Douglas C-124 Globemaster II
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Douglas C-124 Globemaster II

There was little doubt of the load-carrying capability of the C-74 and when, in late 1947, the newly-formed US Air Force decided it needed a heavy strategic cargo transport, discussions between the.USAF and Douglas resulted in development of the C-124 Globemaster II, based on the C-74.

In fact, the prototype YC-124 was basically the fifth C-74 provided with a new, deeper fuselage and strengthened landing gear. Powered by 2610kW R-4360-49 radial engines, it was flown for the first time on 27 November 1949. The type entered production as the C-124A, of which 204 were built, the first of them entering service with the USAF in May 1950. The next, and final, production version was the C-124C, with more-powerful R-4360 engines, weather radar in a distinctive nose radome and, equally useful recognition points, wingtip fairings housing combustion heaters to de-ice the wing and tailplane leading edges and to heat the cabin. C-124C production totalled 243, the last machine being delivered during May 1955.

The fuselage of the Globemaster II had clamshell nose loading doors with an associated built-in loading ramp, an electric hoist amidships which was a carry-over from the C-74, and two overhead cranes (each with a capacity of 7257kg which could traverse the entire length of the 23.47m-long cargo hold. The flight deck, accommodating a crew of five, was mounted high in the nose, over the clamshell doors. When used in a transport role (with two decks installed), the Globemaster II could carry a maximum of 200 fully-equipped troops, or 123 stretcher cases plus 45 ambulatory patients and 15 medical attendants.

Serving with the USAF's Air Materiel Command, Far Eastern Air Force, Military Air Transport Service, Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command, and used in conjunction with Douglas C-133s, the Globemaster Us remained in service until replaced by the Lockheed C-5A Galaxy during 1970. When the Globemaster Is ended their useful, service life; some were acquired by civil cargo operators.

Douglas C-124 Globemaster II

 ENGINE4 x P+W R-4360-63, 2795kW
    Take-off weight84000 kg185189 lb
    Wingspan53.1 m174 ft 3 in
    Length39.8 m131 ft 7 in
    Height14.7 m48 ft 3 in
    Wing area233.0 m22507.99 sq ft
    Cruise speed520 km/h323 mph
    Ceiling6100 m20000 ft
    Range w/max.fuel6500 km4039 miles
    Range w/max.payload1970 km1224 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120 121-140 141-160 161-180 181-200 201-220 221-240 241-260 261-280 281-300 301-320 321-340 341-360 361-380
Dave Gercic, 26.01.2011

I was a recip mech stationed at Hickam 64-65. Did a lot of flying too on those Burleys. Man I wish I could get in touch with in the 61-80 page. If it's the Gerry I think it was he was my roomate! Big Johnny Cash fan too. Gerry, get back to me if you can.

Steve Hodges, 25.01.2011

Stationed at Hickam A.F.B., Hawaii, 1967 to 1969. Worked "backline" on C-124's as they came out of major inspections. We put them back together and went up on check flights to make sure they were safe to return to the flightline guys. Great plane and I miss it!

Roger Wendorff, 17.01.2011

correction in e mail address

Roger Wendorff, 17.01.2011

Also was a FE on C124c at Charleston 3d mas I went to basic FE school with the little

Walker Smith, 15.01.2011

When I arrived at McChord as an A2C from Keesler AFB in late Jan. or early Feb., 1965, there were 68 C-124's assigned to the 62nd MAW. I was a Radar Tech and worked on the APS-42 Weather Radar plus the other navigational systems. Our shop was in an old brick building on the hill overlooking the T-33 parking ramp. We later moved to a new facility near the Phase Docks and became the 62nd CEMS. In the Spring of 1967 I went TDY for 120 days to Mactan AB in the Philippines where I was assigned to the 606th MASS (Mil. Airlift Support Sq.). The majority of our work was on transient C-124's, C-130's, C-133's, C-121's and various other prop planes going to and coming from 'Nam. A C-124 burned on the ramp one day and cost our Sq. Commander his job. When I left McChord AFB for Forbes AFB, KS, in June, 1968, there were still 28 "Shakeys" assigned and about 40 C-141's that were replacing them. The last C-124 I saw fly was passing through Osan AB, Korea, about July of 1974. It was on it's way to the military museum in Seoul. It had an APS-42 problem and no one on day shift had any experience on the system but it's doubtful that even had it been properly troubleshot that a part could have been found to repair it. I retired from the AF in Feb., 1992.

