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Grumman G-21 Goose
Amphibious Transport

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TBF-1 Avenger dropping a torpedo

The G-21 Goose was used as an amphibious transport plane during World War II. Most of the military versions were the United States Navy variants, designated the JRF. Pictured is the Grumman JRF-5 Goose. US Navy photo.

The Grumman G-21 Gray Goose began as a commercial flying boat in 1937. With a high wing, two-step hull and fixed under-wing floats, the Goose had two 450 hp Pratt and Whitney R984-AN-6 radial piston engines.

Tailwheel landing gear which retracted into the hull, gave the Goose amphibious capability.

The Goose During WW II

Modified for military purposes in World War II, some commercial planes were impressed into military service as well. The versatile Goose was used for transport, combat patrol, photography, target towing, air/sea rescue and navigational training. It accommodated a crew of two or three and up to seven passengers.

Normally there was no armament on the Grumman Goose, but the earlier Navy JRF-4 could carry two 25 lb bombs or depth charges.1 The principal production version was the JRF-5 for which delivery began in 1941.

Military Designations
G-21 Original production number
JRF USN, USMC, & Coast Guard designation
OA Army Air Force designation
Goose I Canadian & British designation

Several of these aircraft operating in the Pacific were destroyed early in the war, including two OA-9 destroyed at Wheeler Field during the attack on Pearl Harbor.2

At the end of the war, surviving aircraft proved of value for certain post-war air services, and McKinnon Enterprises began to specialize in Goose refurbishment and the development of turbine-engined conversions.3 These post war amphibious aircraft went on to serve as an airliners, and bush planes.

1Gordon Swanborough and Peter Bowers, United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. Annapolis, Md: Naval Institute Press, May 1990, p. 228.

2 Mitch Mayborn; et al, Grumman Guidebook. Dallas: Flying Enterprise Publications, 1976, p. 41.

3 David Donald, American Warplanes of WWII: Combat Aircraft of the US Army Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps 1941 to 1945. Rochester: Grange Books, 2000, p.145.

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Museum B-21 Flying Boats on our site

JRF-G-21 US Navy Goose - Palm Springs


* G-21 Goose facts

Category Amphibious transport plane
Manufacturer Grumman
First flight 1937
Used in WW II by

United States Navy
US Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Number built 345
Cruising speed 191 mph
Max. speed 201 mph
Altitude 21,000 feet service ceiling
Range 640 miles
* Numbers are approximate