Douglas C-133 Cargomaster
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Bob Gough, e-mail, 27.06.2022 19:58

Hello, Don, you mentioned my dad as Maj "Golf". Actually the correct spelling for our last name is Gough, but we often use Golf when making a restaurant reservation as the correct spelling is tough (notice how I used a word like our last name?). Anyway, after graduating from the USAF Test Pilot School in 1956 Dad served 2 tours at W-P in ARDC. He was assigned to the C-133 along with Doug Benefield at Edwards. They became good friends on that project & Dad was devastated when Doug was killed in the B-1A, as I'm sure you were also. Dad had retired by then and was with the FAA. I don't have to tell you, it was a dangerous time to test aircraft back then, and stall tests in the 133 were particularly hairy. The test program lasted at least a year or more as I recall (maybe you can helpmeet with that?), I have some photos taken from chase planes as the 133 began to stall, a special trip to Canaveral to deliver an Atlas, and also during icing tests. Dad at W-P & going several times to Edwards. Dad was awarded the Air Medal for his work, and I assume Doug was similarly awarded.
My hat is off to you for your work, and best regards,
Bob Gough

Don, e-mail, 20.02.2022 19:10

Good morning. I came across a post of yours in the aviastar web site. I was not at Dover and don’t have any stories. What I do have is a photo that was in a box of aviation related items. I’ve had this box for 25 years which I picked up at an estate sale. Finally decided to look in it. Anyway this photo has 13 guys in it. On the photo it says C133 turboprop Spec Dover 1958. I can email a picture of it if you reply. Photo means nothing to me but might mean something to someone else.

Rick Gordon, e-mail, 18.12.2021 19:17

Excited to find this site. I'm an Air Force brat born on Dover Air Force Base in 1960. My father, Harry Gordon, was part of the C-133 crews as a flight engineer between 1958 and 1970. I'm not sure when he began flying status during that time, but we were there when the C-5's came in. I'm hoping somebody on here may have heard of or flew with my father. He passed away in 1996 at the age of 63. I have always had the deepest respect for all military personnel and have a special place in my heart for the crews of the C-133. For most of my childhood, we rented a farmhouse off base from a gravel company that was situated along and parallel to the landing zone. From our house, we could watch planes take off and land all day. My brothers and I would go stand under the flight path and watch the planes pass withing 100 feet of our heads as they headed for the runway. From an old oak tree behind our house, we could see that huge red and white checkered tower with the rotating beacon. The house is now gone as it was too close to the landing strip once the C-5 started using the base. It was first moved and later torn down as the made a lake out of the area along the St. Jones River (Swamp). I visited the old house back in 1989 or 1990 before it was moved. Everything looked a lot smaller then, lol. If anybody remembers my father, it would mean a lot to me if you could message me. It'd be an honor to get to know you.

gene wright, e-mail, 09.10.2020 22:20

I think it was in Sept 1956, a 133 came to Lockbourne and made landings. I was listening to the tower and they asked a lot of questions. The aircraft was from Wright-Pat. Flight tests I presume. That thing could climb.

bryan, e-mail, 10.01.2018 00:00

anyone know where to find a pdf of the dash 1. My cousins husband flew these at kdov

Ed, e-mail, 05.01.2018 22:04

Please, I will like to know the original unit cost of the C-133A & C-133B Cargomaster II.

Thank you

Gary Timms, e-mail, 10.12.2016 00:43

Joined the service August of 1960. First time I ever was on a aircraft was commercial from Seattle to Lackland AFB. Six months later I'm on the C-133A, Dover Delaware and crew member on C-133A's as Loadmaster. Five weeks at Lackland, on to Sheppard AFB and Air Freight school. Five of us were picked out of the class, sent to Loadmaster school and then on to Dover AFB. 1500 hours in the C-133A and then transferred to C-130A in Naha, Okinawa. Grew up in one year from high school. Best time, broke down on Christmas Island for a week. Worst time, broke down in Thule, Greenland for 16 days ..... in the winter..... in the dark.

Carol Reppard, e-mail, 05.10.2016 17:24

My husband Sheldon (Charlie) C Reppard was an in-flight electrician on the C-133's with MATS out of Dover ABF 1957-64. Flew mainly between Dover and Chateraux France. Was on flights during operation New Tape. Would love to hear from anyone who might have known him.

barbara wright, e-mail, 12.05.2016 06:19

there is a possability that my husband flew to Korea in 1962 out of McChord AFB, Tacoma Washington. Did they fly out of the west coast? and did they they fly out of McChord.

