Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Legacy Lives!

Anyone, ever associated with a USAF C-133 Heavy Cargo Transport shares a unique bond. Flight crews, ground crews, families of crews, all have a living connection, not just because it was a unique airplane. But the airplane itself is the ultimate symbol of uniquely shared experiences.

This blog post attempts to sample the memories of those experiences through three dramatic moments, "The Last Flight" of the real thing in Aug, '08, when a "very old girl" C-133A S/N 61999 flew from her "commercial home" in Alaska (known in her commercial after-life as N199AB) back to California to become the "Travis Bird" in her final resting place.

Here was the post on this blog on 30 Aug 2008: "...the airplane launched on its final flight. Takeoff at McChord was 0800 and landing at Travis at 1101 PDT. At shutdown, the airplane had logged some 18,250 flight hours with more than 6,100 landings. Thanks to all those who made this last flight possible. It will be an excellent display in the Travis Museum."

 And here's the same "old girl" in live action in May, '68, with a memory from Fred Dietsch (as posted on this blog on 22 Apr 2010): "I am attaching a photo of 61999 which I believe I took while flying between Andersen, Guam and Mactan, Philippines. My pilots were Capt Stan Bryk and Capt Bill Gilbert. We left Andersen on 18 May 68 in 62010; 61999 was right behind us so we made some lazy "S" turns and waited for them. They were cleared 2000 feet above us. When they caught up we flew loose formation to Mactan. The other Nav. (I think it was Jim Woody) and we took turns navigating."

To view the spectacular 5:48 video, "The Last Flight," be sure to click on HD, Full-screen, and crank up the sound to relive (as Jimmy Ratcliff, 1st ATS A/C in the 60s, says in the Comments) "Sweet music to old ears!"

Click on:

Then come back to this blog post for more memorable connections! 

OK, Memorable Moment #2 was in May, 2014, when Master RC Model Builder George Maiorana brought his Magnificent Replicate of C-133A S/N 62008 on display at the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB to our Crew Colleague Reunion in Dover, and taxied it around the apron in front of our own C-133B S/N 60536:

Click on: 

 And here are two photos of the model inside the cargo compartment of 0536, and with the remarkable builder, George Maiorana, in front of 0536:

The final Memorable Moment came in July with the Maiden Flight of George's model in Muncie, IN, where he achieved National Champion status:

And here is the message just received from George with the link access to a 12:40 video of The First Flight! Again, click on Theater Screen or Full Screen & turn up the sound! AMAZING!!


 Here is quick link to the video:

There will be an article on the plane in the October issue of Model Aviation magazine. Their video of the maiden flight will be posted on their site when the issue is released.

Fair skies,


We just heard from Randy Chambers, the grandson of a former 133 Crew Chief:

He said...

"What a beautiful model! My grandfather Cmsgt Jack Chambers was Crew Chief on the C-133 2008 when it set the weight lift record."

August 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM 

Monday, July 21, 2014

World's Tallest Symbol of Freedom & Hope

Thanks to Andrew Fleming for this inspiring video:

Standing 400 feet tall, the new Acuity Insurance Flagpole is the tallest flagpole in North America.  Located on the Acuity Insurance headquarters campus in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, along Interstate 43 between Milwaukee and Green Bay, the pole supports a 60-foot-wide by 120-foot-long American flag.  Located at the base of the flagpole is a brick paver patio featuring the names of Sheboygan County residents killed in active duty.

Flagpole Facts:
400-foot flagpole weighs approximately 420,000 pounds
There are two versions of the 60- by 120-foot flag:
- 220 pound flag is flown during normal conditions
- 350 pound flag is flown during harsher weather
Each star is 3 feet high and each stripe is 4 1/2 feet wide
680 cubic yards of concrete used in foundation
Over 500 gallons of paint cover the pole
11-foot diameter at base tapers to 5 1/2-foot diameter at top
Three pendulum-style tuned mass dampers reduce movement and vibration
Designed to withstand a low temperature of -42°F

Click on:

Monday, July 14, 2014


Congratulations to George Maiorana!! Your Dover 133 Fan Club is thrilled by your achievement!! And so proud to have had the privilege of meeting you and seeing your baby up close and personal at our Reunion. Thank you for sharing it with us!


