, C-141 Tail Number: 66-7944 C141HEAVEN - All there is to know, and lots more, about the Lockheed C141 Starlifter!

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C-141 Tail Number:66-7944

The following series of photos was submitted by Darrell Stancliff, who was assigned to this tail number at McChord AFB in the 1970's. You can see how proud he was of his aircraft in these photos.

Copyright © - Darrell Stancliff - @ Mchord AFB with his aircraft in the 1970's

Preparation for Hanoi trips...at Clark AFB
Though you probably can't see it at this resolution, 7944 is 3rd in line

Taken at Clark AB during the POW repatriation process in 1973

At Clark

At Clark

At Clark

On the ground at Gia Lam near Hanoi, 1973. Picking our ex-POW's for repatriation back to the good old USA!
Copyright © - Tony Kristol
Source: www.1stMob.Com

David Steiner, a former C-141 navigator based at McChord, sent in the above photo of his C-141 model. He had the model made in Japan with the tail # of the plane he arrived in, (1968 or 1969)

66-7944 was the last aircraft to depart from Hanoi during Operation Homecoming.
Copyright © - David Steiner

USAF Photo

Both photos Copyright © - Florian Kondziela

USAF Photo

66-7944 was the aircraft assigned to bring the bodies of the astronauts to Dover AFB following the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. These photos were obtained via a freedom of information act request which was made by a web site (coincidently located in Tucson , where C141Heaven is also based) called the Memory Hole (It now seems to be defunct)

The Bush administration, not wanting (and as far as I know, still not wanting) anyone to see the full results of the war in Iraq, and had attempted to restrict release of any photos showing human remains being transported back to the US by issuing a policy telling the military not to do so.

The Memory Hole filed a freedom on information request to Scott AFB (I think) asking for any photos showing caskets being received at Dover and other locations. Following the intent of the FOIA (not the Bush administration policy) someone 'mistakenly' sent him a few CD's full of such photos. (Most likely this poor soul was promptly fired, or shipped off to an assignment in Iraq, or even some worse place.)

Included among them were dozens of photos of caskets of soldiers from the Iraq conflict (which is what your government didn't want you to see). The release of the photos caused quite a controversy for a few days. The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, with the loss of all seven crew members. The photos below are of the arrival on 66-7944 of the Columbia astronaut remains at Dover. This series of photos was taken a few days after the disaster.

You did not ask me, but I telling you anyway: These photos and the ones showing the arrival of the Iraq soldiers show the tremendous respect for human remains are accorded when flown on military transport aircraft. Lately some news reports have suggested otherwise in relation to incidents involving such transport on commercial airlines, which suggests to me that ALL transport of human remains of military personnel should be done by the military ONLY, on military aircraft. They know how to do it right, and how to pay the proper respects. Placing the remains of one of our brave soldiers in the cargo hold of a commercial airliner with the mix of cargo they carry is just not right and should not be tolerated under any condition.

Some of these photos are very similar to each other...I have included the entire series for completeness. They are all about 50kb in size so they should not take too long to load. Based on the 'photo numbers' assigned by the AF to these pictures it appears that there were at least two photographers taking pictures of the arrival. I have put them in the order of the photo #'s, so it looks like the whole series starts again about halfway down the set of pictures...this is where I think the second photographer started taking his/her shots. I do not have names for either of them.

From here on down is the set of photos from the second photographer

Sept 21, 2004 - At AMARG for destruction
Source:Philip Kovaric

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