This section contains a day by day accounting of the history of the C-141, gathered from dozens of sources. If you know of a significant event or milestone in the C-141's history, please submit it for inclusion.

16 FEB 1959 MATS submits a Qualitative Operational Requirement (QOR) for a Logistic Aircraft Support System to HQ USAF. The document explained that the C-133 would fulfill the need to haul outsized equipment until the 1970s, but noted that a requirement still existed for a turbojet which could provide strategic airlift. At time MATS was thinking of a C-5 sized aircraft.
05 MAR 1959 HQ responds that the MATS letter was welcomed because "The subject of a suitable aircraft to satisfy airlift requirements during both general and local war situations currently is a matter of much concern with the Air Staff", but indicated that due to funding issues, only a small fleet of large transports could be obtained. The medium sized aircraft (what became the C-141) was likely to get budget approval, the large aircraft (what became the C-5) was too expensive in the current climate.
23 MAR 1959 MATS commander responds that "...the deletion or omission of either the heavy or medium transport will sooner or later compromise the airlift logistic system" but reasoned that the "medium 'work-horse' transport must be programmed for immediate development."
JUN 1959 AF completed the General Operational Requirement (GOR) for a medium transport.
01 DEC 1959 AF refined the GOR into a SOR (Specific Operational Requirement) for a "work-horse" transport aircraft.
21 DEC 1959 MATS accepts the AF SOR.
31 DEC 1959 MATS revises its acceptance and asks for a bit more.
04 MAR 1960 Another development outside of Tunner's purview, this one in 1960, helped shape the future of MATS. On March 4, Generals White and Lemnitzer signed an agreement which spelled out the numbers of Army units, troops, and tonnage of supplies that airlift forces would be expected to deploy to various parts of the world within given periods of time. The Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force and Army agreed that air transport ought to be able to deploy one division anywhere in the world within seven to ten days and two divisions anywhere within thirty days. However, officials of both military services admitted that, for the near future, the agreement could serve only as a long-term objective. Even though the Air Force received 47 percent of the defense budget, the service continued to stress the nuclear retaliatory mission, and Congress showed little interest in MATS. Once again, Tunner set out to capture the attention of Congress.
14 MAR 1960 Using all the influence he could muster, including the help of two Army generals-Lemnitzer and Bruce C. Clarke, Commander of the Continental Army- Command-Tunner organized Operation Big Slam/Puerto Pine, a joint exercise that airlifted some 21,000 Army troops and 11,000 tons of cargo from fourteen bases in the continental United States to Puerto Rico, an island less than a thousand miles from the mainland.13 Begun on March 14, 1960, the two-week exercise came almost one month to the day after the MATS commander appeared before a special House subcommittee, organized by Rep. Carl Vinson, the Georgia Democrat serving as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and headed by Rep. L. Mendel Rivers, a Democrat from South Carolina. The subcommittee had sought to determine if the $120.4 million, included in the Defense budget request for fiscal year 1961 to modernize the airlift forces, was enough for that purpose.14

Tunner considered the sum totally inadequate. In his testimony, Tunner insisted that 454 MATS aircraft were "obsolescent in speed, range and overall capability," but, as subcommittee chairman Rivers observed afterward, "there was no sentiment whatsoever in the Defense Establishment for the support of interim modernization of MATS, and there was even open hostility in some quarters outside of the Defense Establishment." The MATS commander had anticipated the negative reaction described by Chairman Rivers. It was in this antagonistic climate that he organized Operation Big Slam/Puerto Pine.15 General Tunner's plans for Big Slam/Puerto Pine were characteristically thorough and the results impressive, considering the forces available. Statistics told the story: 1,250 round trips, with a total of 50,496 flying hours, with planes rolling into Puerto Rico like clockwork, unloading troops who moved smoothly to dispersal areas. Clearly, the Air Force and Army personnel proved themselves, but the MATS aircraft failed the test. The airmen worked to the limit of their endurance (twelve hours daily or more) with planes that were slow, shortrange, and old. Because of the fleet's limited capability, only 10,000-to-11,000 tons of cargo could be airlifted, including one light tank, a few trucks (some with empty gas tanks to lighten the load), and artillery. Many troops landed without a single round of ammunition.16

As Tunner hoped, the joint exercise clearly served its purpose. Senators, representatives, and important civilian and military members of the Eisenhower administration came to Puerto Rico to see the airlift first hand, along with American and foreign reporters. More than 350 of these reporters were flooding the media with on-the-scene stories, and amid the deluge the most determined opponents of airlift modernization within the American press began changing their minds. Commentators no longer accused MATS of being a wasteful bureaucracy. Richard Fryklund, of the Washington Star, wrote that, from the standpoint of equipment, the major Army-Air Force strategic airlift seemed to have demonstrated its inadequacy, not because of inefficient leadership but because the Air Force planes were too few and too old, and much of the Army equipment could not fit in any of the available aircraft.

