Wing transports piece of history to Robins

  • Published
  • By Stacy Vaughn
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A 445th Airlift Wing C-17 Globemaster III transported a historic C-45H aircraft loaned by the National Museum of the U.S.A.F. to the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Oct. 1, 2021.

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the wing’s 87th Aerial Port Squadron worked with loadmasters from the 89th Airlift Squadron to load the historic aircraft into the cargo area of the C-17 Sept. 30, 2021 for transport to Georgia the next day. 

According to Michael Rowland, Aircraft Acquisition manager, Collection Management Division, NMUSAF, the C-45H serial number 52-10893 was manufactured by Beech Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas and delivered to the Air Force Oct. 13, 1954.

During the 1950s, Beech completely rebuilt 900 C-45s for the Air Force. They received new serial numbers and were designated C-45Gs and C-45Hs, remaining in service until 1963 for administrative and light cargo duties.

“Some time ago, the NMUSAF leadership decided to make the C-45H available for loan to another museum because of the need to free up exhibit space. The NMUSAF has an AT-11 Kansan on display in the World War II Gallery and it is a modified version of the same basic aircraft as the C-45,” Rowland said.

On the receiving end at Robins AFB, Arthur Sullivan, curator, Museum of Aviation, said the aircraft move is part of a unique connection to a tragic accident that happened at Robins back in the 1940s.

“On Feb. 13, 1947, a C-45F (an aircraft very similar to the C-45 the 445th transported here) took off at 9:05 p.m. local time from Robins with seven members of an IG (inspector general) team on board. They were planning to fly back home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio where the aircraft and Airmen were based. The aircraft struck the ground and was destroyed approximately two minutes after takeoff. There were no survivors,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said once the C-45 that the 445th delivered is settled into its new home at the museum, the plan is to place a small exhibit about the crash near the aircraft as a way to honor the Airmen killed.

“We are very grateful for the support from the 445th. Aircraft moves like this are a wonderful way to connect our Airmen with their heritage and give them the opportunity to take an active role in preserving it,” said Sullivan.