C-119B Flying Boxcar Restoration Progress Report

The C-119B Flying Boxcar was assigned to the 314th Troop Carrier Group stationed at Ashia AB, Japan flying direct combat support missions during the Korean War. It is the second oldest C-119 in existence and it is the only surviving aircraft from the operation that air-dropped mobile bridge sections to Marines during the “Chosin Reservoir” rescue mission. The museum restoration team is currently in the process of getting the aircraft prepared for exterior painting and restoring the inside instrument configurations. The C-119 is on schedule to be painted this summer and later in the year the museum will dedicate this historic aircraft and its accomplishments to the Korean War Veterans.


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I was surfing on the net and came across this set of photos of the restoration of a C119. This brings back many great memories. I was a Staff Sgt. in the 512th Troop Carrier Wing from (est, can’t remember exactly) 1956 to 1963. In that era we were stationed at New Castle, later moving to Willow Grove Naval Air Station. We also flew to Grenier AFB in New Hampshire and North Field in South Carolina. I was in aircraft crash and rescue and chased many C-119s with feathered props down the runway. Flying in the C-119s was very exciting.

Thanks for the photos.

I saw several of these at Grey Bull WY a few years ago as we drove to Mt Rushmore right off Hwy 14 & they had an outdoor Museum of other Air Tankers as well.

I saw Dennis Krepil’s information on Wildfire Aviation.
I worked around some C-119’s in the late 70’s and early 80’s. While I don’t recall T-87 most of them seemed to be set up in the same way. The retardant tank was in the main cargo bay. The set up was a single large tank with 8 compartments. Each compartment held 250 gallons of fire retardant. Each compartment had an individually controlled gate. The gates were often dropped (opened) in sequence such as 1 times 4 or 2 times 2; (controlled by a timer in the cockpit). The bomb bay you referred to are probably the remnants of or patches over the gate openings. The tanks were filled by a 3″ loading port on either side. Some of the C-119’s still has operable clam shell rear doors. With these aircraft the tank system could be removed with the help of a set of rollers and the aircraft used for cargo or fuel transport. Paracargo was not unusual in AK in the late 70’s. Hope this helps provide some insite on how the aircraft were used.