DC-3 – Her 80th Anniversary

Douglas DC-3

Douglas DC-3

The “ubiquitous” Douglas DC-3, what can be said about this aircraft that has not already been said ?

17th December 1935 was a day that made history. It was a day when the first Airliner took its maiden flight and marked the first day that enabled operators to make a profit simply by carrying nothing but passengers from one place to another.

American Airlines were the first to use the DC-3 commercially and on June 25th 1936 the first established profit making route (New York to Chicago) was born.

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With the advent of the war lots of orders came pouring in both from the military and from commercial Airliners which had Douglas producing almost 600 DC-3/C-47’s a month. Between 1935 and 1947 Douglas had built a total of 10,654 of the type and 63 years later (today) there are still almost a 1,000 in flying condition. What is more, some of these are still workhorses for Airlines and the military in various roles that one would still find hard to believe. Because of its continuing role in aviation and still competing with the modern Jet era, the DC-3 still has no true replacement and one can now assume that it is the most immortal plane of all time.

Today, the DC-3 is still finding its greatest use in specialized roles with some third world military forces and is commercially useful in some back country and bush areas particularly because of its operating costs, its ability to perform from rough fields and with its low maintenance, these are virtues to be considered ahead of the modern designs. So long as the airframes remain strong, (the DC-3 has never been faulted for its structural integrity to this day) there is no reason why this bird will not fly forever.

There’s an old saying.. “The only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3” and as I write this today, I believe this still holds true.

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Information from: Dakota Hunter; CNN; Boeing; Douglas Corp.; WWII History on-line

Click on images to enlarge.

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Aviation Humor –

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Farewell Salutes –

James Bonadio – Vanderbilt, PA; US Army, Korea

Philip Chancey – WPalm Beach, FL; USMC0083f165f66161f63454e92890403bcd

Jamar Hicks – Little Rock, AR; US Army, Afghanistan, Sgt., 101st A/B

William Klee – Camarillo, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th A/B artillery

John Lane – Chattanooga, TN; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Marguerite Moore – British Columbia, CAN; WREN, WWII

Ronald Smith – Tacoma, WA; USMC, MSgt. (Ret. 22 years)

Erston Toney Jr. – Gadseden, AL; US Army, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Green Beret, Bronze Stars, 4 Purple Hearts

Douglas Voyzey – AUS; Vietnam, Tpr # 2137680, KIA

George Whitcombe – Hastings, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 436711, WWII, Sgt., pilot

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on December 17, 2015, in Current News, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 107 Comments.

  1. Enjoyed this very much. I think I flew in one in about 1951, when my father was stationed in Gibraltar.

    Like

  2. Found this one which is still going strong:
    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Buffalo Airways DC-3 Dakota awaits passengers on their ramp at Yellowknife Airport for the return flight to Hay River a few days before Christmas 2014. Whisky–Zulu–Sierra was built in 1942 and served with No. 512 Squadron, Royal Air Force, (KG330) and flew paratroopers on D-Day. Quite an historic aircraft still operating in the far north.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our country, being a third world, has several of these DC-3s. I was able to ride one when I was young (my uncle who already passed away was an air force men). It was stripped off of everything “comforty” except a long steel bench on the side where we sat. I think it was used to transport military items.

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  4. Just getting caught up on my blog reading. Interesting post about the DC-3. There is a DC-3 in our local area. Google “Duggy DC3” to see some images. I have yet to ride in the old girl, but I have been around to see her big radials fire up and to watch her take off. Maybe someday…

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  5. That is a wonderful plane, a real “work horse” even at 80 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hello gp cox its dennis the vizsla dog hay it seems like this playn is wun of those things ware they dont mayk them like that ennymore!!! ok bye

    Like

  7. One of the greatest most versatile aircraft ever built, fun to go for a flight in so long as it wasn’t to long 😀

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Lieeber Gruß und eine schöne Weihnachtszeit Lieber Gruß und Freundschaft

