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gmat

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  1. Thanks, Larry, I didn't know that they replaced the EC-97Gs. I'm also never too old to learn. The EC-97Gs also came TDY to PACAF during the 60s. I think that the earliest was Brave Bull. The very early C-130As, pre 57 year models, I think, also had a set of three windows on each side of the upper fuselage. Two before the wings and one after the wing. Not easy to see but the two small dots on the top fuselage are the forward upper windows. They were painted over or replaced by metal skins, but you could still see them from the inside. Or scroll down to the C-130A in natural metal with red conspicuity markings. http://www.plaaf.net/U-S-Air-Force/Transport/201202/3368.html There was another above the cockpit next to the nav hatch. Best wishes, Grant
  2. gmat

    C130A-II

    The 'Black' C-130s were probably the three even less known C-130Es that replaced the C-130B-IIs that replaced the C-130A-IIs. Best wishes, Grant
  3. No one has mentioned it but besides the props, the best way to distinguish a C-130A from later models was that the C-130A had an extra fuselage window just forward of the red prop warning stripe. Your "C-130As" only have three. So you can easily tell that it is not an A model. The 6091st's support aircraft was 711, but in 1963, it might not have been assigned yet. I head that it was ex-463rd TAW and had been involved in a hard landing so it ended up with the 6091st. The 6091st had recently converted to C-130B-II from RB-50Gs, and I believe that early on, not all had the equipment (wing pods) installed, so '743' might be an as yet unmodified one and was being used as a support aircraft. Early photos in Japanese aviation magazines show a few w/o wing pods. Since the tail numbers at Yokota would have been easily ascertained, it would make sense for '743's' tail number to be replaced, too. Later in the late 60s or early 70s, C-130A-IIs were sent TDY to Asia and showed up at Yokota. Contemporary records (6091st starting with C-130A-IIs and are you saying that the 7046 started with C130B-IIs?) on the USAF, if they are British, are not always accurate, especially areas without a British presence. But they have recorded much useful information. The Americans, for various reasons, are much worse and have not recorded their history like this, and owe a debt of gratitude to the British for recording their history. The official designation for the C-130A-IIs and C-130B-IIs used a roman numeral. When the 6091st shut down their mission in the early 70s, the C-130B-IIs were sent to Europe to replace the C-130A-IIs and were themselves replaced with 3 C-130Es in the mid 70s. Best wishes, Grant
  4. If you try to blow up the photo, the numbers in the lower cockpit window become pixilated, but the top digit blob looks more like a 6 than a 7. But am reluctant to say that it is 56-0476. Grant
  5. Found this site, perhaps not seen by others here. http://www.gonavy.jp/bbs2-c130IIf.html Bob, there's a photo of 60476. Blind Bat black camo with red YD tail code. Is this correct for 476? Best wishes, Grant
  6. TAC badge, natural metal scheme with possibly grey or orange or scrubbed out nose. Circa 1965. Taken in Panama. http://www.madracki.com/usarmyhawk/page7.html Best wishes, Grant
  7. There were two C-130As with the white top and grey bottom. They flew in the early 60s out of Naha, just about as the last of the Far East C-130As lost their white tops. I have or had a small color photo that confirmed that it had a grey bottom. I can't find the photos quickly, by one was 545, which later was a E flight aircraft. The other was 469?, I think. The ASW C-130As were always camo because they flew in SEA on rainmaking sorties rather than storm tracking weather missions. I heard that weather aircraft were left in grey as some foreign countries in South America did not want camo aircraft flying near their border. I guess that this didn't apply to trash haulers. Best wishes, Grant
  8. Thanks, my bad. Even if I try to write Sewart and 4442nd it still came out 442nd and Stewart. Best wishes, Grant
  9. The author does seem to mix up the roles of TAC and MATS/MAC usage of the C-130E and its usage in Viet Nam. By his wording, he seems to imply that it was the C-130E that was designed for TAC, when he probably meant that the C-130A was. "... the C-130E came into service. They were originally designed for TAC as a "short-range assault transport" to support the US Army's airborne operations.... He then says that the first C-130E went to the 1608 ATW, but that was a MATS unit. The first C-130E went to ARDC at Edwards and the next 8 actually went to the 4442nd CCTS, 4442nd CCTW at Stewart. This is from the old Aviation News Warpaint on the C-130 by Bob Archer. Perhaps the next one went to the 1608th ATW. Certainly the extended range provided by the larger wing tanks would seem to satisfy a MATS requirement for a strategic transport rather than TAC looking for more range, but I'm sure that TAC was happy to buy the improved model. He implies that MATS C-130Es flew tactical missions in SEA. He says that MATS crews found the C-130 rugged and dependable for theater operations where its airborne short field landing... I'm sure that PACAF and TAC crews already knew this, and that MATS/MAC C-130Es would only stop at the large bases and let in-theater C-130s move cargo from there. He also says ".. the so-called 'tactical' C-130, originally designed as a strategic airlifter, also performed 'strategic' missions. Perhaps he meant "...the tactical C-130(A) designed as a tactical airlifter was joined by the C-130E, designed as a strategic lifter, where it performed strategic mission as well as tactical missions, within MATS and TAC/PACAF." Good at quoting passages without the knowledge and experience to understand what is being said. Sorry, I know that he means well, but the USAF, the public and long serving C-130 crew members deserve better. I find most PAO news and fact sheets designed to support the home team rather than provide good history. Good for the team, but not so good for historians. Best wishes, Grant
  10. Sorry that I've not responded sooner. I had to dig out this book. Published in 1991, Tail Code, by Patrick Martin, published by Martin Slides, 812 E 55th St., Tacoma, Wash., is a very good source for the grey area 1960s and 70s tail codes with starting year when known. HCL and probably HCN and NCM with US stars and bars were ex-VNAF C-130As probably being ferried back to the US or at the Boneyard pending reassignment. I saw HCL at Hickam in 1975 or 76 after the fall of Saigon when aircraft were being redeployed back to CONUS. Open House? Didn't know until later the story behind it. I'll try to post the C-130 tail codes and bases, unit assignments and fin tip colors, if used, later when I have more time. If you have an immediate question, I can answer that. There may be further books on tail codes, but I haven't kept up with them. Best wishes, Grant
  11. PACAF C-130As were pretty much the same, save the nose numbers were different sizes. I've wondered if each squadron painted them that way to differentiate their aircraft. All were aluminum metal or aluminized acrylic with PACAF badge on the tail. All had the large U. S. Air Force behind the cockpit and the large fuselage star and bars. I have photos of these with the large numbers behind the cockpit: 50008, Jan. 1, 66. 50010, Aug. 4, 65. 50013, 70482. Others not dated on the photo. Medium sized numbers, a little larger than the tail number, behind the cockpit: 70483, old flying jennie jackass placard in the forward lower cockpit window. 815th TAS? May 5, 65. Small numbers midway between the cockpit and crew door. 0-50041, 0-50048, 60496, Jun. 6, 65. 60509, 60512, and 70469, the latter had a white top with mostly grey undersides. (545 had the same scheme) 469 also had a round camera? window on rear fuselage, under and forward the large fuselage star and bars. It was the same size as the fuselage windows. That area around the camera, the paratroop door and a strip around the last fuselage window appears to be natural metal The cargo door and up up to the frame running roughly parallel to the door was painted gray. Tail number is lower and almost touching the PACAF badge. Oct. 19, 64. All 21st TAS? Only the latter aircraft had the 0 prefix designating aircraft over ten years old. All had the 450 gal wing tanks and 50010, 60512, 0-50048, 60509, and 60496 had the tip of the tanks painted a dark color. 60509, 0-50048 as well as 70469 had the camera? window in the same position. Photos of the first two on the left side and that latter on the right side. Probably had the window on both sides. 50048 and 70496 had the fuselage star and bar moved aft and higher, to where the lower edge of the bar was at the same level as the top of the paratroop door. Possibly the 6091st C-130B-IIs might have been the ones to stop at Kadena. Best wishes, Grant
  12. I'm the one who posted the list of Blind Bat serial numbers and tail codes. Best wishes, Grant
  13. gmat

