The Douglas R4D, C-47 Skytrain or Dakota (RAF designation) is a military transport aircraft developed from the civilian Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II and remains in front line service with various military operators to the present day. The C-47 differed from the civilian DC-3 in numerous modifications, including being fitted with a cargo door, hoist attachment, and strengthened floor, along with a shortened tail cone for glider-towing shackles, and an astrodome in the cabin roof. 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. Between March 1943 and August 1945 the Oklahoma City plant produced 5,354 C-47s.
"Ready 4 Duty"
The DC-3 was developed to carry 21 passengers, but our R4D-6S was no mere passenger carrier. She was built as a warbird. Our R4D-6S was modified to carry depth charges on external racks mounted under the fuselage between the main landing gear. She was assigned to the U.S. Navy Atlantic Special Service Squadron and conducted airborne search radar and sonar evaluation as well as training airborne specialists and operators. "Ready 4 Duty" served in the Caribbean from Texas to Guantanamo, Cuba; in South America as far down as Rio; across the south Atlantic to Dakar; in the eastern Atlantic up to Baffin Bay and northern Newfoundland; and across the northern hemisphere to Greenland and Iceland.
During operational patrols in February 1945, our R4D was one of 20 in a squadron that surprised a surfaced German U-Boat off the coast of Brazil and sank it!
After WWII's end, the aircraft was retained in service and assigned to Naval Headquarters Berlin. Later the aircraft returned to the U.S. and served in an electronics warfare training role. Our R4D is now configured to demonstrate several WWII history lessons including sub-chaser, transport, hospital, and jump aircraft.
Stop by the hangar on the weekends to take a tour or click below to book a ride!