Chosin Reservoir C-119 to Live Again

The Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover AFB, Del., is working to restore an historic C-119 transport aircraft for display as the prize of their collection. The Fairchild C-119B Flying Boxcar, serial number 48-0352, was moved over three days in mid-December from Edwards AFB, Calif., to Dover, where it will be restored to what it looked like during the Korean War. A C-5M Super Galaxy, operated by the 709th Airlift Squadron, transported parts of the aircraft on its journey back East. It is the second oldest existing C-119, an aircraft that was used for cargo and airdrops from 1947-1974, according to the Air Force. Museum director John Taylor says this particular C-119 is “the only surviving aircraft from the operation that air-dropped mobile bridge sections to marines during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir,” according to a press release. The decisive battle of the Korean War saw 30,000 UN troops surrounded by 120,000 Chinese soldiers. The UN troops escaped—and subsequently inflicted heavy damage on Chinese forces—when eight C-119s dropped sections of a bridge to them by parachute, making a way out of the trap that had been set for them. The evacuation of troops and civilians from the port of Hungnam marked the withdrawal of UN troops from North Korea at the end of the war. The museum estimates that it will take at least two years to restore the aircraft for display.