Douglas Dakota I

The Douglas Dakota I was the RAF designation for fifty three C-47s received under the lend-lease scheme. These aircraft had the reinforced cargo floor, wide cargo door and cargo hoist of the American model, and the same internal arrangement of seating. Three of the fifty three aircraft went to the RAAF. The RAF used them to equip seven transport squadrons and one RCAF squadron under RAF operational control. The Dakota I was the first genuinely effective transport aircraft to enter RAF service in large numbers, and allowed the RAF to begin the process of replacing the vast array of unsuitable or obsolete aircraft that had been forced into service at the outbreak of war.

The name Dakota was a play of words, standing for Douglas Aircraft KOmpany Transport Aircraft. Although the name was rarely used by the USAAF during the war, it became closely associated with the DC-3 in the post-war period, when many ex-military aircraft were sold off as surplus.

Eight civil DC-3s acquired by the British Purchasing Commission were never given an official mark number, and were simply designated as Dakotas or DC-3s.

RAF Dakota Squadrons

Squadron

Mk I

Mk II

Mk III

Mk IV

10

 

 

III

IV, 4*

18

 

 

 

4

21

 

 

 

4

24

I

 

III

IV

27

 

 

 

4

30

 

 

 

4

31

I

 

III

IV, 4

46

 

 

 

4

48

 

 

III

IV, 4

52

I

 

III

IV

53

 

 

 

4

62

 

 

III

IV, 4

70

 

 

 

4

76

 

 

 

IV

77

 

 

III

IV

78

 

 

 

IV

96

 

 

III

IV

110

 

 

3

4

113

 

 

 

4

114

 

 

 

4

117

 

 

III

IV

147

 

 

 

IV

167

 

 

III

IV

187

 

 

III

IV

194

I

 

III

IV

204

 

 

 

4

206

 

 

 

4

215

 

 

III

IV, 4

216

I

II

III

IV

353

I

 

III

IV

357

 

 

 

IV

435

 

 

III

IV

436

 

 

III

IV

437

 

 

III

IV

511

I

 

III

 

512

I

 

III

 

525

 

 

III

IV

575

 

 

III

IV

620

 

 

 

4

* Roman numerals indicates wartime use, Arabic numbers post-war.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 November 2008), Douglas Dakota I , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_douglas_dakota_I.html

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