The joint maneuver generated countless critiques, similar to that of the conservative Washington Star, one of the nation's most respected evening newspapers. Hanson W. Baldwin, military analyst of the more liberal New York Times, shared Richard Fryklund's point of view. Sen. Dennis Chavez, chairman of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, complained that MATS had to use outdated aircraft, some of which had already outlived their planned useful life. The senator warned that MATS did not have sufficient modern military aircraft "for the needs of the world in which we live today," adding that both Congress and the Executive branch "must take prompt actions in this area of national defense."

Tunner's appraisal of the exercise proved remarkably candid. If his command had so much trouble bringing equipment to an island this close to the United States, he observed, how would it cope with a far away conflict. Should there be a serious conflagration in the
28 MAR 1960 In testimony before the congressional comittee, General Elwood Queseda, the Administrator of the FAA, gives a boost to MATS quest for a new airlifter by stating that such a plane is needed, but recommends more C-130's. Use of commercial aircraft such as the 707 and DC-8 was not suggested because they were not 'optimized' for a military mission.
01 JUL 1960 Public Law 86-601 gave the air force just under $311 million dollars to create the aircraft, under the condition it would not be used for regular passenger service. The airline lobby had gotten to them (what's new?).
Aug 1960 Air Force releases the SOR Developmen Plan which included proposals for both turboprop and jet aircraft. The SOR 182-1 was issued with added specific design criteria to the original SOR.
23 Nov 1960 HQ AF issues a development directive and budgets $44 million for fiscal year 1961. States that the selection of a final contractor would be in December 1960.
19 DEC 1960 AF adopts the 463L material handling system standard for loading and unloading aircraft.
21 DEC 1960 AF sends a Request for Work and Request for Proposal to Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed.
30 DEC 1960 AF has meeting with the above three contractors to go over reqirements.
JAN-MAR 1961 Source Selection Working Group and Evaluation Teams were established by the Secretary of Defense. Warner-Robbins designated the Logistics Support Manager by Air Material Command.
13 MAR 1961 President Kennedy announces that Lockheed's proposal # GL-207-45 was the winner of the design competition. The plane is dubbed the "Super Hercules".
Fall 1961 Initially the C-141 was supposed to be designed for both miliary and civil cargo use. One of the conditions of congressional approval was FAA civil certification o the aircraft. Over the months of fine-tuning the design, civil carriers and the air force parted ways regarding key design features and eventually the civil carriers said they had no interest in the C-141 for any commercial cargo hauling functions. Lockheed had hoped they would have customers for the aircraft in both military and civil markets, but never sold a single one to any buyer other than the military and NASA (which bought one).
SEP 1962 first contracted sub-assemblies arrive at Lockeed-Georgia.
JAN 1963 First matting of fuselage completed, on schedule.
MAY 1963 first a/c enters final assembly stage.
15 JUL 1963 Lockheed presents AF with a proposal for 127 C-141's
22 AUG 1963 First C-141 roll-out conducted at Lockheed-George plant.
28 AUG 1963 AF accepts the first aircraft.
30 OCT 1963 AF accepts a/c #2 on an interim basis. Both #1 and #2 were accepted by the AF prior to the first flight of any C-141.
17 DEC 1963 First FLIGHT of a C-141, tail number 61-2775. Lasted 55 minutes.
22 MAY 1964 AF signs contract for 127 C-141's (plus the initial 5).
JUN First production a/c was flown to Edwards for testing.
19 OCT 1964 64-63-8078 was deliver to Tinker AFB for training crews. It was dubbed the "spirt of Oklahoma City"
23 MAR 1965 AF contracts for 18 additional C-141's.
23 APR 1965 The first operational Lockheed C-141 Starlifter aircraft (63-8088) was delivered to Travis Air Force Base, California. It was named the "Golden Bear". Capable of crossing any ocean nonstop at more than 500 miles per hour, the Starlifter could transport up to 70,000 pounds of payload, including 154 troops, 123 paratroopers, or a combination of troops and supplies.
APR 1965 StarLifters began almost daily flights to Southeast Asia, carrying troops, equipment and supplies, and returning patients to U.S. hospitals.
25 MAY 1965 63-8088 makes the first operational flight across the Pacific ocean, from Travis to Japan ( 9 hours, 20 minutes).
