Tag Archives: City of Los Angeles

Medal of Honor, Staff Sergeant Henry Eugene Erwin, United States Army Air Forces

Private First Class Henry Eugene Erwin, Air Corps, United States Army, circa 1943. (U.S. Air Force)



Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 52d Bombardment Squadron, 29th Bombardment Group, 20th Air Force.

Place and date: Koriyama, Japan, 12 April 1945.

Entered service at: Bessemer, Ala.

Born: 8 May 1921, Adamsville, Ala.

G.O. No.: 44, 6 June 1945.

Citation: He was the radio operator of a B-29 airplane leading a group formation to attack Koriyama, Japan. He was charged with the additional duty of dropping phosphoresce smoke bombs to aid in assembling the group when the launching point was reached. Upon entering the assembly area, aircraft fire and enemy fighter opposition was encountered. Among the phosphoresce bombs launched by S/Sergeant. Erwin, 1 proved faulty, exploding in the launching chute, and shot back into the interior of the aircraft, striking him in the face. The burning phosphoresce obliterated his nose and completely blinded him. Smoke filled the plane, obscuring the vision of the pilot. S/Sergeant. Erwin realized that the aircraft and crew would be lost if the burning bomb remained in the plane. Without regard for his own safety, he picked it up and feeling his way, instinctively, crawled around the gun turret and headed for the copilot’s window. He found the navigator’s table obstructing his passage. Grasping the burning bomb between his forearm and body, he unleashed the spring lock and raised the table. Struggling through the narrow passage he stumbled forward into the smoke-filled pilot’s compartment. Groping with his burning hands, he located the window and threw the bomb out. Completely aflame, he fell back upon the floor. The smoke cleared, the pilot, at 300 feet, pulled the plane out of its dive. S/Sergeant. Erwin’s gallantry and heroism above and beyond the call of duty saved the lives of his comrades.

“Red Erwin stands with a painting depicting his act of heroism in the B-29 bomber, City of Los Angeles, on that fateful day.” (U.S. Air Force 170331-F-ZZ999-103))
Crew of the B-29 Superfortress “City of Los Angeles:” Front row, left to right: Vern W. Schiller, flight engineer; Henry E. Erwin, radio operator; Howard Stubstad, CFC gunner. Standing, Pershing Younkin, navigator; Roy Stables, pilot; William Loesch, bombardier; Leo D. Connors, radar bombardier; George A. Simeral, aircraft commander. (Alabama Department of Archives & History Q8799)

XXI Bomber Command’s Mission for 12 April 1945 was an attack against the Hodogaya Chemical Plant (Target ) at Koriyama, a city on the island of Honshu, Japan. The chemical plant produced tetraethyl lead, a critical ingredient in high-octane aviation gasoline. Eighty-five B-29 Superfortress long-range heavy bombers took of from their base at North Field on the island of Guam, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas. Each bomber was loaded with 500-pound (227 kilogram) AN-M64 general purpose demolition bombs. The planned time over the target was 12:35–13:26, with the bombers attacking at altitudes of 7,000 to 9,000 feet (2,134–2,743 meters). The weather report for the target area was clear, with visibility of 15 miles (24 kilometers).

29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) B-29 Superfortresses at North Field, Guam, 1945. (U.S. Air Force)

Koriyama was 1,506 miles (2,424 kilometers) from North Field. With a round-trip distance of 3,041 miles (4,894 kilometers), this was the longest bombing mission flown up to that time.

Navigation Track Chart, XXI Bomber Command Missions No. 64 and 65. (U.S. Air Force)

City of Los Angeles, a Martin-Omaha B-29-25-MO Superfortress, 42-65302, was the  lead ship of the 52nd Bombardment Squadron, 29th Bombardment Group. The Superfortress was under the command of Captain George Anthony Simeral. The 52nd squadron’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene O. Strouse, was on board as co-pilot.

B-29 Superfortress very long range heavy bombers of the 29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 314th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy), XXI Bomber Command. (U.S. Air Force)
Aogashima (Landsat)

The 52nd Squadron’s assembly point was over over Aogashima, a small volcanic island of the Izu archipelago in the Philippine Sea, 222 miles (357 kilometers) south of Tokyo.

