Fairchild C-123 "Provider"
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16.04.2024 02:02

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05.04.2024 05:26

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05.04.2024 05:24

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05.04.2024 05:12

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05.04.2024 05:10

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02.04.2024 04:57

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01.04.2024 17:07

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01.04.2024 11:41

01.04.2024 10:32

01.04.2024 08:34

Cessna Model A

01.04.2024 04:25

Vought O3U / SU

David Cann, e-mail, 10.04.2024 04:14

I'm currently working on C-223K, 54-0674 at the Valiant Air Museum in Titusville, FL. This aircraft will never fly again, so it's for statis display only.

Carol Vincent, e-mail, 11.03.2024 21:26

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JOSEPH WALSH, e-mail, 23.02.2024 15:49


Jonah Peterson, e-mail, 13.02.2024 02:23

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Dave Gagnon, e-mail, 29.11.2023 17:07

I worked on these tubs while in the 901 Cams at Westover AFB. I understood, at the time, that they were originally designed as gliders during WWII, but were not airworthy enough for the task. Later they had the 16 piston reciprocal engines added to retrofit as a cargo hog. Still not good enough to get off the ground they had the booster jet engines added. That being said, they could not be pressurized and when it was raining outside it also rained inside the aircraft. The engines leaked so much oil that the planes had to go to the wash rack after flights to wash the oil off of the engine nacelles. I used to grab a lift in the hanger and actually get into the nacelles to do routine maintenance. Their was always, invariably, an 18" puddle of oil inside the bottom of said compartment in which I would always, invariably, drop a tool into and have to fish it out by hand. Real hogs, but I preferred them over the C5's that I had to work on later.

Jeff Taylor, e-mail, 02.09.2023 20:42

My Dad (TSgt Robert Taylor- Bob) was in the 309th in 65-66. He was a flight engineer

Jeff Taylor, e-mail, 02.09.2023 20:41

My Dad (TSgt Robert Taylor- Bob) was in the 309th in 65-66. He was a flight engineer

Ed Laughary, e-mail, 28.07.2023 00:43

The collapsed Gear Story of July 27 2023
The occurred in support of SWIFTSTRIKE III IN MID SUMMER OF 1963, on a PAP RUNWAY approx. 15 miles southwest of LAURINBERG-MAXTON Airfield , North Carolina!
The YC-123 was classed 26 as it SAT! I have exhausted the limit of AVAILABLE PHOTOGRAPHY!!
Iam 90 years young, and would be so grateful if I could procure a set of pics that
Reveal the undisturbed wreckage!!
Call me if you can assist in any way !

Ed Laughary, e-mail, 28.07.2023 00:42

The collapsed Gear Story of July 27 2023
The occurred in support of SWIFTSTRIKE III IN MID SUMMER OF 1963, on a PAP RUNWAY approx. 15 miles southwest of LAURINBERG-MAXTON Airfield , North Carolina!
The YC-123 was classed 26 as it SAT! I have exhausted the limit of AVAILABLE PHOTOGRAPHY!!
Iam 90 years young, and would be so grateful if I could procure a set of pics that
Reveal the undisturbed wreckage!!
Call me if you can assist in any way !

ED LAUGHARY@gmail . Com, 27.07.2023 19:34

Today is Thurs. JULY 27,2023! My Crew lost the YC-123 w/J85 Jet Engines to assist in Shortfield TAKEO, as the Nose Gear collapsed under the steel deck after striking a 6” steel spike on initial touchdown on the PAP( aluminum), affecting the entire airframe, delivering 2
Army 7500 lbs each, increasing the pay load from 5000x 3, allowing a total of 15,000 lbs, if it were not for lone vertical steel shaft left exposed after iniating a perfec landing. By use of the entire runway, endangering the entire crew, plus maintenance personnel ! The cockpit was totally cracked in half, exposing the remains runway ahead. The large heavy NAVIGATORS WAS BLOWN VERTICALLY AND COMPLETELY THROUGH THE ASTRODOME, unfound.
As the NAVIGATOR ON THIS LANDING DESTRUCTION, I barely escaped Death by SECONDS, wishing I had a copy of the photos to reveal the unbelieveable wreckage, within inches, less than a foot, and NOT a SCRATCH!, spared by GOD ALMIGHTY!!! MY 2 pilots were certain I was under the mass pile of twisted iron, as I had taken the firs web seat(forward)next to the twisted exit door finally hanging within inches of my body!!!! I literally pushed it out of the doorway, and exited the aircraft which was bleeding every used liquid From every possible crevice, and ran well distanced from the totaled
craft after I had assured my pilots declared safe!!!

Please help me locate the pictures! At 90 yrs. Of age, I really’d like to have the pic
Please call ED LAUGHARY(mesa, AZ
480-580-9345! Signed GRATEFUL!!

Kimberley Hamling, e-mail, 05.10.2022 05:21

John, I was curious, I read that you were a Loadmaster with the 19th Air Commando Squadron. My father (Harrel D Hatch Sr aka Satch) was an in flight engineer on the C-123. Just wondered if you knew him? He died in April 1983 (When I was 11yrs years old) from cancer caused by Agent Orange. I am just looking for someone who knew him and maybe had some info/stories to share with me. Sincerely, Kimberley A Hamling aka Hatch

Jon Hemp, e-mail, 07.05.2022 17:54

Dewey, I've got a work-in-progress project/catalogue on the Provider. Any details on your dis-assembly of the YC would be very much valued and appreciated.

Dewey Oliver, e-mail, 13.02.2022 15:20

I dicisemdled the first yc-123 h in a Cotten field in South Carolina after it crash landed on a test run

Dewey Oliver, e-mail, 13.02.2022 15:20

I dicisemdled the first yc-123 h in a Cotten field in South Carolina after it crash landed on a test run

Olton Gaines, e-mail, 05.11.2021 21:48

hey ralph did u forget me your assingned flt mech olton gaines we flew many missions drops with harry kazuma remember theday we earned the dist flying cross ac got hit on take off at dam teing land back on field we got engine fire out i sure would like t talk to u again crew called leauge of nations harry japanese me black u irish co pilots were usually different our air crew stayed pretty much stable ralph d kenney ssgt made chief mas sgt last saw u at rein main germany

Olton Gaines, e-mail, 05.11.2021 21:34

i flew with the 309 air commando sq as flt engineer where only 2 blacks were flt eng richard gaines olton l gaines both instructor fe 65 67 997 sorties

Pamela, e-mail, 06.08.2021 17:01

We’re looking for this same information as you were. Did you ever find out if the C-123 landed on the USS Kitty Hawk? My husband was on the crash crew in 1969-70.

nam54259flebno, e-mail, 27.05.2021 10:27

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nam54259tetcher, e-mail, 25.05.2021 14:14

mes54259ngkyt AYW9HLG yBIL cUInh4h

nam54259tetcher, e-mail, 23.05.2021 20:41

mps54259utr wSLAFY2 SK3Q t3Qo8WM

grora, e-mail, 20.04.2021 23:05

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Al, 14.03.2021 22:34

We tried! landing lights on, gear down, flaps down. They were going crazy on the flight deck. Red lights wave offs radio warnings. Didn't really want to do it we were just dorking around we went on to land at Can ron bay on a psp runway

Al, e-mail, 14.03.2021 22:26

I was flying c123 early 1964

aaouellettte@sbcglobal.net, 14.03.2021 22:19

I was assigned to the 19th Air Commando Sq very early 1965. We did it all including spray agent orange. 665 combat air missions.

num474558tetcher, e-mail, 23.02.2021 02:25

mss474558utr Bz0sHRi emej Mi2ftHt

David Reade, e-mail, 26.01.2021 22:03

Interested in your days in Guam with C-123B.