What a wonderful week we had with the C-133. Here are some pictures of her flying. Dave flew her about 16 times from Thursday's maiden till the end of the contest on Sunday afternoon.

We took first place in our division (Team Scale). Because I had many problems with my 3 blade props we had to fly with 2 blades. I'm sure there are better pictures out there and video also.

More to come when available.

Smiles all around here.  :))


                                                 Dave, our pilot 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Maiden Flight

Just got the following from our Giant 133 Model-maker, George Maiorana. And below is his full power, ground run-up photo (tethered to the fence) on 7/05.

Check out the NATS event in Muncie, IN, where he’s making his Maiden Flight: . Click on Nats Schedule, to see George’s category, 2014 RC & CL Scale Nats.

Dick H.

From: George
Subject: C-133 maiden flight
Date: July 10, 2014 at 6:59:07 AM CDT


All packed and off to the NATS to tempt fate :-)

Back Monday.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Classic 133 Incident

Breaking news from Giant 133 Model-maker George Maiorana!

Does this bring back more memories or what???

Hi Guys,

Well it's been a traumatic week here. I was running up the C-133 to full power and checking static thrust (19.5 lbs) when #3 threw a blade. The resulting instant vibration tore the motor off the fire wall and took a chunk out of the cowl. It was a moment that I reflected upon for an hour or so.  The good part of the problem is that the blade went into the garage about 30 feet and not thru the fuse or me. Had to count my blessings. Another blessing is that it happened here and not in the air (total disaster if it had occured in the air).

I took all 6 of my props and did a complete mod B to them. Yesterday I ran all 6 props in a "bunkered" test stand for 4 minutes at WOT. All survived. The motor mount and cowl are repaired and I just came in from running up the plane teathered to a fence. What an awesome sound.  No problems!  So I'll begin getting all my ground support equipment sorted out ready for the trip to the AMA NATS.

The "plan" is for me to arrive at the site Thursday afternoon (July 10th) and set the plane up ready for the maiden. My pilot, Dave along with his wife Vicki, plans to be at the site Thursday afternoon around 6 PM and take her up. If he gets there early enough and all goes well we may be able to get a second flight in.  Friday we will get the plane static judged and fly some more.  Contest is Saturday and Sunday with two judged flights each day.

Here is a link to the AMA NATS news and you can keep track what is going on during the contest.

Cross your fingers :-)


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Computer Simulation of Model 133 Flight

Paul (Gus) Ogushwitz connected with me a couple of years ago when he discovered our CargoMasterRaster blog, and we were planning another Reunion. His background and interests collided with our very special "Giant 133 Model Maker" George Maiorana, who created such a sensation at our Reunion with his model. The following message from Gus, and the material he has provided via links is self explanatory. Enjoy the amazing story of Gus' background and his computer simulation of George's model.

Gus predicts that George's model 133 can fly successfully in Muncie, Indiana next month.

Note his interest in hearing other stories. I will pass along any feedback from our list.

Dick Hanson

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Paul R. Ogushwitz"
Subject: C-133 Model Simulations
Date: June 26, 2014 1:53:05 PM CDT
To: "Mr. Richard Hanson"

Hi Dick,

Here is link to my long-overdue report on computer simulations George's model C-133:

I wrote the report with the    community in mind.  If you see fit to post the link there, please do so before George flies the model.  Last I heard, maiden flight scheduled for 9 July 2014.

Also, you might like to include the link to my article about a C-133 mission to Easter Island:

I would love to read other C-133 stories that our colleagues might write.  Turns out to be very easy to sign up and post items on DropBox.  If you get some responses, then I respectfully suggest you start another list -- like "C-133 War Stories" or whatnot -- on the right side of the blog (where "Book Reviews" and "Blog Archive" are located).