It was near this island that City of Los Angeles‘s radio operator, Red Erwin, dropped white phosphorus signal flares to give the squadron a visual reference point.

When the faulty signal flare prematurely ignited, it burned at about 1,300 °F. (704 °C.) and filled the cockpit with dense smoke. The other crew members could not see the difficulty Erwin was having trying to drop the flare overboard.

Erwin was gravely injured. Phosphorus self-ignites in the presence of air. With particles of phosphorus all over, his body was still on fire. The phosphorus could not be extinguished.

A B-29 Superfortress circles Mount Suribachi, a 554-foot (169 meter) volcano at the southwestern end of Iwo Jima, circa 1945.

Captain Simeral aborted the mission and turned City of Los Angeles toward the island of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, where an emergency landing field for the B-29s had been built. Iwo was the closest point where Erwin could receive medical treatment.

Erwin’s injuries were so severe that he was not expected to survive. He was evacuated to Fleet Hospital 103 at Guam.

Fleet Hospital 103, Guam, 1945. (U.S. Navy)

Major General Curtis E. LeMay, commanding XXI Bomber Command, and Brigadier General Lauris Norstad, Chief of Staff, Twentieth Air Force, sent a recommendation for the Medal of Honor to Headquarters, U.S. Army Air Forces in Washington, D.C.

The nearest Medal of Honor was in a display case in Hawaii. Because Erwin was not expected to survive, that medal was obtained and flown to Guam so that it could be presented while he was still alive. In a ceremony held in Orthopedic Wards 3 and 4 of Fleet Hospital 103, Major General LeMay and Major General Willis H. Hale, Commanding General, Army Air Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, and Deputy Commander, Twentieth Air Force, presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Henry Eugene Erwin, United States Army Air Forces.

Flight crew of B-29 City of Los Angeles and Staff Sergeant Henry E Erwin at his Medal of Honor presentation, 19 April 1945. Major General Willis H. Hale, Commanding General, Army Air Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, is at right. (U.S. Air Force 170331-F-ZZ999-102)

General LeMay told Sergeant Erwin that, “Your effort to save the lives of your fellow airmen is the most extraordinary kind of heroism I know.”

General of the Army Henry H. Arnold, commanding the U.S. Army Air Forces, wrote to him, “I regard your act as one of the bravest in the records of the war.”

Red Erwin was the only crew member of a B-29 Superfortress to be awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.

Red Erwin underwent 41 surgical procedures. The phosphorus particles in his body continued smoldering for months. Erwin was hospitalized for 2½ years before he was discharged from the U.S. Army Air Forces as a master sergeant, 8 October 1947.

Major General Willis H. Hale bestows the Medal of Honor on Staff Sergeant Henry E. Erwin at Fleet Hospital 103, Guam, 19 April 1945. (U.S. Navy)
Staff Sergeant Henry E. Erwin. (U.S. Air Force 160613-D-LN615-0038)

Henry Eugene Erwin was born 8 May 1921, at Docena, a small mining village in Jefferson County, Alabama. He was the fourth of nine children of Walter Marshall Erwin, a weighman at a coal mine, and Pearl Landers Ervin.

Gene Erwin spent two years working with the Civilian Conservation Corps, a “New Deal” public work relief program. By 1940, he had found employment as a secretary with the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company (TCI RR).

On 27 January 1942, Erwin enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps. He had red hair, brown eyes and a “ruddy” complexion, was 5 feet, 10 inches (1.75 meters) tall and weighed 165 pounds (75 kilograms). He was appointed an aviation cadet, Air Corps, 3 February 1943. Because of “flight deficiencies,” Cadet Erwin did not complete flight training and in June 1943 was reassigned for training as a radio operator and technician.

In April 1944, Erwin was assigned to the 52nd Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy), at Dalhart Army Airfield, Texas, for B-29 Superfortress combat crew training.

Sergeant Henry E. Erwin married Miss Martha Elizabeth Starnes, 6 December 1944, at Ensley, Alabama. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Daniel E. Draper. They would have five children.

A B-29 Superfortress of the 29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 314th Bombardment Wing, lands at North Field, Guam, in the Marianas. (U.S. Air Force)

The 52nd Squadron deployed to the Pacific in February 1945 as an element of the 29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 314th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy), XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force, based at North Field, Guam.