Have questions about flights.
cant you contact me ?

Appreciate it

David Reade

nem30754flebno, e-mail, 02.01.2021 23:54

mps30754errtbh a07qXsi 2Cqs fvtmHxL

nym30754tetcher, e-mail, 02.01.2021 09:28

mys30754errtbh hKqfxlg 5cJa aFYCqXJ

Д а р и м В а м л o т e p , e-mail, 21.12.2020 11:51

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Д о б р ы й д е н ь ! Н , e-mail, 20.12.2020 21:15

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Заключительное письм, e-mail, 19.12.2020 09:59

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Крайнее уведомление! , e-mail, 18.12.2020 19:08

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Уведомляем Вас о том ч, e-mail, 18.12.2020 04:03

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Осведомляем Вас об од, e-mail, 17.12.2020 16:52

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Joshua Harel, e-mail, 05.12.2020 15:51

I am trying to find out the incidence angle of the wing and horizontal stabilizer of the C-123. The information I have say: Wing: +5 degrees, Tail: -2 degrees.
Is this correct? Thanks for any help offered.

П о д р а в л я е м ! Л о , e-mail, 24.11.2020 18:22

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П о д р а в л я е м ! З а , e-mail, 19.11.2020 17:44

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Gordon Hyde, e-mail, 24.10.2020 00:21

I flew Candlestick missions out of NKP in 1971. I had the honor of getting a hole blown in the tail of the C123 while directing fighters in on trucks on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The same crew flew the next night and worked Navy fighters on more trucks. Is there anyone around that was on the crew that night. It would be interesting to make contact with any of those guys. My newer e-mail is gchyde1@cox.net

Walter Huphrey, e-mail, 11.06.2020 23:46

I was in the 310th all of 1966 and knew Tom. I left him my grease gun and a Colt .45 when I left. I could not get out of the C-123, so I got out of the USAF and flew TWA.

Tom was a sharp pilot with a good sense of humor.

olton gaines, e-mail, 04.05.2020 18:49

I would love to talk to any 309 acs crew member 1966 1967 sq commander ltc Robert i fergurson old p-47 jug pilot my aircraft commando was captain harry t Kazuma my load master ssgt ralph d Kenny I was instructor fm fe c-123 b/k

Bob Worn, e-mail, 03.03.2018 05:07

I was an EWO and Air Intel On the Black birds (no insignia, no tail number) at 1st Flight Det, Nha Trang 1968 and 1971-72. I'll tell you, that airplane was fabulous - it would take ground fire and keep-on keepin' on. We did take the gear doors off early in the program so the vegetation and banana trees didn't rip them off in some of our more 'interesting' landings. Gary (redacted) and I found out that, if you land without putting the gear down, it took all the power from our two recips and two jets just to taxi.
1st Flight Det was one of my highlights of my 27 year career. I'd just like to get near one, again.

Marcus Franklin, e-mail, 04.11.2017 06:45

BTW, my email is marcusrf7@yahoo.com. Thanks again! Mark

Marcus Franklin, e-mail, 04.11.2017 06:20

Can someone give me the dimensions of the cargo bay of the C-123? Also, I would like to know if the section of the tail above the cargo ramp was moveable (upward)? If it was, would a HU-1E fit in it? Thanks, Mark

jeremiah Conn, e-mail, 21.10.2017 10:18

Looking for my dads old friends. His name was Charles Conn and was assigned to the 4408th CCTS, Lockbourne AFB in 1970. Email me of you have anything. JDCONN@GMAIL.com

Paul Zomnir, e-mail, 25.08.2017 18:54

I flew the C-123b & K models from TSN AB, Vietnam in 1968 and had a crew chief noseart a K-models with my wufes and daughter's name on it. I have had a model made in The Phillipines and it looks great, with the proper tail number (54-684) and all other appropriate markings of the 19th SOS. I am looking for a pilot's flight manual to go along with a flight manual I have from another source. Is there anyone who can put me in contact with a pilot's flight manual for the C-123K? Thanks for any efforts you may incur.

olton l gaines, e-mail, 25.08.2017 00:10

ac flt mech 309 acs battery located in rh interior wheel well below apu ( elect start) inside at floor level

Bill Zemotel, e-mail, 10.08.2017 00:10

Worked the C-123 at Elmendorf early 60s, Instrument Tech...
Also performed in flight calibration of stall warning system...Even managed to get in some right seat stick time...Love to do it again!!!

John Cygan, e-mail, 22.07.2017 21:39

I was stationed at NKP AFB from 8/1970 thru 8/1971. I worked in the 56th FMS Aero Repair operation. I'm looking for anyone who has knowledge of our team working on C123 to inspect and replace aileron brakets due to cracks during that time period. Pilots, Crewchiefs, Squadron Leader, Parts Depot individuals: Any information or leads you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, John

Baz, e-mail, 17.05.2017 03:46

Hi boys !
I'm looking for a checklist (C-123) for Flight Simulator X.
Cheers Baz Australia

jedynak, e-mail, 15.01.2017 12:05

je recherche le pre de mon fils, il etait au Vietnam a
Da Nang
366th TFW dans les annes 1960
sergent JOHN EDWARD RICHARDS . merci

john Dilella, e-mail, 16.09.2016 05:56

this is for joseph Tavolacci. I was at tsn from dec.68 to dec. 69 .I worked the night shift as a cc in a flt on c123k tail #54-616 please e-mail me

Ray Richards, e-mail, 22.05.2016 02:32

Anyone know Edgar Albert Taff. (Ed Taff) C123 pilot NKP in 1967-1970

Van, e-mail, 06.05.2016 11:38

My uncle co pilot of C123 that day crash in Monkey mountain in Macvsog december 1964 along with american-vietnamese crews and 33 members special forces, does anyone had photo or stories about this crash ? I want the exact location of crash on this monkey mountain

ed bloom, e-mail, 28.03.2016 22:18

looking for a c 123 working co-pilot dg part # 17100,

Roger Newall, e-mail, 22.02.2016 04:14

Martin T. Takeuchi:
Your ride was in a Thai marked C-123K that belonged to the 19th Air Commando Squadron stationed at Tan Son Nhut AB, Saigon. 1/3 of your squadron was Royal Thai AF. We had 2 planes with Thai Markings, which you flew in. Our crews mixed member when that was the assignment. Hope this helps clear up your question.

