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
John Walls, 26.12.2014

how do I get a Picture of radio operator position and equipment

julie(Giakovmis)Franco, 09.12.2014

If anyone knew my father, Major George K. Giakovmis,who died in a C-124 Accident on Iwo Jima please contact me.He raced hydroplanes in Japan as well as belonging to model airplane clubs. Based at Tachikawa AFB from 1946-1955 with a short time at Moses Lake,Washington.I would especially like to talk to Mr. Watkins who was a crew chief for the C-124 and was to return to Japan on that fatal flight back but was replaced by another person.Thank you for any information I can get on

James C. "Speedy" Wheeler, 25.11.2014

Forgot to leave you my email address so here it is: I was in the 19th LOG from Feb. 56 until May 60 and again from Aug. 67 until it was de-activated.
Remember them they were called "Bird Cages" about a dozen would make a load.

James C. "Speedy" Wheeler, 24.11.2014

How many of you old 19th LSS folks remember what entire Load for our birds as big as it was, could be hauled out to us in One Pickup Truck and in just One Trip?? SPEEDY

Ura A. Matthews, 22.11.2014

Ssgt U.A. Matthews, I was the loadmaster on acft 490258 that went to Nebraska in July 1969 along with L/C Billy Morrison, pilot, Capt Sam Lane, co-pilot, Tsgt E.J.Blanchard, Flight Engineer, and Tsgt R.P. Lloyd, Flight Engineer. When we were on approach, I was sitting in the back scanning the right wing when the pilot said we were going to do a pop-up. I grabbed ahold of the bar that the seats are attached to and held on. We were really "busting up the base" and then we popped up. Old Shakey really shook!!! The inside compartment buffed and expanded over and over until we leveled out and started our approach again. There is a dvd of this event and it is put out by the Military History Archives. We taxied in and stopped engines and I opened the nose doors and lowered the ramps and we proceeded to be greeted by the Governor of Nebraska and the Air Force Commanders and dignitaries. It was quite a day and the weather was great. Now the aircraft is at the muesuem (sp) at Dover. There is a tour video of this aircraft if you go to Google and type in "C-124 In Action" and watch the tour. There are some minor errors but they are forgiven. This plane can not carry 440 combat troops and in the movie Stratigic (sp) Air Command with Jimmy Stewart this aircraft can not carry a 18 wheeler fuel truck and all those troops together. Makes for a long day loading. I got on the C-124 in Aug 1965 after we lost our other acft C-119 which went to Clinton County, OH. When I got on we were hauling troops from Charleston to Travis constantly due to an airline strike. Later we started picking up missions that the C-141's were suppose to do but they were getting thin. I read in a comment up above about hauling AO. Yes, we hauled AO from Travis to Vietnam. I was briefed that I was hauling "automobile parts" and I didn't find out what I was really hauling until I got to Clark and the traffic sergeant looked at my cargo manifest and jumped up and down and wanted to look at my load. I was hauling "bars, rockets, hand grenades, all kind of munitions." When I got back to Travis I reported the one who briefed me with an "OHR" and he was removed.
The ramps are lowered by cables that came off of a hoist and were stowed on each side of the plane by what we called "a closed circuit cable", just to keep the cables from getting tangled during on-load and off-load. @joe schara, the elevator platform measured 88" x 108" and was raised and lowered by two hoist that were on a rail system at the top of the fuselage. I am sure there are photos around somewhere due to when I was at Wake a photographer was taking pictures of me loading an aircraft engine. The aircraft engine container was longer that the opening of the elevator well, so it had to be tilted and you had to make sure you didn't attach the cables at the bottom of the container or it would be flipped upside down and that is not good, so the cables had to be hooked at the top of the container. Seems like the ramp cables were hydralic driven because you opened them while the engines were still running using the hydralic pumps., The hoise up above on the rail used acft power or power generator power, since they were electric. Also, you had to stow the hoist on the rail to the floor so the hoist wouldn't run up and down the rails during take-off and landing. I flew on Old Shaky from Aug 1965 to July 1972. It was fun and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

Bob Archer, 05.11.2014

Would Bruce Harding please contact me on, as I am interested in the accident involving an AAC C-124 at Cape Newingham in 1972. Many thanks

Bob Archer

tom nolan, 10.10.2014

I had the privilege to have worked on this aircraft as a engine buildup and flight line mechanic from 1968-1970 at Hickam AFB Hawaii. My fondest memories were when opening the (clamshell) cowling doors during the swing shift, and hearing all the exhaust studs roll down. This dictates your workload for the night. We had engine changes down to 3 hours. A record I understand at the time.

