C-47A 42-100882 “Drag ’em oot”

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Built in 1943 the C47A Skytrain flew to the UK February 1944.

Assigned to the 87th Troop Carrier Squadron at Greenham Common which provided the lead squadrons on D-Day transporting the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment and 101st Airborne Division, to their Normandy drop zone near Carentan.

Drag ’em oot did not drop paratroopers on the day, its role was to tow gliders. On the evening of 6th June the unit took part in Operation ELMIRA, the glider borne elements of the 82nd Airborne Division being released at a landing zone near Sainte-Mere-Eglise.

Although many of the gliders were damaged beyond repair on the day some could be recovered for further use. Some of the C-47s – among which Drag ’em oot was one – were fitted with pick up gear to snatch the stranded gliders.

The snatch gear winch was located in the forward fuselage with an arrestor hook fitted beneath the fuselage in the general area of the cargo door.

The glider recovery sorties continued during July and August and almost certainly carried on into September despite the aircraft’s transfer to the RAF as Dakota III TS422.

During Operation MARKET GARDEN, the Arnhem landings in September 1944, Drag ’em oot sustained battle damage. The aircraft was attacked with ground fire and by Luftwaffe fighter aircraft with around 40 bullet strikes counted in total.

Drag ‘em oot was transferred to 435 (RCAF) Squadron in August 1945 and then to Canada in April 1946. 42-100882 was retired from military service in 1966 and reclassified as a Douglas DC3-C, with Canadian civilian registration CF-KAZ (later C-FKAZ) until 1985. During this period the aircraft operated as a passenger airliner and commercial freighter.

In 1985 the aircraft was sold and stored in Texas until 1995 then operating in the USA until 2002. Following restoration a 5500 mile transit via Greenland and Iceland was undertaken in May 2005 and on to a new home at East Kirkby in late 2008 and is still flying today.

37 comments on “C-47A 42-100882 “Drag ’em oot”
  1. crusader752 says:

    Nice one Ian – like the dreamy effect you have given her here in the main shot. At least I know now where she’s based having seen her a couple of times at shows this year.

    My Dad recounts a wartime story when training at Yatesbury on Proctors, they got lost in cloud and the pilot diverted to the first available airfield they found when visibility returned. Covered in lines of Dak’s and Gliders the pilot promptly arrived at the Tower and asked where they were. In no uncertain terms he was given a heading to fly and told to beat it and not to tell a soul what they had seen! They did and didn’t……it was June 1944! My dad still doesn’t know where it was but Greenham must be a reasonable bet 🙂

  2. Steve Graham (formerly 'grahamsj3) says:

    I love this aircraft – the DC-3/C-47 is, to me, the prettiest airplane ever built. I also prefer the sound of those big radials to that of a "whiny" jet.

  3. PeaceLoveScoobie says:

    Great history Ian. Talk about a working survivor. She has stayed in one piece for a very long time and has seen a lot of use. Love the photos.

  4. bazylek100 says:

    Excellent work, Ian. It’s not easy to take good photos in such museums since there are usually so many other exhibits around, distracting viewer’s attention from your subject. But this composition makes viewer’s eye naturally drawn to the aircraft. I like the perspective of the hangar’s roof, and the b&w seems to be a good choice here as well.
    Impressive combat service of this C-47!
    "Market-Garden"… Now I recall Gene Hackman as General Sosabowski in "A Bridge Too Far" and how he was trying to say "sznur" (rope) during the dramatic Rhine crossing by the Polish paras 😉

  5. nondesigner59 says:

    Excellent composition and info..

  6. Ian D B says:

    Thanks Robin. Your comment diverted me to Youtube where I have just been watching part of the movie which can be seen here in full in HD.
    A Bridge Too Far
    Yeah there is a lot of room around this C-47 as it is still operating so is in and out of the hangar all the time. [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bazylek] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29288836@N00] It was a too long exposed photo, processed further to give it a sort of hi-key effect and layered over that a more correctly exposed photo from the same spot [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29288836@N00] That’s a great tale Rob, it is amazing how the Allies got away with so much preparation. The Nazis knew about all the matériel but the diversionary tactics employed to fool them into thinking the invasion would be in the Pas-de-Calais is one of my favourite stories from the war. Yeah, I bet your Dad was trying to put down at Greenham Common! Thanks for sharing that.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/peacelovescoobie] cheers Keith. I thought of you when I read 42-100882 had spent 10 years in Texas. This aircraft does indeed have a long and varied history.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/60188340@N04] Yeah me too. Jet engines can blow you away with their sheer noise, but they don’t – for me at least – have any aesthetic qualities.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nondesigner] Thanks Malcolm!

  7. amyrey says:

    Cracking viewpoint Ian…. all them lovely lead in lines, made muchly use of.

  8. het broertje van.. says:

    Lovely composed picture Ian…….love this construction man!!!


  9. pasujoba says:

    I like what you have done with this one Ian !

