Retiree recognizes the plane that's parked on I-10 - - The News for South Mississippi

Retiree recognizes the plane that's parked on I-10

Mike Young Mike Young

By Doug Walker – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The fuselage of a C-130 has been parked on the side of I-10 near the Diamondhead exit for several days. It has been drawing a lot of attention from passing drivers, but for one Gulfport man, its drawing out memories.

When Mike Young first saw the story on WLOX-TV, he thought it might be the plane he served on some 30 years ago.  He went down there to check it out for himself.

"It was on the TV and my wife said, 'Look at that 130 on television.' So I looked and saw the serial number 1637 and I said, 'I crewed that airplane,'" said Young, who was part of the crew from 1980 to 1985. 

"We configured the aircraft for airdrops of personal as well as heavy equipment and container delivery systems, which is a system that leaves the back of the aircraft through a gravity pull." 

Mike said he and his fellow crew members with the Tennessee Air National Guard served anywhere they were needed.  

"We had a worldwide mission," Young remembered. "A great deal of our mission was in Europe as well as South America. We did a lot of work with the Navy Seals, as well as Rangers and Airborne. 

Looking back on his military life and his time on board the C-130, Young said memories come flying back.  

"I see that aircraft and I think of crew members and different trips, the good times and the bad times, the hard trips, the easy trips, the ruggedness of the aircraft." 

And that ruggedness helped keep Mike and his fellow crew members safe while serving their country so many years ago.

The plane, which belongs to the Air Force, was traveling from Longfellow Air Base in Texas to its new home at Fort Benning, Georgia, when the rig carrying the C-130 broke down. A new rig was brought in and the plane was back on the road late Monday afternoon. Once in Georgia, it will serve as a training simulator.

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