Published July 08, 2008
The Chase Aircraft G-20 cargo glider evolved through stages into the C-123 Provider. From the G-20, Chase developed into the XC-123 in 1949 with a 67-troop capacity and the SC-123A in 1951. The XC-123A with four J-47 turbojet engines first flew April 21, 1951, as the first all-jet Air Force cargo transport. Chase began deliver of C-123As in 1952. However, in 1953, after Kaiser-Frazier acquired a controlling interest in the company but experienced deliver problems, the Air Force cancelled the contract for C-123Bs. The Fairchild Corporation then bid on and won the contract for 300 C-123Bs, which they built between 1954 and 1958.
The Provider appeared in Vietnam in 1962 for use on a variety of missions. They included airdrops of troops, ammunition, food and other supplies as well as chemical spraying, mercy flights, rescues, air evacuation and delivery of fuel bladders. The first C-123 squadron to be assigned to the 1st Air Commando Wing, the 1775th Troop Carrier Squadron, transferred from Pope AFB, April 15, 1964, and was redesignated the 317th TCS Commando July 1.
C-123K TAIL #55-4533 HISTORY
Aircraft #55-4533, built in 1955, was assigned to the 346th Troop Carrier Squadron, Pope AFB, North Carolina until October 1964. The aircraft then flew to Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam until 1967 when it was returned to Eglin AFB for modification into the K-model. After modification the aircraft returned to Phan Rang AB, Vietnam until March 1972 when it reassigned to the Air Force Reserves at Lockborne AFB, Ohio. On October 11, 1981 the aircraft was installed and dedicated in the air park. This aircraft, configured as an aircraft to disperse the defoliant chemical Agent Orange, never flew in that configuration.