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Douglas C-74 / C-124 "Globemaster"


Upon entry into WWII the U.S. Army Air Corps recognized transporting troops or cargo to remote locations and in maintaining operations, that bigger is better! The Douglas C-74 was designed in 1942 with a range of 3,800 miles carrying a cargo of 25,000 lbs. Unlike any military transport of that time the C-74 was large but, did not see any action during WWII and the first C-74, didn't fly until September 5, 1945, just a few days after the Japanese surrendered upon the decks of the USS Missouri. After VJ day of 1945, a few C-74 "Globemaster I" were manufactured before contracts for military production were canceled. Not until the creation of th U.S. Air Force in September of 1947, did military interest for a strategic aircraft with long range and load capacity bring renewed development.
The U.S. Air Force designated the C-74, as the Douglas C-124 "Globemaster II ." It had a maximum air speed of 435 mph and a range over 4,000 miles. Powered by (4) 3,800 hp radial engines, it had (2) large cargo decks, the C-124 could either carry 200 armed troops, 125 casualties plus medical attendants, or 26,500 lbs of supplies, armor and artillery. Access to the cargo bays was through its nose by 2 large hydraulic cargo doors and loading ramps that allowed rapid loading or unloading. Additional electric cargo hoists were located at a rear cargo access and a pair of hoists transverse the 78' length of each cargo bay. Improvement of landing gear included strengthening all struts and mounting of twin tires on each. A distinctive difference between a " Globemaster I" is that the "Globemaster II" had radar dome mounted on its nose.
The Douglas C-74/C-124 "Globemaster I & II" was the USAF's largest cargo transport of that era, with approximately only 500 being produced with production ceasing in 1955. In November of 1949, a C-74 made the first non stop flight for an aircraft with over 100 passengers, from the USA to England. Its role was essential in the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Cold War and Vietnam ferrying tons of supplies and troops to and fro and wasn't retired from military service until superseded by the Lockheed C-141 "Starlifter" and C-5 "Galaxy" in the 1960's.


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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net