Why The Douglas C-47 Won The War
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In this post, we’ll learn how the C-47’s incredible history led to the D-Day invasion in 1944 and why it was crucial to win the war.
Douglas then was producing the DC-2 and sales were good. But C.R. Smith, the head of American Airlines, called Don Douglas, the head of Douglas aircraft, and proposed a bigger version of the DC-2 that could carry 14 people in beds, or more technically “sleeper berths” like those on cross-country trains.
Douglas was doubtful at first, but Smith was able to convince him otherwise.
The Most Popular Airline in the World
Eventually, the sleeper version became the Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST) and the passenger version became the DC-3.
For three years, the DC-3 went on to become the most popular airline in the world and become one of the most successful aircraft in history. They were fast, comfortable, and beautiful.
Meanwhile, the US saw the build-up of German power through the 1930s, and Germany’s military technology in action. While still neutral, the US started preparing for war.
In 1941, Douglas began delivering a military version of the DC-2 to the American armed forces, the C-47.
The military version had no passenger seats. Instead, it had a massive cargo door, strengthened floor, and fittings to attach a hoist. The tail was also modified so it could tow gilders and had more potent engines.
Throughout the war, C-47s dropped paratroops, evacuated casualties, towed, assaulted gliders, and carried important cargo and supplies in every area of operations.
After the war, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said that the C-47 was one of four key items that helped the Allies win the war. By the end of WWII, Douglas built more than 10,000 C-47s.