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Hagerstown Aviation Museum looking for donations to buy C-123

January 06, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstowm Aviation Museum President John Seburn holds a model of a Fairchild C-123 Provider while standing in front of the museum's 1948 Fairchild C-82A Packet. The museum is trying to acquire a C-123 that was built in Hagerstown.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum is asking donors to contribute $70,000 to help purchase a C-123 that was built at the former Fairchild plant in Hagerstown more than 50 years ago.

Museum President John Seburn said that if the money is raised, the 1956 C-123K Provider would join a 1948 C-82A Packet and a 1954 C-119G Flying Boxcar in the museum’s collection. He said the acquisition would complete the military cargo plane line that was manufactured at the former Fairchild plant.

“We’ve been looking for a C-123 since the museum effort started” in 1995, said Seburn, adding that the museum launched the fundraising effort among its members late last year. “We want to get the word out to everybody else.”

The C-123 that the museum wants to purchase is at the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Executive Airport.

Seburn said the plane was seized by the U.S. government when someone tried to fly it out of the country for undisclosed reasons.

The Fairchild facility at the Hagerstown Regional Airport manufactured 303 of the C-123s from 1954 to 1958, according to information provided by the aviation museum. More than 10,000 workers helped manufacture the plane and other Fairchild products.

C-123s were used during the height of the Cold War to transport everything from supplies to paratroopers. It became a workhorse during the Vietnam War because of its ability to take off and land on short runways.

Seburn said the C-123 would serve as a memorial to veterans associated with the aircraft and to the people who built and designed it.

He said the Hagerstown Aviation Museum owns 19 aircraft, 13 of which were built by Fairchild.

The collection is housed in a portion of the old Fairchild plant at Hagerstown Regional Airport off U.S. 11.

How to donate:

  • Make checks payable to Hagerstown Aviation Museum/C-123, 14235 Oak Springs Road, Hagerstown, MD 21742
  • Go to www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org (credit car or Paypal)
  • Call the museum at 301-733-8717

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