February 4, 2009:
Aircraft collectors have another chance of buying a piece of history, as Israel auctions off five of its C-130s. Only one of them, identified as aircraft 106, is in flying condition, and it's also one of the four C-130s that took a hundred Israeli commandos, support personnel and their vehicles to Entebbe airport in Uganda back in 1976. This was to rescue 105 hostages, who had been taken from a hijacked AirBus A300, and were held by eight Palestinian terrorists. The Ugandan government supported the terrorists.
The raid succeeded, although one of the commandos, three of the hostages, eight terrorists and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed. The Israelis also destroyed most of the Ugandan air force (11 MiG-17 fighters) to prevent pursuit when they took off for the return trip. Later, one of the hostages, who had been hospitalized before the raid, was killed, along with several Ugandan medical personnel who tried to protect her, by Ugandan army officers. Uganda's leader at the time, Idi Amin, was furious about the raid, and falsely blamed neighboring Kenya for cooperating with Israel. Amin had several hundred Kenyans in Uganda murdered to make his point.
The C-130H being sold has 14,400 landings, meaning its near the end of its useful life. Nevertheless, Israel says the aircraft cannot be taken until the end of September, because the Israelis may still need it until then. The other three C-130s that flew to Entebbe are still in service, as is the A300 passenger jet that was hijacked (it now flies cargo for a Turkish airline.)