C-60 Lodestar

During WWII the military bought or pressed into service all kinds of transport aircraft that could be useful. Lockheed Lodestars were smaller and faster than the Douglas DC-3 aircraft that had become the industry standard. The U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) commandeered over 50 early model Lodestars under the designations C-56, -57 and -59 but the definitive military Lodestar was the C-60 of which over 350 were built.

Most Lodestars were used for crew training, moving freight and VIP passengers, and for paratroop training. As a fast medium-range transport they served adequately well, but most were retired from military service before the end of the war. Afterwards, many were converted and became plush civilian executive transports.

Our aircraft served in the USAAF at bases in Alabama from March 1943 until February 1945. It was sold to Capitol Airways in 1946 and converted to an executive transport in 1958. In 1990 it was acquired by the USAF Heritage program and placed on display at the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB, Georgia. In 2014 it was transferred to the AMC Museum.


Serial Number: 42-55918
First Flight:
21 September 1939
Crew: 3
Payload: 18 passengers
Powerplant: 2x R-1820 Wright Cyclones
49 ft 10 in
65 ft 6 in
11 ft 1 in
Empty Weight:
12,500 lbs
Loaded Weight:
17,500 lbs
Maximum Speed:
257 mph
Cruise Speed:
200 mph
Range: 1,700 mi
Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft
AMC Museum Restoration Crew Chief: Brian Roth

Assignment History

The assignment history for the Air Mobility Command Museum's C-60 Lodestar, serial number 42-55918:

Date Location
19 Jan 1943 Received by the USAAF
Mar 1943 to Long Beach, California
Jun 1943 to Palm Springs, California
2 Aug 1944 to 4139th Base Unit, Birmingham, Alabama
18 Aug 1944 to 2132nd Base Unit, Maxwell Field, Alabama
Nov 1944 to 4139th Base Unit, Birmingham, Alabama
Jan 1945 to 4119th Base Unit, Brookley Field, Alabama
2 Feb 1945 Dropped from the USAAF inventory by transfer to the Reconstruction Finance Corp
24 Oct 1946 Purchased by Capitol Airways for $5,000, Nashville, Tennessee—assigned N66314
18 Mar 1949 Modified from C-60 to Lockheed 18-56 civilian type, by Capitol Airways
19 Mar 1949 Sold to H.K. Ferguson Co, Cleveland, Ohio, for $1 and OVC
1 Jun 1950 Sold to OMAN Construction Co, Nashville, Tennessee for $19,622.24
26 Jun 1950 Registration change—N66314 to N315
10 Nov 1958 Change to Howard 250
14 Apr 1961 Taxi accident, Miami Airport—engine suddenly stopped; nose, belly and tail damage—repaired
30 Jul 1981 Change N315 to N315F
5 Aug 1981 Sold to Int'l Field Studies, Capitol Univ., Columbus, Ohio
3 Nov 1982 Sold to L. Hannan, Santa Rosa, California
19 Apr 1983 Sold to C. Love, Elite Ent. Forestville, California
20 Jun 1986 Sold to L. Hamilton and L. Donham Ent.
Jul 1988 Sold to L. Hamilton
29 Jan 1989 Sold to S. Penning
1990 Acquired by USAF Heritage Program and placed on display at the Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB, Georgia
2014 Transferred to the AMC Museum
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I believe my father (Fred Van Hook) flew this airplane with Art McKinley for the CAF. I was in it many times! Awesome aircraft! However I heard (Through the Grapevine) that it crashed during takeoff at the midland airshow a long time ago.
If it is STILL alive, I would LOVE to see it again.

That was N6371C SN 18-2598 Howard 250 that crashed on take off from Midland TX in 2004 and destroyed the aircraft