10 JUN to
21 JUN 1965
A C-141 was on display at the 26th Paris airshow.
05 AUG 1965 C-141 aircraft start 'regular' service to Saigon, Vietnam. Fifty thousand pounds of general cargo constituted the first load. Outbound (total flying time) from Tinker to Saigon was 18 hours and 15 minutes.
14 Aug 1965 Charleston AFB gets its first C-141.
18 Aug 1965 Dover AFB gets its first C-141..
14 Dec 1965 Specs for the C-141 revised to include an Automatic Landing System.
24 Dec 1965 Operation Blue Light begins for the 'advance party'
27 DEC 1965
to 28 JAN 1966
Operation Blue continues C141's and C-133's were used to fly 2,952 troops and 4,749 tons of cargo. from Honolulu to Pleiku, South Vietnam.
31 DEC 1965 MATS had received 65 C-141's.
31 JAN 1966 AF accepts the first C-141 capable of carrying a Minuteman missile.
01 APR 1966 C-141's initiate 'embassy run' missions and start aeromed evac missions in Europe.
14 APR 1966 First low level combat airdrop at Fort Bragg.
21/22 APR 1966 first loading and unloading of a test minuteman missile.
27 APR 1966 C-141 #100 was accepted by the AF and testing of the All Weather Landing system started.
15 MAY 1966 C-141 aircrews took part in Big Drop III, the largest airdrop since World War II. There were 28 participating units flying a total of 144 airlifters to simultaneously deploy 6,000 U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, U.K. 5th Airborne Brigade personnel, and their heavy equipment onto three drop zones on Fort Bragg, NC.
30 JUN 1966 AF contracts for another 134 C-141's, bringing the total to 284.
Early JUL 1966 -Nonstop flight from Yokota to Tinker. 5948 miles, 12 hours and 50 minutes. Proved the feasibility of inland ports.
05 JUL 1966 -Final testing reports submitted to commander of MATS, General Estes.
05 AUG 1966 The first C-141A StarLifter S/N 65-0277 arrived to the base and entered service with the 62d Military Airlift Wing’s 8th Military Airlift Squadron.
07 SEP 1966 65-0281was destroyed by a fire on the ground at McChord at 0630 am local time.
14 NOV 1966 A C-141 Starlifter became the first jet aircraft to land in the Antarctic. Commanded by Capt. Howard Geddes, 86th Military Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, California, the aircraft landed on the ice at McMurdo Sound after a 2,200-mile flight from Christchurch, New Zealand.
31 Dec 1966 A total of 164 C-141's had been delivered to the AF.
23 MAR 1967 65-9407 was struck by an A-6 at Da Nang when the landing A-6 crashed into the C-141 while it was taxiing across the runway. The A-6 crew bailed out in time and survived, but only the loadmaster survived on the C-141.
12 APR 1967 C141 66-0127 crashes into Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietman due to a switch not being set correctly during the pre-takeoff checklists.
30 JUN 1967 220 C-141's in service.
6 OCT 1967 FAA grants certification for the AWLS.
27 FEB 1968 LAST C-141 rolls off the production line.
01 MAR 1968 Control of the C141 program passes to the AFLC.
14 MAY 1969 Operation COMBAT MOSQUITO began. During the operation, two C-141 flights airlifted 50 tons of insecticide to Ecuador to combat an encephalitis epidemic there, and two UC-123s sprayed the insecticide over that country's coastal marshes. By the end of May, the operation had exterminated up to 95 percent of the area's mosquitoes.
08 JUL 1969 C-141 Starlifters airlifted the first of 25,000 troops withdrawn from Southeast Asia under President Richard M. Nixon's Vietnamization policy, flying them from Vietnam to McChord Air Force Base, Washington.
14 APR 1969 A C-141 Starlifter crew conducted the first airlift of an operational Minuteman III missile, transporting it from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
18 Nov to
16 DEC 1969
C-141 and C-130 cargo airplanes airlifted more than 140 tons of relief equipment and supplies from the United States and from U.S. bases in the Far East to East Pakistan after a cyclone flooded the country. Some of the flights covered almost 10,000 miles.
16 JUN to
18 JUL 1970
In Operation BONNY JACK, USAF transports airlifted some 23,000 refugees from Tripura province in India, to which they had fled from civil war in East Pakistan, to resettlement areas in Gauhati province in another part of India. The C-130s and C-141s also delivered more than 2,000 tons of food, medical supplies, and other relief cargo to the refugees.
01 FEB 1972 The first MAC aircraft to land in the Peoples' Republic of China was 62 MAW C-141A number 60141, supporting President Nixon's trip to communist China.