Best regards,

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014


For any of you still paying attention to this blog, I apologize for some slightly murky information! My right hand finally met Hank's right hand IN the 133 at the Museum this morning, and here's the clarification:

Saturday, 5/10:

2:00 pm: Hospitality Suite, Room 425, Dover Downs Hotel opens for socializing. IF you all don't drink all the beer & wine today at the Museum, any left-overs will be provided at that time.

4:30 pm: Cash bar opens in Ballroom A where the banquet will be held.

5:30 pm: Ballroom A, butts in the seats for the Honor Guard and Pledge of Allegiance.

6:00 pm: Dinner Welcome begins, with program later.

9:00 pm: Hospitality Suite, Room 425, available for late mingling for "long ball hitters."

The Last Last Hurrah has begun!

And George Maiorana and his AMAZING Giant 133 Model from MIchigan are IN the C-133 cargo compartment for display. He will taxi it around for us sometime, weather permitting (tbd).


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dover Reunion Update - URGENT BREAKING NEWS!

Hank Baker has scored another coup! He's recruited the Dover Honor Guard to open the Grand Diamond Anniversary Banquet on Saturday evening! So the event will start at 5:30 pm, instead of the previously published time of 6:00 pm!

The Hospitality Suite will open in Dover Downs, Room 425, at 4:30, then you need to be in Banquet Hall A by 5:30!

See you soon!!

Dick H.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Final Week Reunion Countdown

We have 95 Crew Colleagues attending our Reunion next weekend, with 84 Guests (179 total). A fantastic turn-out!

Our Reunion Emcee, Rick Spencer, in his planning for our gathering, suggested I distribute the following link to an important YouTube video you will enjoy: . A very appropriate way to begin our Diamond Anniversary Reunion (60 years since Douglas was contracted to build 50 C-133s). And here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia reference for Design & Development:

The C-133 was designed to meet the requirements for the USAF's Logistic Carrier Support System SS402L for a new strategic transport.[1] The aircraft differed considerably from the C-74 Globemaster and C-124 Globemaster IIs that had preceded it. A high-mounted wing, external blister fairings on each side for the landing gear, and rear-loading and side-loading doors ensured that access to, and the volume of, the large cargo compartment were not compromised by these structures. The cargo compartment (90 ft/27 m in length and 12 ft/3.7 m high) was pressurized, heated, and ventilated.[2]

The Cargomasters went directly into production as C-133A; no prototypes were built. The first Cargomaster flew on 23 April 1956.[3] The first C-133As were delivered to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) in August 1957 and began flying MATS air routes throughout the world. Two C-133s established transatlantic speed records for transport aircraft on their first flights to Europe. The fleet of 50 aircraft proved itself invaluable during the Vietnam War. The Cargomaster soldiered on until theLockheed C-5 Galaxy entered service in the early 1970s. The C-133 was then retired and most airplanes were cut up as soon as they were delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, on their final flights in 1971.

Fifty aircraft (32 C-133A and 18 C-133B) were constructed and put into service with the USAF. A single C-133A and a C-133B were built and kept at Douglas Long Beach as "test articles". They had no construction numbers or USAF tail numbers.

To reference the entire Wikipedia document, click on:

Finally, there was some breaking news this afternoon out of Travis AFB, where Cal Taylor and his 133 Crew Colleagues are having a Travis Reunion this weekend: "Plane crashes during base air show" click on:

You never know!! Travel safe getting to the Reunion! We want to see you all there!!

