[Ads-l] Peter Reitan's work on origins of Alfred E. Neuman and

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Sun Mar 6 20:38:30 UTC 2016

On Sat, 5 Mar 2016 18:35:19 Zone - 0500
Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

<begin quote>
"... C-47 bomber

The Douglas C[argo]-47 "Skytrain" was a cargo plane that could never 
have been used as a bomber. The Boeing B[omber]-47 is post-WWII.
<end quote>

Not true.  The US Army Air Force had Douglas convert its DC-2 transport into the B-18 Bolo bomber.  The B-18 proved to be sadly underpowered for service in World War II, so the USAAF had Douglas convert the last 38 B-18's into the B-23 Dragon.  Just as the DC-3/C-47 was an improved, higher-powered DC-2, the B-23 was an improved B-18 with more powerful engines.  The wing of the B-23 was very similar to the wing of the DC-3 and the B-23, like the DC-3, had a dorsal fin (both the DC-2 and B-18 had a straight forward edge to the vertical stabilizer).

Hence the B-23 is very close to being a "C-47 bomber".

And don't forget the AC-47 Puff the Magic Dragon, which was a WWII-built C-47 turned into an Vietnam-War attack plane by adding guns.

Hmm.  B-23 Dragon.  AC-47 (Puff the Magic) Dragon.

If you think about it, transport planes and bombers are similar.  Both are built to carry heavy cargoes over sizable distances.  The difference is that the bomber is equipped to drop its cargo halfway through the trip, and may also have armor and guns.  Many famous World War II aircraft existed in both bomber and transport roles, e.g. the Ju-52, the Luftwaffe's primary personnel and cargo transport, was used as a bomber in the Spanish Civil War (it was Ju-52's which carried out the firebomb raid on Guernica).  Similarly the Boeing B-29 morphed into the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a leading airliner of the early post-War era, and into the C-97 military transport and KC-97 tanker.

- Jim Landau

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