Alaska Air National Guard photo by Robert M. Braley Jr., MSgt, AKANG 176th Wing Histrical Property Custodian
DOUGLAS C-47D "SKYTRAIN" ACFT Nickname: "GOONEY BIRD" Flown by the Alaska Air National Guard October 1957 - MAY 1960 CREW: 6 COST: $138,000
SPAN: 95 FT. 6 IN.- LENGTH: 64 FT. 5 IN. HEIGTH: 16 FT. 11 IN. WEIGHT: 33,000 LBS. LOADED ARAMENT: NONE ENGINE: TWO PRATT & WHITNEY R-1830s - 1200 HP. EA.
MAXIMUM SPEED: 232 MPH CRUISING SPEED: 175 MPH RANGE: 1,513 MILES SERVICE CEILING: 24,450 FT.
Kulis Air National Guard Base, Anchorage, Alaska - Heritage Airpark
This C-47D "Gooney Bird" or "Skytrain" airframe, Aircraft Serial #42-100857, is owned by the National Museum of the United States Air Force (NMUSAF) and is on loan for display in the Alaska Air National Guard, Kulis Air National Guard Base, Anchorage, Alaska Heritage Airpark under NMUSAF account #xxxxx.
History of airframe: Aircraft Serial #42-100857 was used in the "D-Day" Normandy Invasion (http://www.6juin1944.com/assaut/aeropus/en_page.php?page=s11) by the 94 troop carrier squadron under the 439 troop carrier wing and flew in the first wave as flight #22/45 dropping elements of the 101st AB at 0114 on June 6 1944.
It was dedicated in June 2002 to the memory of the four Alaska Air National Guard aircrew members that lost their lives In-The-Line-Of-Duty during the crash of aircraft Serial #4349403 at Gustavus, Alaska on November 23, 1957.
The aircraft remains were never removed from the crash site and may be visited via a short hike from the town of Gustavus, Alaska near Juneau.
The Douglas C-47D "Skytrain" photographs are from the Alaska Air National Guard Heritage Archives. These photographs are made available in email size in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act as admended in 2002.
National Museum of the United States Air Force (NMUSAF) Dayton, Ohio - Display Aircraft
The C-47D on display at the NMUSAF is the last C-47 that was in routine USAF use. It was flown to the NMUSAF in 1975. It is displayed as a C-47A of the 88th Troop Carrier Squadron, 438th Troop Carrier Group, which participated in the invasion of Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
"Few aircraft are as well known or were so widely used for so long as the Douglas C-47 "Gooney Bird" as it was affectionately nicknamed. The Aircraft was adapted from the DC-3 "Skytrain" commerical airliner which appeared in 1936. The first C-47s were ordered in 1940 and by the end of WWII, 9,348 had been procured for United States Army Air Force (AAF) use. They carried personnel and cargo, and in a combat role, towed troop-carrying gliders and dropped paratroops into enemy territory.
After WWII, many C-47s remained in United States Air Force (USAF) service, participating in the Berlin Airlift and other peacetime activities. During the Korean Conflict, C-47s hauled supplies, dropped paratroops, evacuated wounded and dropped flares for night bombing attacks. In Vietnam, the C-47 served again as a transport, but it was also used in a variety of other ways which included flying ground attack (gunship), reconnaissance, and psychological warfare missions."
Source: NMUSAF Aircraft Brochure - Newly Revised Edition, Published and Distrbuted by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc.
1940's -- Douglas C-47 "Skytrains", 12th Air Force Troop Carrier Wing, loaded with paratroopers on their way for the invasion of southern France, 15 August 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo) Click on photo to visit Air Force Link