The C-47 Skytrain/Dakota, the military version of the DC-3, has become the world's most widely used general purpose transport aircraft.
It owed its success to its toughness, power and stability with capacity to carry a 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) cargo or up to 28 equipped troops. It was used by the Allies on almost all fronts in the Second World War. C-47s were also used to carry paratroops, to evacuate casualties and to tow gliders.
More than a thousand C-47s of the US 9th Air Force delivered the airborne component of the US invasion forces on 6 June 1944. Similar numbers were involved in the British sectors of Operation Overlord, D-Day.
The C-47A-85-DL on display was delivered to the USAAF in April 1944 and served with the 316th Troop Carrier Group of the 9th Air Force. Assigned to the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron, 43-15509 operated from Cottesmore, Lincolnshire for a year. It is believed to have participated in the airborne drops over Normandy in June 1944, the airborne assault on Holland in September 1944 and the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945.