Martin T. Takeuchi, e-mail, 17.07.2015 12:10

I was with the 8th Aerial Port Sqdn at Tan Son Nhut AB from Dec'67 until Dec'68.I was a C-123 Dispatcher/Load Planner at ALCE.I got to fly on a C-123K when I was sent to Song Be Air Field for awhile on a MOB.I think the plane I flew on was marked with Royal Thai AF markings,but had an American crew with a Thai Loadmaster

Christopher Parent, e-mail, 03.07.2015 03:36

Anybody on this channel, got a question about T/N 4657 on its whereabouts from Nam. Thanks

Grant, e-mail, 04.06.2015 09:17

I was hoping to get in contact with J.T. Smith,he commented on 16.02.2010 that he flew the White Whale. My Grandfather Lt Col Chip Wadley flew the White Whale during Vietnam, I'm not sure of the exact dates but I'm sure my dad or grandma could get those for me. Anyways I was just curious if Mr. Smith ever flew with my grandfather? If he'd like to get in touch I can be reached at wadley1709@gmail.com. Thanks

Joshua, e-mail, 15.04.2015 21:35

My Grandfather flew with the First Flight Det 66-67. Maj Elmer "Doc" Miller, he was the Primary Mission Pilot and Logistics Officer and I'm looking for anyone who might have served with him.

Dave Graska, e-mail, 08.04.2015 02:25

Jack Dole, I don't know you personally but I was in RVN when that 123 was hit by the 105 on landing, I remember that aircraft was just back from K-mod and didn't even have it's armor plating in because it was rushed into service because of another broken bird-----------glad your survived !

Richards. Arthur E., e-mail, 07.01.2015 04:54

Lew Forbes- seeing that you were around the same "birds" as I while at Otis AFB 551st and prior to that at Suffolk on C-47s & 119s. I have been seeking a real great man- Wallace (Wally) Green maybe with an "e"., Last time I saw him was at Clark on 555.(1960s)It is now at Bangkok Museum. Certainly have fond memories of him and if you happen to have known him or wheer he is - please let me know. Art Richards MSgt USAF 1972. I started on B-26s in the korean party. this is a new Site to me fantastic!!

Brendan Sniffin, e-mail, 06.11.2014 03:20

Stationed at Ardmore AFB with 309th 378 Squadron micro switch on nose gear was a constant problem on the C123 causing fire engines to greet us on many landings before it was corrected and bull Bentley had a sight door installed in the oxygen compartment to make sure the nose gear was down and locked left Ardmore for Dreaux France with delay in Goose bay and again in Prestwick Scotland , Got along well with Col. Bull Bentley. Bull got on the wrong side of base commander Col. Randolph Churchill. all in all It was a great Aircraft

Matt Schacht, e-mail, 31.10.2014 09:30

I am a law student at the University of Missouri working on the case of a deceased veteran, and I am looking for C-123 pilots and UC-123 pilots. My client claimed he was poisoned with Agent Orange while refueling planes at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska (1965 to 1968). If you were a pilot or crew member of a C-123 that refueled at Elmendorf, I am interested in speaking with you. Also, if you have information on whether C-123s refueled at Elmendorf, please get in touch. Thanks! MatthewSchacht@gmail.com

Dave Goalen, e-mail, 08.03.2014 06:02

I was your loadmaster on C123 Royal Thai air force

Jean, e-mail, 30.07.2013 00:38

Hi boys !
I'm looking for a checklist (C-123) for Flight Simulator X.
TKS from Belgium.

Old Grunt, e-mail, 17.07.2013 02:37

Crewed this bookie with 315tac 70/71 @ Phanrang the dam thing was a airborn weed wacker on spray mission , dam good touch&go on combat supply runs , watched FINNY Flight nose dive at the end of run way nothing left when magniesum tank caught fire.

Anthony Wurthmann, e-mail, 19.04.2013 10:01

Looking for a PRE_FLIGHT Checklist.

Richard Leonard, e-mail, 18.04.2013 21:47

Looking for anyone who may have known or flown with my father Lt. Col Edwin P Leonard who was with the 310 ACS/315 ACS Nha Trang 65-67

Joe Engelke, e-mail, 21.03.2013 02:33

I was a crew chief on the old birds at Nakom Phnom, Thailand 1969- 1970. Easy planes to work on. They were all K models and were flown as flare birds. My plane was 54-697- EL TIGRE. If anyone worked on it or was flight crew I would like to hear from you.

Tom Sawyer, e-mail, 28.01.2013 08:16

I am looking for anyone who knew my father, Leon "Tom" Sawyer, Captain, USAF, a C-123 "Provider" Pilot from New Hampshire/Minnesota based in Nha Trang '66-'67. Any info would be great.

Wayne Doering, e-mail, 27.01.2013 21:56

I was stationed at Phan Rang Air Base as Flight Engineer and flew 1,266 Sorties during my tour. The C-123K was one tough bird. The 309th S.O.S. did a lot of C.I.A back-up missions in support of their missions which I was part of.

Jim Lyons,Tsgt, USAF, Ret., e-mail, 22.01.2013 01:54

I was the first Training Technician assigned to the 4408CCTS when it was assigned to Rickenbacker AFB, Ohio in 1969. One of the best squadrons I ever served in. Great people.

Rick, e-mail, 25.11.2012 18:45

The wind broke all the rudder hinges off our display aircraft at the midamerica Air and Transportation Museum. Does anyone know where we can a complete set of them?

Mark Baker Tsgt Ret, e-mail, 14.10.2012 20:38

When I came back in to the airforce reserves in 1977 at Westover Afb I was with the 901 cams where I was working on the aircraft doing sheetmetal work.I worked on A/C 632 Patches.The aircraft we had at Westover were the K model, while we had the 123 one was lost due to a engine fire, after it came out of iso,the fire started after take off,the loadmaster had to bail out the rest of the crew landed at westover crew bailed out while the firedepartment put the fire out the a/c was a complete loss,the cause of the fire was a loose fuel line fitting.After the hulk was being cut up for scrap the flight deck area is now part of restaurant called The warehouse in Holyoke Ma.They were easy planes to work on.Patches is now in the airforce museum restored to its Vietmam era,there is one at Dover Afb.

Gordie Rowland, e-mail, 26.07.2012 04:00

Looking to contact old C-123B crew members during the years 1961-1966 that flew out of Chanute AFB,I was a Crew Chief/Engineer.Anyone out there familiar with the Grey Ghost stuff in Nam in 1965

nick, e-mail, 05.05.2012 02:45

Hi everyone, i love the Provider. Bit of an old world/new world bird with rear ramp and underwing jets and big prop engines. Now i do wonder, the 3 types of underwing jets in the article above would boost speed i assume. do we know how each jet engine pairs would make the Provider perform? would CJ610 jets be better than 44 or 85s? or does the extra fuel burn make it a mute point? and do the 3 types of jet engines burn the same fuel as the props?? confusing but very interesting. hope you can give info. also, if the jets were underwing, if used enough times in flight hours, would the jets create extra strain on the wing spars? i heard that Avro Shacketons were given jets in the outer engine nacelles but had them removed due to extra stress. well... the B-50 Washington had jets in the outer nacelles and 4 props so hw did fatigue bother that bird? very confusing. need a good heads up from an airplane info person... thanx all:) nick.

