Dunn, Harry

Harry Dunn
Col., USAF, Ret.

Having spent 3 years flying the C-119G out of (and all over) Europe I you might enjoy hearing where/how the AC- 119 came into being.

Before I was shipped to Vietnam, we received a note from USAF Headquarters that the old Navy twin engine Grumman (not the greatest idea!!) was to follow up the C-47 Gunship which was developed by a friend of mine a test pilot at Wright-Patterson. After visiting Grumman, my boss wanted to know what we thought about it. We would have had to pay Grumman to take them out of the desert and pay for them. I suggested that since we had more than enough 119G models in storage, which were far more solid and really steady birds for the job, we could have AFLC do the cleanup and conversion and save a bunch of money.

My friends at W-Pat fully agreed with me because of the stability and flight performance. My boss, Col. Geo Kirsh (former director of Edwards AFB), concurred, talked to Gen Schiever, who in turn told USAF that we had a much better solution which could be accomplished in-house. The result was an aircraft with the equipment which had been designed by the guys at W-Patt – with improvements and more powerful guns. At the same time they were working on similar C-130 conversions.

I was in RVN first during the 1968 “TET” Offensive and again a few months later, May I think, for 2-3 weeks to help 7th AF generate a ROC for a new FAC aircraft. The AC- 119G and later Ks started arriving in Vietnam about the time I was heading back to AFSC. That is a short story of how and when the AC-119 was born!

Hope this fills in a little of its history.


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