    Like

  9. May it continue to fly when it reaches its 100th anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A wonderful plane. I have been in Cairns once again, and once again had only time for a passing glance at places of interest. This was another one I passed by http://ausarmour.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My favourite plane barring the mosquito. One day I will get a flight in one, but probably not the latter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A wonderful aircraft that achieved so much. Has to be one of the greatest workhorses ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Heehee. Crossed the Atlantic in one of those in 1965. France to the Azores to Newfoundland to Dover. Took two days. Yikes.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Here’s another old warhorse for your collection…if you can get BBC: the amphibious landing craft designed by America’s Andrew Higgins which took the troops to the Normandy beaches..
    It is part of a series on classic boats narrated by Tom Cunliffe who really knows his stuff.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sfsqw/the-boats-that-built-britain-6-world-war-two-landing-craft

    Like

    • The link says it will only play in the UK and i do have many British citizens following here, so they will be able to watch it. I’ll look into find this elsewhere too. Thank you for taking the time to bring us this, Helen!

      Like

  15. Terrific post GP, I flew in an Air Atlantique DC-3 back in 1992, I’ll never forget it. There are few aircraft that you can say are legendary. This is without doubt one of them. Rich.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The DC-3 is universally regarded as the best aircraft of its type ever. I’m sure that if somebody started making them nowadays, with better engines etc, they would make a lot of money. A wonderful aircraft!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Truly one of the most remarkable aircraft ever—stories of her are legion; long may she continue!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lots of my dad’s friends worked for Douglass , then Donnell- Douglass (?) when I was a kid. Southern California was a big aircraft producer in older times ..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I knew they made a lot of them but never realized how many. Love the humor section, also 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That was interesting. 80 years–seems like it should be longer, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I enjoy your historical perspective on all your stories. Many of us are starving for historical knowledge. Your writings satiate our appetites. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Many memories of flights in DC 3’s.

    Like

  23. Your article substantiates what I have heard so many times among the military folks in my world (there are lots) the DC-3 was and is the best cargo plane ever. Wonderful text Brad.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Classy looking plane…It is amazing that some are still flying.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Many things were really made with thought and purpose back then, and have outlasted, outperformed modern equipment. I have often wished the designers and builders of today would take a moment to look back, and learn a few lessons from way back when.

    Liked by 2 people

    • In my opinion, Lavinia, their was more pride in one’s work back then on the majority. Nowadays you only find that sporadically. Things are built to fall apart these days. It’s a shame.

      Like

  26. Dad worked for Eastern(landing gear mech) and worked on Eddie Rickenbacker’s personal DC-3. I think it’s the same one in Smithsonian Space Museum.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Happy 80th anniversary, DC-3! What an achievement!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. This got me thinking how air travel has changed through the years. My first flight was in 1970, and we dressed ‘to the nines’ for the flight, as did our fellow travelers. Love your Christmas humor, GP!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This is like the one I flew in back in the 60s from Dubai to Abu Dhabi :
    G-AMVA Gulf Aviation Douglas DC-3

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Basler Turbo Conversions of Oshkosh Wisconsin is still in the business of refurbishing DC-3’s

    Liked by 2 people

  31. My wife’s Uncle Bubba was a surgeon stationed at Hobbs (NM) Army Air Field in WWII and told the story of a flight in a C-47. As the rattling bird was taking off, a bolt or screw fell out of the ceiling of the aircraft. He said he retrieved it and later gave it to a crewman “in case they might need it later.”

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Great post, GP. With a thousand still up in the air and its varying uses. Hhmm. I wonder if I’ve flown in one? When I was in the Navy, we had to get to the northern tip of Scotland from Edinburgh. It seemed like a crop-duster, it was so small. It sat 12 people. Do you think that’s the size of a DC3?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. This could be the most successful aircraft ever produced. There are still some flying around somewhere, I expect! A well-deserved tribute.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Such a magnificent plane. Imagine making 600 airplanes a month…that’s amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I grew up in a DC3. Dad was the civilian pilot for the Army Corps of Engineers and they had a DC3 to use when commercial flights didn’t/couldn’t take them where they needed to go. I have wonderful memories and a lot of hours in the air.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: My Article Read (12-17-2015) | My Daily Musing

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