Carol, e-mail, 21.03.2012 21:30

Can you tell me if the C-123's ever landed aboard aircraft carriers, specially the USS Kitty Hawk? Also, can you tell me what type of planes were used in dropping Agent Orange.

Jon Christie, e-mail, 12.02.2012 15:47

What memories reading over the emails from past C123 personnel. I worked those great birds from 1970 to 1973. Spent tour in Nam with them. I was at Phang Rang when the 123 nosed into Cam Ron Bay from the broken wing flap bracket. Several of us helped pull all the brackets off and replaced them with "checked/certified" brackets. Being a part of the 311 TAS was super. At Hurlburt we did missions from spraying south of Brownsville, TX to carring serile flies to Porta Rico. Spent many hours working that old Horse, but always maintained with excellence. Many crew members are retired around Hurlburt Fld area.

sidebar, e-mail, 05.02.2012 12:22

the C123 That sprayed herbicide was a UC123B-K model there were very few of these built and were used by the Ranch Hand Squadron the 12th SOS,you could see the spray booms on wings and at the rear behind the cargo door,no booms it wasn't a spray bird

Joe, e-mail, 13.01.2012 13:46

What is the maximum amount of fuel carried by a C-123 Provider?

Ron Stowell, Msgt USAF (Ret), e-mail, 11.01.2012 02:29

Hey guys, Need your help. C-123s at Udorn 1970 - 1970. Flying spray missions from there. VA says there herbicides stored there, but if you had a C-123 ready for a mission seems to this old T-28 crew chief that the mixed herbicide were already on board. Would that not be "stored on the base" until use? A couple of sworn testimonies from pilots or crew would greatly help an herbicides/AO claim.Det 1, 56 Udorn. Thanks to all for your sacrifice and service.

Ryan, e-mail, 10.01.2012 11:34

I believe there is one at chino airport, it has not been up in maybe ten years but it is all intact and everything works on it, I talked to the owner of it and there is plans soon for it to fly

Ryan, e-mail, 10.01.2012 11:34

I believe there is one at chino airport, it has not been up in maybe ten years but it is all intact and everything works on it, I talked to the owner of it and there is plans soon for it to fly

bob rudd, e-mail, 08.10.2011 01:20

Correction? If i'm not mistaken the reunion is Oct 10-14.Hope i'm not there alone. :)

Frank Gerstenkorn, e-mail, 04.10.2011 06:06

I was and flight engineer (really, a MAC guy from C141As) on Bookies with the 310th at Phan Rang from September 1969 to October 1970. In nearly 950 hrs of flight and some 1300+ takeoffs and landing the Provider never let me down. There is a C123s in SEA reunion in Branson Mo next week (Oct 13-15 and there's time to register via C123sinsoutheastasia.org. To Tom Griffing, I flew every tail number in your post. Thanks for all your hard word keeping my tail in the ail on great airplanes.

Pete Sims, e-mail, 21.08.2011 07:44

Ernie Colby: We carried conex containers from time to time while I was in Nam. I'm not sure of the size though. It was a pickle loading them, they had to be nursed up/in/down/in just to get them inside the cargo bay. There was no way to jettison them if you had an emergency. Hope that helps.

Ernie Colby, e-mail, 05.08.2011 02:54

Does anyone know if a standard 8 x 20 shipping container would fit in the back of a c123?

Gary Woodruff, e-mail, 19.07.2011 20:10

I flew C-123 in 1965-66 in 310th ACS at Saigon and then Nha Trang, then went to England AFB LA. until April 1967. I then separated from the active duty. We had many rich experiences in the airplane.

James Mayfield, e-mail, 17.05.2011 02:35

Mr. Tucson, not sure how to get in touch...let me know if you figured out what to do with yours. 203.921.21644

John Mulvey, e-mail, 01.05.2011 17:59

If anyone has any ideas of what could be done with C-123K these days, I would very much like to get in contact with you.
We have an ex-DoS ship 54-0659 that was used in Peru until 1992 and then retired.
Our ship (now) N123JK is sitting in Tucson and hoping to fly a little longer.
We have parts, books, tooling, etc. I want to install new hoses, overhaul the carbs and props before we fly it out.
I look forward to speaking to any one interested.

michael, e-mail, 07.04.2011 03:08

I was Ubon AB thailand in 1969 TDY for 90 days. blackspot which were c123s any have any pictures of the bomb shed and the supply shed there and does any one remember if any of the 2 c123s were ever used for spraying agent orange.

Virgil Farling, e-mail, 01.04.2011 15:43

I was a crew cheif on the C-123 black birds of the First Flight detachment in Nha Trang in 1968-69. They really were a work horse type aircraft whose most re-occurring problems were related to engine oil leaks and hydraulic issues. The APUs also required a lot of attention. That said they were an excellent dependable aircraft for the mission they had.

Roger, e-mail, 31.03.2011 19:16

only thing i would like to say is i was At Katum on a 105 howizer for nine months during 1968-1969 and i know they got fired on and could not stop to unload or pick up sometimes.

Glen Houpt, e-mail, 29.03.2011 03:45

I am a volunteer in our new Air Museum here in Sioux City Iowa.
We have a C-123K We are working on for viewing only. Some cockpit instruments are missing. Are there any photos available of the Cockpit Instruments. WE have some old instruments from other planes that may work. Please send any photos of the instruments you have available. Thanks much.
Glen Houpt
Sioux City
Iowa glenhoupt2nd@aol.com.

Ray C Ingram, e-mail, 24.03.2011 03:34

My first loadmaster duties at Pope were aboard the 123 in 1962. Did the Vietnam tour as "advisor" several times with the last one as loadmaster on the C-130 in 1965 out of Dyess/Phillippines.
Both Very reliable machines, the 123 took all kinds of bullet holes without any problems. Even got to fly a little :)

Roger Haneline, e-mail, 16.02.2011 04:07

Ref the comment above about the J-85 being installed on the J-model airplanes. I was Mission Commender for the first 3 J-models flown to Korea. They all had skis and the J-44 which burned fuel and made noise---I was not aware that it was supposed to provide thrust. Of course I'm jaded---I also flew the K-model for a number of years. I logged over 6000 hours over 16 years in the C-123, including several ferry flights to/from Clark. Great airplane.

