Armour Collection B11F008 USAAF Douglas SC-47 "Skytrain" Troop Transport - Delta "G", Air Rescue Service, Hamilton Field, 1946 (1:48 Scale)
"...four other pieces of equipment that most senior officers came to regard as among the most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the jeep, the 2-ton truck, and the C-47 airplane. Curiously, none of these is designed for combat."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, reflecting on the success of the US Army in World War II
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 SC-47 "Skytrain" troop transport known as Delta "G", which was attached to the Air Rescue Service, then based out of Hamilton Field during 1946.
Wingspan: 23-3/4 inches
Length: 16-3/4 inches
Release Date: February 2009
Historical Account: "Retasking" - Hamilton Airfield was named for First Lieutenant Lloyd Andrew Hamilton of the 17th Aero Squadron, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism at Varssonaore, Belgium, in leading a low level bombing attack on a German airdrome 30 miles (50 km) behind enemy lines on August 13, 1918. Thirteen days later Hamilton died in action near Lagnicourt, France.
In the initial postwar years, Hamilton remained Air Transport Command's primary West Coast facility until 1948 when Military Air Transport Service (MATS) moved most activities to nearby Travis AFB. During this time Hamilton functioned also as a major separation center for returning troops. MATS, and later Military Airlift Command (MAC), retained a presence at Hamilton through the Air Force Reserve, which based several Troop Carrier, and later Military Airlift wings at the base until it closed in 1976. Strategic Air Command also assigned several reserve reconnaissance groups to Hamilton in the late 1940s, flying photographic missions with RB-29 Superfortresses. Tactical Air Command assigned the F-84 Thunderjet-equipped 349th Fighter-Bomber Wing in the mid 1950s to Hamilton also as part of its reserve forces.
However, the new Air Defense Command, was the major presence at Hamilton after World War II, using the base as headquarters for the air defense of the Pacific Coast. The base went through a series of command redesignations during this period. In the United States Army Air Force reorganization of 1946 it was assigned to Air Defense Command. Later, in 1948 the base was assigned to Continental Air Command, then back to Air Defense Command/Aerospace Defense Command in 1951 then, as its usefulness waned, to the Air Force Reserve in 1970.