little, e-mail, 25.10.2011 04:13

I spent my entire AF career 1967-71 working on C141A models at Dover AFB, Del. Great aircraft and early on they didn't break many parts and were easy to get in and out of ISO inspections and back on the flightline ready for the next trip. The museum at Dover now has one in its inventory and available to visit.

Sam Laswell (Sgt.; Aircraft Te, e-mail, 20.10.2011 18:31

I was trained at Chanute AFB on B-52's but spent most of my 4 years at Elmendorf AFB, AK (1967-1969) servicing 141-A's on their way to SE Asia. The rest of my enlistment was at Norton AFB, CA (63 MAW, MAC). While at Elmendorf (602 MASS), we worked on just about every mechanical system from wheels and brakes to engines and flight controls, as well as regular duties such as refueling, etc. I helped change flap motors, horizontal stabilizer actuators, engines, and many other components on planes making their way to SE Asia and back to their home base. Planes carried everything from concertina wire to bulls (for agricultural programs), to troops, and coffins. Many were also configured for Med-Evac purposes. Although I was assigned to "ground" maintenance, I had the privilege to fly in the cockpit jump seat while going to Japan for a week of leave. Our teams also serviced C-130's, but in far fewer numbers. While at Elmendorf, our maintenance section was honored by our home base, 62 MAW, McCord AFB, with their "Pride Award" for outstanding maintenance service. Though our work was not always pleasant, the C-141-A was a great plane to work on.

MIKE VANDROVEC, e-mail, 06.09.2011 22:03


Jarvis Owens, e-mail, 21.08.2011 03:40

Wow! Comments on this airplane? One just can't say enough about how reliable it was. I flew as a Flight Engineer on the C-141 from 1971 until 1995 when I retired. I accumulated well over 10,000 hours (and earned that rare 10,000hr plaque). In my flying career I had very few major mechanical problems. The old girl had power, economy, and heart. She will be missed by all who crewed her as either flight crew or ground crew. One of the reasons for being restricted to below 52,00 feet was the cabin altitude, at 52,000 feet the cabin altitude would exceed 10,000 feet and the horns would blow and oxygen use then became mandatory. And the coffin corner altitude/critical Mach would come into play.

Lewis Godfrey, e-mail, 19.08.2011 23:25

Flew all over the world in this airlifter during my career in the Air Force Reserve. First time I ever flew facing the rear of the aircraft! Always flew the stretched version.

Pat Gilmore, e-mail, 19.07.2011 08:55

Spent all my time on the Starlifter at Norton from 1971-1990 when I retired from the USAF Reserve. Copilot/First Pilot 1971-1974, Aircraft Commander 1974-1990. Active duty 14MAS 1971-1976 and 63MAW ALCE 1976-1977. 730MAS Reserve Squadron 1977-1990. 5,600 hours on the beast and in all that time only shut down two engines (precautionary) and lost one hydraulic system...oh yeah, the IFF caught fire once, too, but not too bad for 5,600 flight hours in a single airplane type! Flew Vietnam to the Gulf War and everything in between while working my "second job" at Western/Delta Airlines. For the modelers, only model kits available are the Aurora 1/108 scale A model from 1969 (available on eBay) and Anigrand resin kits in both 1/72 and 1/144 scale...I have them all. For Troy Fore...remember the month we spent in Kadena on the ramp in September 1972? Neither do I!

Arnold "Gator" Aubrey, e-mail, 15.05.2011 23:10

The first time I flew the C-141, it brought my twin brother and me out of Turkey because my grandmother had died. That was in 1978, and I was stationed in Izmir in communications. I was due to re-enlist and knew what I wanted to do. I cross trained into the Loadmaster field in 1979 and was in the 6 Mas at McGuire until 1988 when I crewed on the C-130 in Panama. I could not wait to get back to C141 and stayed on it until my retirement in 1993. It was an honor to be a part of the men and women who crewed this majestic lady. It sad to know that it is no longer a part of our nations inventory, but it will always be a part of me, as I hope it will be with all who crewed her.


Mike Lapetina, e-mail, 15.05.2011 20:42

I spent a lot of hrs in 141 flying around the world as a Flight Engineer and I sure miss the bird it was a great a/c, 15.000 hrs in the bird before I retired

ron strauss, e-mail, 12.05.2011 05:02

Flew F/E @Travis 1965 1970 44mas. Great airplane. Retired UPS 2004 727/757/767 . Total flight time 20,000 plus hrs.