charles w hargis, e-mail, 13.04.2016 00:43

yes i have a few comments uncle bill was a pilot during wwii , korea , and vetnam flying transports but during vetnam he was also flighing top secret missions all over the world in the 1st C-133A ..but i was never told what those top secret missions where all about and was told by my dad to never ask bill what he was doing , but dad knew, cause dad and bill where very close brothers since wwii when they both where doing things that your never supposed to talk about ... bill was picking up missiles from JPL and delivering them to the cape for the mercury program day at a family re-union bill and dad where joking around about the time bill got one off the ground that was completely assembled with the tail if this ICBM hanging out passed the rear and opened cargo doors this became a problem right away right before lift off trying to get the nose wheel up causing the tail of this ICBM to be just inches from draging on the runway bill says to the tower something like " advise security we're gonna hit max cruse speed before we leave the ground and use up all of your he did and got that thing in the air ..and in 1966 dad and uncle bill arranged to take me on an entire tour and an education of what really goes on in the space program of the i got to see everything beyond any tour for the public from cape kennedy vehicle assembly building to driving around for miles out to the launch pads ... got see how they built the roads for the crawlers by driving down pilings solid one after the other just to hold the road bed that's app ied on top of all that..and then they still have to keep rebuilding it after so many uses from all the weight of the crawlers with a missile on it ....this inside tour of everything nasa went on all that week ending in a trip up to dover AFB where uncle bill was stationed at the time... bill was crazy like all pilots of his type ... we drove onto the dover AFB in bills hot rod mercury low rider ..and bill is dressed in his bright gay looking hawaiian shirt, shorts , straw hat and dark KD sunglass and pulls up to the gate roaring the pipes ..where the MP's went nuts on us , guns out aimed at us screaming , " indentfication " boy ran up to the drivers side of the car and put his M16 in bill's face ...bill pulls down his glasses and says " you know who i am son " and the boy jumps to attention saluting bill and says " yes sir " we went through everything on the whole base starting with the planes bill few in wwii, korea , and vetnam ..and some with guns and cannons ..some called "spooky" and " puff the magic dragon" things like that ..and then their is bill's airplane , the C-133A way over on the other side of the base with some more boys guarding it with M16's...there is also a chainlink and rasor wire fenced off area by bill airplane stacked with sealed up canisters ...i say " what's that bill?" bill says " my spare engines" ..bill got brand new engines installed for every mission !!! ..we go all through the airplne even crawling out in the wings ..we get up into the cabine and bill pops open the hatch on top and says " i want you to go up there and run down and touch the tail and run back " alright ..i get up there and the ground starts moving and the surface of the plane refects the sky and clouds that are moving ..and i get to experiance for 1st time "vertigo" and i am freaking out ...and hell i had on rubber sole sneekers and no way to slip and fall ..but the mind wouldnt believe it ...' bill i cant do'er ..and i pussed out in him ...not cool ...and bill and dad didn't think so highly of me form then on dad ernist d hargis was also air force in india outfitting B-17's and B-24" for the "hump" mission pushing the engines beyond their limits....." so dad how did you soup up them old radials ..simple just tie the waste gates shut and let'em hum ...." but dad didnt you have to overhaul them a lot? " everyday for the ones that made it back ' except for one that went straight down into the runway with only it's tail sticking out " ...crazy people doing crazy shit , winning crazy wars

William R. Stanton Jr., e-mail, 15.10.2015 18:13

My Father, Lt. Col. William R. Stanton flew the C-133 during Berlin Airlift as well as the first around the world flight in the C-133.

Donald Taylor, e-mail, 14.08.2015 03:17

I was a Flight Engineer at Dover AFB fro 1962-1966. I loved to fly the bird. I was on the crew that took the bird to Wake Island and was bumped, the other crew took off early in the am and crashed a mile or two off shore. lost all the crew. I had the reputation of, "do no fly he airplane after Don, several times the C-133 was lost the next flight. I wen form C-133's to C-141's and finished on the C-5. I would do it over if I could.

Virgil Raridan, e-mail, 12.06.2015 19:02

My Dad (Capt. Virgil Raridan)was a command pilot who flew almost every one of the C-133s between 1958 until 1964. We were stationed at Dover AFB.

Bob Gough, e-mail, 05.05.2015 20:19

My dad, Lt. Col Richard Gough (Ret), was a test pilot assigned to the ARDC at Wright-Patterson AFB. When he was a Major, the C-133 test program was assigned to him, along with his friend & colleague Col. Benefield at Edwards, to determine the cause of the suspected stall-spin characteristics of the aircraft.
The book "Remembering An Unsung Giant" by Cal Taylor is a remarkable and thorough history of the 133. But the comments here by Don Bowmaster and CMSgt Sandy Sandstrom, who were aboard some of the test flights flown by Doug Benefield and my dad leave me wanting to know more about those flights, wherein the aircraft was deliberately stalled in order to gain data. At my dad's funeral, a gentleman shook my hand, his name lost to me over the years, who was apparently a crew member on those test flights, who said" Your dad was the bravest man I ever knew."
Well, that may or may not be true, but that comment was a testament to the resolve and professionlism of all USAF test pilots and crew members who go about their dangerous business every day to make for safer aircraft for the operational crews.

Kevin Reasor, e-mail, 19.02.2015 05:16

My brother and I along with our best friend were at the far end of Travis AFB and saw the smoke from the c-133 that had just crashed. Being teenagers, when we got home we were laughing about what we saw. My mom stopped us cold when she quietly said "your father is flying today" It was 4 hours later that my dad called to let us know he was OK. My dad "Art Reasor" was a flight engineer on both c-133s and c-124s. We lived on the airbase for almost 10 years. 1954 -1963.

Ken (Ski) Tanski, e-mail, 07.01.2015 07:36

Worked on C-133's from 1962-1964 iat Dover AFB, then again at Lajes Field, Azores until 1966. I was a prop mechanic, and really liked that a/c.

Deborah Branson, e-mail, 02.11.2014 22:50

Obviously did not Crew the C133. My dad was a flight engineer on the 133 from 1961-1968 at Dover. Ed Nisbet.

Douglas E. Bush, e-mail, 19.10.2014 17:05

I arrived at DAFB Feb 1958 was assigned to the 1617th FLMS.
Assigned C-133a tail # 54-0145worked as crew chief till I separated in Jul 1961. Chief Ober was the FLMS super. I was there when a C-133a crashed on a test flight,I remember that all of the wreakage was put in the black hangar.

Jose Corrales Sr, e-mail, 06.08.2014 04:14

this was a great aircraft I was station in Dover AFB from 1969 to 1970 in the flight line, I enjoy working on the C-133 but now they are out of commission. AS for VN if your boots touch the ground then you have a case take it up with the VA cause I have the same problem,also a lot of the USAF records were burnt in the fire.But getting back to the C-133 as noisy as it was it work fine for me,I think I was on tail number 1998.

Carl Grimm, e-mail, 05.05.2014 14:49

I was in tech school at Lowery AFB in Denver in 1961. Used to watch a C-133 fly in and pick up missiles (I was told from Martin Missile west of Denver)every so often. 133 would land, a convoy of Air Police and the missile would come through the gate on the SE corner of the base, load on the 133 and leave for parts unknown. I thought it was a beautiful airplane.

