A message on a forum pointed out this surviving C-47 that flew major missions in World War 2. The plane survived in Denmakr and the majority of this planes history was gathered by Mr. Peter Klein from Denmark. The webmaster was able to put the WW2 history to the gathered information.
C47A-70-DL USAAF Serial 42-100737, Production no. 19200 was delivered to the USAAF from Douglas Long Beach on Dec 1st 1943.
Allocated to 440th TCG who was forming for transfer to ETO at Bear Field Indiana.
Feb 26th 1944: Departure to Europe via the southern transatlantic route (According to “DZ Europe_ the story of the 440th Troop Carrier Group”)
Mar 13th 1944: Listed with the US 9th Air force in the UK.
The plane can be picked up in June 1944 with the 98th Troop Carrier Squadron, 440th Troop Carrier Group. It did not participate in the initial D-day drop in Normandy, but it flew on the follow up resupply missions, coded Memphis. Sixte-two aircraft of the 440th Tcg dropped supplies on DZ-E for the 101st Airborne Diviion. Three of the Group’s C-47 were lost on this mission.
The navigator of C-47 # 737 on this mission was Lt. Myron L. Pastuhenko. He reported: It was like flying just another routine mission until they began firing at us. When we first crossed the beach we could see pufs of smoke. Later we flew right into that stuff. Not one of us get hit, though.
So, the 98th TCS had more luck.
Operation Market Garden, September 1944, the Holland operation:
On the first day of this operation C-47# 42-100737 drop part of the 376 Parachute Field Artillery Battalion on DZ “N” near Groesbeek at 13:40. The operation was not very difficult, although the Group leader was lost due to a collision with another C-47. All crew members survived.
The next day, 18 September, a glider mission was flown to the Groesbeek area. It is not known if # 737 did participate, but it would be likely.
The last operation day, a delayed glider lift to the Grave area in Holland, # 747, piloted by Lt. C. Mabee, towed a glider. Before leaving England, the glider pilot cut loose as fabric of the glider peeled off.
Operation Varsity, 24 March 1945:
Although it is not (yet) known if the plane and crew did fly on the Bastogne missions, it is known it participated in the Rhine mission. The plane was crewed by:
C. Mabee (pilot), Shimek (co-pilot), Lt. Myron L. Pastushenko (navigator), Raimondi and Petty.
Apparently they towed glider # 42-43257, chalk # 82, that was piloted by 2nd Lt. R. E. Baly and and F/O Charles Vaughan. They considered their flight to the LZ as atisfactory.
After the war, 42-100737 stayed with the USAAF in Europe until Apr 10th 1950 when it was declared surplus and transferred to the Military Assistance Program (MAP).
Jul 23rd 1950: Transferred as MAP aid to the RNoAF.
Aug 23rd 1950: Arrival at Gardermoen Airbase in Norway. Registered as T-AP
1951: Reg. changed to BW-P
Aug 28th 1956: Transferred back to MAP
Oct 24th 1956: Transferred to RDAF.
Nov 6th 1956: Listed with RDAF as 68-687. Assigned to 721 Squadron
Nov 19th 1960: Reg. changed to K-687
In the following years until the phase-out in 1981 did K-687 participate in 721 Squadron’s daily routines. ie. primarily transport flights domestic and around Europe. Some tasks, however, came to stand out from the normal work pattern.
Sep 23rd to Oct 27th 1961: Deployed for the United Nations in Congo, West Africa together with two C54’s and some S55 Helicopter crews.
1974: As the only one of RDAF’s total 8 C47’s, modified to be able to operate with skis.
1975, 1976 & 1978: Used with skis in northeastern Greenland flying supply missions for the “Sirius” dog sleigh patrol.
Operation Market Garden again, Sep 1976:
Together with K-685 (42-100828) and K-688 (43-15652) on loan to Twickenham Film Studios for the making of the movie “A Bridge too far” about operation “Market – Garden”
(Hence that 42-100737 is a bit unique as it flew in the same operation twice with a 32 year break in between. Luckily the second time round, only blanks was fired! )
May 5th 1980: Runway incursion at Aalborg Airbase.
May 12th 1980: Temporary repaired and ferry flown to Værløse Airbase Main Repair Depot.
July 16th 1980: Returned after to repairs to 721 Squadron
Jan 7th 1981: Last flight for RDAF from Luxemburg via Ramstein and Brussels back to Værløse Airbase with a total of 14157:45 hours flown by then. Put in open storage at Værløse Airbase (during this is where we later meet)
June 10th 1987: After 6 years and 8 months in open storage, towed inside to be prepared for a ferry flight to “The Danish Aviation Museum”in Billund.
Sep 3rd 1987: Ferry flight Værløse Airbase to Billund Airport with Engines, Engine nacelles, Rudder and Ailerons from K-681 (cn 9664) already restored and on display at the Museum as OY-DDA of DDL. (The real OY-DDA is on display at the airborne museum in Ste. Mere-Eglise, France)
1997: “The Danish Aviation Museum”closes and 42-100737 is put in storage at the closed Vandel Airbase close to Billund
Sep 24th 2003: Arrived by road to the “new” “Danish Aviation Museum” in Stauning.
Sep 12th 2006: Empennage put on display after restoration.
Jun 20th 2009: Full restoration complete and complete aircraft on display.
A link to the restoration of the plane: