The C-119 was called a “Flying boxcar” because of all the cargo it could carry, like that of a boxcar on a freight train. It was not huge like the C-133, so it was used far more frequently to haul stuff that had to be loaded and shipped more quickly between shorter distances. It could land at smaller fields, and was thus good for freighting to remote outposts along the Dew Line, island bases, and temporary fields.
On June 5, 1965, a C-119 vanished somewhere over the Bahamas bound for Grand Turk Island while flying the busy skyway, the “Yankee Route.” This C-119 was ordered to Grand Turk, only carrying spare parts for another C-119 which had made an emergency landing there the day before when an engined konked out.
The flight had originated at 10:51 a.m. at Billy Mitchell Field in Milwaukee and flew to Homestead AFB, Florida, with 5 crew under the command of Major Louis Giuntoli. They landed there at 5:04 p.m. Punctual time, in military tradition, was maintained o the flight. “AF2680 was on the ground 2 hours and 43 minutes.” They then took off at 7:47 p.m. with 4 additional men, all mechanics who were to fix the engine of the C-119 on Grand Turk.