Dennis Eck, e-mail, 16.11.2013 22:46

new email address. retired and live in milford Delaware. I was at DAFB 62 - 66 as a jet engine mechanic in the FLMS of the 1617th. worked out of a small shop in one of the hangers and we fixed the engines on the flight line, run-up engines, etc. Now volunteer as tour guide at the DAFB AMC museum, its fun and very interesting.

art richards, e-mail, 27.07.2013 16:22

I was one of two flight electronic technicians that flew on nearly every test hop at Dover AFB Deleware. The first stall was the most exciting- stalled in the wrong direction! Can't remember wnich direction. I did most of the log reports as directed by the Pilot who I believe was a civilian test pilot

Hans Walrecht, e-mail, 16.05.2013 15:41

This site is very interesting. The C-133 is a great, but little forgotten plane.
I'm planning to write an article about the C-133 for a non profit magazine. It's free for members of Dutch vintage aircraft clubs.
But I must have permission for using materials.
My first question is: who is the owner of the dimensions drawing above? I'd like to use that.

My second question is: who can help me in finding a photograph (with permission to use it) of a cargo in the hold of the C-133?

I hope someone can help me in this.

Best regards,
Hans Walrecht
The Netherlands

Richard Justis, e-mail, 09.05.2013 19:46

Bobby Reardon, Please contact me at the above address.
Richard Justis Dover A.F.B.1961-65
P.P.C.T. 1617 O.M.S.. Your address won't work.

Walter McCann, e-mail, 12.04.2013 20:06

Stationed at DAFB from 1956 to 1974. Went to Douglas for training on C-133 in April 1957. Flew as Flight Engineer until the C-5 came along. Taught as Instructor and Flt Exam. in the C-133 simulator. Wonderful crew members and memories.

Joe McNully, e-mail, 21.03.2013 17:57

I flew as a civilian contractor passenger on The Gray Ghost, from Antigua to Ascension Island, circa July 1963. We made an unscheduled stop in Zanderiz, Surinam, to replace a fuel transfer valve. We stopped for RON in Recife, Brazil. For a while when we were flying over the Amazon the crew could not raise anyone on the radio.

stan higginbotham, e-mail, 04.01.2013 05:27

Went to Dover from Sheppard as 43121F in Spring 68 . First and second in class drew Travis and Dover as duty stations, rest sent to 130 bases. As young flight line airmen I took ever FCF and static display I could talk my way into. C/Msgt Chambers line chief. Don't recall tail number may be 0135. Left in Oct 68 for CCK. Imagine getting paid to work on such a awesome aircraft

Thomas Fitzgerald, e-mail, 28.09.2012 17:53

Came to Dover and "A" flight 1617 OMS on January 15 1962 as a Reservist on Active duty for 4 years. Was assigned to A/C 0142, Crew chief T/Sgt Rudy Parish Asst C/C Elmer Keeney. Parish transfered and Keeney became C/C and I became Asst C/C. Don't remember how the shuffle occured but I ended up as C/C on A/C 0135 until I received orders for Flt Eng duty on C-130s and sent to 57 TH ARRS Lajes Azores. While at Dover I accompanied my aircraft to many different countries, many we can no longer enter. I always thought the C-130 was one of the greatest aircraft ever built and to this day think so. I left Dover in April 65, Retired in 78.

Bob Reardon, e-mail, 19.09.2012 22:36

Worked as a jet engine mechanic at Dover AFB from 1962 - 1966. I was part of the 1617 OMS. Flew back home with 133A from Turkey to Dover after a TDY with the 101st Airbore. Also had the privilege flying from France to Azores to Dover after spending a week trying to get one of our planes fixed in France. The last flight I had was in 65. I was on TDY with our engine repair shop or most of it at Travis to get a quicker turnaround on our "A" models. Seem to me that the Travis guys were using our planes for spare parts and our Colonel decided we could get better maintenance back in Dover. That Christmas we jumped a flight back home for two weeks leave. Base Brass frowned on that so free hops ended very quickly. As I remember from that time we were resupplying VN and our plases were taking vital war materials and returning with body boxes from fallen warriors. Cal Taylor has written a great book titled Remembering An Unsung Giant. Its a must read for everyone who worked and flew the C-133's.

James Edwards, e-mail, 09.09.2012 03:20

Does anyone remember a layover in australia.The night was memorable.If you were there talk to me.

james edwards, e-mail, 05.09.2012 03:11

I was a flying crewchief 1965 thru 1970.We flew supplies in and out of vn.I now have medical problems.The VA said my records do not show that I got off the plane.That was my job to take care of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.If the is anyone who knows how to handle this please let me know.

james edwards, e-mail, 05.09.2012 03:06

I was a flying crewchief 1965 thru 1970.We flew supplies in and out of vn.I now have medical problems.The VA said my records do not show that I got off the plane.That was my job to take care of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.If the is anyone who knows how to handle this please let me know.

Jerry, e-mail, 15.05.2012 03:00

I was stationed at Travis from 1966-70, working in transient maint. We caught a lot of C-133's goin to and from VN. It was a large AC, with prop, eng, and doppler issues. I can still hear the low, loud rumble of them comin in to the base. One of my observations was no matter what kind of AC it was, there was always many, many more problems with the planes going overseas, than when they were returning home!

Robert Wiedemann, e-mail, 12.04.2012 03:12

I have a large model of this plane made of cast aluminum!, with Air Force marking,s.

Jerald Moriarty, e-mail, 09.03.2012 05:50

Where can I find a C133B..iwas a navigator from 1963 to 1967 at Travis AFB

mike, e-mail, 22.02.2012 06:56

was maint- crew chief on #0135 at dover for over one and a half years had all the flight recording data after wright patt testing hadto put 300hrs on recording time onbefore it could go on trip 84 days of flying time kept, that puppy flying #0135 only plane that supplied cargo to north pole up at tule 38 days fly and tske off org. flight manual was writrten wrong no more accidents best times married girl from dela( at dover 62_65 )

Ralph Neumeister, e-mail, 09.02.2012 19:36

I flew with the 39th out of Dover as a loadmaster. I was there from 1966 to 1967, then again in 1969 for a brief period. Wonder if anyone has any infromation of me flying with them on log books or orders. also spent some time flying c-124's with the 22 nd mas in Japan. Loved the C-133

Cal Taylor, e-mail, 20.12.2011 20:35

For those who want to hear the airplane again, the video DVD is done. It has 90 minutes to cover the last flight of 61999 from Anchorage to Travis, in 2008. A short video give 24 minutes about an Alaska airlift mission to deliver three shool buses to North Slope towns. A second DVD has more than 2,000 C-133 pictures. Check the web site for The C-133 Project.