Joe Scherrer, e-mail, 24.03.2011 18:06

I was priviledged to work on the first C-141A that arrived at Travis. The telex cable for the Thrust Reverser number two (2) engine had broken. I was reunited with the Starlifter years later at Warner-Robbins AFB stretching them into B models, what a great job that was.

Travis E., e-mail, 04.03.2011 05:29

I'm just wondering what the flight crew of the C-141 consisted of and if it changed with upgrades to the C-141C model. Any imput? Thanks.

Bill Enfield, e-mail, 17.02.2011 17:24

Spent many years with the C-141 all over the world. Crew Chief 60-177 first to Hanoi 1973, 1972 Bob Hope USO show out of Norton AFB CA. 63rd MAW. Ret. HQ MAC MSET 1986 Scott AFB IL. 22 years with the 141 still miss it & I am 64!! If any of you Wing Nuts stop by Wright Patterson AFB be sure to visit The Hanoi Taxi 60-177. She brings teers to my eyes every time I see her. What A Airplane!

E J Hamell, e-mail, 09.02.2011 15:10

I was a crew chief on C-141A mocels stationed with the 63rd MAS at Norton AFB after my return from Vietnam where I was crew chief on C-7a Caribou aircraft. Both were great planes. It is sad to realize that both planes are no longer with us.

thomas, e-mail, 08.02.2011 23:59

trying to find models of c-141a/b.flew them.

Jim Johnson, e-mail, 07.02.2011 01:38

141's at Travis were my first assignment out of pilot training in 1968, and moved to 130's just as my upgrade to AC was coming up. Lost an engine once enroute from Wake to Guam. Had to make a no-flap at Thule in Greenland, and it took all but the last 20 feet to stop, precisely what the Dash-1 had estimated for the conditions. Great bird. Office with a view! Worked as advertised. Great crews!

Bob Brown, e-mail, 26.01.2011 03:21

I was a loadmaster at Charleston from 1975-82 during many difficult flying surges. I was constantly amazed how much abuse the aircraft could take and continue to complete the mission. Great aircraft, we who flew on it will miss it dearly. Really hurts to see the videos of it being chopped up in the bone yard.

Roger Wendorff, e-mail, 17.01.2011 06:03

As a FE on the c141a 3d mas 41st mas 86th mas I ended up with 7000 hr on the great bird,,,, never sat in the seat of a b model,, made two round the world trips, spent a week in South America just showing the flag .... also got my monthly trips to nam...... The most fun I ever had was a test flight emergency decent from 41000 feet.you got to try it to believe it?????

Ed Hattenberger, e-mail, 31.12.2010 03:30

I was an Assistant Crew Chief and then Crew Chief on the 141's with the 63rd OMS at Norton from 1968 to 1972. My two birds were first 66-7949 and then 66-0183. In 1970, 949 got caught in the Clark to Vietnam shuttle. It flew everyday for 14 days and averaged 20 hours in the air per day. It set the record for the most hours flown in a month by a "non-lead the force" 141. When it got back to home station there were only a couple minor write-ups and we sent it out again the next day for another 5 days. I was recognized by the Wing Comander and was named Maintenance Man of the month for the Wing. I went on to work on B-52's and had a limited experience with the B-1B as well as the 141's. The 141 was by far the best to work on. There is a web site that lists all the 141's ever made and their history by tail number. It lists 66-7949 as having 40,539 hours and 66-0183 having 42,665 hours.

Gerry Ahronheim, e-mail, 30.12.2010 06:27

Unless my memory is tricking me, the C141 flew the "Embassy Flights" during the Viet Nam era: one bird flying east, another west, around the globe in opposite directions. I hitched rides back from TDY in S.Korea in 1968, stopping in Bangkok, New Delhi, Dhahran (Saudi Arabia), Madrid, and McGuire AFB (NJ). It was a very impressive ride for this mere passensger, very businesslike (not Business Class!), facing backwards all the way!

Don Beierwaltes, e-mail, 26.12.2010 03:47

In the summer of 1976 I picked up the pieces of 70008 in a sugar beet field in northern England after it broke up in flight. A very sad time, and worked instruments and more at 608 MASS, Ramstein AB GE Jan 78-Jan 82. Another great aircraft sits in the boneyard. I hate to sit that fate of such a workhorse!

John Reynolds, e-mail, 15.12.2010 13:05

The actual crew compliment was between 5 to 7 (2 pilots, 2 flight engineers, 1 to 2 load masters, and 1 navigator), at a minimum it had 2 pilots and 2 flight engineers. Sad to say there are no more flying 141's and those that were not cut up are now static displays. What a great plane and some of the best crews in the world...