Mission Number 65 was Erwin’s eleventh combat mission.

Martha Erwin (standing) with Henry Erwin and his mother, Pearl Landers Erwin, circa 1945. (U.S. Air Force via Encyclopedia of Alabama)

Gene Erwin never fully recovered. Although he had been blinded by the phosphorus burns, he eventually regained his sight. His right arm was disabled, and his body was covered in scars.

When he was able to return to work, Erwin was employed the Veterans Administration, and remained there for thirty-seven years before retiring.

Master Sergeant Henry Eugene Erwin, United States Army Air Forces (Retired), died 16 January 2002 at Leeds, Alabama. His body was buried at the Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama.

Henry Eugene Erwin

In his honor, the United States Air Force established the Henry E. Erwin Outstanding Enlisted Aircrew Member of the Year Award. The library at the Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, is named the Red Erwin Library.

Mrs. Erwin, with the portrait of her husband, painted by artist John Witt, a long time contributor to the Air Force Art Program.

B-29-25-MO 42-65302 was one of 536 Boeing B-29 Superfortresses built by the Glenn L. Martin–Nebraska Company at Fort Crook, Omaha, Nebraska (now, Offutt Air Force Base). Fifty of those were the Block 25 variant. The new B-29 was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces on 11 January 1945.

Once assigned to the 314th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy), the airplane was named City of Los Angeles, in keeping with the wing’s practice of naming the aircraft after cities in the United States. When it arrived at Guam, 42-65302 was identified with a large yellow letter “O” surrounded by a black square, painted on its vertical fin and rudder. The numeral “37” was painted on each side of the fuselage aft of the wings.

29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 314th Bombardment Wing (very Heavy), B-29 Superfortresses at North Field, Guam. Note the “Black Square O” identification symbols. (U.S. Air Force)

The B-29 was the most technologically advanced airplane built up to that time, and required an immense effort by American industry to produce.

The B-29 Superfortress was designed by the Boeing Airplane Company as its Model 345. Produced in three major versions, the B-29, B-29A and B-29B, it was built by Boeing at Wichita, Kansas, and Redmond, Washington; by the Bell Aircraft Corporation at Marietta, Georgia; and the Glenn L. Martin–Nebraska Company at Fort Crook (now Offutt Air Force Base), Omaha, Nebraska. A total of 3,943 Superfortresses were built.

B-29s were normally operated by an 11-man crew: Pilot, copilot, navigator, bombardier, radar bombardier, radio operator, flight engineer, a central fire control gunner, and right, left, and tail gunners.

The B-29 Superfortress was 99 feet, 0 inches (30.175 meters) long with a wingspan of 141 feet, 3 inches (43.053 meters) and an overall height of 27 feet, 9 inches (8.458 meters). It had a wing area of 1,736 square feet (167.28 square meters); The standard B-29 had an empty weight of 74,500 pounds (33,793 kilograms) and gross weight of 120,000 pounds (54,431 kilograms).

A newly-completed B-29 Superfortress at the Martin Bomber Plant. (Nebraska State Historical Society RG3715-2-11)

City of Los Angeles had four air-cooled, supercharged, 3,347.662-cubic-inch-displacement (54.858 liter) Wright Aeronautical Division R-3350-41 (Cyclone 18 787C18BA3) two-row 18-cylinder radial engines with direct fuel injection. The R-3350-41 had a compression ratio of 6.85:1 and required 100/130 aviation gasoline. It was rated at 2,000 horsepower at 2,400 r.p.m. at Sea Level, and 2,200 horsepower at 2,800 r.p.m, for take-off. The engines drove four-bladed Curtiss Electric reversible-pitch propellers with a diameter of 16 feet, 7 inches (5.080 meters), through a 0.35:1 gear reduction. The R-3350-41 was 6 feet, 2.26 inches (1.937 meters) long, 4 feet, 7.78 inches (1.417 meters) in diameter and weighed 2,725 pounds (1,236 kilograms).

