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After the start of World War II, the United States was in desperate need of many types of liaison, cargo and transport aircraft. To meet this immediate need, many civilian owned aircraft were impressed into service. On March 14, 1942, the Air Corps impressed nine Lockheed Model 12-A Electra Juniors and designated them as UC-40Ds (C-40D before 1943). Two more aircraft were impressed in late July 1942 bringing the total to eleven.
Half the UC-40Ds were sent the Britain under a Lend-Lease agreement (British Serial Numbers LA619 to LA623). Three more of the planes were wrecked in accidents. One of the planes was destroyed at Key Field, Miss., when an aircraft tug backed into it. Another was written off after it was taxied into another plane on the ramp at Mitchel Field, N.Y. The last was wrecked after it crashed at Tampico, Mexico, killing all aboard.
Perhaps the most interesting use of a UC-40D was as an executive staff transport. One plane (S/N 42-38351) was delivered to the Iranian Mission on April 26, 1942, for use by U.S. Army Gen. Wheeler. The plane was transferred to the Iraqi Mission on Jan. 1, 1945, and remained in service until 1946.
The civilian Model 12-A Electra Juniors were generally similar to the C-40 and C-40As bought by the Army; however, most had the standard six passenger cabin on the commercial Model 12-A.
||Model 12 Electra Junior
||Tricycle landing gear testbed
||Designation not used
||Impressed Electra Juniors
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-985-17 radials of 450 hp each
Maximum speed: 220 mph
Cruising speed: 210 mph
Range: 800 miles
Service ceiling: 22,900 ft.
Span: 49 ft. 6 in.
Length: 36 ft. 4 in.
Height: 9 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 9,600 lbs. maximum gross weight
Crew: Two (pilot and co-pilot)
Passenger capacity: Six
Serial numbers: 42-22249, 42-38280, 42-38346 to 42-38352, 42-57504, 42-66386
- S/N 42-22249 (C/N 1273, NC 21770) -- Impressed from H. Naylor on March 14, 1942; assigned to Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., on March 14, 1942; wrecked in late May or early June 1942. Survey report dated June 15, 1942
- S/N 42-38280 (C/N 1276, NC 18147) -- Impressed from the Sky Kraft Corp. on March 14, 1942; assigned to Patterson Field, Ohio, on March 14, 1942; assigned to Barksdale Field, La. on March 28, 1942; crashed on 30 March 1942 at Tampico, Mexico. It was piloted by 1st Lt. T.S.
Corgpran; condemned on 3 April 1942 as a total loss
- S/N 42-38346 (C/N 1213, NC 16057) -- Impressed from P. Crossley Jr. on 14 March 1942; wrecked March 12, 1942, at Key Field, Miss. when an aircraft tug backed into it; repaired and sent to Great Britain under Lend-Lease on April 18, 1942 (became LA619)
- S/N 42-38347 (C/N 1215, NC 17341) -- Impressed from the Byrd-Frost AT company on March 14, 1942; assigned to Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. on Sept. 9, 1942; returned to commercial service on May 27, 1944
- S/N 42-38348 (C/N 1275, NC 18977) -- Impressed from the Pittsburgh Steel company on March 14, 1942; sent to Great Britain under lend-lease on July 27, 1942 (became LA621)
- S/N 42-38349 (C/N 1277, NC 18900) -- Impressed from the Nevada Development company on March 14, 1942; sent to Great Britain under Lend-Lease on April 18, 1942 (became LA622)
- S/N 42-38350 (C/N 1282, NC 19967) -- Impressed from the Vaucluse Aviation Corp. on March 14, 1942; sent to Great Britain under Lend-Lease on April 4, 1942 (became LA623)
- S/N 42-38351 (C/N 1284, NC 2002) -- Impressed from Belle Baruch on March 14, 1942; delivered to the Iranian Mission for use by Gen. Wheeler on April 26, 1942
- S/N 42-38352 (C/N 1211, NC 17311) -- Impressed from the Walgreen Drug Co. on March 14, 1942; sent to Great Britain under Lend-Lease on April 18, 1942 (became LA620)
- Some sources incorrectly list S/N 42-38380 (should be 42-38280) as a UC-40D. This aircraft serial number was assigned to a Piper L-4A received on April 6, 1942.
- S/N 42-57504 (C/N 1220, NC 17376) -- Impressed from P. Thompson on July 25, 1942; initially assigned to Lunken Airport, Cincinnati, Ohio, on Aug. 3, 1942; wrecked on Oct. 6, 1942, at Mitchel Field, N.Y., when it taxied into another parked airplane.
- S/N 42-66386 (C/N 1250, NC 18790) -- Impressed from Phillips Petroleum on July 27, 1942; assigned to Oklahoma Air Base on July 27, 1942
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