Pete Sims, e-mail, 25.01.2011 00:50

I came off T-39As as a flying crewchief at Andrews in the summer of '69. Had C-123K Engineer training at Hurlburt Field, 4408th CCTS, went to Phan Rang RVN, but was reassigned to DaNang 311 SOS before I had my "in country" flight engineer training. I was upgaded to Instructor FE in May '70. When I left DaNang, I had just over 800 hours and almost 1400 sorties. I was then assigned to the 4408th CCTS at Lockbourne (later Rickenbacker) AFB, OH and after 7 months the entire unit was reassigned to England AFB, Alexandria, LA. We trained crews from USA, South Viet Nam, Nigeria, the AF Reserves and Air Guard. The 4408th CCTS was decommisioned in mid/late 1971 and we were transfered to the C-47 Squadron. In 1972, four ex C-123K aircrews (piolts, engineers and loadmasters were selected, received recurrent training and sent TDY to SE Asia to train aircrews there. We were not told where we were going, only that it required multiple entries into/out of Thailand. Didn't take much imigination to figure out where we would probably be. When we received our advance TDY pay right before our departure, a pay clerk told us we were going to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When we arrived at Don Maung, Thailand our intel briefing was that "if you couldn't fly in and out at 10,000 feet, you didn't need to fly." Our commander told the briefing team that we would be flying low level, tree top training missions, just like state side. People laughed at that! It took a week, but the decsion was made to conduct training of Cambodian aircrews out of Don Maung Airport. We had 4 aircraft with Cambodian/US markings. When I left due to an emergency leave, we had trained the crews to Instructor level in all positions, all in less than 6 months. It turned out to be one of the most satisfying tours of duty I ever had. I wish I had kept my checklist and Dash-1, but I was a 43171C by virtue of all my training and a flight engineer by Air Force mistake when the made all AFASCs with an "A" prefix, A435X0s flight engineers. All my FE/IFE counterparts at DaNang were "panel" engineers on 141s, 124, and others. I was the first true "Flight Mechanic." The experience paid off later in my career.

John H. Tullis (FE), e-mail, 10.01.2011 20:05

I want to get in touch with William Purcell, a pilot, who
was aircraft commander on the C-123K in the 606 SOS at NKP
Thialand 1869/1970. At the end of his tour, he was assigned to Mcguire AFB in 1970. I can be reached at

Ron Durham, e-mail, 09.01.2011 17:18

I was a Flight Engineer and Loadmaster on the C-123 with the Coast Guard from 70 to 71. Stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Agana, Guam. Serviced logistics and transported personal for all LORAN "C" locations throughout Micronesia. Some points served were Saipan, Yap, Palau, and Ulithii. Also, made many flights to Taiwan, Phillipines and Japan. This aircraft was very reliable and served its purpose very well. Was very fortunate to be assigned one of the few C-123 locations in the Coast Guard Air Fleet. Semper Paratus

Lew Forbes, e-mail, 15.12.2010 06:59

I was a crew chief on C123's in 1959 to 1961 with almost 1000 hours flight time.
Yes there was a batery in the lower right wheel well just forward of the main gear. the AP
U was above it at about shoulder hight.
I am 74 now and have many good memories of my time flying C123's. I see mention of tail numbers, I crew chiefed 40555 the first production one made. we also has 552 and 553 the 2 test models used as everyday aircraft. If I understood it right 554 w3as put on water floots and tested as a see plane. mention above was 592 I have flown that airplane as a crew chief.
I flew missions to set up communications for the Bay of Pigs many other stories email me with yours.
Also there was a storie of a flight into Laos with amunition that the crew chief was hit be a rocket on take off in the veterns magazine from Fresno CA it was very interesting.

Walter Monroe, e-mail, 23.11.2010 12:14

I was what they called a bladder man from POL-fuel.
Flew out of Saigon and all over vietnam
I flew over 170 bladder bird missions on C123 and C130s all crews
1968 to 1969
We were hit many times and Iam still alive and would do it again.
Iam looking to see if their are any other bladder bird men alive ?

Paul F. Sandhofer, e-mail, 23.11.2010 00:55

I would like to correct the second paragraph in the heading of this article. The 1,000 pound thrust J-44 engines were installed in the C-123B's when ten of the aircraft had skis installed. The ski equipped aircraft had the designation of C-123J. Initially the aircraft were operated by the Air Force then turned over to the Alaska Air National Guard. The Guard flew the C-123J's until they were replaced by C-130's. Six of the C-123J were transferred to South Korea while the other two were operated by the Federal Government to transport forest fire fighters throughout Alaska. Two were lost to aircraft accidents. Also the FAA operated a C-123B with J-44's without skis in Alaska for a number of years to supply the remote FAA sites.

The J-44's were installed to compensate for the additional drag created when taking off with the skis down. The skis were retractable so the aircraft could be operated either on snow and ice or on a paved runway. The J-44 engine was developed as a low cost jet to be used on drone target aircraft. The drone was declared obsolete so depot support for the J-44 was lost. The all the aircraft with the J-44 engines were converted to house the J-85 engines in the same wing tip pods.

Two C-123J's are on static display in Alaska. One is at the Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry near Wasilla while the other one is at Joint Base Elmendof Ft. Richardson in Anchorage.

Tom Vandenberg, e-mail, 20.11.2010 07:50

I was a passenger in one in 1971 - direct flight from Saigon to Danang. Womewhere near Cam Rahn Bay the crew chief jumped down into the bay and said we were "going down". That plane made a very tight left turn and set down oh so gently on the runway. The tail gate droped down and we were ushered off. I was the last one off and the crewchief told me to run and to keep running until he said to stop. As I was running I looked over my shoulder and the entire crew was hot on my tail. Ran about a hundred yards before we stopped. A OD green "bread truck" with 5 men in white "suits" jumped out by the right side of the plane. One came over and the crew talked to him then went back to the plane. A couple minutes later he came back and the pilot went over and he entire crew got back on the plane. The crewchief told us to get on and as there was no other place to go but into the jungle (the terminal was at the other end of the runway) we did. Before I got on board I looked at what the men in white were checking out and saw a cylinder about 6" in diameter and about a foot long sticking out of the bottom near the cabin. Don't know what it was but am pretty sure it was not there when we left Saigon a rocket probably? That pilot landed that baby so gently we did not know it was even on the ground. Ah the memories.

Arthur Ericson, Col, USAFG (re, e-mail, 13.11.2010 16:54

I flew C-123 Ranch Hand defolation missions in Vietnam in 1968 spraying agent orange at an altitude of 150 feet and 130 knots. We took a lot of small arms hits but never turned back from a target no mater how hot. The aircrews, officers and enlisted, were the best I have ever flown with. I also flew Royal Thai Air Force C-123 aircraft in Japan supporting the United Nations Command. The Thais were great people and fun to work with.

