This story is about a former Dreux Air Base, France Fairchild C-119G
red nose serial number 53-8142 that saw service with the 10th Troop
Carrier Squadron. This aircraft was sent back to the USA in early 1961
to be used by the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard. Somewhere
around 1973--1974 after being retired out of military service it was
acquired by Northern Pacific Transport of Anchorage, Alaska.
Some C-119s were sold to the U S Forest Service, for firefighting. When one of these C119s broke apart in mid air in 1987, killing three people, the fleet was grounded.
Other C-119s were sold to cargo companies; about 20 C-119s were flying in Alaska around 1980, hauling mainly materials for construction, 53-8142 would be one of these planes.
C-119G serial number 53-8142 an old Dreux Air Base, France 10th Troop Carrier Squadron cargo plane was converted to a C-119L (three bladed props were installed) and registered civilian as N8504X.
According to a story found in the Alaska Dispatch News published July 21 2016 by Laurel Andrews, this C-119L crashed upon landing at the Shageluk, Alaska rural airport on May 13th 1987. It was bringing construction supplies there to rebuild the school that had been lost in a fire.
The plane landed short of the gravel runway folding up the landing gear and breaking the main wing spar. This old C-119G built as serial number 53-8142 now a C-119L having the number N8504X would fly no more. The company who owned the plane removed all useful parts leaving just a shell to be scrapped.
Rudy Hamilton, who lives near to the crash site, bought the C-119L as
a shell and drug it to his property, to make use of it as his work
shop. It was some twenty six years after being part of the 10th Troop
Carrier Squadron based at Dreux Air Base, France that this aircraft
became permanently grounded in a small Alaska town called Shageluk on
May 13th 1987.
Maybe we at the Dreux web-site will hear from others about a former
Dreux Air Base, France C-119G that has avoided the shredder. There
just may be a few out there somewhere. Of course there are surely some
used for displays. Many of our former
C-119G’s were converted to gun ships and their remains are in Vietnam or maybe in countries near by. Some of the old Dreux Air Base, France C-119’s may still be flying today in the USA or somewhere in the world ? It might just be some past crew members from 53-8142 or other Dreux airmen will contact us about this story? That would be wonderful.
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