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 81-100 101-120 121-140 141-160 161-180 181-200 201-220 221-240 241-260 261-280 281-300 301-320 321-340 341-360 361-380 381-400 401-420 421-440 441-460
John Hille, USAF Ret., 21.02.2011

Enjoyed reading all these posts!! I went to Morocco right out of recip tec school and got introduced to all the recip acft flying, but it wasn't until I went to Donaldson AFB, SC in Apr, 1959 that I fell in love with Shakey. Even though I was an engine mech I was assigned to the 63rd FMS. A lot of TDYs from there and before I knew it I was a full fledged CREW CHIEF, as an A/2c no less, and I'm told the first two stripper to ever have their own A/C. You had to be a three stripper to crew, but M/Sgt Minkler got a waver for me. I've been forever greatful for that ever since, as those days are the highlight of my life, and unless you've been there one cannot understand how all the old shakey fans posting here feel. Went all over the free world on that plane and only once was I thinking the end was near! On a return flight from a 6 mo. TDY from Germany we lost #2 engine after leaving the Azores, returned for an engine change. Departed about 24 hours later, next stop Burmuda. Just passed the point of no return we lost #3 engine. Now flying on three, 53 souls, plus crew and a full load of you name its, (like big Telefunkin Hi-Fis for the crew) #2 started overheating, so when the Cylinder head temp got close to the red the Flt Eng reduced power on that engine, at which time we would start going from 9,000 feet down to 1,000 feet. Power back on #2 to gain altitude until the CHT would get close to max, so it went, up and down, but also thinking that some stuff would have to go to lighten the load, and no doubt that would have happened if it weren't for the fact the AC, Co-polit, Nav. had loaded their big dollar items last on the elevator, which as you all know is the first to go with a quick trip of the elevator latches. In the mean time we had declaired a possible ditch, so close by ships had diverted to the flight path of our Ol' shakey, just in case. Well, after a long rollar coaster ride on 2 1/2 engines we touched down on Burmuda soil much to the relief of 53 thankful praying GIs. During our checking out the overheating #2 at Burmuda we found that in the haste of changing the engine in the Azores someone failed to remove the Green tag off the prop governer, top center of the front of the engine. The incoming air into the engine soon ripped it off and it blew onto the screen on top of the carb, blocking the venturis, thus giving the carb a flase reading, leading to very lean mixture, followed by high CHT. So, it goes to show that something as common as a servicable tag could have brought down something as big as Ol' Shakey. That's my closest call, but I'm sure there are a lot of tails to be told that can top this one. If you have one post it for all to see. I ended up working the Shakeys for 13 of my 21 years in the AF. I'd do it all over again, starting tomorrow. Never had a bad day. Thought at the time it was, but looking back they were all good days!!! Oh, the closing strange story----- and a lot of luck. I had always wanted a good picture of a flying, framable picture of a C-124. While gpoing through an antique shop in NC I saw a picture of a C-124, perfect, just what I had been looking for!! Upon closer inspection I saw the tail number was 51-0158, the very C-124 I crewed as a two striper! An official painting issued by Douglas for presentation to VIPs. Needless to say that picture now hangs over my fireplace in my den.

Tony longo, 15.02.2011

I cant believe I made a mistake about the plugs, I must have had a brain cramp. I know 4 rows of 7= 28 clys with 2 plugs each = 56

Tony Longo, 14.02.2011

I was stationed at Dover AFB from 54-57 in the 20th ATS. We arrived at Dover from Westover AFB. At Westover we had c-54's and got changed over to c-124's and we were on our way to Dover. We worked out of tents on the flight line. I remember the huge Mosquitos, a can of spray was part of our tool boxes. I really liked working on the 124's, 48 plugs per engine, didn't like plug changes much, but it was a great aircraft.

