A Project of the Coast Guard Aviation Association

Douglas R5D-3/4 “Skymaster” (1950)

The Coast Guard acquired twenty Douglas R5D’s./C-54s. This was the military version of the Civilian DC-4 The Army Air Force’s/Air Force’s designation was C-54. The first five aircraft were acquired in 1950.from the USAF. The additional fifteen were acquired from both the USN and USAF.

The R5Ds were used for transport duties, logistical support, search and rescue operations, duty with the International Ice Patrol, LORAN testing and photographic mapping flight. They remained in dervice up to 1963. The photo mapping R5D stayed on the Coast Guard’s inventory until 1966.

These aircraft were stationed at air stations Elizabeth City, Barbers Point, and San Francisco.  Three were assigned to CGAD Argentia for the International Ice Patrol. These aircraft replaced the Boeing PB-1G’s. The R5D’s first patrol began during the 1958 ice season. The R5D’s were last used on the International Ice Patrol during the 1962 season and were then replaced with the HC-130 B Hercules aircraft.