MIKE VANDROVEC, e-mail, 13.12.2010 23:24


Kurt, e-mail, 06.12.2010 14:29

I knew the Lockheed aircraft like the back of my hand as I served as a Crew Chief for about 9 years on this one of kind work horse. Watched them go from A to B models. These babies accomplished a variety of missions over the years. I'll never forget running the huge turbofan for electrical shop and jumped chocks at McGuire as I tossed #2 and #4 engines up to full throttle without brakes back in 79. Oops! That morning my boss said your not going home ...your going to jet engine training for certification. Loved having my name proudly displayed on the crew entrance door.

Jim Zondlo, e-mail, 21.11.2010 01:55

My one and only flight on a C-141 was with my 823 rd Red Hourse group going to Bien Hoa, September 1969. Sure was a good flight flying backwords for the many hours. We even had to stay at Elmendorfe over night as a window had to be replaced on the plane.
Good times were had by all.

Jim Zondlo, e-mail, 21.11.2010 01:54

My one and only flight on a C-141 was with my 823 rd Red Hourse group going to Bien Hoa, September 1969. Sure was a good flight flying backwords for the many hours. We even had to stay at Elmendorfe over night as a window had to be replaced on the plane.
Good times were had by all.

Barbara E.Johnson, e-mail, 12.11.2010 07:34

I was a USAF Flight Nurse on this aircraft and met my husband,the Aircraft Commander on one of my Clark-Guam-Hickam missions in 1968. I practically lived on this wonderful aircraft...many memories of the numerous flights with my husband.

TROY FORE CMSgt Ret., e-mail, 09.11.2010 02:34

I was a Flight Engineer on the C-141A&B models from 1969 to 1986,Stationed at Norton A.F.B.,Ca. 14TH.Squadron 1969 to 1977, Altus A.F.B. Ok. 57TH Squadron 1977 to 1980 also 1ST. Sergeant, Travis A.F.B.,Ca. 1980 to 1986 when I retired as Chief Flight Engineer 60 MAW. The C-141 was a fantastic aircraft and the work horse of it`s time, I have many memories of the aircraft and crew members I flew with.

Bob Pustell, 01.11.2010 04:32

My first assignment out of Pilot Training was as a "141 Driver" in the 15th MAS, Norton AFB. There were no B models, it was just the 141, the droopy winged bug sucker. What a fabulous airplane! By the time I went to my next assignment five years later, I had moved up to Flight Examiner, Select Lead for Airdrop, had been a simulator instructor and ground school instuctor and had thousands of hours of wonderful experience and memories to last a lifetime. Most of the memories are good, some still give me goosbumps. If there was a crisis, a natural disaster, a war, a relief effort, an evacuation to be done anywhere in the world, the 141 was there. I would not have missed it for the world. Now Norton is no longer an Air Force Base, the 141 is retired and so am I. What a ride!

Chuck Galbach, e-mail, 30.10.2010 15:52

I flew the 141 at Travis & Dover (Vietnam FAC tour in between those locations) in the mid-late 60's. Great airplane. Many trips to SEA and later, Europe & Middle East as well. Someone mentioned the AWL's system. I hated the auto throttles on AWL's when I was checking out in it in hot, bumpy weather. They would spool the engines down way lower than I would have. We used to routinely beat the 707's to altitude - but they were faster and would eventually pass us by. I saw the one that had the rear pressure door blow out at Wake, the day after it happened. I recalled seeing that door bulge lots of times at altitude and never went near one again in flight. When I flew it at Travis, we were still picking up new ones from Lockheed & I flew on 3 or 4 of those pickups. Twenty years later, I picked up a brand new C-130H from Lockheed from the very same place (Dobbins) - for a Reserve unit. Nobody but me cares, but it was a neat personal thing to do. We didn't call the 141's the A model - it was the only model when I flew it.

Bob Stackhouse, e-mail, 27.10.2010 03:32

I was a Flight Engineer Instructor , Flight Examiner when I retired in 1974 from the 53rd MAS at Norton AFB, CA. Actually I was also in the 14th,&15th MAS' as we formed the New 63rd Wing in 1967. Coming out of C-124s with about 10,000hrs and going into the C-141 it was like going from a Model A to a Cadillac. Seven years of flying in and out of Vietnam every month with every kind of emergency you could name, three engine take-offs out of Danang, around the world trips with the 22nd Air Force Commander, Bob Hope USO trips, maximum range 8000 mile flights from Kadena to San Bernardino, CA, this airplane did it all. I picked up several new aircraft as our new Wing formed in 1967 and among them was 60177 which as we all know now as "The Hanoi Taxi" the first aircraft to pick up our POWs in Hanoi. 177 is in the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB now. It was a historic trip for our combined Squadrons. I ended my 23 year career in September 1974 with 16000 plus hrs with 6000 plus hrs in the C-141. I am 76 years old now but I would do it all over again if they asked me!!

