GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Maintenance, logistics and
operations came together to help move a piece of aviation
history from its location in Fargo, N.D., to here Nov. 2 in
anticipation of its flight to its final place of honor at
McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
The historic piece, known as a C-45 Expeditor, was used at
McChord to move personnel and cargo around the country from 1952
"This is a plane that I have been looking forward to getting for
a long time," said Ray Jordan, 62nd Air Wing museum curator. "I
have been at the top of the waiting list for one of these and
when one came available, I jumped at the opportunity to add it
to our collection."
After contacting Wright-Patterson AFB to get permission to
receive the aircraft, the problem became how to get it from
where it resided in Fargo to its new home in Washington. That is
where the Warriors of the North came in.
"This was really a team effort," said Senior Master Sgt. Mike
Phillips, 319th Maintenance Squadron. "There were crew chiefs
from the maintenance squadron along with transportation
specialists from the logistics readiness squadron. We all had a
hand in getting the plane here and ready for shipment, as well
as operation support to get it ready for shipment on the C-17."
Moving the plane was no easy feat. The plane's wings had to be
removed from the aircraft and then placed on a trailer for the
move. Landing gear and tires that still held air even after 20
years of non-use were retracted, giving the cargo the clearance
it needed to make the journey.
"We only had a few hours time to make the trip," said Sergeant
Phillips. "Highway rules for something this large gave us a
window in which we had to have it off the road and at its
Once the plane is downloaded from the trailer that transported
it to Grand Forks AFB, the plane will be crated and shipped on a
C-17 Globemaster III from the 446th Airlift Wing, a Reserve wing
stationed at McChord AFB.
"Moving this piece of equipment will be a part of a training
mission," said Mr. Jordan. "It's a win-win situation, they get
the training they need and I get the plane back to its original
The plane will be a part of McChord's air park and will stand
proudly next to other examples of historic aviation such as
C-141 Starlifters and C-124 Globemaster IIs.
"This airplane could fly again with a large overhaul," said Mr.
Jordan. "But I feel this is a more fitting tribute to such a
fine aircraft as the C-45. It will spend its days overlooking
the runway and being host to thousands of visitors each year."
"I can't think of a more fitting retirement for an aircraft,"
added Mr. Jordan.