Talk:Douglas C-47 Skytrain

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Front view of a C-47 "Skytrain".
Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas (March 2007).

Naming of AC-47[edit]

From my redo edit:

19:33, 3 April 2009 BeBoldInEdits (talk | contribs) (17,379 bytes) (Redid: This very article lists Variation: AC-47 Spooky, it links to the article AC-47 spooky, Puff is not a codename it was a nickname, spooky was official, I did nothing to disagree with the citation).

Be Bold In Edits (talk) 19:39, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm sick of BZUK saying anything that has a citation can't ever be changed (Second article today he has pulled this one on me) when the citation here is from a 40+ year old book, when the project was likely classified, that pretty much none of us have. If the book said it was the AC-47 Poopy Farts which seemingly no other source agrees with would we have to leave it named the AC-47 Poopyfart, let alone the fact that the original is poorly worded, which no citation can fix.

This cite links to the nickname not the official name. FWiW, this source was originally posted on numerous articles and the editor explained the relevance of the origin of various military nicknames. Bzuk (talk) 19:43, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think I'm going to take the word of some 40+ year old book or a barnes and nobles discount book over ever other source ever including this article and the ac-47 article.

How about

"On 15 December 1964, the AC-47D, using the callsign "Spooky", was introduced into combat in Southeast Asia. It was an instant success in breaking up enemy attacks on hamlets and other defensive positions, and within a year, substantial numbers of the rehabilitated "Gooney Birds" were in action throughout the region. "

"Although the AC-47D "Spooky", commonly referred to as "Puff" (as in "Puff the Magic Dragon"), was an effective attack system, it was also vulnerable to enemy fire. Fifteen aircraft were lost between December 1965 and September 1969. "


Excerpts from"Douglas AC-47 "Spooky" Gunships: The Record", USAF Museum.

Sgt. John L. Levitow

"On 24 February 1969, while serving as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 gunship (Call sign "Spooky 71") flying a night mission in support of Long Binh Army post, located a few miles northeast of Saigon, Airman First Class Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round."

Notice not Puff the Magic Dragon 71 and the Museum piece itself uses Spooky.

and based on project to naming:

Project Name Aircraft Designation(s) Project Gunship I AC-47D (Spooky) Project Gunship II AC-130A/E/H/U (Spectre/Spooky II) Project Gunship III AC-119G/K (Shadow/Stinger) Project Black Spot AC-123K (Black Spot)(Black Spot was not a gunship. It was a C-123 that had been converted to carry cluster bombs.) (talk) 20:39, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

And from previously quoted USAF museum:

"Upon witnessing the wrath that the AC-47 brought down on the VC attackers that night, he reported that visual effect of the tracers, 1 in every 5 rounds or 20 per second, gave the appearance of dragon's breath. He also tied the roar of the guns into the description. Upon reading the account in the Stars and Stripes, the CO of the 1st Commando Squadron exclaimed 'Well, I'll be damned! Puff, the Magic Dragon.' from a child's song recently popularized in the U.S. by the trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Captured VC documents later told of orders not to attack the Dragon as weapons are useless and it will only infuriate the monster."

But from the same site their is one article agreeing with you somewhat at one point (strangly close to exact wording which makes me think same author as source):

"The gunship version of the C-47D was initially designated FC-47D (Fighter-Cargo), but was changed to AC (Attack Cargo) primarily because of complaints by traditional fighter pilots. The aircraft had several nicknames: "Spooky," "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Puff." "

but the same article also links to the first also says:

"The AC-47D combat test program was very successful and the Air Force created the 4th Air Commando Squadron in August 1965 as the first operational unit equipped with the "Spooky" gunship. "


"The "Spooky" fired 4,500 rounds of ammunition and broke the Viet Cong attack, forcing a retreat. The AC-47 was then called to defend another outpost (Trung Hung) about 20 miles away. The aircraft again broke the VC attack forcing a retreat. "

I think that based on Spooky being the first name, their being an anecdote as to how it got nicknamed Puff and Puff the magic dragon, and that the rest of the series started with S names Spooky can be considered the official name and the rest as nicknames. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BeBoldInEdits (talkcontribs) 20:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Please note that the recent change in the article corrects the confusion over nicknames. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 20:11, 3 April 2009 (UTC).

SPOOKY, SPECTRE and SHADOW were tactical radio call signs. The first FC-47 was indeed nicknamed "Puff The Magic Dragon" after the Army personnel it was supporting started using that name. It was armed with conventional machineguns, the miniguns were added when the Air Force decided to go ahead and convert additional airplanes. If you want to get the facts, access the official US Air Force history of the fixed-wing gunship progarm. It is available online from the Air Force Historical Office web site at It is unfortunate that writers and historians often misuse terms that cause untold confusion among enthusiasts. SamMcGowan (talk) 20:41, 26 March 2010 (UTC) (talk) 20:39, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Japanese WW2 DC-3?[edit]

Didn't the Japanese have a production of DC-3's during WW2? Or was that modified US built DC-3? Edit: AH, should have looked under DC-3! "A total of 487 were built in Japan, as the L2D Type 0 transport." In that case, should a mention in C47 be about a military DC-3 in Japan? They are after all almost identical (DC-3/C47).--Flightsoffancy (talk) 16:57, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Is there some reason this article doesn't have a section which other a/c articles have? LeadSongDog come howl 16:05, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Never had an accident! - probably because a lot of the C-47s were lost, although most would be combat losses. The DC-3 hasnt got a list of civil accidents either, ASN has over 2000 hull-losses for both C-47/DC-3s. MilborneOne (talk) 16:28, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I just now moved to the Holding zone this 1951 entry deleted from the list for WP:ADL no-linked-article rule:
  • March 27 - a Douglas C-47A-75-DL Dakota 3 cargo aircraft operated by Air Transport Charter and en route from London Heathrow to Nutts Corner Airport, Antrim, Northern Ireland, crashed shortly after take-off following the aircraft's failure to gain height. There were four fatalities, two of the three crew on board and two of the three passengers.
It's listed on ASN I believe.LeadSongDog come howl 17:16, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
At this record. Casualties show there as the 2 crew only, no pax. As expected, there are many other civil accidents on record, the most recent major one being this Rutaca accident 25 Jan 2001 with 24 casualties. LeadSongDog come howl 05:35, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Picture is squashed[edit]

The picture at the top of the article is squashed and looks bad. Wistchars (talk) 10:49, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

I have had a tweak - any better? MilborneOne (talk) 18:45, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, it looks better. Wistchars (talk) 01:54, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

R-1830 and superchargers[edit]

Now, it may be just that I'm a lot more ignorant than I realized, but I don't think the listing saying the "C-47B was given fly over the Hump..." is accurate. It is my understanding that by WWII ALL aircraft engines other than some very small, very basic ones had forced induction (i.e. centrifugal supercharger 99.9% of the time). I believe you will find that ALL R-1830 engines came with some form of supercharging, and what the person actually was thinking of is either 2-stage and/or 2-speed supercharging, to give greater high altitude ability. The original Spitfire had a supercharged engine. The later marks had a 2-stage, 2-speed supercharger, which gave very good altitude capability. Thus, it was given an IMPROVED supercharger, in lieu of the one that every Merlin had from day one. Just like the R-1830. If I am wrong and the standard R-1830 was an un-supercharged engine, I would love to hear about it, because it would mean that my understanding of WWII engines has been way off this whole time. BEst of my knowledge, and engine that could be called a "combat engine" has at least a basic supercharger..45Colt 03:17, 14 February 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by .45Colt (talkcontribs)