Bud Napier, 02.02.2011

Message for Steve Hodges: Steve, I too was at Hickham from 64-67, leaving in May of 67. Worked the entire time on the post-dock test flight crew. Believe that you and I worked together for a short period of time. Did most of the engine runs and recall you riding brakes up front quite a bit. Loved the sound of the engines and enjoyed the flights as well.Certainly was a great airplane.No corrosion problem since oil from the engines leaked from the very front back to the tail nav light.That was the limit. Then we would have to do something. Would love to hear from you. Regards, Bud

John La Bonte, 31.01.2011

After engine school at Shepard AFB, I was assigned to the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing at Hunter AFB, GA in May of 1963. I worked in the Engine Buildup Shop until the fall of 1964. I was assigned to the Pre-Flight crew. Five man crew (1-radio/radar, 2-airframe and 2-engine) Preflighted all aircraft prior to the flight crew doing their insp. Left Hunter June of 1965 on a 90 day TDY to Hickam but 60 days into the TDY and I got PCS orders to the shop I was working in on TDY!! Made a whirlwind trip back to Hunter to process out and get back to Hickam. I worked in the buildup shop and on the Post Dock crew. I spent the last 6 mos on the Swing Shift Flight line crew. Was at Hickam from August 1965 to August 1969. I was fortunate to have made many trips as a Flight Mech on "Old Shakey" in the 51/2 years I worked on them and I enjoyed every minute of it!!

Clifton JAMESON, 31.01.2011

6-1954 as A/2c to 6-1956 as S/sgt,C-124A in 22nd TCS, Radio/Radar Repair, Tachikawa. Enjoyed working on Ol'Shakey, made the trip to Australia/New Zealand,& Bangkok by way of the islands. Lots of good memories buddies.

Jerry Walterreit, USAF Retired, 30.01.2011

My rank was A3C not A1C on my previous post. Have a Good day

Jerry Walterreit, USAF Retired, 30.01.2011

On December 25, 1959 I was assigned, as a A1C. to the 1505th Support Sq. (MATS), Kadena AFB, Okinawa. Being new to the aircraft maintenance field and the C-124 I couldn't believe how big it was. Everything about it was big. The tires, engines, props, cargo area. I'm over six feet tall and I could stand up in the accessory section behind the engine. As a young airman that was something else. I was an Instrument Repairman but being a support Sq. I helped with all the maintenance required to get the aircraft turned for its next flight. That included helping refueling, change tires, props, spark plugs, cylinders and engines to name a few. I learned a great deal about aircraft and what it took to maintain them during the year I spent on the C-124. I enjoyed it and have many fond memories of my time with the C-124. My next assignment put me on the B-52. You talk about big.

John Sacchetti, 28.01.2011

Ole Shakey... I was in the 1st MAS (Dover AFB) 1963 - 1966 during which time 3 C133's went down. After the 2nd, they were grounded for a period of time. During that time I was TDY to a C124 squadron assisting the loadmaster and seem to remember (it was a long time ago folks) transporting Army troops to Saigon.

Vivid in my memory on one flight, just after takeoff, I was looking out one of the port windows midship and noticed "smoke" coming from #2 engine. I wasn't on a headset so I got the Loadmasters attention sitting opposite me - he came over and reported to the AC. Turns out it was a ruptured oil line and my smoke, a rather large stream of oil. Yeah the good ole Shakey... low and slow - a real martini mixer James Bond would love!

al.townsend, 27.01.2011

message for BILL SCHWEHM hello skipper..if you flew out of Tachikawa AFB With the 6th TCS i could have been your radio operator in 1952 to 1953..left the AF as a S/SGT made M/SGT in the air reserve...the very townsend

Dave Gercic, 26.01.2011

I forgot to mention about Tachikawa. I got excited about finding an old buddy and forgot to list Tachi. I was at Tachikawa in 63&64. Towed those burleys out to the p.s.p. with a euclid and into the docks also. Worked on the 4360s.Hated the bottom jug changes. Carburetor change was no fun either, no room. Between Tachi & Hickam I was with the Shaky 2 & 1/2 yrs. I did some tdys with them too.

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.

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