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Douglass C-47 Skytrain
Palm Springs Air Museum visit November, 2008

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C-47B Skytrain "What's up Doc?"

C-47 Skytrain, Palm Springs Air Museum - California

The Skytrain transport aircraft was used by the U.S. Army Air Forces, Royal Air Force, and U.S. Navy during World War II. It was nicknamed the "Gooney Bird" and was called the "Dakota" by the British.

The museum's Skytrain was a USAAF aircraft built in 1944. It eventually ended up in the Israeli Air Force and was was painted in desert camouflage when it arrived at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Some of the Israeli lettering can still be seen in the inside. Reportedly, his aircraft had also seen service with the RAF, Belgian Air Force and French Air Force.

D-Day invasion stripes on Skytrain

The museum has restored the Skytrain with with colors, markings and nose art that would have been found on an aircraft from the D-Day invasion. Black and white bands can be seen on the wings, and on the fuselage just in from of the tail. These D-Day invasion stripes were used to identify the Allied aircraft.

C-47 nose art: What's up Doc?

Stan Stokes, an aviation artist who volunteers his time at the museum, painted Bugs Bunny on each side of the cargo plane with his famous line, "What’s Up, Doc?" You can see a small Elmer Fudd descending in a parachute to his right. Three giant murals, also painted by Stokes, can be seen inside the museum: the Dauntless at Midway, Corsair on Approach and The Tusgagee Airmen.

Paratroopers were a part of the Normandy invasion and were dropped behind enemy lines to hamper German defenses and to secure bridges and roadways. Paratrooper, Palm Springs Air Museum - California On June 6, 1944, over 13,000 men made nighttime parachute jumps behind enemy lines, including those from the U.S. 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions, the British 6th Airborne Division, and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.

The Americans wore a jumpsuit, and Corcoran boots, and carried gear that weighed over 70 pounds. Some of the standard gear for the U.S. Army paratrooper was an M-1 Garand Rifle, hand grenades, automatic pistol, compass, and flares.



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Also see on our website

C-47 7th Heaven - Castle Air Museum
C-47 Skytrain
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