1741st Air Transport Squadron

First Squadron to fly the C-141 "Starlifter" 

An original patch of the 1741st Air Transport Squadron

Reproduced 1741st Air Transport Squadron patch

Copy of Initial photo of the 1741st patch submitted to USAF for approval

The first Military Air Transport Service (MATS) squadron to fly the C-141 was the 1741st Air Transport Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, on 19 October 1964.

 1741 Squadron History


Stations: Great Falls AAB; 1 June 1948 - 1 Sept 1951; Palm Beach AFB, FL 1 Sept 1951 - March 1959; Tinker AFB, March 1959 - January 1966.

Linage: 7th Air Transport Squadron, 1 June 1948; Redesignated: 1272d Air Transport Squadron, 1 October 1948; Redesignated: 1272d Medium Transition Training Unit, May 1950; Redesignated: 1741st Air Transport Squadron, 1 January – 6 April 1953; 1741st Air Transport Squadron, 1 Jul 1958 - 8 Jan 1966.

Commander: Unkn, Unkn; Lt Col Kenneth B. Clark, 1962 - 15 July 1964; Lt Col Erich E. Schleier, Jr., 15 July 1964 - 22 March 1965; Maj John E Jolly, Jr. 12 March 1965 – 29 June 1965; Lt Col Therman C. Weir, 29 June 1965 – 8 January 1966.

Aircraft: C-54, C-118 & C-141

Assignments: 517th Air Transport Wing, 1 June 1948; 1701st Air Transport Wing on 1 June 1948; 1707th Air Transport Wing, Heavy (Training) 1 Sep 1951.

Note: (the 57th Military Airlift Squadron would absorb the personnel and equipment of the 1741st in January 1966).

Background information on forming the first C-141 squadron Initial cadre at Tinker AFB, OK. 

Eight pilots and five Flight Engineers.


IP's assigned to 1741st ATS

Capt. Arthur L. (Art) Dickinson, Jr.

Capt. Albert E. (Skeet) Combs

Capt. Joseph C. (Joe) Narlo

Capt. George R. (George) Mizell

Capt. Norman B. (Norm) Woodbury

Capt. Fred W. Luethke, Jr.

Capt. Jack E. King

Capt. Thomas T. King

The first four pilots were from McGuire. Two of the last four were from Dover, and two were from Charleston. It is believed that Woodbury and Luethke were from Dover, but they can't confirm. The first four from McGuire were also Initial Cadre for the C-135B, the first Cargo/Pax jet for MATS.


IFE's assigned to 1741 ATS

MSgt Donald V. Birdsall 

MSgt Jack Remington 

MSgt Vance E. Woodard 

MSgt Ralph W. Anderson, Jr. 

MSgt James W. Tobias

First C-141 Squadron start-up, 1741st ATS & later redesignated 57th MAS.

A group of Officers and NCOs followed on to finish out the Squadron after the "Initial Cadre". They came however after the eight initial officers and, apparently, five NCOs had established the working squadron. For instance, Joe Narlo was the first Operations Officer; Fred Luther was the first Standardization Officer; George Moselle was the first Supply Officer; Jack King was the first asst. Safety Office to Norm Woodbury, who was the Safety Officer; Tom King was Administrative Services Officer; Skeet Combs was OJT Administrator Officer; and I was Plans Officer. We not only had that but also had a part in initiating more realistic training goals and programs. For instance, we changed the training goal that required knowledge of specific minimum and maximum numbers for warning lights and indicators to be knowledgeable of the proper reaction to that warning light. This was because several of us went to the United Airlines training center and opted for their more realistic systems operation manuals and trading comments. As Plans Officer, not only did I have to write our normal and emergency standards, but also worked with the printing shop to produce distinctive baggage tags and bumper parking stickers for our unit. We were the ones who went to the Lockheed plant, where they were building the bird, to learn systems as well as to Edwards AFB to learn to fly that bird and to write and proofread the redline(original) DASH ONE. We did the grunt work preparing the unit as a viable cohesive, working unit. Because of this, I’ll count myself and the other seven officers and five NCOs as the real initial cadre. We also were the core toupee to work with the builder of our first simulator to establish the most realistic working unit and intrinsic training programs for its use. Submitted by: Lt Col Arthur L. (Art) Dickinson, Jr.