Hanoi Taxi on display in Dayton
User Location Request

we would like to use your location information to better refine the results presented to you while on our web site.
( this information will only be used during this session. per our privacy policies it will not be saved and it will not be shared with any third parties. )

if you will allow us we will attempt to gather this information using your device's geolocation capabilities, or if you prefer you can enter a zip code below.

allow a device geolocation request

zip code

your browser may be requesting permission, if so please respond. the geolocation request may take several seconds

please enter your zip code below.

zip code
Log In

Search Dayton

Articles  Directory  Events

The Hanoi Taxi

  • The Hanoi Taxi Final Flight
    The Hanoi Taxi Final Flight [ info ]
  • The Hanoi Taxi Retires to the Air Force Museum
    The Hanoi Taxi Retires to the Air Force Museum [ info ]
  • The Hanoi Taxi Final Flight Crew
    The Hanoi Taxi Final Flight Crew [ info ]
  • The Hanoi Taxi inside the Air Force Museum, Dayton OH
    The Hanoi Taxi inside the Air Force Museum, Dayton OH [ info ]
  • The Hanoi Taxi cockpit
    The Hanoi Taxi cockpit [ info ]
  • The Hanoi Taxi Cargo Bay
    The Hanoi Taxi Cargo Bay [ info ]
  • The Hanoi Taxi was the first aircraft to return Vietnam prisoners of war to the United States
    The Hanoi Taxi was the first aircraft to return Vietnam prisoners of war to the United States [ info ]

Hanoi Taxi on display in Dayton

Hanoi Taxi on display in Dayton
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hanoi Taxi is a Lockheed C-141 that became famous for bringing back the first returned prisoners of war in Operation Homecoming.

Hanoi Taxi on display in Dayton

Lockheed C-141C Starlifter "Hanoi Taxi" (serial number 66-0177)

The C-141 Starlifter was the US Air Force’s first major jet aircraft designed to meet military standards as a troop and cargo carrier. Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin) built a total of 285 C-141s, and for more than 40 years, C-141s performed numerous airlift missions for the USAF. With its great range and high speed, the Starlifter projected American military power and humanitarian efforts rapidly across the globe.

Hanoi TaxiAlthough the C-141s had flown many military and humanitarian missions, none was more significant than the mission flown by the Hanoi Taxi. This C-141 (serial number 66-0177) airlifted the first American prisoners of war to freedom from Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi, North Vietnam, on Feb. 12, 1973. 

The Hanoi Taxi flew two missions into Hanoi, carrying out 78 POWs and two civilian returnees to the Philippines, and four missions from the Philippines to the United States, carrying 76 ex-POWs. Arizona Senator John McCain was one of the POWs who flew home on the Hanoi Taxi. Signatures of the freed prisoners have been preserved on the panel over the years and are the centerpiece of what is essentially a "flying museum". 

Afterward, the Hanoi Taxi continued flying missions around the world for three more decades and logged more than 40,000 flying hours.

In 2002 the Hanoi Taxi repainted as it appeared when it went to Hanoi in 1973 -- except for the Red Cross which was used to show it was carrying hospital patients. The Hanoi Taxi flew in these markings for the next four years instead of the standard paint scheme in recognition of its important history.  

Following the restoration of the aircraft, it was first exhibited to the public at the 2003 Dayton Air Show.

In May 2004 the Hanoi Taxi again tapped the timelines of history when Maj. Gen. Edward J. Mechenbier, himself a POW repatriated from Vietnam, flew it back to Vietnam to repatriate the remains of two American service members killed in action.

On Saturday, 6 May 2006, the Hanoi Taxi touched down for the last time and was received in a formal retirement ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  The aircraft was displayed outside in the museum's Air Park for several years.  

In December 2015 the aircraft was moved into the fourth building at the museum.  The new hangar opened to the public in May 2016, and the Hanoi Taxi is now on permanent display in the Global Reach Gallery. Visitors to the museum are able to walk inside the cargo bay of the aircraft through a rear ramp door.

Dayton Local takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information on this page. However, use of this site is at your own risk, and by doing so, you agree to our Terms & Conditions. If you find inaccurate, misleading or inappropriate information on this website, please let us know by using the button below. Thank you.