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C-123 Aircrafts and Potential Agent Orange Exposure

Lawyers for American Vets
June 19, 2020

Throughout the Vietnam War, C-123 aircrafts were used to spray the toxic herbicide Agent Orange.  The aircrafts were found to still have traces of the chemical in them afterward while they were being used, up until 1986.  If you flew on, or worked with, any C-123 aircrafts in Vietnam or other locations, you may have had contact with Agent Orange and could have a claim for a service-connected disability.

Why Did This Happen?

The VA was made aware of multiple complaints and concerns from Air Force reservists who were involved with the C-123 aircrafts, and asked the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct research on the possibility of reservists being exposed the herbicide. 

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released their report in January of 2015, Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. The report found that between 1972 and 1982, approximately 1,500 - 2,100 AFR personnel had come into contact with the C-123 aircrafts, previously used to spray Agent Orange. The report also indicates that those Reservists that had come into regular contact with these aircrafts, have also experienced exposure to the chemicals from the herbicide residue.

Agent Orange Presumptive Rule

As a result of the findings of the Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange Contaminated C-123 Aircraft report, the VA added those exposed to Agent Orange through contact with the C-123 aircrafts to the herbicide presumptive regulation. Under 38 C.F.R. § 3.307(a)(6)(v), it states “An individual who performed service in the Air Force or Air Force Reserve under circumstances in which the individual concerned regularly and repeatedly operated, maintained, or served onboard C-123 aircraft known to have been used to spray an herbicide agent during the Vietnam era shall be presumed to have been exposed during such service to an herbicide agent.”

Who Does This Apply To?

For active-duty service members:

  • You must have an illness believed to be caused by contact with Agent Orange (called a presumptive disease); and
  • You served in a regular Air Force unit location where a C-123 aircraft with traces of Agent Orange was assigned; and
  • Your flight, ground, or medical duties put you in regular and repeated contact with a C-123 aircraft that had traces of Agent Orange.

For Reservists: (you may be able to get disability benefits if the below descriptions are true)

  • You must have an illness believed to be caused by contact with Agent Orange (called a presumptive disease); and
  • You were assigned to flight, ground, or medical crew duties at one of the following locations:
    • Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio, 1969-1986 (906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadrons), or
    • Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, 1972-1982 (731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, or 901st Organizational Maintenance Squadron), or
    • Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania, 1972-1982 (758th Airlift Squadron)

What Is an Agent Orange Presumptive Disease?

  • AL Amyloidosis
  • Chronic B-Cell Leukemias
  • Chloracne, or similar acneform disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type II
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Early-onset peripheral neuropathy
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Respiratory Cancers, including cancer of the lungs, trachea, bronchus, and larynx,
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas

If you were a member of the Air Force or Air Force reserves and worked on or served aboard C-123 aircraft between 1969 and 1986, you may have been exposed to Agent Orange.  If you have a condition that you believe to be caused by your exposure, contact the veteran’s law attorneys at Hrabcak & Company, LPA for a free case evaluation.