Dick Hanson

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dover Reunion Welcoming Address

Our venerable Reunion Emcee, Rick Spencer has shared with us the text of his Welcoming Remarks for our Diamond Anniversary Reunion on May 9th & 10th. We know many of you would like to be with us, but couldn't make it. We think you'll agree that Rick has captured the essence of our common bond:

Welcoming Address for the C-133A Diamond Anniversary Reunion at DAFB:

May, 2014, Presented Upon Behalf of the Reunion Committee
Ladies, gentlemen, and guests, this evening we welcome one another back to DAFB for the C-133’s seventh and final reunion, and to celebrate our Diamond anniversary year. 

Tonight, we also pay homage to those members not with us because of illness, the natural passages of life, or the fatal accidents that we endured.

I am honored, humbled, and somewhat nervous to be here before you, peers all, as MC and part of this final gathering of old friends who were colleagues at one time. It has been some 60 years almost to the day since the Douglas C-133A Cargomaster was initially funded and a few years later rolled out for its debut in California. We can all say that we have been with it in spirit, if not body, from its beginning to its end. 

Given the size of the USAF and the years gone by, we were a very small group maintaining and flying a very large airplane around the world. It was an ‘eye popper’ for all those seeing it.  We were involved in important and memorable missions with the best air and ground crews ever assembled. Should I use the word ‘elite’ to describe us all?  I think so!  When one surveys today’s aero technology, we were iron men in wooden ships.

There were a mere fifty C-133’s built, based at two locations, and their lifespan and “heyday’, the 1960’s, were compressed into a very short period compared to nearly all other AF aircraft. The final landing of a C-133A, 61999, some 35 years after its official retirement and subsequent private ownership, was at the Travis Air Show in 2008 prior to it becoming a part of their AMC Museum display. Now, sadly, there are no more.

In one of the quirks of our history, the C-133A now at Travis AFB was originally a DAFB bird, and the display here was originally a Travis bird.  That incongruity between what one would expect to happen and what actually happened has created a closer relationship between the two Museums and among all the veterans associated with this historic transport.  We are now family; and, we now have an obligation, one to the other, to maintain these special aircraft that were an unusually important phase in the life of military cargo flight. .  And, we therefore offer kudos to those doing so at the Dover AFB AMC Museum, as well as Travis AFB.

As an example of the unique capabilities of both the crews and the Cargomaster, our C-133A set a number of unofficial records, including records for military transport aircraft on trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes. Among the longest were non-stop flights from Tachikawa AB, Japan to Travis AFB, CA (17:20 hours on 22 May 1959, and Hickam AFB, HI to Dover AFB, DE in about 16 hours. The only FAI officially sanctioned record was in December 1958, when C-133A 62008 lifted a payload of 117,900 lb to an altitude of 10,000 ft at Dover AFB, DE.  I would surmise that some here tonight had a direct hand in these and other records.
Our reunions, including this 7th, have always celebrated a grand and glorious interval of our life- that of our service in the USAF, our personal relationship with the C-133A, and Dover AFB. We were young then, very young, and it was a time like no other in our lives. For those our age, throughout our military service and most of our civilian lives, we were actively involved in the containment of Communism. And, it was for good reason.  Communism killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often-aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked.  Communism was the great and evil story of the twentieth century and at its zenith, ruled a third of mankind. It seemed poised to spread indefinitely and then it collapsed like a house of cards. It had violated one of the basic tenets of civilization, “Thou shalt not kill.”

But, for us, Peace was our nation’s tenet, and DAFB C-133’s were integral in mission support of our country’s fundamental belief in worldwide democracy leading to individual freedoms. Unfortunately, what we have learned from history and endured throughout our life is that peace is a far more complex affair than war. So complex that peace often seems beyond humanity’s reach.

The century of our lives became the bloodiest of all time in spite of our best efforts toward peaceful resolutions. Atrocitologists have estimated total military and civilian casualties ranging up to 275,000,000. Thucydides the Greek first noted almost twenty-five centuries ago that peace is an armistice in a war that is continually going on.  And, so it seems.