The B-29 had a cruise speed of 220 miles per hour (354 kilometers per hour) at 20,000 feet (6,096 meters). Its maximum speed was 306 miles per hour (492 kilometers per hour) at Sea Level, and 357 miles per hour (575 kilometers per hour) at 30,000 feet (9,144 meters). The bomber had a service ceiling of 33,600 feet (10,168 meters). The Superfortress had a fuel capacity of 9,438 gallons (35,727 liters), giving it a maximum range of 3,250 miles (5,230 kilometers) at 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) with 5,000 pound (2,268 kilograms) bomb load.

The B-29 could carry a maximum bomb load of 20,000 pounds (9,072 kilograms). Defensive armament consisted of twelve air-cooled Browning AN-M2 .50-caliber machine guns mounted in four remotely-operated powered turrets, and a tail turret. B-29 variants before Block 25 also had a single M2 20 mm autocannon mounted in the tail.

City of Los Angeles was damaged on a combat mission against Kobe, Japan, in July 1945. Captain Simeral was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

42-65302 survived the war and remained in service with the U.S. Air Force for several more years. It was “reclaimed” at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, 17 November 1953.

This B-29 Superfortress of the 29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on fire over Kobe, Japan, 17 July 1945, MIGHT be City of Los Angeles. (U.S. Air Force)

© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes

18–19 February 1934

Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc.’s Douglas DC-1, NC223Y, “City of Los Angeles,” at Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, California, 1934. This is the aircraft that carried the mail on a transcontinental flight, 18–19 February 1934. (San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)

18–19 February 1934: The final commercial air mail flight before United States Army took over the U.S. air mail set a new transcontinental speed record. An estimated 15,000 people were present at the Grand Central Air Terminal to witness the takeoff.

Because of a controversy as to how several long-term air mail contracts had been issued by the U.S. Postal Service, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt cancelled all of the commercial contracts by executive order, then ordered the U.S. Army to take over flying of the mail.

The airplane, the prototype Douglas Commercial Model 1 (DC-1), NC223Y, took off from Glendale, California, under the command of William John (“Jack”) Frye, vice president and chief pilot of Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc. Two other T.W.A. pilots, Silas Amos (“Si”) Morehouse and Paul Ernest Richter, Jr., completed the flight crew. Also aboard were Edward Vernon (“Eddie”) Rickenbacker, president of Eastern Air Transport, the leading US. fighter ace of World War I. Six journalists rode as passengers during the flight. Approximately 3,300 pounds (1,497 kilograms) of mail were carried.

Douglas DC-1 NC223Y, “City of Los Angeles,” at Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, California, 1934. (San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)

The route of the flight was from Glendale, California, to Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kansas City, Kansas; Columbus, Ohio; and Newark, New Jersey. The DC-1, named City of Los Angeles, departed Grand Central Air Terminal at 8:56 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (04:56 UTC) and arrived at Newark after a total elapsed time of 13 hours, 4 minutes, 20 seconds. The refueling stops at Albuquerque, Kansas City and Columbus were approximately ten minutes each.

Transcontinental & Western Douglas DC-1, NC223Y, “City of Los Angeles,”at Grand Central Air Terminal, 1934. (San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)

The Los Angeles Times reported:



Latest T.-W.A. Liner Reaches Goal in Thirteen Hours, Four Min., Twenty Sec.

Best Passenger Transport Run Eclipsed by More than Six Hours

     [Aviation writer for the Los Angeles Times, Jean Bosquet, on invitation of officials of Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc., represented this newspaper on the history-making, record-smashing flight of the air line’s new Douglas transport plane from Los Angeles to New York.]


     NEW YORK, Feb. 19. (Exclusive) Los Angeles to New York in thirteen hours, four minutes and twenty seconds.

     Incredible as it may seem, an air liner of Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc., constituting herself a winged representative of the American aviation industry, accomplished today the feat of carrying a capacity load of passengers and air mail across the continent in slightly more than thirteen hours, faster than the best previous time of a passenger plane in coast-to-coast flight by more than six hours.

     Shattering all existing speed and efficiency records for multimotored transport aircraft, the T.-W.A. liner City of Los Angeles performed the amazing gesture designed, in part, to impress the Federal government with the high efficiency attained by civilian aviation in the United States.


    The performance of the Douglas monoplane, making its maiden flight across the continent, served as a protest against the government decree threatening the existence of the aviation industry by cancellation of air-mail contracts held by major air lines.

