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10 Responses to Homecoming

  1. Alan says:

    I very much wonder if this is acft tail number 177, a.k.a. “the Hanoi Taxi”. This C-141 was stationed at Wright Patterson AFB in the 2000’s and it eventually flew couple miles down the road to the museum.
    Hanoi Taxi? Late 90’s a crew chief saw a brass plate stating this on the engineer’s console and researched. This particular aircraft was the first one to fly in to recover POW’s. (final approach there had to be a white knuckle event!)
    My old unit got permission and we repainted that plane from the flat camo grays to the original MAC (military airlift command) gloss white and gray. Inside was kitted out all the way down the fuselage with velcro with multiple photos – a flying museum.
    Main deck up front, to the right of the ladder up to the flight deck there’s a plexiglass covered panel with signatures of the POW’s on that flight.
    We flew that plane in and out of Iraq during my activation in 2003, and also to a lot of airshows.
    One story was it was at a show somewhere in the north east and an old guy was pointing at one of the pictures on display and was telling his family, ‘hey, that’s me’. Crew chiefs there checked his identity, handed him a sharpie marker and said, ‘sir, can you come up front, we have something for you to sign’.
    If you remember that whole Jessica Lynch debacle, we were trying to get 177 into position to be the one to fly that group out of Iraq, but alas, the C-17 was the USAF darling, and it got the mission.
    C-141’s were war-horses, they had the legs and the cargo cababilities to go anywhere and we did.
    During the Gulf War Unpleasantness II we flew a lot of medevac missions. So if you were hurt over there, the medical staff of our group cared for you as you got out of there to Ramstein Air Base and also from there to Andrews or San Antonio.
    And we had the flights to Dover also.
    So if you get by the AF Museum in Dayton, look for the big C-141 with tail number 177. It wasn’t ‘my’ plane, but I was there and with a lot of other people we kept it flying.

  2. Skipperdaddy says:

    Very nice. Thank you Alan.

  3. Tom in NC says:

    Wirecutter, you have some very special readers, you know that? Thanks for the great story, Alan, and for your doing what you did!

    • Wirecutter says:

      I do know that. A few bonafide Heroes and more than a few ordinary men and women that did great jobs in extraordinary times.

      • Tom says:

        That’s why I am here, in the hopes of learning a thing or two from some heroic and patriotic Americans. And I have learned plenty; thank you.

  4. .45-70 says:


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