However, this continuous ongoing and out pouring of concern for one another for well over 50 years poses an interesting but central question, “Why?” Our mere attendance would seem to suggest a simple answer; enduring friendship engendered by our small size with a big mission.  We flew the line with dangerous cargo to risky and unusual places. Flying the line gave us an independence and responsibility here and in foreign countries at a young age that few ever obtain.  Adding to that was the short span of operational years along with the high percentage of mysterious losses that created a special esprit de corps among us.

But, the “Why” is more complex than that and we have to look into antiquity to understand it.  So, here is the more complex answer to these many years leading to a Diamond Reunion among the few USAF veterans associated with the C-133A at DAFB.

The reasons for our reunion and hundreds of others involving military veterans revolve about two concepts: one important to the nation; and, the other important to those who served the nation in uniform.

The former, importance to the nation, is the common sense observation that escapes many of our citizens and the political bodies of the country: that military organizations exist to win wars.  Winning the nation’s wars is the military’s functional imperative.  In fact, it is the only reason for a liberal society to maintain standing armies.  We were personally a part of that important national organization dedicated to preserving freedom and protecting our citizens. We were proud to be so and to do so.  And, we remain so.

The latter, importance to the veterans, is traced to antiquity.  Aristotle conceived it and the Greeks called it ”philia”.  It is broadly defined as  ‘brotherly love’ and it is the glue of the military ethos, then and now.  It is that bond formed among disparate individuals who may have nothing in common but facing the dangerous unknowns of military duty. We performed personal acts to help one another that were inherently good.  That was the major critical factor for our success during some of the trying times we faced with the C-133A.

As we were few in numbers, every single person was important; one to the other, as a friend, as a professional colleague, and as a cog in the always-turning wheel leading to successful mission accomplishment. The tragic loss of one was a loss to all, as our relationships were based upon loyalty, affection, and a shared experience.

“Philia” exists to this day as the foundation for all military organizations throughout the world.  The many reunions of veterans that we see taking place every year, including ours, results from an ethos first noted by the ancient Greeks.  It exists in the USAF from the ground crews to the flight crews; and, tonight we have participants from all levels of our C-133 organization.  Philia never leaves the individual and the individual never leaves the military.  That ethos, ‘brotherly love’, remains to our last.

During these reunion days we have been enjoying the fruits of our ‘enduring friendships’ that were fostered by our ‘brotherly love’ that began over 50 years ago here at DAFB. They were the offspring of our relationship with the world’s flagship military air transport, the C-133A Cargomaster. It was the unselfish nature of service for the nation in the uniform of the USAF that brings us together, once again, for the last time, for celebration and to embrace America’s Exceptionalism.

I am not certain there is another AF retiree group that shares such mutual feelings of trust and affection as we.  We were one then; we are one now; and, we will remain as one to the last!   However, after this night’s event, we will slowly fade away; as do all good citizen soldiers with the knowledge that we helped secure a better and safer life for our families, the nation, and the world.

We were not heroes; we were just ordinary citizens from all walks of American life dedicated to the preservation and the good will of our beloved country.  We can stand proudly knowing that we did our duty by honoring our country without rancor during one of its most troubled and dangerous time.  I ask: What more could we have done? We have accomplished our mission, and this evening we shall rejoice in the peace of such knowledge.

Tonight, for a short time we are once again young, so enjoy your meal, enjoy your stories, and enjoy the time together that has been so fleeting. 

Upon behalf of the reunion committee we offer a sincere welcome, and thank you for your attendance.
Richard L. Spencer, Ph.D.

Lt Col, USAF Ret.

39th ATS, MATS    

DAFB, DE   1962-1965

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dover Reunion Update

WOW! Talk about exceeding expectations!! 
Our Registered Reunion Headcount has hit 160!!

But the LAST Last Deadline for the LAST Last Reunion is here!

May 1st is it, Folks. Can't add any more after that.
We'll miss all of you who can't make it. But it's going to be a Grand Sayonara to the Old Dover 133 Gang!!