Pepe, 30.08.2014

C-124 A & C autopilots were functional when they were properly maintained until (at minimum) 1970. The IRAN contract for which I flew acceptance test, required in-flight testing of the autopilot and autopilot approach, which incidentally, was very good. MATS policy, however, (and I flew MATS "Shakeys" for four years)was "do not use the autopilot for approaches" Strange things in those days.
But, it was a great airplane, took me around the world (twice).

Gene Zutell, 19.07.2014

In March, 1967, I hitchhiked in a Globemaster from Norton AFB in southern CA to Guam in three days, with overnights in Hawaii and at Wake. The cargo was a Huey chopper. The pilots seat in the Huey was the most comfortable place to sit. So, I may be said that I flew across the Pacific in the Huey. The above listed cruise speed of 323 mph is far higher than the 180 knots (approx.210) that we averaged on that trip.

Bruce Harding, 18.07.2014

I was the last loadmaster on the last c-124 in the USAF. I was assigned to the 5041 st in June of 1972. We had two aircraft. There were three uphill runways in Alaska. One way in and one way out. We crashed one at Cape Newingham in the Fall of 72. No one was injured. I was told that for years the station used it as a boat house. The acft was pulled on the side of the runway with the clamshell doors pulled open. There was no aircraft then and now that could do what the C-124 did. We took large outsized cargo (like dump trucks, road graders, etc. and landed on 300 ft uphill runways. Once you were on final approach, there was no go around. You either landed it, or you crashed it. Couldn't out climb the mountains. The C130s could carry the weight, but not the size cargo. I was on C-141s, C130s, C123s, C-47s in my flying career.......but the best and most fun acft was old Shakey. Everyone in the crew wanted to operate the overhead hoists. And of course they did. At 65 below was all hands on deck to offload and get back to Elmendorf.
We had a small squadron with some excellent people.
Loved my time as the very last loadmaster on the C-124. The last acft flew in 1974 and later disassembled at Elmendorf.

Dan Lucey, 18.07.2014

Have been reading and looking for old names from the SAC 2ndSS. I have bragging rites for a couple of things. We left Hickam headed for Travis in Cal. in the oldest C-124 flying. 49-235. With a good tail wind and 3 great maintenance people we logged 8 hours and 15 min. from block out to shut down. the previous time was 8 hr. 30 min. The maint. crew was C/C squeeky McEwen, me Ed Nelson and Jim Mason. Acft Commander was Lt Buck.
since I am writting, I saw that someone had asked about a C-124 nose gear collapse at Clark AB. I was there in the ramp control truck. Cargo 2. I did witness the collapse and called for emer. equip. Not much could be said about a sad situation like that.

Jack, 17.06.2014

Further on my last post . . . thank you for the responses. I am getting the idea that only SAC C-124s were flown without autopilots. Apparently there was a problem with manually disconnecting the autopilot (With changes in temperature the cables expanded and contracted differently than the structure, and occasionally would not actuate to disconnect.) Our fathers who were in Omaha did not want to face that risk in view of the highly classified high-value cargo which we often carried. So . . . the USAF solution: don't bother to fix the problem. Simply remove the autopilots. Corky, can you shed any light on this? Or anybody?

jack, 10.06.2014

Does anyone out there know an ACCURATE reason why C-124 autopilots (both A and C models) were permanently and intentionally disabled? I flew both models in the 1st SSS, Biggs AFB El Paso Tx in 1953\\54. I flew the Atlantic to Casablanca and also to Mildenhall, also Thule and the Pacific to Guam and Eniwetok. Also the North Country. Hand-flew the beast all the way. Never had an autopilot. Always wondered why. Anybody know the real reason . . . no rumors or folk stories, please.

