Aviation Historian 14
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A.Metzmacher - Local Hero
Douglas C-54 Skymaster serial 45-527, wearing fin number “440”, is loaded at Wiesbaden before another supply flight to Berlin in 1949. This particular aircraft would go on to have a remarkably long career, serving with the USAF until 1970, when it was delivered to the Colombian Air Force, with which it continued to serve until 1998 - some 50 years after its involvement in the Berlin Airlift.
A USAF C-54 lifts off from a West German base on a supply flight to Berlin. The Skymaster was capable of carrying three times as much cargo as its older brother, the C-47, and proved invaluable during the Berlin Airlift.
C-54s of Tactical Air Command line up on the taxiway at Frankfurt am Main in July 1949. The blockade of Berlin continued until May 1949, although supply flights continued into the city until the end of that September, by which time the USAF had delivered some 1,783,573 tons of provisions to the city.
The C-54 provided the backbone of operations for the USAF during the Berlin Airlift, most being operated by the Troop Carrier Groups of Tactical Air Command.
A very low-quality but extremely rare photograph of C-54E 44-9086 (c/n 27312), fin number “442”, at Wiesbaden a matter of weeks before its final fatal flight to Berlin on March 4, 1949.