The XCG-13 contract was for a 30-place design with an 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) useful load capacity to fly 174 mph (280 km/h) at an altitude of 12,000 feet (3,700 m) altitude. Flight testing of the prototype was performed at Clinton County Army Air Field and the type was approved on 10 March 1943. Testing found that a tricycle landing gear should be used, and that a hydraulic system be incorporated to open the top-hinged nose opening. These features were incorporated into the second XCG-13.
Ford Motor Company at Kingsford, Michigan and Northwestern Aeronautical at St. Paul, Minnesota built YCG-13 models  and were given contracts to build the production CG-13A. WACO was not given a production contract. Northwestern Aeronautical built 49 production articles. Ford built 48 as 30 place and 37 as 42 place by adding a bench down the center of the cargo section. Between the two companies, 268 contracted articles were canceled in favor of producing more CG-4A gliders.
The CG-13A glider maximum useful load was 10,200 lb (4,600 kg). The 79 mph (127 km/h) stall speed was 19 mph higher than specified. One CG-13A was flown in combat in the Appari Mission in the Philippines. The CG-13A gliders were not flown in combat in Europe but were used as transports in England and France.