List of Douglas C-47 Skytrain operators

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File:Dakota III ZA947.jpg
Royal Air Force Dakota III
Two USAAF C-47A Skytrains over France, 1944
British paratroops inside C-47 Dakota, 1944

List of C-47 Skytrain operators includes the country, military service, known squadrons, and related data. The Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport that was developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner. The C-47 has served with over 90 countries outside of the United States:
















 Republic of China

 People's Republic of China


File:AC-47 Fantasma.jpg
Colombian Air Force AC-47 Fantasma, 2008

 Republic of the Congo

 Democratic Republic of the Congo






 El Salvador



File:Restored DC-3, Flying Legends 2014.jpg
This 1943 C-47 served as the President of Finland's official airplane in the 1970s, as Finnish Air Force DO-9.
  • The Finnish Air Force operated nine from 1960 to 1984. One was involved in the Finnish Air Force's deadliest crash on 3 October 1978, when the aircraft crashed soon after takeoff, killing all 15 aboard.[3]


  • The French Air Force operated Skytrains from September 1944 on, when Lend-Lease C-47Bs were delivered to the Groupe de Transport 1/15.



  • 20 used by the post-war West German Luftwaffe


File:Greek C-47 Dakota 1.jpg
The single operational C-47 of the Hellenic Air Force.

The Hellenic Air Force's 355th and 356th Transport Squadrons operated over 80 ex-USAAF and ex-RAF aircraft received in 1947. These were widely used in the Greek Civil War (1946–49) in transport and bombing roles. The 13th Transport Flight used C-47s in the Korean War, earning a U.S. Presidential Citation. The 355/1 Tactical Transport Squadron in Thessaloniki has three aircraft, of which one (which has participated in the Korean War and is named Poseidon) remains operational.




File:Honduran C-47A taking off 1988.JPEG
A Honduran Douglas C-47A-20-DK Skytrain aircraft (FAH 304, c/n 12962, ex-USAF 42-93089) taking off for a joint US/Honduran parachute jump during a mobilization of US exercise "Task Force Dragon/Golden Pheasant" in 1988.





State Flag of Iran (1964-1980).svg Iran

IIAF acquired 22 Douglas C-47 Skytrain aircraft at 1949.



  • Italian Air Force
    • Operated 19 C-47s and 8 C-53 as staff transports and ECM aircraft into the mid-1980s.[4]

 Ivory Coast


File:Showa L2D.jpg
Shōwa L2D3, WW2 era
  • On February 24, 1938, a subsidiary of Nakajima (Mitsui) purchased production rights and technical data to the DC-3 for $90,000. The aircraft was extensively redesigned to use Japanese raw materials and the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines were replaced with Mitsubishi Kinsei 43 radial engines. Production initially lagged behind expectations until 1942. Japanese DC-3s were given the Navy designation L2D-2 (L-transport, 2-second Douglas type, D-Douglas 2-second sub-type). L2D1 was used for imported DC-3s. The Japanese built eight sub types in two basic configurations, as passenger transport and as cargo planes. In two years Nakajima built 71 L2D-2s before handing production over to Showa, which built 416, including 75 freighters equipped with a large side door.













 New Zealand

File:RNZAF C-47 Dakota, 2010.jpg
Royal New Zealand Air Force C-47







 Papua New Guinea





  • Polish Air Force operated C-47s bought post-war from US stocks and Li-2s bought in Soviet Union.


Section source: Geocities C-47[6]

The first Portuguese Dakota (where it was only known as the Dakota) was interned in 1944 and it remained the sole example in Portuguese service transporting military VIPs until September 1958 when additional Dakotas came from the United States. Portuguese Dakotas were used for a wide variety of roles including one aircraft (6155) used as a bomber during the Portuguese Colonial War, and two converted to spray pesticides. The Dakota was retired in 1976. One (6157) was preserved for the Museu do Ar (Air Museum).

Portuguese Air Force
  • 81 Squadron - Transport mission
  • E.I.C.P.A.C. - Esquadra de Instrução Complementar de Pilotagem de Aviões Pesados (Heavy Transport Training Squadron). Formed at B.A.2 Ota in 1960 with C-47s.
  • E.L.T.S. - Esquadrilha de Ligação de Transporte Sanitário (Sanitary Transport Squadron). Also based at Lisbon, had aircraft equipped for VIP and medical transport.
  • 101 Squadron - Formed at B.A.10 - Beira (Moçambique) on February 5, 1962 with C-47s. Later transferred to Lourenço Marques as Esquadra 801.
Aeronáutica Militar (Army Military Aviation)
  • Esquadrilha Independente de Aviação de Caça-Secção de Transportes Aéreos (Fighter-Air Transport Section of Independent Aviation Squadron)




 Saudi Arabia


 South Africa

File:6859 Douglas DC-3 South African Air Force (7689985382).jpg
Douglas Dakota 6859, South African Air Force, 2008

 Southern Rhodesia

 South Korea


 Soviet Union

  • Soviet Air Force: The Lisunov Li-2 was a license-built DC-3, produced in Russia. Some 6000 were built between 1939 and 1952.[7] The Soviet Union also operated C-47s supplied under Lend-Lease during World War II.

 Sri Lanka



The Swedish Air Force started using C-47s soon after World War II for transport purposes. A few were converted to SIGINT platforms and eavesdropped on Soviet radio communications and radar stations in the 1950s. One such aircraft was shot down by Soviet fighters in international airspace over the Baltic Sea in 1952 with all of the crew killed.[8]







 United Kingdom

  • Royal Air Force: RAF Transport Command was supplied with over 1,900 Dakotas under Lend-Lease during World War II and the type was flown by at least 46 operational squadrons, plus numerous support units. The RAF flew 50 Dakota I (C-47), 9 Dakota II (C-53), 962 Dakota III (C-47A) and 896 Dakota IV (C-47B). RAF Dakotas were assigned to all theatres of operations. RAF Dakotas dropped paratroopers and equipment and towed gliders to the Normandy landings and Arnhem. Four squadrons of Dakota IVs took part in the Berlin Airlift in 1948/49. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight operates a single Dakota.
  • BOAC: 59 C-47s were supplied to BOAC to maintain international air links.

 United States



Vietnam operated ex-South Vietnamese captured C-47s.

 Republic of Vietnam



  • SFR Yugoslav Air Force
    • 41 were operated from 1946 until 1976. 20 were received through military aid in 1953-1954. Also operated Li-2 aircraft
  • SUKL (Federal ATC Authority) used 1 aircraft for navid calibration until 1986.
  • Yugoslav Airlines operated around 20 converted military Dakotas bought from Great Britain in 1947.




See also


  1. pictorial
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 ADF Serials list of Australian military DC-2s/DC-3s/C-47s retrieved 2010-06-19
  3. Aviation Safety Network
  4. aeroflight
  5. "SubFleets for: LAM Mozambique". AeroTransport Data Bank. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Portugal Service
  7. Brouwer, Maarten. "Lisunov Li-2 (NATO: Cab)". Retrieved 2006-07-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Bortom Horisonten : Svensk Flygspaning mot Sovjetunionen 1946-1952 by Andersson, Lennart, Hellström, Leif