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  #1  
Old 5th April 2007, 21:13
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

C-47/R4D Units of the Pacific and China-Burma-India Theatres, Osprey Combat Aircraft volume 66, is a follow-on to my previous Osprey, C-47/R4D Units of the European and Mediterranean Theatres.

The book is in the standard Osprey format: a softcover of 100 or so pages total, including 30 color profiles, color illustrations of unit insignias, and over 100 black and white photographs and maps. It includes scale drawings, a listing (with histories) of all units to use the aircraft in these theatres, a bibliography and an index.

The historical narrative of the use of C-47/R4D series aircraft in these theatre includes a number of contemporaneous accounts, covering a range of experiences, from Guadalcanal, “the Hump”, and flying up the Aleutians chain to a C-47 crew’s reporting how a P-51 shot them down while on a final approach and that this saved their lives.

The cover illustration is of an incident over north Burma on 10 December, 1943 when Lieutenants Charles Lawton and George Laben of the 2nd Troop Carrier Squadron maneuvered an attacking Japanese ‘Oscar’ fighter into high ground.

This book is available from Amazon.com and Osprey retailers in both the US and UK (and, I presume, elsewhere as well).

Now, to persuade the publishers to let me do a volume on Dakota units and then continue the story of the Gooney Bird in US service, which is still (with turboprop-powered versions) going on today.
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Old 5th April 2007, 22:06
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

Thank you, David, I already have a copy.
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Old 6th April 2007, 18:46
Atcham Tower Atcham Tower is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

David, I bought your book last year. Congratulations on a masterly effort! I was especially interested in Colour Plate 29 - 43-48474 of the 27th ATG. Her sister ship, 473, crashed in the Welsh mountains in November 44, much of the wreckage falling from a cliff into a lake. The aircraft was on a flight from Le Bourget to Burtonwood but was diverted to Valley because of thick fog. They were probably homing on the Valley radio range but maybe unaware of the high ground up to 3,500 feet in these parts, as they hit at about 2,000 ft. The tail section was recovered from the lake back in the 1970s and the fin is now in the aviation archaeology museum at Fort Perch, Wirral (close to Liverpool). It still bears the serial no and the black and yellow stripes of the 27th. I'm still looking for a photo of this ship. Have you ever seen one?
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Old 10th April 2007, 00:33
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

No, I have not seen a photo of this aircraft nor does one appear in the usual sources on this outfit, Jon A. Maguire's Gooney Birds & Ferry Tales and the post-war 302nd Transport Wing History. The Maguire book does have a few details on this event, which killed 1 LT Theodore Garland (pilot), 2 LT Daniel Lardin (copilot), SSGT Paul Weltner (radio), and SGT Charles Miller (crew cheif).
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Old 10th April 2007, 02:35
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

David, are you interested in post-war C-47s as well?
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Old 10th April 2007, 14:15
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

Yes, very much so. I will be proposing to Osprey to bring the US military (and intelligence) Gooney Bird story up to the present in one or two volumes.

Thanks,
David Isby
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Old 10th April 2007, 14:31
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

Do you have any photos of all black ones in Europe 1949-1954? I have some information but no pictures.
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Old 10th April 2007, 16:35
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

Not currently. As one might guess, the whole chapter of US military covert use of C-47 series aircrft is poorly illustrated (including the Korea and Northeast Asia operations in the same period). The only real exception is the "overt" Air America period, which is considered OK because Air America personnel were not on government/intelligence agency rolls.
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Old 10th April 2007, 18:14
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

Well, I think that wandering across Europe, those all black aircraft with no insignia should draw attention of some photographer, though indeed they are not widely available. Anyway, if you start to work on the subject, feel free to drop me a line.
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Old 10th April 2007, 18:32
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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Re: New Osprey on US C-47/R4D Units

Thanks. I will get in touch if the next project gets to proceed,

In those days, it was easier to keep things away from the camera. It took about 30 years for a photo of that unlovely aircraft, the RB-45 Tornado, in RAF markings to see print.

I suspect the airplanes only got their black paint on an as-needed basis.

BTW, today the US Southern Command uses Basler-powered C-47s for transport associated with counter-narcotics operations for the obvious reason that while a USAF C-130 will attract attention on an Andean airstrip, a civil-marked Gooney Bird would be more common.
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