     The great gray liner’s epochal flight was at once a debut and a challenge.

     Slipping through the night skies, the swift monoplane rushed over almost 1500 miles of continent between Los Angeles and Kansas City in seven hours and eight minutes, elapsed time, maintaining an average of 210 miles an hour. A ten-minute stop was made at Albuquerque for refueling. The 715 miles between Los Angeles and the New Mexico point were spanned in three hours and fifteen minutes, 220 miles an hour being her average speed. Normal flying time for this run, in ships to be replaced next April by a fleet of these Douglas planes,is at present more than seven hours.


     The City of Los Angeles took off from Grand Central Air Terminal in 8:56 p.m. yesterday and reached Albuquerque as 12:11 a.m. today, Pacific standard time. Three hours and forty-four minutes were required for the next leg of the maiden flight, to Kansas City, which point was reached at 4:05 a.m., Pacific standard time.

     Refueling in ten minutes, the T.W.A. transport sped eastward, reaching Newark less than six hours after taking off from Kansas City and that following a stop at Columbus, O.

     At Columbus the landing was made in a flurry of snow. Undaunted by threat of storm, the angle of the blades on the flashing controllable-pitch propellers was changed and the mighty craft stuck its nose into the flurries and climbed like a condor until it road above the storm at 18,500 feet.

     At Lebanon, Pa., it had dropped to 14,000 feet and, riding the radio beam through a dull and cloudy sky, it soared into Newark under a broken ceiling of approximately 7000 feet.


     When the ship had reached its highest altitude, some of the six news writers and cameramen on board were seized with violent headaches. The portable oxygen tank was brought out and everybody had a few whiffs “to bring down the altitude.” Outside sleet smacked the metal sides of the aircraft and the temperature was 30 deg. below zero. Inside it was warm and cozy—the ship is steam-heated.

     From Columbus to a point east of Allentown, Pa., somewhat off the regular course, the plane was flying completely blind, depending on the radio beacons. Near the Delaware Water Gap the weather was clearing and the transport made its landing without difficulty before the fog caught up with it.


     A third stop scheduled for Pittsburgh was eliminated, when the storm made it advisable to take on a heavier load of fuel at Columbus for the direct hop to New York.

     Although a sixty-mile tail wind at the 18,500-foot level enabled the aircraft to increase its speed to between 240 and 260 miles an hour, the plane for most of the distance was not helped by favoring winds. For the most part, according to Capt. Rickenbacker, there were cross winds. Fair weather was encountered most of the distance to Columbus.

     The amazing performance was unexpected even to T.W.A. officials, who had hoped their new liner would make the flight in fifteen hours with favorable weather. Aviation circles nationally were astonished by the speed of the transport, product of scientific engineering genius of the Southland.


     It was as though the great ship were aware of the trust reposed in her by her owners and by the rest of the nation’s aviation industry as well, when she roared out of Los Angeles, swept majestically over 12,000-foot mountain peaks and burst into the mist of morning over Kansas City.

     It was not alone the tremendous speed of the sleek liner which stood out as her flight progressed. She astonished a group of newspapermen and surprised even the flight host, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, World War ace, with the quiet of her luxurious cabin, her steadiness in flight over mountain country, and the ease with which she sped on her course, the roaring of her two Wright Cyclones heard but faintly in her cabin.

     As she made her record-smashing way eastward her passengers slept in reclining chairs held steadier than berths in railroad trains.


     In the after compartment of the liner was the last consignment of mail to be carried by civilian aircraft, the governmental order canceling air-mail contracts taking effect three hours after the ship took off in Los Angeles.

     Veteran pilots forming the liner’s crew grimly hummed “The Last Round-up” as they sent the swift craft into the east.

     The  nine-ton monoplane with her 3300-pound pay load swept over treacherous terrain which now must be spanned by army aircraft and pilots ill-equipped for the task.

      Leaving Los Angeles the craft climbed to a height of 14,000 feet, rushing upward at the rate of 600 feet a minute at a speed of 190 miles an hour. Soon she was clearing the loftiest mountain peaks along her course by at least 2000 feet, disdainfully soaring over them.


