Aircraft Operated by VR-24



Fairchild R4Q (C119 Boxcar)

VR-24 added a number of R4Qs, otherwise known as C-119 "Flying Boxcars", to its inventory in early 1961. Details are now hazy, but the aircraft were reportedly acquired from a U.S.M.C VMR squadron that had been operating in the Mediterranean since the Beriut incident in 1958. According to reports, the Marine squadron was returning to the U.S to refit with Lockheed C-130s. Although based on a specialized design begun early in WWII, which resulted in the C-82 "Packet", the C-119 did not fly until November 1947. Avialable information indicates that, in addition to the large numbers used by the Air Force, the Navy acquired over forty of an early version of the odd-looking aircraft. The Navy's unique method of identifying its aircraft resulted in the C-119 being given the dubious designation of "R4Q". The later version, of which those operated by VR-24 were, had an even more suggestive identifier, "R4Q-2". Some joked that the R4Q-2 was the USMC's revenge for some of the planes that had been previously forced on it by the Navy. Its unconventional design was the strong suit of the aircraft. Loading and unloading large pieces of cargo, such as jet engines, or even military vehicles, was greatly eased by clam-shell doors at the rear end of the plane's large cargo compartment. There are amusing stories about what could and often was loaded into the cavernous bay of the R4Q. There are also other someitmes less amusing stories about trying to keep the big bird flying with a full load when one of its two Wright R-3350 engines decided to quit. VR-24 followed the Marine Corps' lead when it began operating C-130s in 1961. The last of VR-24's R4Qs was flown to Litchfield Park, AZ in 1962.

 
Click on the photos below to see larger images of specific aircraft. Click browser "BACK" button to return to this page. 

Fairchild_R4Q.jpg (xxxxx bytes)
VR-24 R4Q 668 at Port Lyautey (mccoy)

Photo_TBA.jpg (XXXXX bytes)
R4Q 665 Argentia Enroute to Litchfield 1962 (mccoy)
Photo_TBA.jpg (XXXXXX bytes)
R4Q 665 Argentia 'Merry Xmas' (mccoy)

../Aircraft_photos/R4Q_665_arg_mccoy_three.jpg
R4Q 665 Argentia Fueling for CONUS (mccoy)

../Aircraft_photos/R4Q_665_PL_ballock.jpg
R4Q 665 Port Lyautey (ballock)

../Aircraft_photos/R4Q713_owen.jpg
R4Q 713 Port Lyautey (owen collection)

../Aircraft_photos/R4Q_691_pl_JEvans1962.jpg
R4Q 691 at Port Lyautey 1962 (jevans)

../Aircraft_photos/R4Q_691_pl_JEvans_1962_two.jpg
R4Q 691 Port Lyautey 1962 (jevans)

../Aircraft_photos/R5D999andR4Q2_668_PL_borbe_1961.jpg
R5D 91999 and R4Q 668 at Port Lyautey, 1961 (borbe)

../Aircraft_photos/R4Q_691_wagoner.jpg
R4Q 691 at Port Lyautey 1961 (wagoner)

../Aircraft_photos/R4Q_668_BobSpicer_Congo_1961.jpg
R4Q 668 at Robertsville, Congo, 1961 (spicer)