ABOUT The Douglas C-47 Skytrain was a military
transport aircraft that was developed from the
Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the
Allies during
World War II and remained in front line
operations through the 1950s with a few remaining in
operation to this day.

Overview
The C-47 differed from the civilian DC-3 in
numerous modifications that included being fitted
with a cargo door and a strengthened floor.
During
World War II, the armed forces of many
countries used the
C-47 and modified DC-3s for the
transport of troops, cargo, and wounded. The
U.S.
Naval
designation was R4D. More than 10,000
aircraft were produced in
Long Beach and Santa
Monica, California and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The
Oklahoma City plant produced 5,354 C-47s from
March 1943 until August 1945.

OPERATIONAL HISTORY  
The C-47 was vital to the success of many Allied
campaigns, in particular those at
Guadalcanal and in
the jungles of
New Guinea and Burma where the
C-47 (and its naval version, the R4D) made it
possible for Allied troops to counter the mobility of
the light-traveling
Japanese army. Additionally, C-47s
were used to airlift supplies to the embattled
American forces during the Battle of Bastogne.
Possibly its most influential role in military aviation,
however, was flying
"The Hump" from India into
China. The expertise gained flying "The Hump"
would later be used in the
Berlin Airlift, in which the
C-47 would play a major role, until being replaced by
the
C-54.
In
Europe, the C-47 and a specialized paratroop
variant, the
C-53 Skytrooper, were used in vast
numbers in the later stages of the war, particularly to
tow gliders and drop paratroops. In the
Pacific, with
careful use of the island landing strips of the
Pacific
Ocean, C-47s
were even used for ferrying soldiers
serving in the
Pacific theater back to the United
States.
C-47s
in British and Commonwealth service took the
name
Dakota, from the acronym "DACoTA" for
Douglas Aircraft Company Transport Aircraft.
The C-47 also earned the informal nickname Gooney
Bird
in the European theater of operations.
The
USAF Strategic Air Command had C-47
Skytrains
in service from 1946 through 1967.

The
Pakistan Air Force used C-47 Dakota cargo
planes to transport supplies to the Pakistan Army
soldiers fighting in the
Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
against
India.
Several C-47 variations were used in the Vietnam
War
by the United States Air Force, including three
advanced electronic warfare variations, which
sometimes were called
"Electric Gooneys" designated
EC-47N, EC-47P, or EC-47Qs depending on the
engine used.
 EC-47s were also operated by the
Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian Air Forces.     
A gunship variation, using three 7.62mm miniguns,
designated
AC-47 "Spooky" often nicknamed "Puff
the Magic Dragon"
also was deployed.
The
Royal Canadian Air Force and later, the
Canadian Armed Forces employed the C-47 for
transportation, navigation, and radar training, as well
as for search and rescue operations from the 1940s
to the 1980s.
After
World War II thousands of surplus C-47s were
converted to civil airline use, some remaining in
operation in 2010, as well as being used as private
aircraft.

HISTORY of the MUSEUM's
Douglas C-47A
N115SA
Manufacturer:  Douglas
Model:  DC3C-S1C3G   
Year built: 1941, Oklahoma City
Construction Number (C/N):  13310
June 26, 1970 -  Renumbered from RCAF KG587
Aircraft Type:  Fixed wing multi engine
Number of Seats: 32
Number of Engines: 2
Engine Type: Reciprocating
Engine Manufacturer and Model: P & W R-
                                1830 SERIES
Aircraft Registration Number:  N115SA
Mode S Code:  50040127
Certification Class: Standard
Certification Issued: 2009-11-12
Air Worthiness Test: 1985-11-07
Last Action Taken: 2009-11-12
Current Status: Currently under restoration -
see more of the story

Purchased by: The
Classic Aircraft Aviation
Museum, Hillsboro, OR
- November 12, 2009
SPECIFICS
Role                        Military transport aircraft
National origin        United States
Manufacturer          Douglas Aircraft Company
Designer                 Douglas Aircraft
First flight              23 December 1941
Primary users         United States Army Air  
                           Forces, Royal Air Force
                           United States Navy
Number built           >10,000
Developed from       Douglas DC-3 Airliner
Variants                  Douglas XCG-17, Douglas
                               AC-47 Spooky C-47A        
                               C-47 with a 24-volt            
                               electrical system, 5,254     
                               built including USN           
                           aircraft designated R4D-5
Douglas C-47A N115SA
The Down Ampney Project
The Museum's C-47A has a rich and captivating history. The
DC-3  KG587 was involved in the
'Market Garden' WWII Air
Assault
in September of 1944.  The goal of the Classic Aircraft
Aviation Museum
is to restore this wonderful DC-3 Aircraft to
flight status and fly her from
Hillsboro, Oregon to Arnhem, UK
for the
Down Ampney Association's Annual Reunion.

Click here to see and hear more about the
Down Ampney Project
The Following is an accounting of the RAF's 48th Squadron and the Crew of KG 587 *
Now known as
The Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum's C-47A # N115SA
From the 17th to the 24th September 1944, the 48 Squadron were fully engaged in supporting the 1st Airborne Division during the
Battle of Arnhem and, due to the perilous resupply sorties, its aircraft suffered the heaviest losses of the Group, with seven aircraft
shot down and the lives lost of sixteen aircrew and nine RASC dispatchers.