Alan, 29.05.2014

This is not a Douglas C-124 "GLOBMASTER ! I'm sure it is a USN named "CONSTITUTION." Only 2, maybe 3 were built.

Stanley R. Lewis, 05.04.2014

I was a Air Craft Propeller Repairman on C-124 at McChord AFB August 1965 Thru November 1965. Had some good times at the snake pit. Was sent to Vietnam Jan. 1966.

Alan Colla, 14.03.2014

My name is Alan Colla, I am the nephew of US Airforce retiree Edward E Colla. I am trying to research information about my uncle who was involved in a record breaking engine change on a C-124 as far as I can tell at Brookley AFB. The only info that I have is a very grainey photocopy that belonged to my father that was copied from an article written in the Air Force Times in January 14 (year unknown - but looks like it may read 1966) and shows a photo of 5 men standing in front of an unidentified aircraft but possibly an C-124. It would be very much appreciated if you could help me find this story or direct me to someone who may be able to help. I have done some research on my own but cannot find the story of these men who did the engine swap on this aircraft. I have the grainy photo but cannot get it on here. Anyone who would like to see it can email me directly.

Thank you for any help you can provide to me.

Jack, 09.02.2014

I just noticed the "cruising speed" listed in the specifications which appear just above these comments. 323 mph? No way Jose.

Billy D. Higgins, 03.02.2014

I was a nav on C-124's at Dover AFB, 1962-1964, McChord, 1964-1966, and Memphis, Tenn ANG, 1973-74. Now writing a book on the Globemaster as a celestial navigation platform. Am curious about a ditching of a C-124. I have heard stories and would like to know if any of you have too. Would like more details if they are available. The Air Force archives that I have searched show nothing about this subject.

Larry Wright, 26.01.2014

I flew Ol' Shakey from August 1954 - February 1957 in the 48 ATS. squadron at Hickam AFB. It was a terrific time for me. I got out of cadet training and had a three month spell flying the T-29 at Mather AFB in 1954. Then I got married and got an assignment to the 48th ATS at Hickam. It was a terrific assignment. I went to Florida for ground school and then back to Hickam. Flying to many of the islands in the Pacific was a super experience for a 22 year old. Takeoff and landing on these Pacific islands required some pretty careful weight and balance figuring as the runways were so short. I remember taking off of Johnson Island one night and the end of the runway came up too fast. After liftoff we could see the the water from our landing lights for several "exciting" minutes before we could get enough speed to raise our flaps. The runway at Johnson was only 4200 feet long. We found out that a mistake had been made
on loading as we were several thousand pounds too heavy. Flying the Pacific was always exciting. On one trip one of our stays was on Eniwetok and we got to see the "H" bomb tests.

One of the requirements of an officer in the 48 ATS was to have an additional duty. My second duty was to be a basketball coach for the squadron. I played basketball for two years at college prior to entering the Air Force. Our season playing in the Hickam tournament was very good. We won the tournament and received a large trophy about two feet tall as well as an individual trophy that still sets on my workroom shelf. (I sure would like to hear from anyone who played on the team.)The fellows who played were sure super guys and a pleasure to know.

After flying the C-119 at March AFB in the reserves for 2359 hours the wing got C-124's which was great as I got checked out as aircraft commander again. The C-124 was a great airplane to fly for 1850 hours.

Fred Watkins, 14.01.2014

I did the R4360 school at Chanute in 1954, then to Tachikawa Japan. Worked as a mechanic, crew chief, scanner/flight engineer, not a panel engineer. 22nd TCH. We operated thru out the far east. We had to do a remote field ops from Pyontec in Korea to prove we were a combat cargo Sqdn. The base was a recently closed Marin fighter acft base. The runway was to short for our acft. the combat engineers extended the runway with psp. lived in sqd tents ate from a field kitchen. When opening the firewall door you never knew what you find, oil leaks fuel leaks, hyd. leaks, glowing generators, etc. Lost my acft on Iwo Jima in 1955. I had swapped with an other guy who needed more flight time to get his flight pay. He never came back. The #2 prop went into reverse on take off.

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