12 FEB 1973 Tail number 660177, painted white with a large Red Cross on its tail landed at Gia Lam airport, Hanoi, Vietnam Feb. 12, 1973. The plane arrived in Hanoi as part of "Operation Homecoming" - the return of America's Vietnam Conflict POWs.
13 OC to
12 NOV 1973
The 62nd MAW supplied 23 C-141s and 48 aircrews that logged over 3,00 hours in support of Operation Nickel Grass.
29 APR 1975 By this date, in Operation NEW LIFE, the Air Force had evacuated by air more than 45,000 people from Saigon, South Vietnam, including some 5,600 U.S. citizens, on 201 C-141 and 174 C-130 sorties.
16 SEP 1975
During Operation NEW ARRIVALS, 251 C-141 and C-130 flights and 349 commercial flights airlifted more than 120,000 Indochinese refugees from Pacific island staging areas to the United States.
29 APR 1975 On 29 April 1975, Operation Babylift carried hundreds of Vietnamese orphans to the United States, C-141 number 50243 brought the first planeload of 65 children to McChord where adoptive parents awaited their arrival.
04 FEB to
30 JUN 1976
Using C-5s, C-141s, and C-130s, the Air Force airlifted 927 tons of relief equipment and supplies to Guatemala after a severe earthquake. The aircraft also transported 696 medical, engineering, and communications personnel. The effort was called Operation EARTHQUAKE.
23 MAY to
09 JUN 1976
After Typhoon Pamela hit Guam, C-5s, C-141s, and one C-130 airlifted 2,652 tons of relief equipment and supplies to the island.
08 JAN 1977 The first YC-141B (stretched C-141 Starlifter) rolled out of the Lockheed-Georgia Marietta plant. Equipped with in-flight refueling capability, it was 23.3 feet longer than the original C-141A, enabling it to carry more troops and cargo.
31 JAN to
08 FEB 1977
In Operation SNO GO, C-5s, C-141s, and C-130s airlifted 1,160 tons of snow-removal equipment and 430 passengers after more than 100 inches of snow fell on western New York and Pennsylvania, paralyzing Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
24 MAR 1977 The first flight of a "stretched" StarLifter YC-141B tail # 66-0186.
27-30 MAR 1977 Following the collision of two Boeing 747 airliners with a total of 643 passengers at Tenerife, Canary Islands, a United States Air Forces in Europe C-130 transported medical personnel to Tenerife and airlifted 56 crash survivors to Las Palmas, Canary Islands. A Military Airlift Command C-141 airlifted the survivors on to various locations in the United States for medical treatment. The Tenerife airliner collision was the world's worst civil-aviation disaster of the twentieth century.
08-17 FEB 1978 : In Operation SNOW BLOW II, USAF C-5s, C-141s, and C-130s airlifted 2,339 tons of snow-removal equipment, generators, communications gear, and more than 1,000 passengers after a severe snowstorm in southern New England.
16-27 MAY 1978 In Operation ZAIRE I, Military Airlift Command used 43 C-141 and C-5 missions to transport 931 tons of cargo and 124 passengers to Zaire in support of Belgian and French troops who had intervened to rescue European workers threatened by a Katangan rebel invasion of Zaire from Angola. During this operation, Lt. Col. Robert F. Schultz and Capt. Todd H. Hohberger and their C-5 crews earned the Mackay Trophy for overcoming fatigue, limited en route support, crippling mechanical problems, and adverse operational conditions in a hostile area.
31 MAY to
16 JUN 1978
In Operation ZAIRE II, C-141s and C-5s airlifted Belgian and French troops from Zaire, replacing them with African peacekeeping troops. In 72 missions, they transported 1,225 passengers and 1,619 tons of cargo.
22-29 nov 1978 Three HH-53 Jolly Green Giant helicopters of the 55th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron airlifted 911 bodies from a mass suicide in Jonestown to Georgetown, Guyana. HC-130s refueled the helicopters as they shuttled between the sites. At Georgetown the bodies were transferred to C-141 Starlifter aircraft, which transported them to the United States.
08-09 DEC 1978 As a result of political tensions and disturbances in Iran, Military Airlift Command airlifted some 900 evacuees from Tehran to bases in the United States and Germany. The airlift included 11 C-141 and C-5 missions. Some 5,700 U.S. and third-country nationals left Iran on regularly scheduled Military Airlift Command flights until Iran's revolutionary government closed the airport in February 1979.
31 MAR 1979 After a nuclear power-plant accident at Pennsylvania's Three-Mile Island on March 28, C-5, C-141, and C-130 aircraft airlifted testing equipment, lead-shielding materiel, and chemicals to the area.
19 NOV 1978 Five survivors of the "Jonestown Massacre" arrived at Andrews on a C-141 from Guyana.
