Over the last few years, the Museums
attempts to obtain a C-130's have been dashed, most recently by
a Air Force wide 2005 grounding and storage of a number of
C-130E’s until the completion of an on-going
Study, limited the number of aircraft available for display –
In the late Summer of
2009, Museum Curator Ray Jordan, was informed 62-1789 was
available for the Museum if acceptable. While acquiring an
aircraft that had been based out of McChord was a priority, over
the last few years almost all of these C-130's have been flown
into storage and eventual retirement. Losing this C-130 for
display without a guarantee of one of the very few remaining
former 36th TAS aircraft "wasn't a chance I was willing to take"
Although 62-1789 lacks a tie with the Base during its career,
McChord has a very strong connection with the C-130 Hercules.
For 14 years C-130's were a familiar sight in the skies over
McChord, flying with the 62d Military Airlift Wings 36th
Tactical Airlift Squadron.
With the transfer of the 36th TAS "Eagle Airlifters" to McChord
on July 1975, the 62d Military Airlift Wing became the only
mixed fleet of Tactical (with the C-130) and Strategic (with the
C-141) Airlift in the Military Airlift Command.
During their McChord
assignment, the 36th TAS proved to be one of the more
distinguished C-130 units in the MAC. The "Eagle Airlifters"
were frequent participants in many deployments, exercises, and
worldwide rotations. The units' high proficiency did not go
unnoticed; being awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 3
of the 5 times eligible during their C-130 era at McChord. The
36 also received multiple nominations for MACs "Outstanding
Tactical Airlift Squadron of the Year" award, winning it in
The 36th flew C-130Es from McChord until the Squadron was
slated for deactivation in 1988 & 1989 as a part of an Air Force
wide force reduction plan. In 1989 the Eagle Airlifters would be
redesignated as a 36th Military Airlift Squadron flying C-141's
at McChord. On 01 October 1993 the squadron tenure at McChord
would come to an end with the Squadron (designation) moving to
the 374th Airlift Wing's Operations Group
at Yokota AB, Japan flying C-130.
After a few months of preparation the -1789 will be repainted in
the Southeast Asia scheme worn by McChord C-130's in the early
70's. By the end of
2010, the Museums C-130 will be moved to Heritage Hill next to
the Museums C-141B StarLifter.