Today in History – March 12, 1998 – Special C-141 (66-0177) lands “Freedom Flyers” at Randolph AB, TX for 25th Reunion

12 March 1998 – A C-141 from the 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, landed at Randolph AFB, Texas, with more than 50 former U. S. prisoners of war for Operation Homecoming’s silver anniversary. The Starlifter took the men to Randolph AFB, for the 25th annual “Freedom Flyers” reunion.

On Feb. 12, 1973, the same C-141 [known as the Hanoi Taxi] had airlifted Americans from Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi, North Vietnam on the first mission to repatriate American servicemen from Southeast Asia.  (1)

Every year since 1973 the Freedom Flyer Reunion and Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Symposium has been held on Randolph Air Force Base in honor of repatriated Vietnam War POW pilots. The annual event also offers a “freedom flight” for those who never received the opportunity to take their final, champagne-showered, flight. (2)

For more about the “Hanoi Taxi” see a video at this link.


Sources: (1) Wikipedia/Aviation Portal; (2) Joint Base San Antonio

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