31 AUG 1979 The Air Force began flying relief missions to victims of Hurricanes David and Frederic, which hit several islands in the West Indies before striking the United States. By November 21, C-5, C-141, and C-130 cargo airplanes had delivered more than 2,900 tons of disaster relief cargo to the Caribbean.
19-21 OCT 1979 Two C-141 Starlifter aircraft equipped for aeromedical evacuation transported 38 severely burned U.S. marines from Yokota Air Base, Japan, to Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, following a fire that swept through an enlisted men's barracks at a Marine Corps base at Mount Fuji, Japan.
06 APR 1980 A 443d Military Airlift Wing aircrew flew nonstop from Beale Air Force Base, California, to Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the United Kingdom on the first C-141B operational mission. It refueled only once on the 11-hour, 12-minute flight.
29 MAY 1980 Members of the 62d MAW's welcomed back their first "stretched" C-141B (63-8082) from the Lockheed-Georgia factory. Over the next two years 62d MAW C-141's would leave McChord on their way to Georgia to become C-141B's,
29 JUN 1982 Last C-141 to be converted to a "streched" model was completed on this date.
3-25 SEP 1983 As part of Operation RUBBER WALL, Military Airlift Command flew 85 C-141 Starlifter, 24 C-5 Galaxy, and four C-130 Hercules missions to transport about 4,000 tons of supplies from the United States to American marines in Lebanon.
24 OCT 1983
03 NOV 1983
In Operation URGENT FURY, American military forces raided the Caribbean island of Grenada to evacuate U.S. citizens, restore democracy, and eliminate a hostile Cuban/Soviet base. Military Airlift Command and Air Force Reserve C-5 Galaxy, C-141 Starlifter, and C-130 Hercules aircraft flew 496 missions to transport 11,389 passengers and 7,709 tons of cargo to Grenada. Strategic Air Command tankers and Tactical Air Command fighters, as well as Air National Guard EC-130Es, supported the operation, which accomplished its triple mission. During Operation URGENT FURY, Lt. Col. James L. Hobson, Jr., USAF, led a flight of MC-130 Hercules aircraft that successfully completed an airborne assault on Point Salinas, dropping paratroopers at the exact planned time over target in a hail of antiaircraft fire. For his actions in assuming the assault lead from a disabled aircraft, Colonel Hobson earned the Mackay Trophy.
24 FEB 1984 Military Airlift Command flew two C-141 Starlifter missions from Larnaca, Cyprus, to Cherry Point, North Carolina, to support the withdrawal from Lebanon of U.S. marines who had served as part of a multinational peacekeeping force.
19 MAR 1984
09 APR 1984
The Air Force flew 28 C-5 Galaxy and 17 C-141 Starlifter missions and deployed an E-3A Sentry in support of Egypt and Sudan against threats from Libya.
16 MAY 1984 C-141 Starlifters delivered 22 tons of medical supplies to Afghan refugees at Peshawar, Pakistan. The refugees had fled their country because of war.
01 JUL 1984 A C-141 Starlifter from the 438th Military Airlift Wing transported 39 passengers released from Trans World Airlines flight 847, which was hijacked on JUN 30 by two Shiite Muslims. At Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, Vice President George H. W. Bush greeted the survivors upon their arrival from Damascus, Syria.
12 DEC
20 JAN 1986
C-130 Hercules and C-141 Starlifter aircraft flew 26 airlift missions to transport to the United States the remains of 248 paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division and eight civilians killed in a December 12 crash of an Arrow Air DC-8 at Gander, Newfoundland. The transports also moved 770 passengers and 125 tons of cargo.
19-28 JUL 1986 Twenty-four C-141 Starlifters and eight C-130 Hercules aircraft flew 32 missions during Operation SOUTHERN HAYLIFT, supplying some 536 tons of donated hay (more than 19,000 bales) to droughtstricken farmers in several southeastern states. The operation saved hundreds of cattle as well as the livelihoods of a great many Southern livestock farmers.
24 JUL 1987 In Operation EARNEST WILL, the United States began providing protection to reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War. The Air Force provided E-3 airborne warning and control system aircraft to warn of aerial threats, C-5 and C-141 aircraft to airlift minesweeping personnel and equipment to the theater, and KC-10 and KC-135 aircraft to refuel escorting Navy fighters. The operation continued until November 17, 1988.