Randy Whitmire, MSgt USAF Reti, e-mail, 08.11.2010 00:37

DaNang AB - RVN....1966-67 366th TFW....responsible for just about everything that flew out of DaNang (F-4C Phantom II, C-130's, O-2A's, O-2B (Psy Warfare); AC-47 (Puff's) and the venerable C-123's (B models, UC-123's Ranch Hands (Agent Orange coats EVERYTHING inside fuselage) and C-123K (pod jets). Flew on a few for resupply missions (rice, livestock, etc.)...was the "real" workhorse of Vietnam war. It's the strangest looking bird...but also one of the most dependable...when the chips are down...Thank God...for machine gun tape

rholzen, e-mail, 04.11.2010 18:10

While on vacation in Costa Rica, in the city of Quepos, I ran across a C-123 that was being used as a bar. How they got that plane up a steep narrow road to the restaurant where it became part of the setting, I'll never know. Being an old 123 pilot out of Phan Rang and Da Nang in 70-71, It was a little sad to see the old work horse relegated to being a bar. I was told by the owner of the bar that the plane had been abandoned at the Quepos airport one night by a crew who just "disappeared into the night" after an emergency landing. Sounds like a CIA op. Anyone know the
story behind this?

bob rudd, e-mail, 31.10.2010 17:42

I remember,as a loadmaster, hauling a load of HE into katum in early '69. I had relieved myself 10 min out, as I did not want any further embarrassment in case things went south.Standard assault landing was nose over,dive for the end of the runway, flare out, maybe bounce a couple times, reverse the props, open the cargo door, offload and get the hell out.Not so this time. The ac stood the aircraft on the left wing and started spiraling in.A red light immediately went off in my head as the cargo compartment began to fill with smoke.I called smoke, the fe turned and confirmed, the cp smelled it. The ac elected to continue the descent.The rest of the mission continued without incident.Investigation concluded mass hysteria by sgt Rudd calling smoke in the cargo compartment. But my pants were still dry.

bob rudd, e-mail, 31.10.2010 17:41

I remember,as a loadmaster, hauling a load of HE into katum in early '69. I had relieved myself 10 min out, as I did not want any further embarrassment in case things went south.Standard assault landing was nose over,dive for the end of the runway, flare out, maybe bounce a couple times, reverse the props, open the cargo door, offload and get the hell out.Not so this time. The ac stood the aircraft on the left wing and started spiraling in.A red light immediately went off in my head as the cargo compartment began to fill with smoke.I called smoke, the fe turned and confirmed, the cp smelled it. The ac elected to continue the descent.The rest of the mission continued without incident.Investigation concluded mass hysteria by sgt Rudd calling smoke in the cargo compartment. But my pants were still dry.

Tom Griffing, e-mail, 29.10.2010 22:40

I was in Phan Rang from June 1969 to June 1970.I was asst. crew cheif of a C-123 (tail # 496, I think, can't make out picture) . It crashed landing short of the runway on the mountain top of Ghia Nhia in 1969. I was the crew chief of the C-123 (tail # 670, for sure, have picture). I can only remeber a few other tail numbers, one being #562, for sure, have picture) and the other #522, I think, no picture.)

Chuck Galbach, e-mail, 29.10.2010 20:14

I flew the C-123K in the reserves in the 1970's. I loved the airplane - though the commercial pilots in the unit hated not having an autopilot. I liked hand flying anyway, so it was no problem. Noisy, reliable, fun to fly, great airplane for tactical stuff - like low level nav, airdrops, short field TO's & landings etc. Flew with nav Bill Moss who posted earlier (I think its the same Bill?). Also flew in some cargo in support of Three Mile Island disaster in 1979.

John Dunn, e-mail, 18.10.2010 03:27

I was in the Hydraulic shop at Tan son nhut from Dec. 65 till Dec. 66 and worked on the C-123s. Got to fly in them several times. Biggest problem we had was keeping the brakes working. We couldn't get new brake pads for a long time and had to use the best of the used ones to keep them flying.

Jack Dole, e-mail, 19.09.2010 05:06

I flew the C-123B/K out of Nha Trang and Phang Rang in 1967. My last flight was on October 25 was scheduled to be from Saigon to Phan Rang but due to rain, heavy rain, and leaking water onto the center pedistal from the hatch above we started loosing alot of the radios. After an hour and 1/2 waiting at the number one position for takeoff we had to call it quits and while taxing down runway 25L we were hit by a F-105 landing without clearance. Distroyed two aircraft, two people lost their lives, and after spending many days in the hospital I arrived back in the US on Thanksgiving day via C-141 AirEvac. I wrote an article about this experience that was published in the MAC Flyer October 1980 issue, titled "Hell on Runway 25L". I retired from the USAF in 1985 and from Continental Airlines in 2003.

Steve Le Chot, e-mail, 02.09.2010 22:06

I worked C-123's at Danang '69-'70 and found it to be quite a workhorse. I was a Hydraulic Tech and it always had a leak, but easy to fix. Always enjoyed watching it back out of its parking space. Don't see that often.

bruce riseman, e-mail, 18.08.2010 18:13

I was a crew chief on the K model with the j85's. Tan son nhut. Anyone remember a shell of a 123 outside the perimeter of a small outpost? Seriously cannabalized. Also any information on a C-123 out of tan son nhut that crashed on the pilots fini flight? 1969-70.

Richard Goodall, e-mail, 01.08.2010 08:57

Flew the provider out of Nha Trang 66-67. What a experience. However the worst experience was the 13 ferry flights,
b models to Haggerstown and k models to Nam. I did fly one B model from Hurlburt to Saigon. Lost an engin over Tyler Tx. That took a week which was bad news as our tour did not start until we hit the war zone. Prop light came on close to ocean station november. Thankfully replenish system worked. Lots of great memories flying the Provider

Michael Beasley, e-mail, 07.07.2010 02:30

I'm a former C-130E flight engineer with the 40th TAS when they were still at Pope AFB. Currently, I volunteer on a C-123K (54-0592) used on the airshow circuit.
My copy of the Dash-1 states that the battery is "installed in the base of the right electrical compartment forward of the main gear well."
To our group's reckoning, there are approximately 21-23 C-123s in various models registered in the FA database for the U.S., but only 7 are in airworthy condition AND flying.0

Art Richards MSGT USAF ret, e-mail, 09.05.2010 01:47

would like to hear from anyone who in the early 1960s (62-64) who was with the C-123s in SEA and may have known a Sgt Wallace Green (a black airman) have searched for him for years we worked together at Suffolk Co AFB in the1950s. Last I saw him was at Clark maybe 1962)doing low level extraction. Have a few hours in the C-123 myself at Otis AFB. I did learn NOT to fill the tnks on one side with drops- as you then can slide off the drop tank right to the ground!the right main was barely touching the ramp WOW what a climb up on the other wing and pulling that heavy hose up what seemed to be a hundred feet!!! I was VERY nervous. Like others many stories to tell . Art

Joseph Tavolacci, e-mail, 23.04.2010 17:29

Can anyone tell me if the C123K had a Battery on the Aircraft, and if it did where was it located, I was a Crew Chief as stated on my previous comments, Please anyone E-mail me at lestav@earthlink.net with this info thanks
Joseph Tavolacci

christophe nasso, e-mail, 20.04.2010 02:58

hi!i looking for all specifica

Joseph Tavolacci, e-mail, 19.04.2010 03:52

I was a Crew Chief on the C123k with the 19th SOSQ from Dec 1968 -Dec 1969 I enjoyed working and Flying on that Airplane, I am 62 year's old now and I was reminesing about that aircraft, I cannot remember it the C123 had a Battery? I remember the APU, that had a pull starter, that always broke, but can any one tell me it the Aircraft had a battery, and where was it located my memory is fading with the year's The Aircraft tail number I think was 682, Please e-mail me anyone and let me know about the battery thanks

Terry Luther, e-mail, 29.03.2010 08:37

I flew this airplane (C-123K) out of Lima,Peru over the Andes Mountains to various DEA/SF/INM anti drug bases like Tingo Maria. Great adventure! Had to run the jets almost all the time when loaded. PAX all had to wear Oxygen all the time.

