The Aircraft

A Series of .jpg photographs

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One aircraft in particular, C-47 #42-32832 is what got this website going. Knowing that my father's aircraft still existed in flying condition was like a bolt of lightning that got my attention. Scott Glover never knew what he had when he first purchased 42-32832, but when he found out its history from David Elliott and from me, that information sort of became a catalyst for some of his future endeavors-like developing a flying museum in Texas. One never knows where the road in life leads them. 42-32832 was shot up like a sieve and still flew- it still has at least one bullet hole in its frame unpatched. With proper care, the DC-3 platform will be flying beyond 100 years.

The 61st Troop Carrier Group flew what they were given. At the outset of the World War II, the U.S. Army fleet of aircraft available for the Troop Carrier Function was small and there was no time to develop a speciality-purpose-designed-aircraft(such as today's current Lockheed C-130). The Army quickly decided that the DC-3 could be modified to function adequately and provided in sufficient numbers in the timeframe needed. The DC-3 with modifications became the C-47, C-47A, C47B, the C-53D, and so on. The primary Troop Carrier aircraft-the C-47-was intended to fly into harm's way, and perform adequately. By 17 SEP 1943 the Army knew a improved aircraft was needed.

The C-46D was a great specialty aircraft flown later in World War II by the 61st Troop Carrier Group (just one aircraft), but proved inadequate when flying in harm’s way. The commanding officer of the 61st Troop Carrier Group (Willis W. Wilson) specifically asked NOT to receive the C-46D, but one was forced on him. The C-46D was better suited for the Air Transport Command where missions were not intended to fly in harm’s way. The 313th Troop Carrier Group- a part of the 52nd Troop Carrier Wing-eventually surrendered all of its C-47 aircraft in exchange for 78 of the C-46D models. The C-46D’s shootdown rate in VARSITY proved that commanding officer Wilson was correct. (br>
There was a need for more fuel hauling to ground forces on the continent after NEPTUNE. The B-24 airframe was selected as the best aircraft for that purpose, so as a platform it was modified to haul motor fuel (2,400 gallons per load) to the European continent, and was assigned the C-109-type designation. Thus some pilots and crews of the 61st Troop Carrier Group received transition training to fly the 4-engine C-109. The cargo version of the B-24 airframe was the C-87.

The UC-78 Bobcat, made by Cessna was used for non-combat administrative flight purposes. The Piper Cub L-4B and L-4H airframes were used for glider pilot proficiency training. And lastly, the unbelievable CG-4A Waco glider. It shouldn’t fly-but it did. The CG-4A turned ordinary men into steel. What other aviators flew wood, canvas, and steel tubing into enemy territory? Those kind of fliers will never exist again. Ask any pilot today if they would fly unarmored, unarmed, and unpowered wood, canvas, and steel tubing machines into combat.