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HERITAGE IS OUR CORNERSTONE
 

MUSEUM NEWS 

THE RIP CHORD ONLINE - McCHORD AIR MUSEUMS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

09 OCTOBER 2009

 
 

Its not a myth - the Mighty Hercules arrives at the McChord Museum.  

 
PHOTO BY ERNEST WHITE - McCHORD AIR MUSEUM  

The Museums C-130E S/N 62-1789 is pictured resting in the Washington sun on its first day of retirement. 

 
 
 
 

With the landing of "Jaded-04" the McChord air Museum received an aircraft that has been on the top of its whish list for years, that aircraft being the Lockheed C-130E Hercules. The aircraft, S/N 62-1789 and its composite crew from Hill AFB, Utah under the radio call sign "Jaded-04", completed a 12 hour flight from Alabama to McChord landing minutes before 7pm. "The flight was originally scheduled to take about seven hours" said Museum Board Member Ernest White "but wing restrictions (fuel) an engine oil leak forced the crew to land at Hill Air Force Base for fuel and repairs", "it (the flight) took longer than I expected, but it was worth the wait ! " 

 

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-130Es until the completion of an on-going Mobility Capability Study, limited the number of aircraft available for display until September.

 

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" said Jordan.

 

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 1980.

 

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.

 
 
 
 
PHOTO BY ERNEST WHITE - McCHORD AIR MUSEUM   
McChord Museum Curator Ray Jordan is pictured with -1789's last crew 
 
 
 
PHOTO BY ERNEST WHITE - McCHORD AIR MUSEUM   
With all signatures complete, the aircraft is officially turned over the the Museum.  
 
 
PHOTO BY ERNEST WHITE - McCHORD AIR MUSEUM     

Looking out in to the night -1789's cockpit shows its last bit of life before being shut down for the last time .  

 
USAF PHOTO

Plans are to repaint the Museum's C-130 in the Southeast Asia camouflage pattern worn by C-130's of the 36th TAS in the late 70's as displayed here by 63-7788 in 1978. The aircraft will be placed on Heritage Hill across from the types former wing mate - the Museums C-141B StarLifter.  Restoration & Sighting should be complete in 2010. 

 
 
 
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JBLM-McChord Field, WA. 98438-0205
253-982-2485
e-mail - mamfound@mcchordairmuseum.org