Home DC-3 Individual Aircraft History C/N 33408


C/N 16660/33408


Built as a model C-47B-35-DK for the USAAF as 44-77076 and delivered on 4 June 1945.


The aircraft was handed to the RAF at Montreal as KN694 and departed for the UK on 29 June 1945 under the lend-lease agreement.


It departed the UK for the Middle East on 20 September 1945 and served with 78 squadron from 11 December 1947.


On 28 April 1948 KN694 was transferred to 215 squadron.


Following its withdrawal from squadron service it was flown to Oakington on 25 January 1949


Moved to 12MU on 20 February 1950.


The aircraft was sold to Transair as G-AMVL in October 1952, although it reverted to the military markings of XF746 for troop charter work during 1953.


In 1954 it was sold to Africair Ltd and registered ZS-DKR on 7 December 1954.


It was transferred to Africair’s Rhodesian subsidiary as VP-YSR on 28 October 1960 and returned to South Africa some years later as ZS-DKR.


It served with Natal Airlines and Marine Diamond Corporation Ltd.


In service with Marine Diamond the aircraft crashed on take-off from Rand Airport on 6 October 1970, killing the crew and was completely destroyed.


Text: Brendan Odell



Text below received from Len Morison, 27 September 2020.

National Airways Corp was contracted to operate ZS-DKR and supply flight crew for the owners and begin a weekly return service with cargo and passengers from Rand Airport, Germiston to Orapa, Boswana. As the aircraft took-off early 6 October 1970 on runway 35, the port engine failed and was feathered. Captain Ronald ‘Paddy' Johnson with co-pilot Captain Roy Mathews attempted a left-hand circuit back to runway 11 but the aircraft lost height and crashed into rocky ground 2km from the threshold. The aircraft was completely burnt out. Captain Johnson and two of the nine passengers were killed with Captain Mathews and most of others hospitalised.


I was at the crash site soon afterwards and attended Paddy Johnson's funeral and subsequent DCA inquiry. Roy Mathews flew for Sun International later and I visited him at his home near Lanseria Airport shortly before he died of cancer in 2003. They were both great pilots and colleagues.


C/N 33408


At Port Elizabeth Airport 1967

Photograph: Leith Paxton


 C/N 33408


 Photograph: Will Blunt






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