Chilton Christopher, 13.01.2011

3rd TCS, Donaldson AFB, crew chief on "shakey "'56 thru '59, great memories, lotsa trips to great places. Wouldn't trade that time for anything.

Gerry Keffer, 07.01.2011

I remember the first time I saw a C-124 taxing to the runway. It was in 1971 at Norton AFB, CA. The thing that amazed me most was the Flight Engineer (I believe) Sitting on top (actually standing in an open hatch on top) directing the pilot where to steer the thing as the pilot couldn't see the taxiway lines very well, if at all.

It wasn't until a few months later that I learned of it's nickname was 'Shaky Jake.' And from the stories I heard it was a well deserved name. Not all flights were 'shaky' but the ones that were are regarded as highly memorable.

Tommy Nilsson, 06.01.2011

In 60 - 61 I served in the 10th Swedish UN-bat in Congo. June 7th - 10th 1961, we were carried back to Sweden in USAF MATS C124 nr. 30046. In the nearness of the Tchad Lake, the aircraft hit two colliding thunderstorms. The flightlevel was about 9000 ft. During 20 minutes, the aircraft was "out of hands" for the pilots - completely in the thunderstorms power. Later the pilots told us that they couldn`t do anything - just follow the old bird, who finally overcame the storms. During these 20 minutes, Old Shaky behaved like an out-flipped elevator. As most, the falling-speed was 5400 ft/min and the rising-speed was 4000 ft/min. As most it fell 6000 ft from the flight-level before the incident. Some cargo wasn`t secured enough and one box hit the roof so strongly that it made a small hole in the outer surface. Not fastened soldiers and luggage flew around like spacemen. Many soldiers were more or less injured. The pilots decided to land at Wheelus Air Base, Libya for the soldiers medical treatment and, of course, for the old bird`s own sake. It was a scaring experience and most of us were ready to say goodbye.We were all grateful to Old Shaky 30046, who brought us back to life. At Wheelus, we enjoyed the American hospitality for more than 24 hours.
Now it`s soon 50 years since it happpened. We are still some veterans from Congo who use to meet and at every time we talk about this flight.

Are there any readers of this site who knows anything about this flight. It happened on June 8th 1961 about 2000 kms northeast of Leopoldville.
And are the flight log books filed somewhere. And is it possible to get information from these.

Tommy Nilsson, Malmoe, Sweden. Email

tom horne, 26.12.2010

I was station at Hickam AFB from 66-70, work out of 780 and the docks really had a good time with alot of good folks. Don Hairrell, and i were good friends. Eddie Smith, Bill ??? from pittsburg, screege ???? If anybody from the era please write.

Gordon Rupert, 21.12.2010

My Dad (Gordon Sr.)flew as a Loadmaster on 124's out of Donaldson, 53-54. He has several great stories from the 124's and 119's. Would love to hear from anyone from there whether you remember him or not.

Bob Matthews, 21.12.2010

After Basic Training, I went to school on the C124 at Shepard AFB TX in early 1957. From there I went to Charleston AFB (1608 Flight Line Maintenance) and worked ON C54'S until the birds to arrived from Mobile AL. I was crew chief and crew on two bifferent birds 1008 and 5340 from 1957 to 1960 when I was dischared. (yes I said chief and crew which ment many hours on the flight line) Loved them, learned a lot and had fun keeping them in flying condition. What was the one thing that none of us wanted to hear: (PLUG CHANGE ACROSS THE BOARD), never seen so many baffel plates.
Just found this site, it's great reading the stories. I recently visited Charleston AFB and they had a static display of old shaky.

Bob Gillihan, 21.12.2010

Want to let Dick Bennion now that I to was at Hickham AFB early 1959 till mid 1962 assigned to 1502nd FLMS along with Frank Bailey, Richard Haan, and (?), to many years ago.

