The Douglas C-47 Skytrain flew for the first time 73 years ago today. Developed from the Douglas DC-3, the C-47 was the most widely-used transport of World War II. Douglas built over 10,000 Skytrains. It was operated by every branch of the U.S. military and all the major allied powers. The C-47 hauled cargo, dropped paratroops and even towed gliders. More than 1,000 Skytrains participated in the D-Day invasion. Unofficially known as "Gooney Bird," Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the C-47 one of the four most important weapons of the war, along with the bazooka, the jeep and the atomic bomb. C-47s remained in active military service long after the end of World War II, playing a vital role in the 1948 Berlin Airlift and participating in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The Commemorative Air Force owns and operates four C-47s.
C-47 Skytrain (N53ST) CAF Airbase Arizona in Mesa, Ariz.
C-47 Skytrain Bluebonnet Belle (N47HL) Highland Lakes Squadron in Burnet, Texas.
C-47 Skytrain/R4D Ready for Duty (N151ZE) Dallas/Forth Worth Wing in Lancaster, Texas
C-47 Skytrain (N227GB) CAF Headquarters in Midland-Odessa, Texas
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