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Douglas C-39

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This photo shows N6097C "The Kansan" when it was received by the museum. (U.S Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This photo shows N6097C "The Kansan" when it was received by the museum. (U.S Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This photo shows N6097C "The Kansan" when it was received by the museum. (U.S Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas C-39 is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This photo shows N6097C "The Kansan" when it was received by the museum. (U.S Air Force photo)

Note: This aircraft is currently in storage.

The C-39 transport, forerunner of the famous C-47, was a composite of Douglas military and civilian aircraft designs. Douglas built 35 C-39As and delivered them to the Air Corps in 1939. These aircraft were called upon to perform many rigorous transport duties early in World War II, including the evacuation of personnel from the Philippines to Australia in December 1941. Also, it was a C-39A that blazed the trail from Maine to Gander, Newfoundland, in January 1942, the first leg of the aerial lifeline to Great Britain.

The museum's C-39A was donated in July 1970. During its service life, it was based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, between 1939 and 1942.

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