Alfred Martinez Sr, e-mail, 19.10.2010 21:11

Best Aircraft I ever jumped out of.

Sam Myers, e-mail, 14.09.2010 18:30

I was a flight examiner flight engineer in the 41st MAS at Charleston when I retired in 1972. My career on the C-141 began in 1966. I always enjoyed the trip around the world. It averaged 55 flying hours and a few 18 hour days. I had very few inflight emergencies in all my time on the C-141. What an airplane!!

Bo McConathy, e-mail, 31.08.2010 21:55

I started as a crewchief on them in 1967 at Charleston AFB. That is also where I started flying as a Flt Engineer in late 1974. After that I went to Altus Ok as a Instrutor/Examiner. I ended my career at McChrd AFB. My career was a great time on this beautiful aircraft. I was also at McChord wnen the last C-141 departed. It was a sad day as I watched the last takeoff.I still have alot of stories and I'll tell them everytime I get the chance.

Robert ("Skip") Daly, e-mail, 30.08.2010 21:24

As a C-141 driver, I had the privilege of attending the USAF Test Pilot School and then getting to fly Starlifters #1, #2, #3, and #5 (12775, 12776, 12777, and 12779 respectively) in the 4950th Test Wing at Wright-Patterson from 1979-1981. I have some great pictures of 61-2775 taken in Dec 1981. There is something special about getting to fly the very first Starlifter ever made (and we didn't have to abide by 60-1 limits!). We could fly them at the Dash 1 limits and, for a four-engine airlifter, it could perform. Flying with the F-15s in the pattern at Holloman AFB was great fun. The birds were modified to fly a variety of test programs after the initial IOT&E program was concluded. In that timeframe Triple-7 was the only bird that was radically modified. We flew them all low and fast, and high and slow. A great, just great, aircraft! Those were the days.

Boone Barnes, e-mail, 08.08.2010 22:57

I was a navigator in the 20th MAS at Charleston from 1976 until 1985 (Initial Soll II). From 1985 until 1988 was the command tactics navigator at Hq MAC and worked on C-17 acquisition and SOLL II enhancements for the Starlifter. A great airplane. Currently working with a great bunch of guys restoring 60186 (first B model) at the aviation museum in Marietta, GA. Anyone in the Atlanta area who wants to help is welcome. Just show up any morning. Museum is off Atlanta Road Just off Delk Road. Can't miss it. It's where all the old aircraft are parked.

John M. Miller, e-mail, 24.04.2010 01:30

Hello I worked as an air craft maintance crew chief on both C-130A'S an C-141B'S n fell off the C-141B at the first hatch.It messed up my whole right side but I lived Thru it an had to retire from the air force. I have to say the best all around was the C-130A's sorry we could do more in the field with it .

John Tompkins, e-mail, 05.03.2010 03:30

Flew the C141A at McChord AFB, 8th MAS from 9-70 to 5-74. Great airplane, best flying worldwide, ever. I went on to G3's and the airlines, but there was never anything that handled, worked, and performed like the C 141. A treasure and absolute priviledge to fly. I thought all airplanes flew like that, but I learned different.

John Zoboli, e-mail, 04.03.2010 06:17

I performed part of the post flight on the first C-141A (The Golden Bear) at Travis AFB. I was a crew chief with the 602 OMS and was on flight status with the aircraft during the transition of the C-124 flight crews. I flew with a lot of cargo and troops into Viet Nam and when Travis resumed the Embassy Flights westbound I was one of the 4 Crew Chiefs that flew with those flights. This was one of my most exciting times of my life. After my discharge in 1967 I was employed by United Airlines as a Mechanic and then a Engine Maintenance Foreman for 33 years.
The Golden Bear is parked at the Travis Air Museum for those of us that remember one of the 'flyingist' machines the U.S Air Force ever had.

Eddie Stough, e-mail, 22.02.2010 02:33

Flew as Flight Engineer at Dover AFB, Dover Delaware, 1965-1968.(9th MAS) A great airplane.

Al Bielanski, e-mail, 15.02.2010 06:04

One great aircraft! I logged over 4000 hrs and flew fantastic trips all over the world in this plane. I still remember the numbers like 204,620 and 153,352 that were drilled into us by stan eval. A very enjoyable and forgiving aircraft to fly.

