Lockheed C-130BL Hercules

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Lockheed C-130BL Hercules.


This Lockheed C-130BL Hercules s/n 148319 had a long career in servicing the Deep Freeze Antarctic program. Built in 1959 here it is pictured as a shinny brand new member of the VX-6 Squadron in 1960 with the side number JD-19 and painted with the Squadron's Penguin emblem. In many later photos the nose number is showing 319.
When the Squadron was re-designated VXE-6 the side number was changed to XD-07 with the 'Betty Boop' cartoon figure and 07 being painted on the nose.  At the 'Dome Charlie' camp in December 1974 a JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) bottle came loose during take off and struck the right wing severing it just outboard of the number 3 engine.

Although no-one was injured 'Betty' was stuck on the ice until a successful major repair effort was mounted in the summer of 1979. The right wing was replaced as were the engines and propellors. 'Betty' made a successful flight to McMurdo and then on to Christchurch for more rehabilitation.

'Betty' continued service with Operation Deep Freeze until 1999 when she 'mothballed' into storage at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

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