C47 Paratroopers

by Herbert Holeman, Colonel, USA(Ret)

C47 aircraft account for largest mass paratrooper drops in history. The The venerable C47 aircraft is famous as being the paratrooper airplane, It made its military debut in 1939, and became known as the C-47 Skytrain to U.S. Army paratroopers and as the 54D Gooney Bird to Marine paratroopers, and the Dakota to Britian's paras.

The C47 was the mainstay of Allied airborne forces in World War 2 and soon became the main jump plane for military forces in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, where it remains in operational status. The C47 was modeled by the Japanese military as the L2D3 and by the Russians as the Lisunov Li-2. Similarly, the JU52 was the aircraft of choice for another major military paratrooper force, Germany's fallschirmjagers.

The following links are to World War 2, and post war pages where the C47 has remained active in paratrooper operations, particularly in Latin America.

American C47 Paratrooper Operations

C47 Jump Door

British C47 Paratrooper Operations

British Paras

Fallschirmjäger JU52 Operations

German Paras

Honduran Special Operations

Honduran Paras

El Salvador Para School Jump

El Salvador Paras

Flying the venerable C47 Skytrain

Flying the C47

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