Dennis Eck, e-mail, 16.11.2011 21:37

I was stationed at DAFB 1962 - 1966 as a 1617 th FLMS jet engine mechanic. In our shop we worked in pairs on the flught line to troubleshoot engine problems, fix them, run the engines to check our work. Also, we would change engines in the hangers. Did a lot of TDY all over the states, Labrador several times, Germany several times, France, Spain, Azores. Flew on 124's, 130's and 133's a lot. With the 133 you were either in the cockpit or in a seat strapped to the tail ramp, and very noisy with a lot of vibration. Enjoyed working on all these airplanes and more. Once while at Fort Campbell, KY the 101st airborne took us for a ride on one of theri M60 tanks, and we took them and their tank for a ride. Sometimes while in Labrador, we would have to change an engine and prop on the flight line at night - outside when it would be about 40 below zero. Had to use a crane to hoist the prop and engine while in the cold, snow and wind. Never worked in the Black Hanger engine shop, liked the action of finding the problem, fixing it and getting the aircraft on its way as quickly as we could and fixed right. Command was interested in being on time and getting the payload to its destination in one piece and we tried. The 133's were involved in several very important missions for eathquake, flood, hurricane humanitarian relief, to supporting NATO, to supplying our troops in Vietnam and returning those that gave their all. Good memories.

Bob Ginn, e-mail, 12.06.2011 04:47

Just reread the above comments for old times sake and must say: Lots of insight, lots of nonsense. But the love shines through all.

Paul C Campo, e-mail, 18.05.2011 00:01

I was at Dover AFB, 61 to 65 . We lost two c-133, one over the pond,and one at Dover on a hot spot while doing matance. they Had vibration and wing spar problems with the C - 133.

Don Blake, e-mail, 03.05.2011 02:40

Originally trained on 130's but was sent to Travis. Worked in the docks there - mostly grave shift, and had a crew as an A3C... The guys on my crew were like F Troop - mostly drunks from the Ozarks - so I had to keep finding them - sleeping inside the wings usually! I remember the nights out on the line - like Joe above - windy as hell - trying to walk the wings - changing the anti-collision light on the tail... In those days you couldn't put me up high enough! Engine checks were awesome! ... Sittin in the cockpit with some of the crewchiefs - the rush of all that horse power! I remember one night we brought a plane in from 'Nam right into the dock for some problem... Cold winter night but warm inside with the doors closed up... As the plane warmed up, some big-ass snake woke up and crawled out of the l/g pod and booked across the shop floor... Can't remember where they found it, but everybody was thinking it was a cobra....
yep - the days of MATS were cool... Most guys never looked like they were even in the Air Force - shaggy hair, mustaches, I'd take my lunch in my '57 Plymouth hardtop - A cup of coffee, a warm heater, and WOLFMAN JACK! OWWWWWOOOOOOO! That's when I wasn't sitting in the cockpit eating by all the instrument lights! The last Weenie I saw was grounded at the airport in Anchorage in 1982... They probably never did fly it out.... But ya never know!

Bill Hoglan, e-mail, 30.04.2011 21:15

Found Ben Seeley. Seeley Insurance near Grassvalley Ca. He survived the ditching off Okinawa.

joe bowman, e-mail, 28.04.2011 02:43

our company won the contract on the c 133 and i was assigned to the first one in . and walked the last one out to taxaway was in travis in 65 worked on th plane that went thru the hangar and also in dover on the c 133 that caught on fire at the apu loved that plane that co was ltv

Donnald J. Meyer, e-mail, 27.04.2011 17:09

I worked on the first several C-133's at the Douglas plant in Long Beach in the mid to late 50's. I helped build and install several fiberglass airfoil components in an effort to reduce drag. It was a fun aircraft to work on.

Lt. Col. James A. Cone, e-mail, 27.03.2011 10:40

I flew C-133B's in the 84th ATS at Travis AFB after graduating from pilot training in March 1965 until November 1967 and after a tour flying AC-47's in Viet Nam returned to the the 84th ATS to complete my active duty which ended in 1969. I really liked the plane and thought that it flew well. It did have it's problems, but once the weight and prop problems were solved, it performed missions that no other plane could do. I was privileged to be the aircraft commander on the mission that flew the Apollo 11 Capsule that had just returned from the moon, from Hickham AFB to Travis AFB on the first leg of its trip to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. The capsule fit in the cargo compartment with just inches to spare on either side. No other aircraft could have done that. Anyone interested in this plane and its history should read Cal Taylor's book, mentioned in a previous post here. It is good reading and brings back many memories. The C-133 was a great plane, way ahead of its time.

William De Kine, e-mail, 17.03.2011 15:14

Great airplane, can still remember how to perform low/high error checks. Crewed 0135 at Dover.

William De Kine, e-mail, 17.03.2011 15:12

Great airplane, can still remember how to perform low/high error checks. Crewed 0135 at Dover.

John Sacchetti, e-mail, 12.01.2011 22:18

Hi folks... I probably emailed a few of you in the past and will again - I do apologize but...

I flew C133A out of DAFB (1st ATS/MAS) as a loadmaster 1963 - 1966. I am looking for anyone that can remember / has any log book or other records of flights into / within Viet Nam specifically listing me as the loadmaster. A longshot I know but it is important. Thanks

Ed Levine, e-mail, 25.12.2010 06:13

In Aug 1958 I was transferred from the 15th ATS C-124 to the 39th ATS C133 aircraft. Flew the aircraft until Oct 1966 and then again from May 1970 until Aug 1971 with the 84th at Travis. I enjoyed flying the Weenie Wagon, but yes we all had adventures with the bird. Collapsing tailpipes, loss of prop control-single and double. blow-out of a main landing gear strut going into Lajes. Tricky take-off and landing in the snow, and cross-winds. The flight engineers were the crewmembers who kept the bird flying. I read Cal Taylor's book from cover to cover [ we crewed together in the 84th], he did an incredible amount of research. Some of the information was a bit unsettling, especially the gross weight problem and being underpowered; and moving the aircraft to active duty so quickly. It has always bothered me that all the lost aircraft from Dover, except for first one, were crewed by members of the 1st Squadron. All in all airplane did the job it was designed to do.