5-8 APR 1988 : Eight C-5 Galaxies and 22 C-141 Starlifters of Military Airlift Command transported 1,300 security specialists from the United States to the Republic of Panama to counteract political instability that threatened the safety of several thousand U.S. citizens in the Canal Zone.
14 DEC 1989 : For the first time, women assumed USAF combat-crew roles as they began to serve on C-130 and C-141 airdrop missions.
08 MAR to
30 JUN 1991
: Forty-five C-5 and C-141 flights airlifted more than 1,000 tons of fire-fighting equipment and over 100 firefighters to Kuwait to extinguish hundreds of oil-well fires set by Iraqi forces as they evacuated the country.
05 APR 1991 : Operation PROVIDE COMFORT began. By 15 JUL, C-5, C-141, and C-130 aircraft had airlifted more than 7,000 tons of relief supplies to Kurdish refugees who had fled their homes in northern Iraq to the Turkish border after Iraqi forces threatened to exterminate them. The operation later provided aerial protection for a security zone in northern Iraq so that the Kurds could return to their homes. This area became a no-fly zone - an area in which Iraqi aircraft were forbidden to fly.
10 MAY to
13 JUN 1991
: In Operation SEA ANGEL, USAF transport aircraft airlifted more than 3,000 tons of relief equipment and supplies to Bangladesh after a typhoon and tidal wave. C-5s and C-141s carried most of the cargo, including five Army Black Hawk helicopters and their crews, to the city of Dacca. From there, C-130s and the helicopters transported relief supplies to the flooded area.
19 NOV 1991 A Military Airlift Command C-141 carrying 10 Afghan patients arrived at Andrews, completing the Department of Defense’s 100th Afghanistan relief mission.
30 NOV 1992 Four C-141s were taking part in what was supposed to be a routine local air refueling/airdrop mission. The four StarLifters were refueling with two KC-135 Stratotankers of the 141st Air Refueling Wing (Air National Guard) over north central Montana. Two of the C-141s -- tail numbers 65-0255 and 66-0142 -- collided in mid-air, killing all 13 crewmembers. Ten of the men were from the 36th AS, two from the 8th, and one from the 4th.
5-13 OCT 1993 In Operation RESTORE HOPE II, C-5 Galaxy and C-141 Starlifter aircraft transported 1,300 troops, 18 M-1 Abrams tanks, and 44 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles from the United States to Somalia in nine days. Some flights went nonstop in 18 hours with four aerial refuelings on the way. The purpose of the deployments was to protect U.S. forces who had come under heavy attack during a United Nations fooddistribution effort in Somalia.
22 JUL 1994 As part of Operation SUPPORT HOPE, a humanitarian-relief operation for refugees from the Rwandan civil war, C-5s and C-141s began airlifting equipment and supplies from Germany to Uganda and Kenya. C-130s transported the cargo from there to refugee camps in Zaire. By August 7, they had delivered 3,660 tons of relief cargo. At least 22 airlift wings and groups participated.
30 JUN to
10 AUG 1995
: In Operation QUICK LIFT, C-5 Galaxies and C-141 Starlifters airlifted British and Dutch forces, comprising a United Nations rapid-reaction force, to Croatia.
31 MAY 1996 : The Air Force awarded the largest military contracts ever for the production of 80 additional C-17 Globemaster III transports over the course of seven years at a cost of $16.2 billion. The new aircraft would bring the C-17 fleet up to a total of 120, which would allow the retirement of most of the aging C-141 Starlifters.
17 MAR 1997 Operation GUARDIAN RETRIEVAL evacuated U.S. citizens and other foreigners from Zaire, where civil unrest threatened them. Special Operations Command provided personnel and aircraft for the joint task force, including MC-130s and MH-53s. Air Mobility Command C-5s, C-17s, C-141s, and KC-135s also took part. By the end of March, the operation had flown 57 missions and had transported 532 passengers.
27 DEC 1997 After Typhoon Paka struck Guam with winds up to 236 miles per hour, C-5s, C-141s, C-130s, and KC-135s airlifted relief equipment and supplies to Andersen Air Force Base on the island, delivering more than 2.5 million pounds of cargo by January 4.
JAN 1999 Raytheon E-Systems, Waco, Texas, received a $19.7 million contract increase for 87 modification kits to upgrade the all weather landing system and autopilot system on C-130 and C-141 aircraft. These kits will install a digital automatic flight control system, a control display system, and a ground collision avoidance system. Expected contract completion date is July 31, 2000.
19 FEB 1999 The 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB launched a C-141B Starlifter in support of possible NATO air operations in Yugoslavia.

