Restoring a Liftmaster to Old Glory

Airmen and civilian volunteers at JB McGuire, N.J., have logged more than 3,000 hours, including nearly 750 off-duty hours, refurbishing a C-118 Liftmaster that’s been on static display at the base for decades. In October 2009, they towed the old bird from the traffic circle near the base’s passenger terminal to the maintenance hangar in the hopes of restoring the deteriorating frame to its old glory. “From the outset, this project seemed a pretty daunting endeavor, but now that the painting has started, I’m beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel,” said SMSgt. Christopher Hofrichter of Air Force Reserve Command’s 514th Maintenance Group. He added, “We’re optimistic on a late summer return-to-display date.” The C-118 was the first cargo airplane assigned to McGuire, according to base officials. Airmen with the 1611th Air Transport Wing flew Liftmasters in the 1950s and 1960s. (McGuire report by TSgt. Shawn J. Jones)