I also flew the airplane in Laos for Air America. This is a "Poor Man's C-130! I've flown this bird in some awful WX and been shot up more times than I can remember!

Terry in Alaska

Paul F. Magnant, e-mail, 24.03.2010 05:32

My dad "Maj. Paul A. Magnant", he retired a Lt Col flew the C-123 in the "Candle Stick" operation. He is now gone but never spoke of his missions, plane or otherwise. He never even told me he was awarded the Distinguished Air Force Cross 1969) for something, we found many medals in a shoe box after he passed away. Dad was always very private about his war experience. I looked on his DD 214 anc can see he was in Viet Nam, most likely stationed in Thialand his entire tour from 68 to 69. He was a navigator. If anyone has information that I could put in a scrap book for his now 6 year old granddaughter to see later it would be a great addition to his family history.

Fred Johnsen, e-mail, 04.03.2010 22:27

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of tail numbers for Ranch Hand spray C-123s? Specifically, can anyone confirm if C-123K 54-683 is or is not a former Ranch Hand sprayer?

--Fred Johnsen, AFFTC Museum Director

L Smith, e-mail, 03.03.2010 17:50

My dad flew in BlackSpot as a navigator. Anyone with info on this craft/crew, please email me. Stationed out of Hurlburt, FL; went to Korea,VietNam,Thailand approx July1968-June1969, with TDY to states late Dec 1968.Crew members: Col. Charlie Borchek, LC James Dunmyer, Maj Floyd Wamble (Womble?) Col Frank Sage, Cpt Cyrus Smith, Lt. ? Green(E?)Most of this crew retired around Eglin/Hurlburt area.

EdLoftus, e-mail, 17.02.2010 00:07

to - phantomguard1964-data(@)yahoo.com

you were saying the 123 was never flown as a spectre, true in that the name had not been developed until late 1967
but one aircraft was fitted with a 105 mm in Thailand, not sure where it's home base was, I saw it at NKP
The other was in the Belgian Congo, it was fitted with a howitzer, this was around 1965 late in the year, how long don't know

J.T. Smith, e-mail, 16.02.2010 22:08

After going through C-123 transition at Pope in the late Spring of 1963, I became the first PCS C-123 jockey to arrive in Viet Nam, assigned to the 310th TCS at Tan Son Nhut. During '63-'64, I flew in-country missions, landings and drops (including ARVN Airborne Training troops), and made a couple 2-week deployments to Thailand.

An earlier comment about the C-123's tendency to leak in the rain brings to mind one such trip to Thailand. It was monsoon season, and we had to fly in heavy rain for nearly all of the 4-hour trip. It was raining so hard in the back that the passengers sitting under the heaters had to spread ponchos over the static lines to keep dry. As the water accumulated to several inches deep on the floor and began to slosh fore and aft, the plane became slowly more and more uncontrollable in pitch. Eventually, it took full elevator deflection just to keep the plane more or less level. It felt like we were rowing the bird along. I slowed to about 115 knots and had the Load Master open the ramp. The next time the nose pitched up, I let it stay there to let the water escape out the back. Then we closed it up and continued. It took a total of three "flushes" before we got to Bangkok.

We also did the first flare missions using the C-123B. Initially, these were sort of lashed together with experimental flare chutes designed on napkins in the Club or on alert and fabricated by our very talented maintenance guys. Eventually, we got a system that worked reliably. Orbit and drop altitude was usually about 4000 ft AGL to avoid small arms fire and stay out of the attack birds' (ADs and B-26s) way.

In addition to flying the regular trash haulers, I finished out the last few months of my tour in the VC-123C, aka the "White Whale," assigned to support VIPs such as Generals Harkins and Westmoreland. On one day-long mission, we had a real plane load, including Hubert Humphrey, Henry Cabot Lodge, Robert McNamera, and Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky, then President of South Viet Nam. It took four stars or better to get into the VIP compartment and three stars or better to get on the airplane. Needless to say, we had fighter escort (ADs and T-28s, out of Bien Hoa) all day long.

After Nam I was assigned to Hurlburt and the 317th Air Commando Squadron of the 1st Air Commando Wing to instruct in the SEA C-123 transition school and fly tactical missions. We had a lot of fun in, Col. "Heinie" Aderholt's Flying Circus. We flew nap-of-the-earth (50 ft AGL day; 200 ft AGL night), made all sorts of air drops including LAPES and PLADS, made blacked-out assault landings day and night, and made test pickups using the Fulton Recovery System. I even got "that close" to landing a C-123 on an aircraft carrier, but they scrubbed the project after we were airborne and headed toward Pensacola bay for the first attempt. It would have been a piece of cake.

We left Hurlburt in '66 when the tactical portion of the Wing split off from the SEA-training operation and moved to England AFB, LA. As the Chief of Wing Stan-Eval, I got to pick up the Wing's first C-123K from Fairchild in '67 and flew both the B and K models for several months before ending my career in the "Provider" as I headed off to AFIT and other airplanes.

I shall cherish my days in the C-123 as the best of my flying career. It was slow, noisy, ugly, and at times a handful to fly well, but I loved it.

Bill Moss, e-mail, 12.02.2010 19:01

I was a navigator on both the C-123-B & K models. I was also a navigator on the C-119, C-124, C-130E, and the C-130G, but the C-123 was by far the best aircraft for doing airdrops was the C-123. I flew it in two different Volant Rodeos and had the best airdrop scores in my class both times and the best overall one time. It had some crude navigation eqipment in it, but it always got us where we wanted to go. My longest flight was from the Azores to Newfoundland, 9 hours overwater. Even got to land on the German Autobahn one time.

Mark Schaeferle, e-mail, 25.01.2010 06:23

I also flew the aircraft in Thailand as a member of the 606th SOS, 56th SOW. Loved the plane. Tons of fun to fly and could do almost anything except get you somewhere in a hurry. Still miss it today.

Benjamin Mann, e-mail, 01.01.2010 03:02

I flew with the 19thACS from late May 1969 until Mid April 1969 out of Tan Son Nhut on the C123K as a loadmaster. Anyone remember flying into Katum ?? That was not where you wanted to be. Would love to hear from anyone that might remember me. Can't remember many names from that time: Bob Calabrese, Ed Reuben, Chavez, Charles George.
Anyone have all the tail #'s?? 54-682, 699, etc? Please contact me. Happy new year to all!!!

John Furqueron AEC-USCG, e-mail, 18.12.2009 02:21

The Coast Guard had at least 8 C-123B's in the 1960's until 1973. I was a crew chief on them in Naples, Italy...Guam,M.I..& Miami, FL. We use it to supply the old Loran stations throughout the MED and N. Africa, and the islands in the pacific, along with the islands in the Carib. The best AC I ever worked on as it was a work horse that would take you there and back. Noisy, slow, drafty and would rain inside at times, but easy to work on. Wish I could find some video of one these days. And how many cases of San Miguel we hauled from Sangley Point back to Guam I'll never know, along with the cases of spirits out of Malta back to Napoli..

