Category Archives: DC-3 Stories

A collection of true stories about the DC-3/C-47 dakota

DC-3 at 60

By Henry M. Holden

The DC-3 is unique. No other flying machine has been an active part of the international commercial avia­tion scene for so many years. It has cruised every sky known to humans, been so ubiquitous, admired, cherished, glamorized and has sparked so many tributes that one may think that it is long gone from the scene, and only its mem­ory remains alive. Who would have thought back on December 17th, 1935, that in 1996, we would still see it flying, and still earning a living? Certainly not Arthur Raymond, the chief engineer on the DC-3. Continue reading

Mohawk Airlines’ Gas Light Service


Mohawk Airlines DC-3-357 N409D (c/n 3277) Mohawk Airlines operated in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, primarily the states of New York and Pennsylvania, from the mid-1940s until its acquisition by Allegheny Airlines in 1972.Like most local trunk carriers in 1960, Mohawk Airlines still had 11 DC-3s in their fleet.  They planned to retire their DC-3 service by the end of 1961 and replace the venerable machine with Convair 240s. They decided their last two DC-3s could serve a dual role. They could spend their last days in an old fashioned, sentimental way, and fill some gaps in Mohawk’s east-west route between Buffalo and Boston. Continue reading

FLYING THE DC-3 – A Private Pilot’s Experience

by Barry Schiff

In June, 1994, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. The first French town to be liberated on ‘D-Day” June 6, 1944, was Sainte-Mere-Eglise. In that small town is a museum that pays tribute to the 15,000 paratroopers who dropped behind Ger­man lines that day. There is only one airplane in that museum; the airplane that General Dwight D. Eisenhower considered the most important in ensuring the Allied victory of World War II. It is not a P-51 or a B-17, but a C-47 (the military version of the DC-3), one of thousands that flew across the English Channel to help liberate Eu­rope. Continue reading

Flight 4844C

Flight 4844

It was Wednesday, December 22, 1954. The flight was 4844-C, a civilian-air-movement-of-military-personnel (CAM). The airplane, a Johnson Flying Service DC-3C, N24320, c/n 20197 was under charter to the Army to fly from Newark, New Jersey, to Tacoma, Washington. All preflight inspections and checklists had been accomplished satisfactorily, along with the proper filing of a flight plan and weight and balance manifest. Continue reading

My DC-3 Adventure

By Marie Martin

My DC-3 adventure began because my aunt was private secretary to some bigwig in the Airlines. Family gossip said she may have been more than just his secretary. I was about four years old at the time and 1 didn’t care if my Aunt went to bed with her teddy bear. What I did care about was that my Aunt always went home to Florida on airplanes. I heard my mother denouncing her scandalous behavior. The scandalous behavior, of course, was flying on airplanes. Continue reading

Ozark Airlines

By Henry M. Holden

Ozark Airlines was first certified on Sept. 1, 1943. Their first aircraft were single engine Beechcraft Staggerwings. Their first flight occurred on June 10, 1945. Twin engine Cessna UC-78s followed the Beechcraft aircraft. Following a suspension of service in the late 1940s, Ozark, named for the Missouri region from which it came, restarted its company on Sept, 25, 1950, using surplus WW II DC-3s obtained from a defunct operator called Parks Airlines. Continue reading



By Nancy Warren, Director – United Flying Octogenarians Photos courtesy Nancy Warren

At a time when piloting an aircraft was still considered by some to be a bit unusual for a 57-year-old woman, I was part of a crew flying air freight in DC-3s over most of the eastern half of the United States and Canada. And, loving every minute of it!! For almost four years the shout of “Locks, Chocks, and Pins!” was my call to adventure. Continue reading

DC-3 Postal Stamps

Aero-philately and the DC-3

By Donald N. Nelson


With a life-long interest in historical aircraft and more than 30 years in building a collection of aero-philatel­ic material, I have recently devoted full attention to the acquisition of stamps issued world-wide which depict the DC-3, the Dakota, or the C-47 Skytrain. After a search lasting more than two years, I have identi­fied 77 countries with one or more issues that feature this venerable air­craft. Continue reading

Last Flight

Last Flight of the Flagship “San Antonio”

By Henry M. Holden

American Airlines Flagship “San Antonio,” NC21746, c/n 2104, DC-3-208A, was delivered to the airline on Feb. 23, 1939. It had served unremarkably throughout the war, remaining with the civilian fleet. On January 5, 1947 it took its last flight. Continue reading