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Douglas C-54 "Skymaster"

The Douglas C-54 "Skymaster" is another military troop transport that had its beginnings from a commercial airliner namely the DC-4 being developed by Douglas Aircraft for United Air Lines in 1936. In 1940 the U.S. Army Air Corps designated the C-54 and it flew for the first time during WWII in February 1942. Having a range of 3,900 miles it was destined to become a long range transport with capacity for either 48 troops, 30 stretchers or a 10,000 lb payload. The military upgraded the the original 1,000 hp engines to (4) Pratt and Whitney 1,400 hp, 7 piston radial engines, installed a rear double cargo door and strengthen the cargo flooring.


Built in several configurations for the Army and Navy approximately 1,000, C-54 's were constructed by the end of its production. After World War II, the "Skymaster" continued service in the U.S. Air Force and is remembered in the 1948-1949 Berlin airlift where it ferried everything from food to coal during this Cold War episode. During the Korean War 1950-1953, it served as a medical evacuation ambulance for causalities. Although considered obsolete, it continued to perform obscure roles in scientific and specialized applications into the 1960's.




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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net