James (Max) Boger, 14.12.2010

I'm a retired MSGT Flight Engineer. I was assigned to The 3ATS at Chaleston, SC in 1963. I flew "Old Shakey until we transitioned to C141's. In 1967 I wrangled an assigment back to the C124 in the 22MAS, Tachikawa,Japan. We flew mostly in Vietnam, Clark and Thailand. It was a great old bird and I miss it and the people who I had the priviledge of flying with. My last assignment was at Dover on the C5A. However, the highlight of my career was all the hours flying on "Old Shakey"

Jack Pickard, 14.12.2010

I was PCS from Hunter AFB SAC to Hickem AFB 1502PMS and changed to 1502OMS 1962 to 1964. We were a C-118 SQ. Was a Crew chief. We sometimes would go TDY on C-124 and it was a good old frame to carry loads that would not fit in any other AC.Had a army truck that did not have fuel tanks low so we had fuel in cargo area.Remember pulling hatches to vent fumes and clouds floating through cargo area. Loved the R-4360 and R-2800 engines Liked my 4years9mos

John Morgan, 12.12.2010

My Dad, Col. Fred A. Morgan, was the Commander of the 7th LSS at Robins AFB from 1956-1961. Some of my earliest memories are of C-124s on the flight line at Robins, the winning 7th LSS softball team and squadron picnics. My parents were lost in a tragic plane crash in 1970, although I will always hold fond memories of Robins AFB and the 7th LSS.

WILLIAM F. RUPNICK, 08.12.2010

I was in the 2ndSS at Castle from 53til56 darn good aircraft exspecially when you se it flying with 3 and 4 engines feathered that is the day 090 went into mt hope rcab Canada lt wofford and flight engineer done excellent job. have a few pictures of accident

Dick Bennion, 06.12.2010

I started out at Lackland in 1957, then to Chanute Field for Recip. Eng. School, then to Travis in 1958 to the 1501st FMS. Later assigned to Carb. Shop were we worked on all kinds of aircraft. Helped build the golf course at Travis and ended up working at the golf course during the day and the flight line at night. Lots of good memories and have found my old room mate, Chuck Kelberlau, and we email back and forth. Anyone else out there from the 1501st between 1958 and 1962?

Gene Fish, 05.12.2010

I flew as a C-124 Flight Engineer (caps deserved for any crew position on Ol' Shakey!) with the 17th ATS / MAS at Charleston from 64 to 71. Like many other flight crew members I loved the lumbering giant with all its many parts flying in close formation - most of the time. We had the best missions I can imagine; North to cold country, East to Europe and the Middle East, South to South America and Africa, West to the Far East. Got shot at, but survived during the general unpleasantness in Viet Nam. Would go back into the AF today if they would let me fly Ol' Shakey again!

Walt Martley, 28.11.2010

Sometimes I was that poor guy with his upper half sticking out of the top hatch during taxi. The perch was a bit precarious, standing on the tables in the center of the cockpit. If the taxiways were narrow, like in Landstuhl, one had to stretch out over the top side and try to check that tires were centered on the concrete and not about to smash into taxiway lights. A little scary for anyone my size (5 ft 8 in). I, also, like one other poster, crewed 51-150 for a time in the mid-fifties, as an engine mechanic on hazardous duty pay. Got to cross both big oceans with the 19th Log, and fell in love with England during RON time there. Volunteered to go there, and ended up at Burtonwood running in engines on a big flatbed engine stand for a WB-50 squadron.

Ray D. Airy, 26.11.2010

I was with the 1607th periodic maint Sqdn from 9/56 to 9/57. I was a real new 2nd Lt maint officer on the
C-124C. MSGT Mader and others got me started and kept me in line. I owe those NCO's a great deal.

Lt Col Rodman Crawford was the Sqnd Cmdr. We were on a wartime schdule during the Suze crisis and had to work around the clock to turn out the inspections and sell the acft back to flightline sqdn to load and get out.

I learned analyzer, thanks to some great engineers.

Got RIFED in 9-57......spent 32 years in AFRES and IA ANG, retired
Brig Gen 01-02-90.........I'll never forget my start with the 1607th PMS, and The 124

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