Hugh Perry, e-mail, 24.08.2009 05:08

I flew the C-123 at Pope AFB, 1969-1965, pilot and StanEval, including TDY in Saigon Sep '62-Jan '63. Tough little bird, stretched to limits in comptition against Army C-7s in Swift Strike Exercises in Sixties. I once landed, off loaded and took off in a corn field picked but with broken stalks still standing. Lights off assault landings at night were 'interesting', often at Sicily DZ/LZ. Worse than anything I found in Vietnam. A testament to good Air Force training of all crew positions and combat control teams.
Col (Ret) Hugh Perry (later in C-130 at Pope and CCK)

Wayne Doering, e-mail, 26.07.2009 21:44

I was stationed at Phan Rang Air Base, Viet Nam (1968) and assigned to the S.O.S. 309th. During my tour I flew 1,266 Combat Missions in the C-123K as Flight Engineer. It was a fantastic Aircraft for what it was called upon to do.

Phil Gilson, e-mail, 21.07.2009 17:57

I have pix of the C123K from the 2009 Andrews AFB open house. How do I get them to you?

Jim Biggie, e-mail, 23.05.2009 19:59


bob jones, e-mail, 29.04.2009 15:43


Joseph Foster, e-mail, 26.12.2008 22:02

I flew 1,165 combat support sorties as a
C-123B "Provider" a pilot with the 19th ACS from Saigon July 1966-June 1967. The maintenance troops were truly outstanding. I never had to abort a takeoff. We caried just about anything the troops on the ground needed. The term "Provider" was appropriate. There were 25 Thai airmen that flew with us. I felt they were pretty good pilots. I never flew the C-123K. It was coming into service as I left Vietnam. On two occassions I landed on one engine. On 31 December 1966 the right engine caught fire on takeoff. We were loaded with 50 gallon drums of gasoline and my copilot was from Thailand. After successfuly landng back at Tan Son Nhut the maintence folks found a drain plug had fallen out of the carburetor. So raw fuel was hitting the hot engine. But, once I performed the engine feathering procedure the fire stopped and we landed with all the gasoline drums still aboard. I have flown 19 different prop/turboprop/jet airplanes, but consider my experiences as an Air Commando Pilot my best assignment. Every day I knew we were helping someone!

Wayne Knowles, e-mail, 20.09.2008 02:32

I would like to acquire some information of flying the C-123 on the Microsoft Flight Simulator. I have the aircraft and it flys well but I would like to have a checklist and a reference file.

I prefer to simulate the standard flight characteristics and not just push the throttles to max for take-off and a notch or two of flaps with a guess at airspeed for landing.

Any help in directing me to these files would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks in advance,


John Limbach, e-mail, 14.08.2008 22:50

I was a loadmaster with the 19th Air Commando Squadron at Tan Son Nhut in 1967-68. We were the first squadron to convert to the C-123K with two J85 jet engines in addition to the two R-2800 recips. The max gross weight for takeoff in the "K" model was 60,000 pounds when operating from paved airfields. No problem with the gear as it was standard procedure to leave the gear pins in until after takeoff and then pull them (there was an access door in the wheel wells for this purpose) and reinstall them after putting the gear down for landing. David Farrar is correct, it was the noisest ever (although you could probably get an argument from loadmasters who flew in the cargo compartment of 3-bladed prop equipped C-130A's), but if you think the "B" model was noisy, takeoff in the "K" model even with earplugs and headset was a religious experience and if you exposed the terrorists at Gitmo to those decibel levels it would be considered torture, and rightly so! The C-123 holds the distinction of being the first all jet AF transport, XC-123A. Also, there was an amphibian version, YC-123E of which only one example was built (55-4031). Although there was never a production C-123 gunship, two C-123K's were converted to NC/AC-123K under Project Black Spot. These aircraft carried radar and sensors including a FLIR, Low-Light-Level-TV and a laser range finder to detect enemy ground movements on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and carried between 2,664-6,372 one pound cluster bomb units (CBU's) which were then dropped on the bad guys through twelve openings in the cargo floor. During the combat evaluation period (Nov 68 through Jan 69)the two aircraft destroyed 151 boats/vehicles, damaged another 108 and noted secondary explosions on 261 targets.

The C-123 was the only aircraft type to operate with four distinctive power plant types: pure jet (XC-123A); pure recip (C-123B); mixed jet/recip (C-123K); and pure turboprop (C-123T).

John Limbach, CMSgt USAF (Ret'd.)
I will be flying airdrop tests on a C-123K week after next. Got to find my earplugs.

Source for a good deal of this info is personal experience/observation and the book, "C-123 Provider In Action", Squadron/Signal Publications Aircraft Number 124, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in this great old bird.

John H. Tullis, e-mail, 07.08.2008 07:10

I was a flight engineer on the C-123K in 1969 to 1970 assigned to the 606 SOS out of Nakhon Phanom Thailand. Our
primary mission was to recon the Ho Chi Minh Trail (supply
route from North Vietnam through Laos to South Vietnam) and
flare support. During this peroid I was awarded The DFC and 13 Air Metals. Having flown as an Engineer on many aircrafts I enjoyed the C-123 the most. It was an essential
toy. Very versatile in all the missions it was assigned to do.

Roger Huntington, e-mail, 31.05.2008 18:06

Mistakes: The aircraft experimentally performed many tasks but gunship it was not. The B model (as shown) had a gross weight limit of 54,000 LBS. I remember the first time 60,000 was used (with waiver) the main gear collapsed on the taxiway. I flew the aircraft to 24,000 ft, at which time we had a negative airspeed - against a jetstream. Slow, noisy, but an amazing workhorse. By the way, we bought the six aircraft back from Saudi Arabia in 1965.

Matt Feiertag, e-mail, 25.04.2008 10:22

I flew the C-123B and K, UC-123B and K in VietNam and as an instructor at Hurlburt Field (1966-9). To my knowledge the C-123 was never used as a Spectre gunship. That was the C-130. The C-47 and C-119 were both used before. The C-123 was used as a defoliation aircraft in Operation Ranch Hand by the 12th Air Commando Sq. and as a nighttime flare/FAC flying out of Thailand.

David Farrar, e-mail, 18.04.2008 22:35

Absolutely the noisest airplane in the sky. With the C-119 a close second. You couldn`t hear yourself think inside the 123 at cruise speed. Forget take-offs. You wore earplugs or you died. As a bandsman maybe my ears were too sensitive. Dave Farrar Air Force Band of Flight...1960-`65

Lawrence Smith, e-mail, 24.12.2006 06:58

I was assigned to Ardmore AFB with the 309Th when the first C-123s arrived and I stayed with the group until 1958, most of the time was at Dreux AFB in France.
Col. Bull Bently was our first Group Commander .
Former Staff Sargent Larry Smith Aircraft Hydraulic Tech.

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