Sunday, December 11, 2016

Commando, With a Capitol 'C'

Although you rarely see any of them in this-here cyber-rag, we've got a soft spot for birds of the Curtiss-Wright variety around these parts, especially the P-40 Warhawk and the C-46 Commando. Your blogmeister's Grandfather did his part during the Second World War, working at Curtiss-Wright in Buffalo, NY, helping to build many examples of both aforementioned types, which has led to your blogmeister living a life-obsessed... and today he feels compelled to present something from his personal vault.

Curtiss Commando N9893Z was manufactured in Buffalo, NY as C-46D 44-77574. Although we currently have no information as to her wartime service, we do know that she served with the 335th Troop Carrier Squadron, 514th Troop Carrier Group at Burlington AFB, Vermont in 1952 and with the 2578th Air Force Reserve Flying Training Canter at Ellington AFB, Texas in 1953. After that, another blank period until 1961 when she came under the ownership of Capitol Airways.

During her time with Capitol, N9893Z was leased, first to Quicktrans which did contract work for the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Supplies and Accounts during the early-mid 1960s, and later to Lufthansa, helping to establish that line's cargo operations.

Though we do not know the name of the photographer or the location, the photo presented here was likely taken in 1969 or the early 1970s after N9893Z had ended her stint with Lufthansa. In 1973 she was sold to Shamrock Airlines, then went on to Caribbean Air Service a few years later, and in 1978 ended up in Colombia, re-registered as HK-2020, though we're not sure as to which outfit(s) she may have been operating with. Apparently the 'ole gal soldiered on into the new century but, again, we're not sure as to further details.

Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection)

Fade to Black...

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