Published April 16, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas C-47D and Waco CG-4A in the World War II Gallery of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas C-47D and Waco CG-4A in the World War II Gallery of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Air Force Museum Foundation photo by Dan Patterson)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas C-47D Skytrain in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Douglas C-47D Skytrain in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas C-47D cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
"Gibson Girl" emergency radio transmitters were used if the crew crash-landed or ditched at sea. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Few aircraft are as well known, were so widely used or used as long as the C-47. Affectionately nicknamed the "Gooney Bird," this aircraft was adapted from the Douglas DC-3 commercial airliner. The U.S. Army Air Corps ordered its first C-47s in 1940, and by the end of World War II, procured a total of 9,348. These C-47s carried personnel and cargo around the globe. They also towed troop-carrying gliders, dropped paratroops into enemy territory, and air evacuated sick or wounded patients. A C-47 could carry 28 passengers, 18-22 fully equipped paratroopers, about 6,000 lbs. of cargo or 18 stretchers and three medical personnel.
After World War II, many C-47s remained in U.S. Air Force service, participating in the Berlin Airlift and other peacetime activities. During the Korean War, C-47s hauled supplies, dropped paratroops, evacuated wounded, and dropped flares for night bombing attacks. In the Southeast Asia War, the C-47 served again as a transport, but it also flew a variety of other missions, including ground attack as gunships, reconnaissance, and psychological warfare.
The C-47D on display, the last C-47 in routine USAF use, flew to the museum in 1975. It is painted and marked to represent the C-47A flown by 2nd Lt. Gerald "Bud" C. Berry of the 91st Troop Carrier Squadron, 439th Troop Carrier Group, to recover gliders used in the invasion of France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. "Snatched" from the ground in Normandy, the gliders were towed back to England for reuse. On March 22, 1945, Lt. Berry used that aircraft to "snatch" a glider filled with wounded soldiers at Remagen, Germany.
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830s of 1,200 hp each
Maximum speed: 232 mph
Range: 1,513 miles
Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)