Douglas DC-3/C-47 Dakota
In service with RNlAF; RNlNAS; NEIAF and 1316 Flight RAF.
Just in 1952 the Royal Netherlands Air Force received its first Dakotas.
However, after the war a Dakota has been in use with the TranVa (transport service) for some time. It is uncertain which aircraft it was and which RNlAF registration is received. C. van den Heuvel states in his booklet on Air Force registrations that it was the former NL-205, of 1316 Flight, being registered as X-1 (although, according to C. van den Heuvel, just in 1947 the Alphabetical registration system was put in use until 1947). This aircraft was written off after an accident near Katwijk in January 1946.
In September 1948 a DC-3, PH-TBV was leased for some time from KLM. The bare metal aircraft was registered X-2, but the civil registration was still applied on thw vertical tail.
In 1950 and 1951, other DC-3s were hired from KLM, but these aircraft kept their civil registration and didn't receive a military registration.
In 1948 the TransVa was renamed in 334 Squadron, but received her first Dakotas in 1952.
The X-1 entered service in February 1952 and is an mysterious aircraft, since the nameplate was missing. About this machine several rumours are spread. The plane's logs report that it had been found. C. van den Heuvel mentions in his book about Air Force registrations that it is possible that the aircraft has been used by refugees and landed without badges at Valkenburg.
While participating the rescue operation for the flood of 1953, the X-1 crashed during take-off in February 1953.
Douglas C-47 Dakota, (ex Danish air force) painted as ZU-5, photographed in 1983 at the Militaire Luchtvaart Museum at Soesterberg.
In August 1952 a additional four aircraft entered service, originating from the Belgian Air Force; these received registrations X-2 through X-5.
In the summer of 1952 arrived a number of Dakotas, which were borrowed under MDAP conditions from the USA, these received registrations X-5 to X-17. These had to be overhauled and after the revision they entered service with squadron codes ZU.
In 1960, the Dakotas X-4, X-5 X-11 and X-13 were flown to Biak in Dutch New Guinea and made available to the MLD, which used them as 018, 019, 078 and 079.
Between 1960 and 1961, the X-6 till X-9, X-12, X-14 till X-17 were returned to the Americans.
The X-2, X-3 and X-10 were flown to Mokmer on Dutch New Guinea because of the tense situation with Indonesia at that time. They were being assigned to the newly established 336th squadron .
In 1962, two aircraft have been purchased to replace losses. This DC-3C's received registration X-18 and X-19 and could be be distinguished from the other aircraft by the absence of a large cargo door in the fuselage.
In November 1962 all remaining aircraft were sold to Jones & Guerro to Manila.
Shortly after the end of World War II fifteen Dakotas were bought in Manila, which were first overhauled in Australia. They were received the Dutch flag as national marking an registrations Q-1 to Q-15.
On December 22, 1945 Q-1, Q-2 and Q-3 left for Australia. However, the Q-1 was lost while landing on Biak The rest of the aircraft was transferred in January and February.
After the major repairs, the aircraft were flown to Netherlands East Indies and assigned to 321 squadron.
The registrations were then changed to W-2 to W-15. To replace the Q-1, a new example was purchased, which received registration W-16. Initially the registration letter W was applied, but soon it was adjusted and applied as 23.
The aircraft were used for a diverse range of transport tasks, including supply of stocks, repatriation of ex-prisoner of war, but also patrols.
On March 26, 1947, the W-12 was lost because of an emergency landing in the bush of Australia. After the transfer of sovereignty in December 1949 the Dakotas were handed over to the AURI (Angatan Udara Republik Indonesia).
Late 1959 and early 1960, four former RNlAF Dakotas were purchased to replace the Martin Mariners. This pending ordered Lockheed Neptunes
In February 1960, the first two aircraft arrived at Biak with registration 018 and 019, in May the other two arrived, with registrations 078 and 079.
The Dakotas were used for transport and patrol flights over Dutch New Guinea. On January 1, 1961, the 079 crashed during a nightly exercise with torches.
On October 12, 1961 sufficient Neptunes were available and the Dakotas were returned to the Dutch Air Force. The aircraft were received their original registrations and were assigned to 336 squadron which was stationed on Biak.
DC-3 of the KLM
In 1933 Fokker acquired the licensing rights for the DC-2 and later also for the DC-3.
Fokker eventually sold 39 DC-2s and 65 DC-3's in Europe and has not a single example built.
Of these examples 18 DC-2s and 25 DC-3s were destined for the KLM.
The KLM DC-3 was fitted with Wright Cyclone radial engines, it had a landing light in the nose and the passenger door was on the right side of the fuselage and a cargo hatch on the left side of the device.
The first arrived in October 1936, the PH-ALI "Ibis". As soon some problems occurred with the engines and in August 1938 a new and improved type of engine, the Cyclone G-105, was released, which was more powerful.
During 1939 and 1940 , the European flights were more en more constrained.
With the invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, the activities of the KLM temporarily ended.
At the outbreak of the war of the original 25 machines are about 21 examples were left.
Due to the bombing in the Netherlands PH-ALU, PH-ARX, PH-ASP and PH-AST were destroyed. The PH-ALH, PH-ALV, PH-ASK, PH-ASM and PH-ASR were cclaimed by the Germans and used by the Luftwaffe and Lufthansa.
The PH-ALI escaped to England and was used as G-AGBB for BOAC; PH-ALR same as G-AGBC; PH-ARB same as G-AGBD; PH-ARW as G-AGBU; PH-ARZ as G-AGBE. The aircraft continued to be owned by KLM and were flown by KLM staff.
In early 1944 three Douglas C-47s were delivered G-AGJR; G-GGJS and G-AGJT. These differed from the older machines KLM by the engines and a astro dome on top of the fuselage.
During the second world war, the Metropolitan Communications Squadron was formed.
The B-flight of this transport squadron consisted of many Dutch and Belgian staff and became an independent transport unit, no 1316 (English) Communications Flight RAF in July 1944.
Initially, this unit was equipped with four DeHavilland DH-89B Dominies, a Lockheed 12A and a Percival Proctor III and a Lockheed Hudson.
In November 1944 two Dakotas are added to the inventory, which are used for transporting foodstuffs to the now liberated southern Netherlands.
In June 1945 some KLM Dakota's and a DC-2 were chartered and used for military air transports.
[The drawing shows how a KLM plane there may have seen off].
In April 1945 six Dakotas were made available and assigned to 1316 Flight, which when operated from Croydon.
In the winter of 1945/1946 the flight was canceled and the equipment was transferred to KLM.