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Historic Aircraft From Elvis' Army Days Restored by McGuire AirForce Base

April 12, 2013


*Special thanks to McGuire AirForce Base for providing these photos.

After more than 40 months of restoration, the infamous C-118 Liftmaster aircraft that brought Elvis home from Germany in 1960, has been restored by the McGuire Air Force Base in Lakehurst, New Jersey. In a recent article on JointBaseMDL.ad.mil, Staff Sergeant David Carbajal writes about how this military plane contributed to American history.

"It's a huge piece of not only American history, but of McGuire history as well," states Aungelic Nelson, 305th AMW historian, on JointBaseMDL.ad.mil.

One of the C-118's most notable legacies is when Elvis Presley returned to the U.S. from Germany on the aircraft. After his promotion to Sergeant in January of 1960, Elvis left Germany on March 2, arriving in New Jersey the next day for a press conference. He was officially discharged from active duty on March 5, 1960. According to the military base, this Liftmaster, as well as many other C-118s, also contributed to operations SAVE HAVEN I and II, saving more than 14,000 Hungarian refugees from oppression from 1956 - 1957.

Volunteers contributed more than 4,000 hours, mostly their off-duty time, toward the aircraft's fuselage refurbishment, interior, propeller blades and paint scheme, since renovation began October 2009.

Read all about the history of the C-118 Liftmaster and the extensive restoration project by visiting JointBaseMDL.ad.mil. Want to learn more about Elvis' time spent in the Army? Check out our About The King section on Elvis.com.