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Happy Birthday Herky Bird!

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Happy Birthday Herky Bird!
by 33Lima
'They also serve who only stand and wait'...
Or carry cargo, from tanks to emergency relief. Or fight fires from the skies. Or fly around in circles, day or night, drenching the Bad Guys in torrents of tracers. Or any of a number of other useful things. Especially if they have been doing all of these things, and more besides, for, like, sixty years.
The famous Lockeed Martin C-130 Hercules certainly qualifies for that T-shirt. An extra-extra-extra large one, to be sure. Not just to accommodate the elegant but somewhat portly lines of 'Fat Albert', as the US Navy's 'Blue Angels' display team somewhat disrespectfully called their C-130 support plane. A very large T-shirt is definitely needed to list all the many, many roles in which the C-130 has served with distinction, over the sixty years since it first flew, way back on August 23rd, 1954. It's an achievement of which any T-shirt-wearing sixty-year-old can feel justly proud, especially in the fast-moving aviation industry. It's the mark of a true aviation classic and a record few others can rival, let alone surpass.
Yet the Hercules might never have made to the drawing board, let alone the flight line. 'Kelly' Johnston, leading Lokckeed engineer on projects like the P-38, P-80 and F-104 (and later, via the famous 'Skunk Works' on the same company's U-2 and sR-71 spyplanes) was reportedly less than impressed with the initial design proposal: 'Sign that letter and you will destroy the Lockheed Company'. Fortunately for Lockheed, vice president and chief engineer Hall Hibbard seems to have talked Johnston around, for they both signed it off...and the rest, like they say, is history.

CombatACE Members Salute the C-130



CombatACE Flight Line: C-130





Chatting About the Herc with Dels





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First flew on a C-130 in July 1967 from Cam Rahn Bay (port of debarkation) to Tuy Hoa my first Air Force Base of assignment.  I still have my boarding pass for leaving Viet Nam.  Trust me having a boarding pass instead of traveling via casket was a big deal.  Taht's why I still have it.  I would have attached the scan if I could have figured out how to.

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