Home sweet home for C-133 Cargomaster

September 16, 2008 at 2:30 am

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 In front of more than 80,000 spectators, the last flying C-133A Cargomaster returned home to Travis Air Force Base at the 2008 Travis Air Expo, Aug. 30. 

The event was special for a lot of reasons said Master Sgt. Terry Juran, Travis Air Museum director. 

“The arrival and retirement of the C-133 here really fills a void in our aircraft collection,” said Sergeant Juran. “Only two bases had the C-133, Travis and Dover. They have their aircraft and now we have ours.” 

The C-133 flew at Travis from 1958 until its departure in 1971. According to Mr. John Lacomia, 60th Air Mobility Wing historian, the first C-133 arrived at Travis on Oct. 17, 1958 and was dubbed the “State of California” and was assigned to the 84th Air Transport Squadron of the 1501st Air Transport Wing. The last Cargomaster a C-133B departed Travis on July 30, 1971 for Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. 

The arrival of the C-133A has been more than 20 years in the making. Members of the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Foundation, formally the Travis Historical Society, played a major role in the acquisition. 

“We wanted to have this part of history here at Travis,” said Mr. Dave Floreck, foundation member. “This arrival means a lot to so many people.” 

Mr. Floreck was an active duty Airman and worked on the aircraft while stationed in Korea. He, along with other C-133A crew members and maintainers, from as far away as Switzerland, made the trip to Travis to see the landing. 

“It’s a great day for the aircraft,” said retired Lt. Col. Joe Fouts, a former C-133A pilot.
Colonel Fouts resides in Anchorage, Alaska, where the C-133 had been flying. He saw the plane take off from there and land during the show at Travis. 

Colonel Fouts said he had many fond memories of the Aircraft. In particular was a mission that took his crew around the globe, flying heads of state and dignitaries in July, 1960. 

“We planned for the trip to take 84 hours,” he said. “We took off from Travis and touched down in exactly that time.” 

Colonel Fouts praised the Aircraft for its reliability but said they knew it was better to be safe than sorry. 

“We took two extra engines, two props and an extra maintenance crew, just in case.” 

The Travis Air Museum has plans to move the aircraft from its position on the ramp to a location near the David Grant Medical Center, closer to the base’s entrance and future site of the Jimmy Doolittle Air Museum. 

“We really want to show off this aircraft to honor those who served and sacrificed.”
Because only 50 total C-133s flew in the Air Force, Sergeant Juran said he felt its history, and the history of its crewmembers had been overlooked. 

“It’s such a small community of people who served on this aircraft. But they did a lot of work. I think we may have forgotten that, but with the arrival of this aircraft we can right that wrong.”

Shaun Emery

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Entry filed under: American Military History, Aviation History, Military Museums and Battlefields, Modern Military History. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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