The Douglas Dakota C-47, developed from the civilian Douglas DC-3, is thought of by many as one of the most successful aircraft designs in history. manufactured by the US in 1942, it was initially used by the American Air Force before being transferred to the Canadian Air Force. It saw widespread use throughout WW II and was one of the most famous military transport aircraft and has also been used extensively by Airforce and civilian operators worldwide, remaining in front line service with various military operators for many years. Affectionately known as the ‘Gooney Bird’ , the were first ordered in 1940 and by the close of WW II there were 9,348 procured for AAF use.

It has also sported some rather impressive artwork over the years, a few of which I would like to share for your viewing pleasure…

Hot Pants

This, rather impressive young lady, seen cooling herself on what appears to be a large ice-cube is one of two C-47’s painted by Cpl Al G Merkling, of 20th Combat Mapping Squadron, Nadzab, New Guinea.

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The Black Sparrow

A gorgeous representation of a pair of shapely legs escaping from a martini glass, a pair of juicy ruby-red lips where usually one would find a torso and flying above two musical notes is the bird of the nickname. This wonderful and jaunty art work adorns the lead aircraft of the 302nd Troop Carrier Squ, Troop Carrier Command, 9th AF on D-Day.

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Anything, Anytime, Anywhere

What a brilliant epitaph to have adorning your aircraft,a s if saying quite blatantly to the enemy that you are ready any time for anything they choose to throw at you. Alongside this brave statement is cute and relatively dainty picture of a stork carrying a baby for delivery. Used in WW II as part of 40 Squ RNZAF.

These examples are by no means the extent of Dakota C-47 nose art, they are mealy the tip of the iceberg . What is your favourite Dakota art work?

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