RC Hoff, e-mail, 14.02.2010 03:07

What was the air speed for parachute jumps from this aircraft?

Capt. James C. Cochran, e-mail, 08.02.2010 21:25

I first saw this aircraft at Columbus AFB prior putting in our requests. I immediately fell in love with it, and its mission. I flew it from 1971-1977 at Travis AFB. It was an absolutely great aircraft and very dependable. It was a real workhorse during the Viet Nam war and carried me all over the world. To this day, I am amazed at how versatile it was and all the different configurations it was capable of. Truly a great aircraft.

Lenny Baltra, e-mail, 26.01.2010 06:43

I flew as a Flt. Engineer on the C-141 from 1974-1984 at Charleston AFB SC and Altus AFB Ok, where I retired in 1984. I had approx. 7000 hrs. on the panel and some fantastic trips. It was a great airplane. I went on to fly the Boeing 727 for UPS for twenty years where I retired in 2007. I miss them both.

George Reeberg, e-mail, 22.01.2010 21:24

Great plane, great memories as a C-141B Flight Engineer!

Tom Mouhelis, e-mail, 21.01.2010 18:16

Great aircraft! Most overpowered cargo I ever flew on. I was a C-130 load.

Samuel Curcio retiedCMSGT, e-mail, 14.01.2010 23:48

I saw a Loadmaster on the C141 from 1963 till I retired in 1989,from Mcguire a.f.b. in New Jersey.
During the Vietnam War we made 7 trips there with new Troops and then back Home to Dover AFB in Delaware with the casualties.
Very sad times,but I'll always remember them.
It good to hear from guys that flew the same aircraft as I did.
email me at -patcurcio1@netzero.net

Gary L. Hart, e-mail, 13.01.2010 15:10

I flew the C-141 from 1983-1998. It was a great and very forgiving airplane. The crew complement was never 4. Basic crew was 5: 2 pilots, 2 flight engineers, and 1 loadmaster. The ceiling was above 45,000 [not 41,000 as listed]. 45,000 was the highest I ever took one. I am almost certain the charts went up to 50,000. 343,000 was the wartime weight -- we did a bunch of that the first month of Desert Shield.

William J. Schwehm, e-mail, 07.01.2010 06:36

I was Chief of Aircrew Standardization with the 62nd MAW and one of 5 intitial cadre pilots to attend C-141 crew training. The 141 was a dream to fly and a great airplane. I also attended the Lockheed factory training for the all weather landing system and took delivery of the first airplane to be equipped with the system 66-145.

Ray W., e-mail, 22.06.2008 21:00

I was intemently associated with the Starlifter for 30 years in the maintenance trenches and contractor flight simulator instructor.

This plane met current day FARs for civilian operations as the L-300. As the slowest and fuel thirsty cargo hauler in the sky, one would think that a aircarrier would go bankrupt keeping it flying.

A C-141D was produced by Lockheed as a solution to the C-17s wing fracture problems. It had a new box beam assy, CFM-56s and I think the Engineer station was removed. Rumor had it, it could fly from Ft. Bragg to Saudi non-stop.

This may be the plane that was seen by my Brother in Law on short final to Dobbins in early 2008. All grey and no markings.

Alas, like the old bird herself, we all got tossed on the scrap heap.

Charles (Chuck) Matheson, e-mail, 27.05.2008 22:18

As an instructor flight engineer and flight examiner who had some 5000 hours in this airplane I can attest to the fact that this acft was a great acft. It was very dependable and reliable and never, ever did it ever once scare me. I had my share of in flight emergencies just like any other aircrew member but they mostly all were precautionary in nature and not once did I ever fear that we would not have a successful outcome. I started flying this acft in 1985 with the 7MAS which later was renamed the 7AS at Travis AFB, CA. I flew with the active duty squadron until 1992 when I then transferred to the 708th reserve squadron at Travis for the rest of my career on the jet. I had the very sad honor of bringing one of these planes to the boneyard once and I tell you, walking away from the Jet, leaving her there to bake in the hot desert sun was one of my worst flights on this plane ever. It was a very sad moment for all of us to shut this plane down for the very last time and to walk away and leave her there. To this day I get a tear in my eye when I think about it. The C-141 Starlifter was a phenomenal aircraft and I have many, many good memories of places that I have been and the friends that I made while flying this great aircraft.

David Brown, e-mail, 19.05.2008 01:56

The max ramp weight was 325000 lbs. Max takeoff weight was 323100 lbs. These were the normal weights for the A and B models. There were higher wartime weights.

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