Lew Munger, e-mail, 07.12.2010 22:33

I was crew chief on C-133B 59-529 ar Travis AFB 1970 1971. Working on the C-133's was sure different compaired to C-130's my former plane.I had to get used to the do's and do nots on this plane. Once this was done it was not bad to crew. The C-133's would sure carry a lot of freight. This plane put a new dimension to noise and viabration. When running engines after phase we could get the tables and chairs to move around in the flight line snack bar. Today 59-529 is at Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson Airzona.

JERREL DAVIS, e-mail, 05.11.2010 03:47

Worked on this Dog for 2 1/2yrs. in Okinawa 603rd MASS 1968-71. A real maintains man nitemare I hated this acft.
Glad I never flown on it.

Chuck Munroe, e-mail, 14.10.2010 02:28

I accrued 2500 hrs flying C-133A's from Oct 62 until May 67, when I left navigating for pilot training. I had just about finished Bomb-Nav training at Mather AFB, when our entire class was told that we'd finish up the course, but then be pulled out of the SAC pipeline and sent to MATS transports, rather than to B-52s and B-47s. Apparently, a critical navigator shortage had developed in MATS (later to be renamed MAC). We were given choices between C-124s at McGuire, Dover, Donaldson, and Mc Chord AFBs, or the C-133 at Dover. I chose Dover. I accrued 2500 hours flying in the plane, and traveled all over Europe, Asia, and the North American continent. It was very comfortable, considering that it could not fly above the weather. I enjoyed navigating it with 3-star celestial, sun/moon shots, pressure pattern, CONSOLAN, Grid, LORAN, and of course DR! It had a comfortable crew rest lounge area, and in later years a double decker bed was installed on the cargo deck next to the head. On long overwater augmented crew flights (3 pilots, 2 navs, 2 engineers, 1 LM and a 27 hr crew duty day) that bed was a Godsend, since we could at times get some decent winks. I arrived at Dover in the middle of the Cuban Crisis. After signing in at the 39th, I was told by the Ops Officer to find a place for my wife and me to live, buy a lot of cases of canned food and store them in the basement, fill the tubs with water, stay home, and anticipate a possible nuclear strike on the base! All of Dovers C-133s were away on missions flown in/out of Florida, primarily. He said that I'd be called, if and when I was needed. I responded that I'd never even seen a C-133, and didn't know what Nav equipment was aboard and how to use it. His response was, "If we need you, someone will point out the plane, and you can figure out how to navigate it yourself, Im sure!" My wife was pregnant and not a happy camper. I was a bit awestruck to say the least. I have many unforgettable stories from my days at Dover. Unfortunately, I lost a number of good friends in crashes, while stationed there. Eventually, I went on to be a T-38 instructor pilot for ATC, and thereafter I mostly flew the RF-4C until retirement in 1983 at Shaw AFB. I have a C-133A drawing on my wall that always reminds me of those days, now long gone. I was young, and it was a fun time! These days I continue my work in military aviation writing Dash-1 and NATOPS flight manuals for BOEING fighters, plus, Instructor Operator manuals for BOEING built APACHEs. Its neat to personally see and be in on much of what has changed in military aviation since when I first entered the USAF in Jan 1961!

Chris Charland, e-mail, 02.10.2010 20:01

I had the sad misfortune to witness a C-133A go down in front of me at Goose Bay. The aircraft struck the ground at 17:10 hours on Saturday the 7th of November, 1964. It was totally dark by then. The C-133A was en-route to Sondestrom Air Base full of food and other supplies.

I am (was) the Boy Scout mentioned in the following excerpt from Cal Taylor's book masterful book 'Remembering An Unsung Giant - The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and Its People''


1991 - 2003

Nov 64. C-133A 562014. Goose Bay, Labrador. Aircraft appeared to stall at full power after takeoff. Right wing, then left wing dropped, aircraft impacted 3,300' from end of runway in nose high, left wing down and tail low attitude. Seven killed. Most probable cause a departure stall due to icing or "possibly the aerodynamic instability of the aircraft." The author has had e-mail correspondence with a Canadian who witnessed the crash. He was twelve at the time, on a Boy Scout hike in the area just north of the runway. He stopped to watch the takeoff before getting into the vehicle, and said the airplane lights went up into the sky, then stopped and went straight down. There was no an explosion, just a huge fireball that erupted and he could feel the shock wave from the combustion. He said he heard that the airplane was deiced twice before takeoff. Crew included: 1LT Guy L. Vassalotti (AC), MAJ Frank X. Hearty (FEAC/CP), CPT Charles L. Jenkins (CP), 1LT Douglas H. Brookfield (N), TSG John A. Kitchens and TSG Norman A. Baron (FET), A1C Shelton Toler (LM). NOTE: Bob Hunter,who was in MX at Dover, has contacted me to state very firmly that Sgt Kitchens was killed in the Sep 63 crash, not in this one. Hunter was out of the service in Feb 64, long before the Nov crash. My source is Part A of the USAF accident investigation board report. If anyone has a primary source reference to contradict that report, I would be interested in seeing that material.

Bob Ginn, e-mail, 10.09.2010 17:43

I highly recommend Cal Taylor's extensively researched and detailed textbook regarding our great bird. A pleasure to read. I was at Dover as a pilot from about day one in '58 until Cuba Week in '62. I loved it.

Jim Zeitler, e-mail, 31.08.2010 09:10

I was at Dover in 64 & 65. We had a C133 that had defective skin. It was prone to corrode very easily. We painted is grey. The paint changed the weight of the acft quite a lot. She was nicknamed the "Gray Ghost". She was a great bird. She did all of the stunts for airshows. She stood out. We had one taxi out one day and did all of the required checks at the end of the runway. They then taxi'd out and took the active. Engines up brakes off, takeoff roll. Liftoff point and speed. Yokes won't move.Pilot and Co-Pilot both pulling, feet against the footrests , no good. By the time they figured out she wasn't going to fly and both slammed on brakes, they took the barriet and cables and chains wrapped and whipped around in the wheel wells and took out wiring bundles, brake lines etc. She ended up of the end of the runway, sunk to her belly in mud. It believe it took 3 big Euclids to pull her out.

