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Check Six – 1965: HANG Welcomes a C-54 Skymaster

July 21, 2020
Hawaii Air National Guard photograph

From the December 1965 Issue of the Hawai‘i Guardsman

The Hawai‘i Air Guard unit at Hickam AFB received a C-54 transport to replace the C-47 which they had in service for about 14 years. You would notice this new addition to the unit as you enter the area; it is located on the ramp where the Goony Bird once parked. 

This aircraft will give the unit a larger cargo payload, plus a longer range. The additional personnel which it can carry will enable the aircraft to make less trips when transporting a large number of personnel. Its longer range will not limit the travel of this aircraft just to the Hawaiian Islands, but will enable it to travel to different countries (Japan, Samoa, Bora Bora, America, etc.

The flight maintenance crew consists of TSgt Samuel Saffery IIIEdward Uyeda, and SSgt Abraham Hiapo. TSgts Saffery and Uyeda went on active duty for 20 days with the Air Force to familiarize themselves with this type of aircraft. Training took place with PACAF Base Command at Hickam AFB. During this period, they flew locally and made flights to Sacramento, California. The trip to California took 13 hours and was used as inflight training for the Guardsmen. Upon returning from active duty they applied what they had learned into getting HANG’s aircraft operationally ready. 

The first pilot who started to get checked out on. This aircraft was none other than the head of the Hawai‘i Air National. Brig Gen Valentine Siefermann. The general has completely qualified himself as of this writing. Other squadron pilots are now in the process of qualifying themselves. They are Majors (William) Klopp and (??) Tuck.

The first long range trip for the C-54 has not been planned as yet, but who knows, Japan is not that far away.

From → History

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