Armour Collection B11F048 USAAF Douglas C-47A "Skytrain" Troop Transport - 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 (1:48 Scale)
"The Air Commando concept was to have a self sufficient, self-contained force that could deploy anywhere in the world and conduct operations."
- Retired Brig. Gen. Harry C. "Heinie" Aderholt, a commander of Air Commandos in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War
The C-47 was one of the most successful aircraft ever, praised by General Eisenhower as one of the most important instruments of victory in WWII. Largely a military version of the highly successful Douglas DC-3 passenger aircraft, the C-47 Dakota carried supplies, airborne troops, and other personnel in all of the theaters of conflict in WWII. It was used as a troop transport and glider tug during the invasion of Europe and it kept the Allied forces in China supplied by carrying supplies "Over the Hump" of the Himalaya Mountains lying astride the India to China route. More than 13,300 of the DC-3s in all its forms were built, including Japanese and Soviet licensed aircraft. Although it first flew in 1941, many are still being used today. It last saw action in the Vietnam War as a gunship called "Puff the Magic Dragon", firing machine guns and cannons from it's windows for enemy troop suppression.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a USAAF Douglas C-47A "Skytrain" Troop Transport that was attached to the 1st Air Commando Group, then deployed to Burma during 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 23-3/4 inches
Length: 16-3/4 inches
Release Date: February 2009
Historical Account: "Burmese Pythons" - The 1st Air Commando Group was a U.S. Army Air Force group of fighters, bombers, transports, military gliders and small planes operating in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II. They were part of the U.S. Tenth Air Force providing air support for the British Fourteenth Army in the Burma Campaign.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, amidst the Quebec Conference in August 1943, was impressed by Brigadier Orde Wingate's account of what could be accomplished in Burma with proper air support. To comply with Roosevelt's proposed air support for British long range penetration operations in Burma, the United States Army Air Forces created the 5318th Air Unit to support the Chindits. In March 1944, they were designated the 1st Air Commando Group by USAF Commander General Hap Arnold. Arnold chose Colonel John R. Alison and Colonel Philip Cochran as co-commanders of the unit.
Alison was a veteran flight instructor of P-40 aircraft, and gained renown as a pilot with Major David Lee "Tex" Hill's 75th Fighter Squadron, part of Col Robert Lee Scott, Jr.'s 23rd Fighter Group, the USAF successor of the AVG's famed Flying Tigers in the China-Burma-India Theatre. General Claire Lee Chennault lobbied to Arnold, who knew Alison from service at Langley Field, suggesting Alison be given the new command. Cochran was a decorated P-40 veteran pilot from the North Africa Campaign, noted for his unconventional aeriel tactics.
The group consisted of 13 C-47 air transports, 225 Waco CG-4A military gliders, a squadron of 30 P-51 Mustangs, a squadron of 12 B-25H bombers and 100 L-1 and L-5 Sentinel liaison aircraft. The group tested the United States' first use of a helicopter in combat, six Sikorsky R-4s, in May 1944.