USAF C-119 Cargo Planes Loading for Relief of Marines at Chosin, 1950
This photo was taken by a U.S.A.F. photographer on 1 December 1950 at the airfield at Yonpo, South Korea. It shows a line of C-119 "Flying Boxcar" transports as they are loaded with air-drop cargo for besieged 1st Marine Division troops in the Chosin Reservoir area of North Korea. This effort was part of the vital air support that enabled the vastly outnumbered Marines to hold out against Chinese troops for another two weeks as they made their withdrawal to safety.
The twin-tail, short-nosed C-119 was developed from the World War II Fairchild C-82. It was designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients, and mechanized equipment, and to drop cargo and troops by parachute. The first C-119 made its initial flight in November 1947 and by the time production ceased in 1955, more than 1,100 C-119s had been built. The USAF used the airplane extensively during the Korean Conflict and many were supplied to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and to the Air Forces of Canada, Belgium, Italy, and India. In South Vietnam, the same plane returned in a ground support role as AC-119 "gunships" mounting side-firing weapons capable of firing up to 6,000 rounds per minute per gun.