Since its activation in 1942 the 57th has
flown several different aircraft.
The first was the C-47, 1942-1945; B-17, 1944; C-46, 1944-1946. C-46, 1947-1950; C-82, 1950-1952. C-46, 1953-1954. C-141, 1965-2001. C-17, 2003 - Present-day.
Unloading a C-47 in New Guinea.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport aircraft that was developed from the
Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II and remained
in front line operations through the 1960s with a few remaining in operation to this day.
In 1944 the 57th flew B-17 while stationed in New Guinea.
The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The B-17 also participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.
The Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando was a transport aircraft originally derived from
a commercial high-altitude airliner design. It was instead used as a military transport
during World War II by the United States Army Air Forces as well as the U.S. Navy/Marine
Corps under the designation R5C. Known to the men who flew them as "The Whale,"
or the "Curtiss Calamity," the C-46 served a similar role as its counterpart, the Douglas
C-47 Skytrain, but was not as extensively produced.
The C-82 Packet was a twin-engine, twin-boom cargo aircraft designed and built by Fairchild Aircraft. It was used briefly by the United States Army Air Forces and United States Navy following World War II.
Introduced to replace slower piston-engined cargo planes such as the C-124 Globemaster II, the C-141 was designed to requirements set in 1960 and flew in 1963. Production deliveries of an eventual 285 planes began in 1965: 284 for the Air Force and one for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for use as an airborne observatory. The aircraft remained in service for almost 40 years until the USAF withdrew the C-141 from service on 5 May 2006, replacing the aircraft with the C-17 Globemaster III.
On 16 September 2004, the C-141 left service with nearly all active duty USAF units, being confined to Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units for the remainder of its operational service life. As of 25 September 2005, there were only eight C-141 aircraft still flying, all from the Air Force Reserve's 445th Airlift Wing (445 AW) at Wright-Patterson AFB. In 2004, 2005, and 2006, the C-141s assigned to the 445 AW participated in missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly for the medical evacuation of wounded service members. The last eight C-141s were officially retired in 2006.
The first C-141 Starlifter to enter the Military Air Transport Service fleet is unveiled in a ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., on Oct. 19, 1964. Assigned to the 1707th ATW and will be flown by the 1741st Air Transport Squadron. This aircraft is able to move the Army's troops anywhere in the world; the new jet gave the United States an instant response capability when it began operational missions in 1965.
Brand new 63d MAW C-141As on the ramp at Norton AFB, 1967. Serial 66-0177 is in foreground which would come to be known as "The Hanoi Taxi".
C-141A aircraft being stretched 23 ft 4 in at the Lockheed plant in Marietta, GA. These modified aircraft were designated C-141B. It was estimated that this stretching program was equivalent to buying 90 new aircraft, in terms of increased capacity.
The last C-141 to fly was aircraft 66-0177 (Hanoi Taxi). At 9:30 AM on 6 May 2006, the Hanoi Taxi touched down for the last time and was received in a formal retirement ceremony at the National Museum of the Unite States Air Force.
The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can also transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.
The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. on June 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready Jan. 17, 1995.
Airlift Squadron, 57th MAS, 57th Airlift Squadron, 57th AS, C-141,
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