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Curtiss C-46D Commando

A picture of the Curtiss C-46D Commando

Designed in the late 1930s as an airliner the Commando was quickly adopted by the Army Air Force because of its particularly large fuselage.  The first C-46s entered service in 1942 and proved to be very well suited to military service.  The Commando was very heavily used in the Pacific Theater during World War II and became a familiar sight flying "The Hump" cargo routes over the mountains between India and China.  Commandos continued in service in fairly large numbers after the war and the last of them served with the 1st Air Commando Group in Vietnam during 1962.  Surplus C-46s were widely sold in the 1950s and 1960s with several still in service hauling cargo in Alaska and Canada.


108 ft 1 in.


76 ft 4 in.


21 ft 9 in.


56,000 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

269 MPH

Service Ceiling

27,600 ft


1,200 miles


Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51 radials with 2,000 horsepower each


4 and 50 passengers

Curtiss Aircraft Company

2nd Combat Cargo Group, 5th Combat Cargo Squadron, Townsville, Australia, 1944

Serial Number


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