National Geographic : 1960 May
TEMPERABY ROBERTFAWCETT© NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Winging Across the Atlantic, a Globemaster Transfers Airmen to Foreign Duty The engines' steady drone, swelling and fading like the whir of a revolving fan, lulls some men to sleep, others to open-eyed dreams. The rest less ones fight boredom with cards, resist oblivion with coffee and cigarettes, escape homesickness with talk. So it went during the long hours of the flight that transported this fighter-bomber squadron from its base at Lake Charles, Louisiana, to a training field near Aviano, Italy. Riding the C-124 to gather impressions, artist Robert Fawcett found his companions full of con tradictions: "They fly million-dollar aircraft at 654 nearly supersonic speeds, but get excited over a game of cards in which never more than a dollar seems to be wagered. Their lives are filled with danger, yet they get kicks out of reading adven ture comics." When not carrying personnel, the C-124 can transport two cross-country buses. On this trip the plane hauls 100 passengers, about half its capacity. Like the berths in a Pullman car, twin floors of the rear upper deck have been drawn up. But the forward deck remains in place; a net protects its riders from a fall.