In 1954, the song “Rock Around the Clock” was playing on the radio, Oprah Winfrey was born and the first issue of Sports Illustrated appeared on newsstands.
The same year, on August 23, the YC-130 Hercules made its maiden flight at the Lockheed Martin plant in Burbank, California, and the C-130 is still in production today, making it the longest running military aircraft production line in history.
The need for the C-130 came from Air Force’s Tactical Air Command during 1951, after the Korean War, to fill a void for medium-cargo tactical transport.
The C-130J, which is the latest version of the venerable platform, was introduced February of 1999.
To date, the Air Force has 145 C-130s in the active force, 181 in the Air National Guard and 102 in the Air Force Reserve.

(Editor’s note: This article, written by Staff Sgt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard, Air Mobility Command Public Affairs, originally ran in its full form on To read it in its entirety, visit