Douglas C-47A 'Skytrain' SN: 42-92841
Description
  Manufacturer:Douglas
  Base model:C-47
  Designation:C-47
  Version:A
  Nickname:Skytrain
  Service:Various US Military
  Basic role:Transport
  Designation Period:1925-1962
  See Also:R4D C-117
Specifications
  Length: 63' 9" 19.4 m
  Height:17' 5.1 m
  Wingspan: 95' 6" 29.1 m
  Wingarea: 987.0 sq ft 91.6 sq m
  Empty Weight: 17,865 lb 8,103 kg
Propulsion
  No. of Engines: 2
  Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
  Horsepower (each): 1200
Performance
  Range: 1,600 miles 2,575 km
  Cruise Speed: 160 mph 257 km/h 138 kt
  Max Speed: 230 mph 370 km/h 200 kt
  Ceiling: 24,000 ft 7,315 m

 
 

"The Turf & Sport Special"

Affectionately Called "Gooney Bird"

SIGNIFICANT FACTS:

1. Our Museum's first aircraft.
2. Rejected by other museums as not worth restoration.
3. Restored here at Dover in 18 months.
-- D-Day paratroop drop over St. Mere-Eglise.
-- Arnhem paratroop drop (see movie or book, "A Bridge Too Far").
-- First glider assault across the Rhine.
4. Named for the aerial engineer's favorite horse racing magazine, "The Turf 'n Sport Digest."

ASSIGNMENT RECORD

1944
05 March Delivered to the USAAF
April Departed US for England (Shipping Code "SOXO") and was assigned to 9th Air Force
21 April To 61st Troop Carrier Squadron (Troop Carrier Squadron), Saltby, England

1948
January To 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, Oberraffenhofen AB, Germany
01 July To 43rd Troop Carrier Squadron (USAFE), Erding AB, Germany
04 July To 61st Troop Carrier Squadron (USAFE), Rhein Main AB, Germany
August To 7210th Maintenance Squadron (USAFE), Erding AB, Germany

1949
July To 85th Maintenance Group (USAFE), Erding AB, Germany

1950
June To 85th Air Defense Wing (USAFE), Erding AB, Germany
December To San Bernardino Air Material for Depot Maintenance

1951
April To 60th Troop Carrier Wing (USAFE), Wiesbaden AB, Germany
June To 7150th Air Base Group (USAFE), Wiesbaden AB, Germany

1952
March To 85th Air Defense Wing (USAFE), Erding AB, Germany
December Returned to the 7150th Air Base Group

1953
November To 7100th HQ Squadron (USAFE), Wiesbaden A8, Germany

1954
June To 17th HQ Squadron (USAFE), Rabat AB, Morocco
July To 7221st HQ Squadron (USAFE), Rabat AB, Morocco

1956
July To 7272nd Air Base Wing (USAFE), Wheelus AB, Libya

1959
May To 1001st Air Base Wing (HQ Cmd), Andrews AFB, DC
December To 3800th Air Base Wing (Air University), Maxwell AFB, AL

1964
June Dropped from the USAF inventory and turned over to the US Army

1986
October Declared surplus by U.S. Army at Muir Field near Harrisburg, PA. It had been used as a "heavy lift load" for Army CH-54 Helicopters. Flown to Dover AFB, DE under a Pennsylvania Army National Guard helicopter.

COMBAT RECORD HIGHLIGHTS
as told by Aerial Engineer, TSgt W.E. "Bing" Wood

(excerpts from his World War II diary)

21 Apr 44
A new plane is assigned to me--#42-92841 in 61st TCS stationed in Saltby in England I got to the plane in time to order everyone out so I could save the removable articles. I immediately put a hasp and lock on the door to discourage such depredation.

05 Jun 44
Made the Invasion Paratroop Drop at St. Mere Eglise and escaped unscathed.

07 Jun 44
Resupply mission - and this time we were not so lucky. We got well plastered with enemy fire; one explosive bullet severed an oil line, and one exploded under the right rear seat just as I stood up to put on the earphones. If I had been still sitting there, l am afraid I would either be sitting on my stomach or worse. The plane just made it back to the field at Saltby and then quit because of lack of oil in one engine. Personnel were not wounded, but we were pretty well shaken up.

29 Jul 44
A lot of flights picking up wounded from the front lines and transporting them back to England.

26 Aug 44
Took food to Orleans, France.

11 Sep 44
Took gas to Belgium for Patton's tanks.

17 Sep 44
Made the Arnhem Drop with British Paratroopers. Nice mission, no problems. (Subject of book & movie, "A Bridge Too Far")

21 Sep 44
Took off in terrible weather, flew blind to the coast, and then had to abort because the radio operator had the wrong code and there were only three of us in formation.

26 Sep 44
Flew to Graves, Holland loaded with a jeep, a motorcycle, and supplies. Very exciting trip but all returned okay. On board for the return trip we brought back a War Correspondent for "The Daily Sketch", and a major of the British Airborne that had escaped from the Arnhem Pocket.

Worked ourselves to the edge carrying gas and supplies to the front lines in ail kinds of lousy weather. Took elements of the 17th Airborne to Vivay to help relieve Bastogne. Got the last bottle of champagne in that town. Flew in terrible weather back to Saltby and came down through a break in the clouds and enjoyed a nice Christmas turkey dinner.

28 Feb 45
Moved to our new base in France.

24 Mar 45
The aircraft took part in the first glider drop over the Rhine River in Wesel, Germany. I didn't go on this mission.

28 Apr-07 May 45
Flying wounded from South England to Prestwick for transportation home.

05 Jun 45
Picked up commandos and flew them to Oslo to disarm the leftover Germans.


WebAdmin Note: An article "The Overdue Tribute" about this C-47 was published in "Warbirds" magazine, 1988, by Robert S. DeGroat. In short, the article chronicled the history of this aircraft throughout the war. It then follows itís service until it was dropped from the USAFís inventory. The plane was eventually declared surplus and was picked up by the then new Dover AFB Historical Center in 1986 (no other museum wanted it due to its sad condition). This was the museumís first project and first plane to be displayed, now of course beautifully restored by the museum volunteers. W.E. "Bing" Wood was able to visit SN 42-92841 at Dover AFB at its dedication ceremony along with other past and present members of the 61st before he passed away in 1992.
Compiled and Edited by M.D. Leister
Layout by Debra Kern and David Best