The aircraft was sent to move Marine Corps assets from the United States to a European staging area.
20 SEP 1999 C-130s began airlifting U.S. troops from Australia to Dili in East Timor in a United Nations peacekeeping operation called STABILISE. After East Timor declared its independence from Indonesia, a bloody war ensued. Twenty-one C-130s, three KC-135s, two C-17s, and one C-141 eventually took part in the operation, which airlifted international peacekeeping troops to East Timor by way of Australia.
06-MAY 2000 Rodeo 2000 takes place at Pope AFB in North Carolina.
04 AUG 2000 A WPAFB C-141 departed for March AFB, Calif., where it picked up and transported approximately 170 troops to Boise, Idaho.

Certain areas of Idaho, such as Ravali County, issued a health alert because of smoke from fires. It was estimated that 11 fires had burned nearly 200,000 acres in that state as of this date.
31 AUG 2000 Two C-141s from the 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, one C-141 from the 459th AW, Andrews AFB, MD., and one C-141 from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, CA, departed Aug. 31 for Cherry Point, NC.

On 01 SEP 2000 the four Reserve aircraft transported equipment and approximately 600 Marines from the 3rd Marine Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, to Idaho Falls, ID to fight wild-fires in the area. The Marines operated from the Clear Creek fire complex in Salmon-Challis National Forest near Idaho Falls.
20 DEC 2000 A C-141 from Wright-Patterson picked up pieces of the Berlin Wall and an East German vehicle, relics of the Cold War, from Rhein-Main AB, at the former Air Force base located adjacent to the international airport in Frankfurt. The original load included two additional sections of the wall and four pallets of aircraft wing sections that remain at Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England.