Well the next day we were told to assemble in the shop, all shifts, off duty or not. Display our tools on work tables and be prepared for inspection. This was when the tool CTK progrm first began. The Chief of maintenance came in to the shop and began inspecting our tools. On purpose he did every box, saving the problem box for last. Letting us sweat. When he got to that box, he asked the two striper where his 1" x 1-1/8th box wrench was. I don't know sir was the reply. The colonel pulled the wrench out from behind his back an handed it to the airman. Is that yours'? Why yessir it is, look there are my initials.(smarter than the average toad. All that was to be on the tools was the CTK number. It seems that the airman had it on board the aircraft when it wasn't needed for the job, but he "was using it as a hammer sir." He had left it on the aircraft laying above the bellcrank for the yokes. When they did their runnup and released the brakes it fell right in the wrong place and locked the yokes. He put his tools in the tool box and left it on the table. He left with the Colonel. We never heard what they did with him.
Quite a day.

Don Goeke, e-mail, 26.08.2010 08:06

I was stationed at Travis AFB as an aircraft electrician when we got the first C-133 and I was given the privilage of working on one. I only had too work on them for 1 year (1962) and I have never been so glad to get off of an aircraft. As an electrician that aircraft was a complete disaster and one of the worst ones I have ever worked on.

Albert Baglione, e-mail, 25.08.2010 02:35

I have over 3000 hrs as a loadmaster on the C-124 And was getting transferred to the 39th ATS at Dover AFB. I was supposed to fly on the same aircraft that Col Bob McCartney had mentioned in his comments but at the last minute it was decided that I would stay with the C-124. This is really weird. I was at the crash site Mainly because I had guilt feelings but what I saw was unbelievable. The only reconnizable part was a big round disk and then there was some new small wooden caskets.At least I think thats what they were. I will never forget that sad time. I never flew on a C-133 but now I have somebody out there to share these feelings with. Thanks Bob

James C. "J.C." Wheeler, e-mail, 16.07.2010 18:30

While I never flew aboard the C-133's, I did work on the Transient birds that flew thru Lajes AB in 1960-62. Most of these were out of Dover Delaware. I was a Recip man, the C-124's out but we, known as the "Charlie One Crew" worked on the C-124's and 133's as they passed thru Lajes.

I don't recall many problems with the C-133's but one night I remember that on the pre-flight inspection we were pulling that Number 3 Propeller would not come out of Reverse. Don't recall how/why but someone started rotating the propeller backwards and noted that the blade angle responded to such rotation. The light went off over someones head and they continued to rotate the prop backwards until it was back into forward pitch. Now I know there will be someone who does not believe this and while I have never understood it, it did do exactly as I said and the aircraft departed on time.

Another memory of the C-133's was a Major, soon to be Lt. Col. who was our Maintenance Officer had come to Lajes from Dover. He was a C-133 man and did all he could to make sure they received the best and most timely maintenance as they passed thru. I can't remember how to spell his name but it was near Guticunst or some such spelling. If you had a problem on one of the aircraft he was on your ass until it was corrected and the aircraft was back In Commission.

My last year at Lajes was working in Maintenance Control after a back injury working on a Short Time C-124. This tour was most enjoyable and second only to my Vietnam Tour on the EC-47's in 1966/67.

Take Care,

J.C. Wheeler
Clarksville, Arkansas

John R Sacchetti, e-mail, 06.07.2010 15:03

I was a loadmaster on C-133a's out of Dover from 1964 until discharge Nov 1966. I honestly cannot associate the names here with faces but probably flew with a few of you. I do recall remembering AC's "center of gravity" preferences though and once I was assigned to a crew, would check the AC's name so I would know how to load for the sweet spot (ie the AC's preferred CG).

Also.. do any of you remember "The Nose Wheel Game"? You know... the lug nuts on the nose gear were all numbered and the numbers randomly assigned - one to each crew member. On landing, the number closest to the ground won the pot (I think it was a buck a man).

Capt. Roy Segers, e-mail, 27.06.2010 15:31

Hello EX-C-133B Crew Members:

Would any of you happen to have an original POM for a -b model? I would very much like to purchase or trade (?) you something for it. I am a retired ATP and wish to write a special "pilot's manual" for this aircraft. A Xerox copy would work just fine too! Thanks. Capt. Segers

Joe Scherrer, e-mail, 18.06.2010 15:39

I was assigned to the engine shop after leaving Chanute in 1965-1966. I remember the windy nights, sitting on top of the wings servicing the oil tanks. You had to be careful walking the cases of oil to the area behind the engines. I also worked the phase dock. When the first C-141 arrived I was assigned to the Thrust Reverser Shop, which really sucked. I will always remember the time spent at Travis, and especially the "Weenie Wagon".

Charles Rash, e-mail, 12.06.2010 06:00

I was a crew chief on Travis C-133B from November 1963 to May 1966. A lot of people felt that this aircraft was dangerous and very hard to maintain. I found that it required constant care but once in shape could be kept that way fairly easily. Maybe after crewing a B-52 it didn't seem as daunting as it would for someone not used to large aircraft. I was one of the original flying crew chief's at Travis (mid 65)and flew for a number of months before being transferred to Sheppard AFB as a tech school instructor. The C-133 was a good aircraft and made history that few people are aware of.

Jim Christensen, e-mail, 24.04.2010 03:10

I was part of the C-133 Douglas fight test crew; flight test engineer, from 1957-1961), ship #1 54-0135) The airplane was far in advance of it's time and probably suffered from the coupling of so many new technologies(by 1956 standards) of power, GTU's, size and load, first transistor autopilot, and too many to list in this brief post.

