In 1940 the Douglas Aircraft Company began building the DC-4A four-engine aircraft for the U.S. airlines for commercial use. When the war broke out, the Army Air Corps commandeered the production line and designated the aircraft as C-54s. The first aircraft flew in March 1942. During the course of the war hundreds were built in various configurations, which included passenger, cargo and medical capabilities. The long range of the C-54 made it a perfect trans-ocean transport and was used extensively all over the world.

After WWII, because of their versatility and range, many C-54s remained in service and were critical to the success of the Berlin Airlift in 1948. Carrying tons of supplies around the clock, the C-54 became the backbone of the airlift. During the Korean War the C-54 continued to serve, carrying supplies and evacuating wounded. The Skymasters continued in USAF service until the 1960s when the last of these workhorses was retired.

Warner Robins Air Logistics Center assumed worldwide logistics management support for all USAF C-54s in 1959. The Museum’s C-54 was delivered to the AAF in August 1945 and served with various units throughout its career. Most notable is its service with the 22nd Transport Unit at Rhein Main AB, Germany and the 313th Troop Carrier Group at Fassberg AB, Germany during the Berlin Airlift. No doubt it flew many cargo missions to and from Berlin during the crisis. The aircraft later served at Olmsted AFB, Pennsylvania before being retired to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in 1964. It was moved to the Museum in 1984.

Span: 117 ft. 6 in.
Length: 93 ft. 5 in.
Height: 27 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 80,000 lbs. loaded
Armament: None
Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney R-2000 Engines of 1,450 hp. ea.
Crew: Four
Serial Number: 45-0579

Maximum speed: 300 mph.
Cruising speed: 245 mph.
Range: 3,900 miles
Service ceiling: 26,000 ft.