    HC-130J

    No big thing. The early CG SC-130Bs, which became HC-130Bs did have the forward cargo doors and did not have scanner windows. But you are right about the AF HC-130s. Best wishes, Grant
  14. Zantop flew Logair/Log Air flights. Contracted priority airflift service operated for the USAF. They served the AFLC centers and picked up or delivered cargo to different bases. For a short time Hawaiian Air Cargo with L-188s had the contract. Zantop had fallen out of favor and a deal was made with Hawaiian to pick it up. At least one of the Hawaiian Air Cargo L-188s still had the old Zantop markings with the red stripe on the fuselage. Most flew with the new Hawaiian colors with the girl on the tail. Zantop got the contract back and later reacquired the Hawaiian Air cargo L-188s. Best wishes, Grant
  15. Wombat, Yes, I'd like to see any photos that you have. Could I post them at the AWRA (Air Weather Reconnaissance Association) message board? 3133 used to have AWRO weather officers and MET/ARE repairmen assigned. The two specially modified aircraft used by the AFGL at Hanscom AFB, JC-130A 53-3133 and MC-130E 64-0571 are unique in using MET/ARE repairmen to operate the data recording instruments. They sat on seats before two racks on pallets in the cargo bay. The MET/ARE troops preflighted the equipment and downloaded the tapes and performed maintenance. Other weather aircraft used weather officers (ARWO) or enlisted weather observers (drop) or SEO (special equipment operators) to operate the weather equipment in flight. Best wishes Grant
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