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
John Draper, 26.07.2013

The best mission I ever flew was on a C-124 out of McChord in late 1964 or early 1965. I was being upgraded to Aircraft Commander from first pilot (which by the way is (or was?) the best flying job in the AF. The co-pilot does all the work and the Aircraft Commander has all the responsibility.) Anyway, we were scheduled for a training flight from McChord to all the island stops in the Pacific, to the Philippines, Japan, Korea and back through Alaska. If I remember correctly, it took us about three weeks. There was an IP with 2 student pilots, a IN with 2 student N, a IFE with 2 student FE, and I think a ILM with 2 student LM even if we couldnít carry passengers or cargo. We didnít have radio operators by this time. We would really hack off the Command Posts when we told them we had an empty plane but were not allowed to carry passengers or cargo. Like I said, the most enjoyable trip I ever made in an aircraft in my 25 years in the AF.

Ron Vlcek, 17.07.2013

Lou DeSantis. I was in hydraulics in the 62 FMS at McChord from 1962-66. Came to Tachi in March of 64 for a 3 month TDY and was almost extended for another 3 months but that was cancelled at the last minute. I remember you because we were on the same 12 hour shift (2 on/2 off). I remember we even took the train to Tokyo and had a few Kirins at some bar while we were there. Had a good time.

Bill Umberson, 09.07.2013

Would like to contact John W. Jones re the 27.04.2013 posting. Many familiar names, hope all okay!

Dale Foster, 29.06.2013

I was a loadmaster on the C-124C out of Tachjkawa AB, from 1961 to 1965. I was in the 6 TCS until they moved to Hickman. Then I went up to the 22TCS until I got out in 1965. It was a great aircraft, even if you had to put all your tie down chains back in the cabinet after takeoff because the wing nuts on the door would turn and come open from the vibration during takeoff and the chains would fall out.

Dan Curry, 23.06.2013

I'm looking for an official flight Maintenance hat for my father who worked on these in the service does anyone know where I can get one ?

James C. "Speedy" Wheeler, 14.06.2013

I spent 2 tours in the 19th. The first was Feb. 1956 to May 1960 on 51-150 with CC MSgt William J. Nichols. The second was Aug. 1967 to Jan. 1970. Enjoyed them both.
J.C. "Speedy"

David F. Noonan, 11.06.2013

Flew old Shakey out of Hanscom and Westover AFB in Ma. Have over 3,000 flying. Hours on her as a Flight Engineer. I was in the 731st troop Carrier Squadron. Am looking for other people who flew her into Vietnam carrying AO. There is a dispute with the VA over whether AO was ever in fact transported via air. They say that it was only transported by sea. We were according to their experts only "trash haulers " looking for a free ride.



jimmy, 07.05.2013

Anybody know how to locate the logs (engineer's, navigator's, pilot's, loadmaster's, etc) for a particular mission or a particular C-124? If so, please email me at

Bob Kuberski, 01.05.2013

I rode "Old Shakey" to Germany during Operation Big Lift in '63 with the 17th Engineer Battalion. We came down at Bunker Hill AFD with a tempermental No. 3. Left for Goose Bay and then on to Prestwick were we aborted due to a "severe backfire" in good ol' #3. Landed in Germany in one piece but was to tired to kiss the ground after 34 hours on the old bird. Now building a 1/72 scale model to commemerate the 50th anniversary of the event. Bob Kuberski

John W, 27.04.2013

I was a spanking new navigator assigned to the 1st SSS from 1955 to 1958. A few of the navigators that I recall include Bill Schwening, Joe Matz, Paul Valinski, Hank Speak, Bob Woodhead, Bill Waid, Bill Umberson, Paul Aliff, Don Foushee, Bill Stapleton and Roger Madsen. Would like to hear from anyone from 1St SSS!

john stapler, 25.04.2013

7th LSS Robbins AFB 61 -63. 1503 OMS Tachikawa AFB 63 -65 I flew as a Scanner until I became a crew chief 53-015. I agree with the general consensus that this was some of the best times of my life. Flying all over the world, with great people and getting paid for it. WOW! I was truly privledged to have had the opportunity to be part of this. Then Japan. What can I say?
If you have been there I don't have to explain,If you haven't you wouldn't believe me.All of this because of a big noisy beautiful aircraft. Shakey, from all of us that love you. Rest in peace.