Best wishes to all!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dover Reunion Update

           UP, UP and AWAY!!!!! 
You knocked it out of the park!!

We're closing it out tomorrow with 
             148 ATTENDING!!

               THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!


We'll miss all of you who couldn't make it. But please keep in touch for more reports and photos!

Grateful for your response,
Your Reunion Planning Committee

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dover Reunion Update

    Start your engines, 133 Crew Colleagues!!
Thanks for your great response! We’re well over 100 paid, and if a few more of you get your checks in, we could have 130!!
      So we’re extending our deadline to 3/31
 After that, we really need to finalize attendance for the Saturday Banquet at Dover Downs.

We know that a few of you are “on the bubble” with issues to resolve to make it. We truly hope you can.

We also know there are many who really want to be there and just can’t. Please keep in touch with our updates, and photos of the event will be posted on this blog.

Here’s the agenda for the Reunion:

Friday, 5/09: 

9:00 am to 4:30 pm, AMC Museum Hangar and C-133 Aircraft on Display. 
4:30 to 6:30 pm, beer, wine and chicken & ribs buffet

Saturday, 5/10: 

9:00 am to 4:00 pm, AMC Museum Hangar, more mingling and shared stories.
4:00 to 6:00 pm, Hospitality Suite, Dover Downs (Room to be announced).
6:00 pm, Seating for dinner and program in Banquet Hall, Dover Downs.
Our Diamond Anniversary Party is gonna be Grand!

                          See you in May!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dover Reunion Update

Thank you for the surge in plans to join us in May! If all of you who are paid, plus those who replied "Yes" come through with your checks, we'll have 110 attendees. As soon as I confirm payments, I'll publish a list.

We are well aware of many of you who really want to come, but just can't make it. Please keep in touch with our updates and photos of the event. We know you are with us in spirit!

Friday, March 7, 2014


Here is some very exciting news about the upcoming Reunion in Dover on May 9/10, 2014:

For those of you who have been following our blog the last couple of years, you know about George's major project to build this giant model…he's been working on it 5 years…..AND FOLKS, IT'S BUILT TO FLY with electric motors!!! IT IS AMAZING!!! Now I need to quickly add, he may not be able to fly it at our Reunion for lots of reasons, but he will be able to taxi it around the Museum area.

Here's the short story:

George lives in, and has spent most of his life in SE Michigan, born in 1942, joined the USAF in January, 1962; spent a year at Lackland in electronics training to become a Crypto System Equipment Repairman; then on operational assignment at Fuchu Air Station in Japan until separation in January, 1966 at Travis AFB; then 27 year career at Xerox back in Michigan until early retirement to raise a family of five kids, now with five grandkids, and became a "full time" airplane modeler.

I suggest you Google "George Maiorana" for lots of info and pictures of his modeling competition.

Here's his own story of his FLYING C-133 project that has now become 62008:

"Being stuck at home (in 2009) I was itching to do something different (i.e. not modeled before) and the only documentation I had for a model was the C-133. The C-133 met all my criteria for a model project. A few days spent on sizing it and I was sure it would fly (the determining factor was if the nacelle size to house the motors didn't make the model too large) . So I began. Time is cheap, as are the dollars for materials."

C-133 Model scale:  1:16.5  length 9.45'  wingspan 10.78'  tail height 2.92'  prop diameter 13.09”

He has already provided us with dozens of photos taken during the build process that have been posted on our blog. Now we have a CD with all of them that we'll be showing at the Reunion. Here's a small sample:

The size of this masterpiece, and detail are truly phenomenal! What a privilege for us to have George bring it to our Reunion.

Don't miss this!! Get your Registration forms (see attached) and checks in the mail………NOW!

Dick Hanson

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another Giant 133 Model Update


Spent the last week making my documentation folder. I had to go back and make some changes to "bits and pieces " of the model.  Got her back together this morning and took some pictures with the flaps down.



Cal Taylor Comment: Realistic even to the black water stain on the fuselage.