Resting Place for a Red Dragon Herk

A 47-year-old C-130E, one of the Air Force’s oldest Hercules aircraft and the veteran of a harrowing rescue decades ago, landed for the last time at Robins AFB, Ga., for display at the adjacent Museum of Aviation. Aircraft # 63-7868 arrived at Robins on Tuesday, reported the Macon Telegraph. On Nov. 23, 1964, this aircraft was among the C-130s that participated in Operation Dragon Rouge to rescue 2,000 western hostages held by rebels in Stanleyville in the former Republic of the Congo. Damaged by rebel fire departing Stanleyville, aircraft # 63-7868 continued 800 miles on three engines, delivering its passengers to safety and earning its crew the MacKay Trophy for the most meritorious flight of that year. Previously assigned to the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock AFB, Ark., this C-130E is the museum’s second Hercules variant, joining an AC-130 gunship already on display. (See also Museum of Aviation release)