233 Squadron Dakota Histories

During the early1970’s I was fortunate to be able to read through the log book of a navigator who had served with 233 Squadron from 1944 until the end of 1945 when the Squadron was disbanded in India. His aircraft had been severely damaged during an Arnhem resupply mission but, nonetheless, it had been rescued and, astoundingly, was still flying as a mainstay of Skyways Coach Air operations. With the advent of the LAAS DC-3 histories and, subsequently, Air Britain publications by Peter Berry and (definitively) Michael and Jennifer Gradidge, the tracing of individual aircraft histories became much easier. It was apparent that, not only had many ex-233 Dakotas gone on to have fascinating civilian careers, but also that quite a number were still operational.

Today, several are in museums and, amazingly, some are still flying and, at least one, has moved on to become a Basler BT-67.

I have initially selected six aircraft for individual study: FZ681, KG313, KG403, KG415, KG437 and KG441. Each history will be split into the aircraft’s RAF military career and civilian career. As they were all operational together in Europe at the same time, many of the military histories are similar and can be supplemented by reading the Squadron history. The civilian careers are all very different.

********** KG441 and KG415 to follow***********

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