Don Bowmaster, e-mail, 18.04.2010 19:31

In my first comment about the stall tests, I did not explain or give enough information about the stall strip.The Douglas engineers came up with the idea of the stall strip. After we determined that the right wing would fall first on all the aircraft except one.We started with a strip about 30 inches long. I would istall the strip with a special tape using a template to get it in the correct position. The first stall with the strip was pretty violent, it was evident that the strip was too long. After every flight Col. Benefield would call Douglas and brief them on the test. They said reduce the length of the strip by half,It was still too long. The strip was reduced 2 inches at a time till we got a wings level stall.I can't remember what the exact length was, I believe it was 7 to 8 inches. Most flights were less than an hour, some days we flew 4 to5 flights.
Col. Benefield did not like to waste time he instructed me what to do.First I would make sure the aircraft was ready to fly, then I would complete the engineers and pilots before starting engines checklist then I would call ACP and tell them the aircraft was ready to fly, within minutes the Col.would show up run off the crew bus into the plane,as he was getting into the seat he would punch No.1 starter button.A few minutes later we were taking off,he had the run of the airfield.While we climbing out I would make sure the fuel load was even.
This is my most memorable experience flying the C-133. Like I said in my first comment, I liked this aircraft.
You could never forget an experience like this.

Don Bowmaster, e-mail, 15.04.2010 18:45

When I first saw a C-133, I was stationed at Yokota Air Base in Japan. A C-133 had to make an emergency landing because it had two engines shut down
I happened to know the flight engineers, they showed me around the airplane. I can't explain why, but for some reason I liked this aircraft
In 1960 I was assigned to Dover AFB.and started to fly the C-133.I was enjoying my duty as a flight engineer. Even with all the problems the C-133 had, we all knew what they were, you just had to look out for them. I was in alot of close calls like including three landings with two engines out The co-pilot pulling up the flaps instead of the gear after take-off this happened three different times one time I swear the bottom of the fuselage was in the water before the problem was corrected. There were many more close calls too numerous to mention.
In the late 60's much attention was put on the stall problem. A test program was set up to find the problem once and for all. Doug Benefield was the AC his friend Major Golf was the co-pilot, I was the engineer. We flew every C-133 in the inventory. We had to wear parachutes, A few times we almost had to use them.The aircraft would try to flip over, you could hear the tail section banging loud noises.I know a few times we were upside down and falling tail fist before Benefield would get us out of it. In the end all but one airplane stalled almost the same.The one that didn't was C133A 0138, this airplane flew 25000 lbs heavy after hauling a very nose heavy load in Viet Nam.
The fix was to install a small spoiler strip outboard of No. 1 eng.,, on 0138 the strip was outboard of No.4 eng.
I logged a total 9300 flying and 800 hours in the Simulater. I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN IF I HAD THE CHANCE.

Col Bob McCartney, e-mail, 27.03.2010 13:30

Was one of the first 5 C-124 First Pilots transferred from Dover squadrons to the 39th ATS C-133A squadron at Dover, Delaware in 1957. All of us loved the aircraft - and probably still do. Firstly, it had a crew of five (P, CP, Nav, Systems Engineer, and, don't forget, the Loadmaster - he did all the heavy work, and was given no crew rest on trips, because he got "crew rest" in flight. If you have ever spent time in the cabin in flight, you would know that it is super noisy, cold, and vibrated. When first operational, all the Colonels (and up) flew in the crew compartment, while we Second Pilots (CPs) spent many an hour during trips on the ramp at the tail-end of the cabin. RHIP. Although I have many stories about that beautiful aircraft, I can say, that I ended up feathering more props than in all my other aircraft put together. I can say, too, that it flew well on two engines (two were in fixed pitch when I descended to land at Dover when returning from Lajes. I lost that second engine at the outer marker, which was good since we were in essence, gliding to some degree anyway. The other time of note, was when flying transition (IP was Billy D. Emerick), as we left the ground, there was a large explosive noise, and all four fire lights illumionated. We landed back on the (shorter) runway, and the ground crews took care to the aircraft - smoke coming out of the wingtips, for example. The reaso9n, was a collapsed tailpipe which vectored hot gasses up into the crawlway. Fun, when you remember that prop wiring and fuel tank walls were in that crawlway.
All in all, the C-133 was a crew delight to fly. It was underpowered (Douglas designed it to carry the Atlas missile, etc.), and had asked for 10,000 HP engines. We all were told, that the Air Force, in its ever-ending quest to save money, decided to use the T34-P7W engines that the U.S. Navy had "in stock"> The problem was, that the engines were 5000 HP (before many upgrades) engines. Consequently, our operational ceiling with any kind of a load in summer, was about 13,000 feet. Not good for a turbo-prop's fuel consumption. You old crewmembers - do you remember those 2000' foot climbs every two hours so you could get past the go-no go point on your trips?
It still is a beautiflu aircraft.
I send this in memory of 1Lt Ted Palisch, who was killed in Delaware in the aircraft's first crash. He had "bumped" me off that flight (local transition).

CMSgt Sandy Sandstrom, e-mail, 05.02.2010 20:31

I was stationed at Dover and flew the C-133 from 1960 to 1971, with time out for a Viet Nam tour. I accumulated 7500 hours and had many experiences. In regards to stall, a stall warning indicator was installed which was used as a secondary indicator. As one approached a power-on stall, the first indication of the stall was the windshield wipers. They began to shake. I saw this more than once and I flew all of the test flights with Benefield when we were trying to figure out what happened to the airplanes. Best guess, the right wing quit flying, hence the reason for the stall strip installed just outboard of no. 1. This caused the nose to fall straight through.

Pat Leeds, e-mail, 04.02.2010 05:36

I was a Loadmaster with the 84th ATS at Travis from 1958 1961. Logged about 1,100 C-133 hours and had a few frightful moments. Had the privilege of being the L/M on the test flight carrying the first Minuteman missile around Seattles Boeing field. Air Force made a training film of us loading the missile. I was the L/M on C-133A 1614 from Travis to Hickamcrew that picked it up and took it to Tachikawa was lost on return from Tachi. Never determined cause but during the investigation everything from sabotage, prop separation, stall , to electrical spark caused explosion from a radio relay switch near the center fuel cell were discussed. I knew them all and the fact that no recovery except for bits and pieces of wreckage made it worse. Anyway enjoyed very much the time I spent in the squadron and will never forget the friendships that I made. I also would highly recommend Cal Taylors book on the C-133. I contributed a few of the photos. Id very much like to hear from any of my fellow crew members.

