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316A/E Cochran Air Transportable WideBody Loader

The 3l6A/E Cochran loader is a self-propelled elevator designed to load cargo onto the main deck of wide-body aircraft. Due to aircraft fuselage curvature, it cannot be used to load wide-body lower lobes. It has a rollerized platform that can hold up to two 463L pallets (A model) to gross weight of 25,000 pounds or three 463L pallets (E model) to a gross weight of 40,000 pounds at one time. With three layers of 3/4-inch plywood subfloor, the loader may be used to load wheeled or tracked vehicles.

The 316A loader may be reduced for air shipment either in a commercial or a military configuration. In the commercial configuration, this loader may be loaded into the lower lobe of the B747 using two commercial pallets (125 inches long by 88 inches wide) and one commercial LD3 container. The 316A is broken down into three sections: winch end, steering end, and power pack. Loading is accomplished by pushing each section straight into the lower lobe and then pushing the section straight back. In the military configuration, the 316A can be loaded into C-5A/B, C-130, C-141B, KC-10A, DC-10, and B747 (side or nose) main decks. It breaks down into two sections; each carried on a double-married 463L pallet. It may also be loaded on single pallets.

The total length is 352 inches, which includes the use of two double pallets). The maximum height is 92 inches. The height has to include the height of the power pack when it is placed on top of one of the sections. If the power pack, however, is placed on another single pallet, the maximum height of the five pallets is 66 inches. The shipping weight is 21,400 pounds, including pallets, straps, and dunnage.

The 316E may be reduced for air shipment in military configuration on a three pallet married train. It can be loaded into C-5A/B, C-130, C-141B, and B747 (side or nose) main decks. The 316E cannot be loaded in the lower lobes of commercial wide-body aircraft.

Operations involving airborne combat troops in the Pacific occurred toward the end of the war and were not as large or as widely reported as similar actions in the European theater. An exception included some of the most colorful airborne troop units and officers who served in the CBI theater.

Operation THURSDAY, which took place March 5-11, 1944, had the goals of dislodging the Japanese from Burma and reopening a long section of the Ledo Road to make it possible to resupply China overland from the Burmese town of Myitkyina. One British officer, Maj. Gen. Orde Wingate, had already become legendary for mounting successful guerrilla operations behind Japanese lines. An equally colorful American officer, Col. Philip Cochran, commanded the First Air Commando Force, equipped with 25 transports, 150 Waco CG-4A gliders, liaison aircraft, and a number of fighters and medium bombers.

Operation THURSDAY was a three-pronged attack, with ground troops advancing on Myitkyina from the north and west. South of the objective, the idea was to clear an operational base in the jungle behind enemy lines, use C-47 transports and gliders to move in an Indian division, and supply them by air in the fight against Japanese troops who would be forced to turn about to meet them. "Broadway," an open field with grass surrounded by jungle, became the landing site for some 37 gliders that dropped in on March 6, 1944. They successfully delivered more than five hundred troops, including field engineers, and a pair of light bulldozers. By the following evening, the advance party had secured the perimeter and graded a usable airstrip.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:35:47 ZULU