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Douglas C-32

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After the evaluation tests were completed on the XC-32, the plane was modified for use as a flying headquarters for the newly formed General Headquarters Air Force (GHQ AF) commanded by (then) Maj. Gen. Frank Andrews. The modifications were done primarily in the passenger cabin and included the addition of a radio compartment directly behind the cockpit on the right side of the fuselage. The radio compartment included a variety of military radios and navigation aids, including a SCR-283 command set, a SCR-287 liaison set and a Kearfott T-6 radio compass.

The remainder of the passenger cabin was designed to function as a flying command post and included desks and a small table for use by GHQ AF staff including (rank as of 1935) Maj. Gen. Frank Andrews, Brig. Gen. Hugh Knerr, Col. Eugene Eubanks, Col. George Kenney, and Col. Charles Howard.

According to the aircraft's radio operator, Charles J. Archer, Gen. Andrews' co-pilot was an Army Reserve officer doing duty as an enlisted pilot. During inspection tours the GHQ AF staff used the C-32 to visit every Air Corps field in the continental United States. The plane, piloted by Col. Eubanks, was used to fly Eleanor Roosevelt and her staff from Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. to Norfolk, Va., to christen the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Yorktown (commissioned Sept. 30 1937, lost June 5, 1942, after being heavily damaged by Japanese air attack on June 4, then sunk on June 5, after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine at the Battle of Midway).

The C-32 was used by the GHQ AF staff throughout the late 1930s and became a regular staff transport in the early 1940s. The aircraft was extensively damaged on Sept. 4, 1942, in a landing accident and never flew again. It was then used as a ground trainer at a maintenance school until scrapped.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
XC-32 1 Douglas DC-2
C-32 - Redesignated XC-32
C-32A 24 Impressed DC-2s


TECHNICAL NOTES:
Engines: Wright R-1820-25 radials of 750 hp each
Maximum speed: 202 mph
Cruising speed: 171 mph
Range: 915 miles
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft.
Span: 85 ft. 0 in.
Length: 62 ft. 0 in.
Height: 16 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 18,575 lbs. maximum gross weight
Crew: Two (pilot and co-pilot)
Passenger capacity: 14
Serial numbers: XC-32: 36-1; Impressed C-32A: 42-53527, 42-53528, 42-53529, 42-53530, 42-53531, 42-53532, 42-57154, 42-57155, 42-57156, 42-57227, 42-57228, 42-58071, 42-58072, 42-58073, 42-61095, 42-61096, 42-65577, 42-65578, 42-65579, 42-68857, 42-68858, 42-70863, 42-83226, 42-83227

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