A C-47 Skytrain in real-life.
|Vehicle type||Aircraft, Transport/Cargo|
|Games found||Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Breakthrough, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Spearhead, Medal of Honor: Vanguard and Medal of Honor: Airborne|
|Crew||3-4; Pilot, co-pilot, mechanic (optional) and jumpmaster|
|Speed||360 km/h (224 mph)|
The C-47 Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport aircraft, most notable for carrying military cargo, transporting wounded and deploying the men of the 101st, 82nd and 17th Airborne Divisions, as well as certain special forces and Paramarine units. The C-47, based on the Douglas DC-3, became the backbone of the United States Army Air Force, almost 10,000 produced, introduced shortly after Pearl Harbor in 1942, originally seeing service in the Pacific Theater. Known famously for its service in the European Theater, the C-47 makes its appearance in multiple Medal of Honor games, carrying the player into battle as part of the 82nd, 101st and 17th Airborne Divisions.
The C-47's crew more often than not comprises a pilot, a co-pilot, and a jump master who often is an officer within the troopers' unit, usually also jumping with them. Able to carry 16 fully equipped paratroopers, until the C-46 Commando, the C-47 and C-53s remained the primary military transport throughout the war.
The C-47 is first encountered by the player during a pre-invasion exercise on the March 24th, 1943 in Kairouan, Tunisia, participating in three training jumps over a fabricated drop zone, meant to teach the player the mechanics of the parachuting system and how to do so effectively. Four months later, the C-47 played a large role in Operation: Husky, the Allied plane to invade Sicily, an island off the southern coast of Italy. In addition to deploying paratroopers out of the 82nd Airborne Division, they also served the purpose of towing WACO CG-4 gliders into combat, each holding up to 13 paratroopers, a jeep, supplies or a 60mm artillery piece, one such glider carrying Sergeant John Baker and a jeep into Sicily. The men of the 82nd, including Frank Keegan and Boyd Travers took heavy fire inbound, taking fire from the U.S. Navy due to lack of proper identification. Three months later on September 13, 1943, a group of C-47's dropped the men of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the next night dropping in the 505th and the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment the night after that.On June 6, Jimmy Patterson, an officer in the Air Transport Command piloted a C-47 Skytrain over Normandy, dropping his assigned platoon after being critically damaged and saving his flight crew in the process. Simultaneously, a C-47 carrying a platoon of men, tasked with a very special mission, to put the main radar station, spotting station and bunker/trench defense network out of commission for the 4th Infantry landing on a small portion Utah Beach, undoubtedly saving the lives of hundreds or even thousands of infantrymen, this portion of the beach seeming to be the only one manned by the elite German Waffen-SS rather than the foreign Ost Battalions which guarded the majority of the beachhead. It is debatable to as whether Jimmy Patterson was the pilot for both of these cases as the name for the latter was simply, "Jimmy." The C-47, like in Operation: Husky, in Operation: Market-Garden, the mission was extremely reliant on the C-47 to ensure success. Market-Garden was one of the largest airborne operations (The largest being Operation Neptune, which lasted a few months and dropped many thousands more Paratroops into Occupied France in support of Operation Overlord) in history with over 41,000 paratroopers and 1,438 C-47's, dropping a combination of American, British and Polish forces to secure a series of bridges in the Netherlands into Germany. With the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division securing most of their targets, the operation ultimately failed when the British forces failed to secure Arnhem, forcing the Allied offensive to a halt.
Aside from standard transportation and resupply drops over stranded paratrooper units in and around Bastogne, the C-47 didn't see any more paratrooper operations until Operation: Varsity, at least in the ETO. Operation: Varsity was the airborne element of the invasion of greater Germany, multiple infantry units crossing the Rhine simultaneously. It is known in history as the largest single day daytime airborne operation in history, dropping over 16,000 men in a handful of hours. Boyd Travers, having transferred from the 504th PIR to the 17th Airborne Division participated in this operation, taking part in an assault in a tank-production complex within the Ruhr Factory District, his unit taking its objective within 24 hours.
The last known operation which the C-47 participated in in the ETO was the assault on the third generation Flak Tower within the city of Essen, Germany in Der Flaktürm. The 17th Airborne Division was assigned in neutralizing the Flak Tower in the town which was causing major problems for the Allied bomber force. Due to the nature of the mission, high casualties were a granted, Boyd Traver's C-47 literally torn in half by the tower's massive firepower.