Estel Ashworth, 19.04.2013

Iwas in the 85th ATS. 1953-1956. Old Shakey was a fine craft. If you was in the 85th send me a E Mail.

Don Ott, 26.03.2013

I was stationed at Tachikawa, Japan 1961-62 A/1c.
Worked Flight line, C-124 1503rd FLMS. What fond memories I have of that place and the C-124.

Barry De Vries, 14.03.2013

Flew "Old Shakey" out of TCM (McChord)from the spring of '55 until July of '57 after 4 or 5 months on the C-54. On my first trip as a C-124 A/C we had #4 engine generator overheat light come on just past the PSR between Travis and Hickam. That required an engine shutdown due to the proximity of the generator to the carburetor. The F/E crawled out through the wing and verified that the generator was hot, returned to the flight deck for about 20 minutes while it cooled down and then went back out there to remove it and put a pad over the hole. Sometimes, we had a spare generator in the "fly-away" kit but we did not on that day. After he returned to the flight deck, we fired up #4 again and proceeded, without further incident, to Hickam. In later years, jet engines had CSDs (Constant Speed Drives)which would disconnect the generator with the flick of a switch. Those 124 days were interesting to say the least.......... wouldn't trade them for anything.

Don Ahrens, 07.03.2013

Fellow C-124 crew members. Does anyone have any information or theories about the crash in Recife Barizel July 1968 out of Dobbins AFB. My father was the flight engineer. There does not seem to be an official answer as to what happened.I requested a crash report but was sent a pile of blacked out trash from the Air Force. I was a C-124 Loadmaster and simply cannot comprehend how a seasoned crew could hit a mountain on approach. All three altimeter settings were blacked out of the report.

SSgt Don Ahrens

Bob Finnecy, 27.02.2013

I was flying the C-12 panelout of the 17th ATS, Charleston AFB from 1960 thru 1966. The most forgiving aircraft in the USAF inventory. I have many fond memories of the various misssions. I made many trips with then Capt. Cludius E Watts III who rose to the rank of Lt General. A great man. Others I recall are G Shirar, Ben Robertson, L/C Levak,Clyde Bennet and many more. I consider the 17th to be the best assignment of my 22 year career.If anyone reading this recalls me please give me a yell 850-863-1766. Todays date is 2/27/13

Patrick Dean, 27.02.2013

I have read pages of your comments with fond memories. I was assigned to C-124s with the 918th at Dobbins AFB from 1965 to 1970. I am researching my next book on Heavy Lift and Guppys for McFarland Publishing which covers the C-124 extensively. Although I have photos taken at Dobbins my memory is a little weary. I would like to contact anyone that was at Dobbins that can remember the tail numbers of the 'A' models we had in 1965. Also how many 'C' models we had. I recall 5182, 5184, 5186, 108 and 109. I recall 108 had been damaged by a wheel-well fire at Travis and sat for a long time before being rebuilt and transferred to us. That plane could not taxi across the ramp without a mechanical, constant electric and hydraulic problems.

We took them to Mildenhall after the Pueblo crisis occured and I came back on 5182 when the mission ended.

I would appreciate help from anyone that can answer questions or can help in locating the following photos. I would like to locate interior photos, Cockpit shots, galley, lav, bunks, F/E panel both forward and side facing, crawlway, inside #1 and #4 nacelles, P compartment and turbine APU, and fuel panel on lower left fuselage.

We used cables to lower the ramps but I can't remember if we had a seperate winch or used the overhead hoist to lower them.... does anyone recall.

On the 'C' models with single point refueling it seems that we had to be on a head set to the F/E who controlled the valves while we monitored the panel on the ground. Does anyone recall the procedure?

Sorry to be so vague but I have worked on a jillion other aircraft since then and a lot has been lost in the recesses of time.

If you can answer any questions, have photos or have time to discuss please contact me. Credit will be given in the book as a contributor.

I invite you to review my last aviation work 'The ATL-98 Carvair, A Comprehensive History of the Airplane' to get an idea of the detail of my efforts and type of info I am seeking.


gil martinez, 09.02.2013

My dad use to work on a c-124 globemaster not the globemaster II. I was wondering if I can get some photos of this era plane. He still dwells on this plane he worked on. Need anymore info contact me on my e-mail above. Thx

Mike Routledge, 16.01.2013

A second thought for Douglas Rogers. This C-124A @ Travis AFB on Static Display is a former Utah ANG airplane.

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