Date:January 12, 1968
Copyright © - Nicholas Williams
Shortly after C141Heaven was started, Dave Grant sent me a big list of the status of all C-141's.There was a little note about 67-0011 that said: "Ground Trainer-North Field-CTR Wing Cracks" with an effective date of 7-April 1997. It said the a/c was currently located at Charleston, and I assumed the "North Field" reference meant on the north side of Charleston and perhaps used for emergency evac training, loadmaster training, or some other similar purpose.
In early February of 2005 I got this email from a guy named George Miller:
Are you aware of the C-141 left at North AFB in SC? I hope to go there soon to check this out. Not on display Just left there.
Well, I never heard of North AFB, and could find no reference whatsoever to it in any Google searches. Maybe it was a secret base started by Ollie North to import drugs to pay for the export of weapons shipments to Iran? Who knows? So I asked George:
This is very interesting news. Where exactly is North AFB? I can't seem to locate it on any web site or FAA directory anywhere.......
If the one you are talking about is still there please get some photos and we will try to figure out what is going on with it.
There have been several that have been discovered to have damage of one sort or another (usually wing cracks or landing gear problems) that have been 'converted' to displays or 'ground trainers' because they simply could not be flown safely.
On 2/11, George replied:
Charleston has one C-141 on display (The City of Charleston) I believe this is the third edition 624 and 610' The current tail number 8079.
In regards to the 141 at North Field. I have been informed that is now a fire and rescue aircraft. They use it to practice rescue, and not sure how much is left. Will try to get pix next week if possible.
He also sent a note about where North is located:
Direct East of Aiken, South West of Columbia and North of Orangeburg. Located in the town of North South Carolina on Highway 321/178.North, South Carolina.
There is nothing at the field except a fire station and a huge WW2 runway that was never completed and is used by AMC as a drop zone.
I spent some time there in 1970 at what was called BARE BASE. We established a complete air base with fighter aircraft ready to roll.
Everything came in boxes and it was up to the troops to build the base in a very short time. It was a test and I never heard of ever being used again anywhere.
Also have some pix of 67-0011 in its flying days out of Charleston.
So George went to North, South Carolina, and found North Field, just South-East of North. (Without INS or GPS it's a wonder anyone from Charleston EVER got there!) and and found 67-0011. Here's what he says about it:
From: George Miller [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 4:42 PM
Was at North USAF, AMC auxiliary air field this date.
The aircraft grounded there is 67-0011 from a few yards away the craft looked like it could take off in very short time. Closer up it was obvious that the bird was dead. Everything on the out side looked very good, all in gray, the interior didn't look to bad either. The cockpit was gutted. Everything that could be removed --- was.
Someone had shot the windows and all were cracked. Tires were all up and the engines were still installed. All entrances were open except the clam shell door. I was told that fire practice no longer was being considered and that the aircraft was going to be scrapped and sold to metal dealers. Pictures coming.
7:45 Sun GM
The field from space.
It's just a little bit south-east of North, South Carolina.
From the information I have it appears this tail number was discovered to have center wing-box cracks while on the ground at North Field on April 7th, 1997. Due to its condition it was not able to be safely flown anywhere where it could be repaired or there were no repair parts available. Anyone who might know more info about this aircraft is encouraged to share their knowledge of the details.
Here's a series of shots that George Miller took in late February 2005 of 67-0011 sitting rather forlornly, all alone, on the ramp at North Field. Even the C-141's in Tucson have their sisters to keep them company ..... this poor creature is sitting there by herself ... hopefully she does not know the eventual fate that awaits it. When you see how it has been desecrated you may want to cry a bit ... that's ok. What has happened to this aircraft is nothing for the Air Force to be proud of.
In early June of 2005, C141Heaven got an email from SSgt Jeffery Kelly who works
at the Public Affairs office at Charleston. He was working on a article about
67-0011, which was soon to be destroyed "as a safety hazard". He provided a few
interesting facts about this aircraft.
67-0011, was the only C-141 to ever carry the Air Force One call sign; it delivered President George Bush to Mogadishu, Somalia in 1992. (Note: There are photos of this event that will be made available to C141Heaven in the near future.)
On its way to AMARG in Tucson the wing cracked and was flexing beyond limits, forcing the aircraft to land at North Field. After this, it was cannibalized for spare parts.
It was later used as a fire department training aid for emergency egress.
C141Heaven received this email from Joe Aguirre in January 2011...:
I "cut my teeth" as a crew chief at Charleston AFB, SC on these hard-working aircraft. I miss these old girls.
As an A1C or SrA in either 1997 or 1998, my supervisor MSgt Jim Thigpen asked me if I wanted to go TDY. Of course I said yes before knowing even where or when I was leaving. Being a member of the 437th AGS CANN Team, I was tasked to help manage an single aircraft designated to serve as a parts spare in support of the airlift wing's mission. However, this unusual task required that I drive a couple of hours up to North Field, SC to cannibalize a nose landing gear brace assembly off aircraft 67-0011.
As a young crew chief, I was excited to drive up to a relatively remote airfield and remove a part to help fix another C-141. After arriving to North Field, I spoke to a Fire Dept representative and explained my assignment. He escorted me to 67-0011, and at first glance, she looked ready to take off at moment's notice--mission ready. Once inside, however, it was clear this proud aircraft was now only a fire fighting trainer at best. Most of her instruments, aircrew seats, and other essential equipment were stripped away.
I pressed on with my assignment of removing the nose landing gear brace- -which proved more difficult that I had thought. The layers of paint and many years of in-place hardware on this component made removing the brace a challenge, but never too difficult for a determined crew chief!
After removing the part, I remember rubbing her nose radome as most crew chiefs did right before any launch, and thought how this old girl would never fly again. Was disappointed in that. However, even in her last hours, she helped another C-141 stay in the air by "donating" a part of herself...
Thank you for the memories 67-0011. SMSgt Joe Aguirre
Source: Bradley Kuhn submitted this photo of the "First Bite"
Bradley was at the controls of the cruncher.
Source:Bradley Kuhn. After a few hours.
It must have been quite a day. Dale Cook attended the destruction festival and submitted these photos.
Copyright © - Dale Cook
"A Day's Work"
Copyright © - Dale Cook
Here's a few shots of 67-0011 in happier times.
67-0011 with others on the ramp at Norton (I think) in the late 60's or early
Copyright © - Gerhard Plomitzer
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