  10. Jainbow says:

    Thank you, once again, for all the info. Fabulous photos too! :~}

  11. mick cooke says:

    brilliant ian , great photos and info once again , great work
    thanks and take care

  12. cgullz says:

    good god. instant fav. inspired shooting Ian. fantabulastico with the hi key!

    amazing history behind this old bird! over here we simply call them a DC-3 – there are a few still around as childrens playground features and a coffee shop or two … believe it or not, in the early days they used them for topdressing!

    You will just love the start music archive clip from 1959 [incidentally Wanganui Aero Work in the Fletcher (first aircraft shown) still operates today.

    My parents had ‘A Bridge too Far’ in the bookshelf, and i have a copy in the ‘to read’ stack [which is as tall as me ..]. I wanted to make a go of reading it before watching the movie .. it could be years!

  13. cgullz says:

    sorry that clip is really slow!

    the DC-3’s not until 21:19!

  14. Highy says:

    Very nice treatment mate and a good dollop of history.
    How come you managed a shot without folks all over it?

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29551624@N03] now that’s a play feature worth playing on – wonder how many adults climb aboard!

  15. Tech Owl says:

    Wonderful effect with the roof and all!!
    Love the side shot too – nice historical record as usual Ian

  16. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/highy] i’m sure there’s plenty!

    Taupo Mcdonalds : http://www.flickr.com/photos/28013836@N05/2705358923/

    Mangaweka : http://www.flickr.com/photos/flissphil/5203276685/
    previously as the Cookie Time DC-3 : http://www.flickr.com/photos/curiouskiwi/356188497/

  17. gastephen says:

    nice. that’s a big shed.

  18. simonGman says:

    Great frame and info Ian!

  19. stopherjones says:

    Great story and presentation, love the lead in lines like landing lights on the roof taking you to that stocky no nonsense bird, great contrasty b&w, love it.

  20. salfordlad1 says:

    Fantastic – wonderful shot and commentary as always..

  21. SolarScot. says:

    great story Ian

  22. Through Collette's eyes says:

    Very cool shot Ian and great history : )

  23. cgullz says:

    Thankyou for sharing

    with the War Stories Group

  24. Richard Tierney says:

    Cracker Ian… great processing. She looks like she is in a Cathedral ! The history of this aircraft is fabulous… I bet she will still be flying 20-30 years from now. I understand there are bullet holes in the pilots seat from her Arnham days….. She might have "Dragged em oot" but she brought many a crew home safe and sound.

    I flee in one out of North Weald a few years ago. That one was still Olive Green inside, still had the old 24v wiring looms exposed and the parachute hook up line down the centre of the cabin. The manufacturers plate on the cockpit bulkhead read "Made by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation, Long Beach California 1943 I bet she was a "sister" to this one. Wonderful history, she is a cracker !!!

  25. janano2010 says:

    Brilliant shot

  26. Mustang Koji says:

    Another great write-up, Ian. lots of details and most interesting, she survived a substantial direct attack upon her…

  27. bill_fawcett says:

    Thanks for the link Ian – a nice piece of aviation history and great to see these old birds still flying.

  28. f3liney says:

    Love the perspective here.
    A cracking shot – with good background info.

  29. GregHausM.D. says:

    I’m sure I’ve said this, but these always remind me of my dad, who flew ’em over The Hump–the Burma Run. It took them awhile to be delivered so they flew whatever they could until then. Frightening thought.

  30. Ian D B says:

    Yeah I recall you telling me of his adventures! Though i don’t think he saw it with that spirit at the time, did he?

  31. GregHausM.D. says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] Thinking back, it’s hard to say. His telling of them sounded like adventures, but he later developed fear of flying! It must have been a form of airborne PTSD.

  32. Benoit Foisy says:

    This is just brilliant photograhy, Ian. Amazing combination of lines, light and shape.
    Thanks for all the infos.

  33. bina20122012 says:

    Great to see a relic from WW2 in such good shape – as I am one myself, I think I’m entitled to say that. A beautiful plane and I too am a fan of the prop, having started flying as a passenger in a Firefly in 1948.

  34. hannes vosgerau | unknown711 says:

    Very cool wide angle shot! Nice bw!

  35. Harry Measures says:

    Stunning shot!

  36. Ray L. Mitchell says:

    I have pictures of Drag-em-oot . this is the plane that my father got shot in and also landed. After pilot and copilot were shot.

  37. Mike says:

    My cousin, Bill Allin, was in command of this aircraft during the D day invasion. After the restoration of the plane many years later he was located and flown to where she was then based . I’m sure he was in his eighties at that time but still was able to once again be at the controls from the right seat.
    Bill was a great guy and influential to me during my youth . I worked for him in his business during my teen years. It is interesting he rarely mentioned his service . He was very humble and rather quiet. We never got to share our aviation interests even though I spent time in the military, airlines , and corporate aviation . He did have a light aircraft for many years.
    We lost Bill a few years back but his legacy will continue.

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