Few aircraft are as well known or were so widely used for so long as the C-47 or "Gooney Bird" as it was affectionately nicknamed. The aircraft was adapted from the DC-3 commercial airliner which appeared in 1936. The first C-47s were ordered in 1940 and by the end of WW II, 9,348 had been procured for AAF use. They carried personnel and cargo, and in a combat role, towed troop-carrying gliders and dropped paratroops into enemy territory.
After WW II, many C-47s remained in USAF service, participating in the Berlin Airlift and other peacetime activities. During the Korean War, 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.
Video narration by Dr. David G. Styles, PhD
Video produced by Kim Bolan
Records indicate that our C-47 Skytrain flew in the Normandy invasion during WWII. She was gifted to the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Foundation by Duncan Miller, a Gordon Valley resident and former U.S. Army Air Corps pilot and flight instructor.
The C-47 Skytrain and 60th Air Mobility Wing Connection
The C-47 Skytrain and 60th Air Mobility Wing connection began in 1942. The 60th Transport Unit flew its first mission on November 8, 1942 transporting paratroopers from England and dropping them at Oran, Algeria during the early hours of the invasion of North Africa during World War II.
While stationed in North Africa, the 60th also participated in the battle for Tunisia, dropping paratroopers near the combat area on two occasions. The unit also trained with gliders and in June 1943, towed gliders to Syracuse and dropped paratroopers behind enemy lines at Catania when the allies invaded Sicily in July 1943. Read more...
WORLD WAR II VETERAN DON BOLCE VISITS C-47 "Okie Dokie", now located at the Travis Heritage Center.
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830s of 1,200 hp. ea.
Maximum speed: 232 mph.
Cruising speed: 175 mph.
Range: 1,513 miles
Service Ceiling: 24,450 ft.
Information derived from “Travis Heritage Center” by Nick Veronico copyright Travis AFB Historical Society/Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Foundation. This book is available from the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum GIFT SHOP located in the Travis Heritage Center.