C-47B Dakota


The transport 'Biscuit Bomber' of WWII

The DC-3 and Dakota earn a place in the Aircraft Hall of Fame. The RAAF and Australia owe a large debt to what was the most important transport aircraft in the history of aviation. Known as the Douglas DC-3 or C-47B, the aircraft carried the bulk of wartime passengers and freight. Post-war, the C-47B provided transport service for the RAAF, served as a Navigation Trainer, SAR aircraft and supported many RAAF units into the 1980s.

With the 1939-45 war came massive production of the DC-3 in the military versions C-47B and C-53 in United States service and Dakota in the service of British and Commonwealth nations, including Australia.

The Royal Australian Air Force's first DC-3s were the four ANA aircraft impressed into service at the start of World War II—124 C-47B Dakotas were supplied under Lend-Lease between 1943 and 1945. These carried the RAAF serial numbers A65-1 to A65-124 and were joined by numerous aircraft operated on behalf of the USAAF's transport organisation in the region. Of the 124 "regular" RAAF Dakotas, four were later supplied to the Royal Australian Navy and 47 were converted to civilian configuration for service with Australia's airlines after the war. Regardless of the model, the public always knew the aircraft as the DC-3.

View more photos of the Dakota here

This Page Last Updated: 20 Feb 24