What's in the new hangar? The POW savior Hanoi Taxi

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
The famous C-141 known as the Hanoi Taxi will be on display in the new fourth building of the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

THE FOURTH BUILDING

What: Latest addition to the National Museum of the United States Air Force

Where: 1100 Spaatz St, Dayton (directions)

When: Opening Wednesday, June 8. The museum will hold a ribbon-cutting event at 9:15 a.m. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force will open its new 224,000-square-foot fourth building on Wednesday, June 8. In the days leading up to the opening, the Dayton Daily News will feature notable aircraft that will be on display in the new building.

C-141 Starlifter aircraft flew for decades ferrying troops and cargo around the world.

But no mission was more important than the one taken on Feb. 12, 1973 by the C-141 later nicknamed the "Hanoi Taxi."

The Hanoi Taxi picked up Vietnam prisoners of war on that date from Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi, North Vietnam. They were the first American POWs released, and the Hanoi Taxi later made a second trip to return even more imprisoned troops.

After decades more of service, the Hanoi Taxi was transferred to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, where it will be featured in the museum's new fourth building that opens on Wednesday, June 8.

"This was the only aircraft in the U.S. Air Force's Airlifter fleet that was allowed to keep the colors that it used during the Southeast Asia War, or Vietnam," said Jeff Underwood, historian at the Air Force Museum. "So this is really special."

A museum resident since May 2006, the Hanoi Taxi transferred 76 ex-POWs from North Vietnam to the Philippines then to the United States.

With the opening of the new hangar, visitors will be able to walk inside the cargo bay through a rear ramp door.