     At her controls when the City of Los Angeles began her flight were Jack Frye, veteran airman and vice president of T.-W.A.; Paul Richter, superintendent of operations for the line’s western region, and Si Morehouse, senior pilot of T.-W.A. The combined flight hours of the three veterans totaled more than 15,000. Commenting on this during the flight, Capt. Rickenbacker pointed out the perilous undertaking of the army pilots now flying the mails with averages of less than 400 hours each.

     Other pilots replaced Richter and Morehouse as division points were reached, but Frye remained in the ship’s control room throughout her record breaking flight.

Los Angeles Times, Vol. III, 20 February 1934, Page 1, Column 6, and Page 2, Column 4

Douglas DC-1 X223Y, at Clover Field, Santa Monica, California, 1 July 1933. (San Diego Air & Space Museum, Michael Blaine Collection, Catalog #: Blaine_00263)

The Douglas DC-1 was a prototype commercial transport, built by the Douglas Aircraft Company, Santa Monica, California. It was a twin-engine, all-metal, low-wing monoplane with conventional landing gear. It had a flight crew of two pilots, and seats for 12 passengers.

The new airplane had been requested by Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc., in August 1932. Originally intended as a three-engine transport, the new airliner was required to have a maximum speed of at least 185 miles per hour (298 kilometers per hour) and a service ceiling of 21,000 feet (6,400 meters). It would be required to take off from Winslow, Arizona—at 4,941 feet (1,506 meters) above Sea Level, the highest airfield in the T.W.A. route system. It was required to carry more passengers than the Boeing Model 247, and to have a landing speed of 65 miles per hour (105 kilometers per hour).

The DC-1 was 60 feet, 0 inches (11.288 meters) long, with a wing span of 85 feet, 0 inches (25.908 meters), and height of 16 feet, 0 inches (4.877 meters). Its empty weight was 11,780 pounds (5,343 kilograms), and gross weight, 17,500 pounds (7,938 kilograms).

Passenger cabin of the Douglas DC-1. (Dick Whittington Studio)
Reclining seats in the passenger cabin of the Douglas DC-1. (Dick Whittington Studio)

The DC-1 was powered by two supercharged, air-cooled, Wright Cyclone SGR-1820-F3 nine-cylinder radial engines, These engines had a compression ratio of 6.4:1 and required 87-octane gasoline. They were rated at 700 horsepower at 1,950 r.p.m. They turned three-bladed variable-pitch propellers through a 16:11 gear reduction. The -F3 was 3 feet, 11-3/16 inches (1.199 meters) long, 4 feet, 5¾ inches (1.365 meters) in diameter, and weighed 1,047 pounds (475 kilograms).

The DC-1 had a cruise speed of 190 miles per hour (306 kilometers per hour) and maximum speed of 210 miles per hour (338 kilometers per hour). Its range was 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers), and the service ceiling was 23,000 feet (7,010 meters).

Only one DC-1 was built. It was rolled out of its hangar 22 June 1933. Registered X223Y, it made its first flight, 1 July 1933, at Clover Field, Santa Monica, California, with test pilots Carl Cover and Fred Herman in the cockpit.

The prototype Douglas DC-1, X223Y, takes off from Clover Field, Santa Monica, California, 1 July 1933. (Airport Journals)
The Douglas DC-1, X223Y, in flight. (Larry Westin)

NC223Y was retired from passenger service in 1936. T.W.A. loaned it to the U.S. government for  high altitude research. It was then sold to Howard Hughes. In May 1938 NC223Y was sold to Viscount Forbes of the United Kingdom, 27 May 1938, transported across the Atlantic aboard a freighter, then registered G-AFIF, 25 June 1938. The airplane was re-sold to France in September 1938.

Spanish-registered Douglas DC-1 EC-AGN, owned by Lineas Aéreas Postales Espanolas. (Iberia Airlines)

The DC-1 was again sold, this time to Spanish Republican government, and operated by Lineas Aéreas Postales Espanolas, also known as LAPE. The airplane made a forced landing at Malaga, Spain, in December 1940. It was damaged beyond repair.

Wreck of the Douglas DC-1, Malaga, Spain. (Weird Wings)

The single DC-1 prototype led to an order for 20 improved 14-passenger DC-2s for T.W.A. This, in turn, resulted in the development of the legendary Douglas DC-3.

© 2023, Bryan R. Swopes