Sherpas on their final journey

Between 2 November 1984 and 8 November 1985, the United States Air Force in Europe accepted delivery of eighteen C-23A Sherpa transport aircraft. All were assigned to the 10th Military Airlift Squadron at Zweibrücken AB in what was then called West Germany.

These aircraft became a common sight at all USAFE air bases in Europe and were perhaps best known by their call sign “Pockey”. After the end of the Cold War, the US military reduced their footprint in Europe and the 10th MAS seized flight operations and was deactivated on 31 March 1991.

Eight of the C-23A aircraft were handed over to the United States Army and they were used by various support and test units in the Continental United States. Aircraft 84-0463 and 84-0467 were amongst these eight, and they were allocated serials 84-00463 and 84-00467 by the United States Army.

They were both used by the US Army Missile Command (MICOM) at Redstone Arsenal (AL) in a support role for various trials. Later-on both were passed on to the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate Flight Activity (I2WD FltAct) at NAS Lakehurst (NJ). Most likely both were withdrawn from use by 2013, and the pair was last confirmed stored at this facility in September 2019.

On Friday 8 October 2021, they made their final journey. Not by air but loaded onto fled-bed trucks the aircraft were transported to the Red Bank Recycling & Auto Wreckers company in Red Bank (NJ). It is expected that both will be scrapped there in the near future.

Photo by Todd Donald Shaw

Subscribe to Scramble

As a member you get access to all our
premium content and benefits learn more


Follow us and keep in touch