48th Squadron - 17th September 1944
OPERATION "MARKET" (GLIDER TUG 1st LIFT)  L.Z. "S" ARNHEM AREA.
Place: Down Ampney

Weather: Overcast early morning, improving later in the day.
48 Squadron contributed 23 crews out of the 49 detailed for the first glider tug of this big operation.  The airborne troops arrived at their respective
glider approximately 23 minutes fore the time of take off.  The first of 48 Squadron's aircraft took off at 0955 hours, followed by the other 22 aircraft
plus Horses with perfect regularity, the last one left the airfield at 1013 hours.  As crews had instructions to keep below cloud, they were forced down
very low due to low cloud when nearing Oxford.  Two gliders were released over the sea when the tug engines cut, Airsea Rescue craft picking the
glider crews up almost immediately.  A third cast off when in difficulties landed safely 5 miles west of Abingdon Aerodrome.  A fourth cast off when
the tug engines cut - landing safely on the Dutch Island of SCHOUWEN.  19 crews reported successful release over the L.Z. and all aircraft returned
to base safely.

Movement : Flight Lieutenant J.M. Woodcock (J.11505) Nav.B. posted to 147 Squadron.
Promotion : Flying Officer A.J. Williams (J.13313) G.D. promoted to the rank of Temporary Flight Lieutenant w.e.f. 14.8.44.


18th September 1944
26 Dakotas and Horsa Gliders took off from Base in fairly good weather to transport part of the 1st Airborne Division to L.Z. "S", N.E. of ARNHEM,
HOLLAND.  The aircraft made good time to the L.Z., releasing all gliders as briefed, except one, which sustained a severed tow rope at 1441A,
position 5143N 0527E, landing safely 5 miles E.N.E. of HERTOGENBOSCH, approximately 10 miles from the L.Z.  A certain amount of light flak was
experienced East of HERTOGENBOSCH and round the T.R.V.  The weather was fairly hazy over the Continent with 7/10ths Stratus over Eastern
England and the sea.  No enemy aircraft were sighted and all our aircraft returned safely to Base.

CREW:
F/LT. H.J.G. ALFORD
SGT LESLIE, E.L.
F/SGT MEWIS, J.H.
P/O A.F. SPENCER
Take Off Time: 1108        Touch Down Time: 1645


19th September 1944
16 aircraft were detailed to take part in a daylight re-supply mission to D.Z. "V" at ARNHEM in HOLLAND.  Panniers were dropped on the D.Z. to the
1st. Airborne Division.  The aircraft were routed to arrive over the D.Z. from the south - over our lines - fighter escort was almost nil, due to bad
weather, and flak was intense, many of the aircraft being damaged.  2 crews did not return, (P/O V.B. CHRISTIE's and F/O L.R. PATTEE's), the
latter was brought back to base, together with crew and 3 dispatchers on the 20th. September by a BLAKEHILL FARM aircraft, after having to
crash-land the day previously N.W. of KESSEL after being hit repeatedly by flak on leaving the D.Z.  One of the 4 dispatchers was killed.  This was
not a very pleasant trip for the crews, who obviously preferred the Northern route.
12 crews proceeded to B.58 with petrol but found very poor weather conditions over the airfield (10/10 cloud with base 100 feet).  F/O
MCCREANOR managed to land his aircraft but the remaining 11 crews returned with the load to base.


CREW:
F/LT. H.J.G. ALFORD, AFC
SGT LESLIE, E.L.
F/S MEWIS, J.H.
P/O A.F. SPENCER
Take Off Time: 0948       Touch Down Time: 1403

21st September 1944
13 aircraft were detailed to transport 208 panniers to DZ "V" at ARNHEM, HOLLAND, for the 1st Airborne Division.  Very heavy flak and tracer was
met over and near to the DZ, also at HERTOGENBOSCH, BOXTEL and KEELSAN, and FW190s attacked several aircraft after the panniers had been
safely released.  One aircraft crashed landed (S/L. Duff-Mitchell) at B56, after flak had severed the oil and fuel pipes, - crew and dispatchers have
since arrived safely at Base.  Three crew were shot down (F/O. Finlay, W/O. Webb and F/S. Webster) after dropping their panniers, fighter cover was
very scarce and very late, there were some casualties and wounded.  Two aircraft are missing.


CREW:
F/L W.F. STONE
F/S CLARKE, J.P.
P/O J.D. HARRISON
P/O R.F.J. HINDE
Take Off Time: 1314½      Touch Down Time: 1843

23rd September 1944
13 aircraft were detailed to transport panniers and Medical bundles to DZ "V" on a daylight mission.  The weather was fairly good and all Captains of
aircraft report that panniers and bundles were dropped on the DZ, except one, which was due to a misunderstanding on the part of the despatchers.  
Light and medium flak was encountered N of the DZ, N.E. of EDEN, N of EINDHOVEN, and in the vicinity of VEGHEL.  All crews were very glad
and cheered to see good fighter cover.  One aircraft (W/O. McLAUGHLIN - Pilot) was hit by flak but managed to land safely at EINDHOVEN,
another aircraft (P/O. PRING - Pilot) is still missing.  One Wireless Operator reported seeing a FW.190 chasing a Dakota at tree-top level near to the
DZ; but did not see Dakota crash.


CREW:
F/LT. H.J.G. ALFORD, AFC
SGT LESLIE, E.L.
F/S MEWIS, J.H.
P/O A.F. SPENCER
Take Off Time: 1419       Touch Down Time: 1855


* This information is a copy of the diaries from the National Archives  provided the Battle of Arnhem Archive .