Neil G. Lewis, e-mail, 20.01.2010 06:56

1st ATS/MAS from May 1963-May 1970. Navigator. Flew with all the guys mentioned previously from the 1st. It scared the fool out of you sometimes but I would fly in it again without hesitating.

Robert W Houston, e-mail, 11.01.2010 21:52

I am proud to say I was part of the ground crew on C-133A Model 54-0142 from 1963 thru 1964 at Dover,also when all aircraft were grounded or red X ed, because of a crash.
Tail Number 2008 was sent to Wright-Patterson for an inspection like no other. It was the only aircraft allowed to fly at the time I worked on this crew for Months.
I am itrigued by some of the comments here?

Joe Moraine, e-mail, 04.01.2010 16:40

I flew the C-133A in the 39th MAS at Dover from early 1966 to early 1970, accumulating nearly 3500 hours in the airplane. Some of the information you read on here is not entirely accurate. I would highly recommend Cal Taylor's excellent book on this airplane for highly factual information and good reading. "Remembering an Unsung Giant: The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and Its People" is the definitive book on the C-133.

Gary Peterson, e-mail, 16.12.2009 01:47

I was working in a communications facility at Travis and had just stepped into the back yard and noticed a C-133B making approaches. Just prior to the crash I saw the plane approaching one of the large power lines suspended between two towers. My initial thought was that he hit the power line and the aircraft stopped dead in the air at that second and then crashed to the ground. Very tragic. I haven't heard mention of the power lines or towers so thought I would share.

Donald Taylor, e-mail, 17.11.2009 00:51

I flew with the 1st ATS at Dover from early 1962 till late 1965. I was an FE with about 4000 hours in the airplane. I flew the A/C into Wake that was lost. I also flew two others that were lost at sea off the coast of Delaware, most people said don't fly anything Don has, cause it's wore out. I had a bunch of other problems, lost a prop in flight, large crack down the right side of the fuselage, I enjoyed the time in so many different countries. A run to Libya and on down to the Congo was interesting. The runs to VN were hard to do. I left Dover for Tinker and the C-141 then to Altus with the C-5 program, retiring in 1975 at Kelly AFB in C-5 Flight Test.I loved my 26 years. Wished I could do it again.

Richard D Davis, e-mail, 15.08.2009 03:39

I was the Maintenance ground crew's crew chief and had done the Pre-Flight inspection on '523', the C-133B being considered here. It was at shift change, and my newest team member was on board for the scheduled trip. I was waiting at the flight line office for the plane to make its first touch and go when we were informed that
'523' had crashed and was burning in the swamp near the end of the runway. Not official, of course, but we were under the impression that the pilot had cut the turn too wide, and had to make a second run for it. Our understanding was that he had apparently lifted too steeply and the aircraft stalled at about three hundred feet elevation, settling back into the swamp on it tail. I have never seen an official report on the incident. My memory is harsh, as I had jokingly commented to A3C Wittle that he would not have time to use the parachute that he was fitting up for himself.

Chuck Trout, e-mail, 17.02.2009 00:32

I was standing in my front yard on Travis when the one there crashed in the 60s. I was looking right at it. They were turning final and just fell out of the air. I was a dependent at the time. One of my neighbors said they stalled it--I beleive he said it was a standboard crew.

Lt. Col. Joseph Foster, e-mail, 26.12.2008 21:28

I logged 2,000 hours in the C-133A with the 1st ATS at Dover AFB from July 1963-June 1966. The airplne and people I flew with were outstanding. We were at Goose Bay when 62014 crashed on takeoff on 7 November 1964. There was a very very light snow flurry. I alway will believe the props went fixed pitch and the airplane had no thrust. It was not until a C-133 ditched off shore at Okinawa on 30 April 1967 that any C-133 crew members had ever survived. And, that is when the elecrical problems in the propleller governing system were identified. In the 60's it was the World's largest airplane. We flew into 40 different coumtries. Next to my Air Commando flying in Vietnam it was the best flying assignment I ever had.

Cal Taylor, e-mail, 09.09.2008 08:05

The last flying C-133 made its final landing on 30 Aug 08, at Travis AFB, CA. Operated in Alaska by Maurice Carlson;s Cargomaster Corp, N199AB/ex-61999 joiined the collection of the Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum. At shutdown, total time was over 18,250 hours with more than 6,100 landings. Partcipating in this event capped my seven years effort to write the definitive hisory of the C-133, entitled "Remembering an Unsung Gian: The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and Its People." I have 1837 hours as a C-133 navigator with the 84th Miliary Airlift Sq at Travis.

Col Robert L Geasland, e-mail, 15.06.2008 14:35

I put in about 4,000 hours as a pilot on C-133's to include a trip around the world in 1963 aboard 62013. I also flew the long range cruise tests out of Edwards. There were two big mistakes made on the bird...the angle of incidence error on the wing made the bird fly with the nose pointing slighty downward in flight. The dangerous one was the fuel control mechanism tied to the prop pitch change mechanism. The pitch change rate was way, way too fast. Gearing disintegrated and Props flew off the bird. This probably accounted for the unexplained loss of a couple. Once that was fixed, we hauled cargo like no other bird in the inventory could...and that included tanks. I know of only one was out of Goose Bay Labrador when the guys took off with a bunch of ice on the wing. I don't know about the crash at Travis...I was there from 57 to 61, took a tour at the AF Academy and went back to C-133s at Dover.
I knew Doug Benefield and others testing the bird for stall characteristics. You had to work to put it into a stall but once there figure several thousand feet to recover...if it didn't flip onto its' back........

Richard Gauntlett, e-mail, 04.06.2008 08:06

When stationed at Travis AFB in the 60's, we had C-133's stationed. We called them Oscar Meyer Wennie wagons due to their shape. They were plaged with problems. I was unfortunate enough to witness the crash of one at Travis. There were no survivors. It was said that they had an issure between indicated and actual airspeed, which caused the crew to think eventhing was fine, when in fact it was flying close to a stall in climb configuration. I know that they grounded them more than once for issues. I met a flight engineer who had transferred back to my C124 SQ who said that more than once in a routine climb the acft entered a full stall and lost several thousand feet of altitude before control was regained. He said that was enough for him.

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