The four sections of the wall and the car belong to the U.S. Air Force Museum as part of its planned gallery on the Cold War.

Each L-shaped piece of the concrete wall is approximately 12 feet tall, four feet wide, and 4 to 8 inches thick. Each piece of the wall weighs about 6,000 pounds. The C-141 also transported a small car known as a Trabant, the primary vehicle available to East German customers through the late 1980s.

The two pieces of the wall and the car are now part of the collections inventory. When exactly they will go on display has not been determined.

These artifacts became an official part of the Air Force Museum's collection at a ceremony Dec. 23 in Germany, with Lt. Gen. William J. Begert, assistant Air Force vice chief of staff, representing the museum. In exchange for the wall sections, a German museum located near Rhein-Main's gate got to keep two U.S. aircraft - a C-47 Skytrain and C-54 Skymaster, similar to those used during air operations during the Berlin blockade after World War II - which have been on display since the base was active.
08 JAN 2001 The C-141C flight simulator was put into service at Wright-Patterson. The simulator was upgraded from a C-141B model to the C-141C plus model. A second simulator designed to permit ground-based training for in-flight refueling was scheduled to go into service by the end of 2001.
09 APR 2001 Thirty-six years C-141 history at McChord came to a end when its last StarLifter, tail # 65-0267 lifted off on is final flight into retirement in the sun of Arizona.
25 MAY 2001 Wright-Patterson base officials announced that reduction-in-force notices will be issued to 141 civilian employees. The letters issued include 23 notices of separation, 57 notices of change to lower grade, and 61 reassignment notices. The letters provide affected employees the required 120-day notice period before completion of the RIF on Oct. 1.

Base organizations abolished approximately 450 positions last year. The force reductions were driven by cost comparison studies and programmatic reductions due to reorganization or manpower and funding cutbacks.

12 SEP 2001 C-141's carried blood, medical supplies and 22 surgical, trauma and critical-care specialists to McGuire AFB, N.J. in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks.
17 SEP 2001 C-141's airlifted Federal Emergency Management Agency staff from California to New York.
24 NOV 2001 A C-141 flew to Ramstein, carrying 11 pallets containing 18,000 pounds of wool blankets. According to the public affairs spokesperson at Ramstein, the blankets were turned over to the U.S. Army to be rigged for airdrop over Afghanistan.
07 JAN 2002 The opening day for Air Force Reserve Command's C-141 Starlifter schoolhouse at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. The school, officially called the C-141C Formal Training Unit, welcomed Reserve pilots, flight engineers and loadmasters from Wright-Patterson, Andrews AFB, MD and March Air Reserve Base, CA. The school is the only one of its kind in the Air Force. The C-141 schoolhouse at Altus AFB, Okla., during the summer of 2001.

At this point in time, the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., was the only active duty unit that still uses the C-141. Reserve components were flying about 100 C-141s, and Air National Guard units in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., were also still hauling troops and cargo on C-141s.
07 JAN 2002 After almost two years in depot maintenance at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins AFB, Ga., the "Hanoi Taxi" (60177) returned to WPAFB in Ohio to resume operational airlift duties.

Aircraft 60177 was upgraded to the C-model configuration, and continues to be an active part of the Air Force's airlift inventory. In addition to being an active airlift aircraft the plane also serves as a sort of flying museum. Passengers are greeted with the phrase, "First C-141 to Hanoi" inscribed in bold letters above the forward entrance door. Other distinctive features include the aircrew seat headrest covers that bear the distinctive black and white POW/MIA emblem, and framed photos of that memorable day in 1973 are mounted on the side bulkheads in the cargo bay.

The aircraft is assigned to the 445th Airlift Wing where it is employed for local training, humanitarian and other real world contingency missions. The venerable aircraft has plenty of service life left, but when it retires, the "Hanoi Taxi" is bound for the Air Force Museum here. A ceremony was conducted on the flight line.

Following the ceremony the aircraft was open for tours.

11 JAN 2002 A C-141 Starlifter carried the first load of 20 Taliban and al Qaeda detainees captured in Afghanistan to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba.
07 FEB 2003 C-141's from McGuire were used to transport NASA's rapid response team from Kennedy Space Center, Fla. in operations related to the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia.
12 FEB 2003 Reserve aircrew members from the Wright-Patterson headed to Antarctica aboard a C-141 in support of Operation Deep Freeze, a passenger and cargo service for the National Science Foundation's research facilities in Antarctica.

The crew traveled from WPAFB to Christchurch, New Zealand, the staging point for deployment to Antarctica's McMurdo Station. The crew was to be in New Zealand for approximately two weeks, making several trips each week to Antarctica to transport people and supplies as required.

In October 2002, aircrews from WPAFB delivered people, supplies and equipment to McMurdo Station for scientific operations at the beginning of the six-month South Pole summer.

14 OCT 2004 Air Force Reserve Command officials shut down the C-141 Starlifter schoolhouse at the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.

A ceremony marked the closing of the school, officially called the C-141 Formal Training Unit, which was managed by the Wing. The only one of its kind in the Air Force, the facility will no longer be used because all C-141s will retire by 2006.

The school opened in January 2002 for C-141 pilots, loadmasters and flight engineers.

The Air Force moved the school to WPAFB from Altus Air Force Base, Okla., in 2001.

Last Updated: Saturday, November 21, 2009 07:23 am