Developed from the C-82 Packet the Flying Boxcar was slightly larger than the C-82 and featured strengthened wings and more powerful engines to allow larger, heavier cargos to be carried. It was the primary medium cargo aircraft for the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. The C-119s were used extensively during the war to airdrop troops and supplies to United Nations forces fighting in Korea. Just over 300 C-119C were built starting in 1949. Flying Boxcars served with the U.S. Air Force in many different roles until the early 1970s and the Taiwanese Air Force used at least 30 of them until early 2001. Many surplus C-119s were converted for use as aerial fire fighters during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition to the tanks for fire retardant, some were also equipped with a jet engine mounted on the top of the fuselage to provide extra power while carrying heavy loads at low altitudes over forest fires.
Hemet Valley Flying Service, Hemet, California, “Tanker 81,” 1975
Pima Air & Space Museum
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