Lockheed R50-1/4/5 "Lodestar"

June 3, 2022

Lockheed R50-1/4/5 "Lodestar"

Lockheed R-50

Historical Information:

The Coast Guard acquired a Lockheed Model 18 (R50-1), Lockheed registration number 2008, and it was delivered and accepted on 14 May 1940.  It was used as an executive transport aircraft.  

The Coast Guard acquired four R50-4 aircraft in late 1942.  These were also executive transports with seating for four to seven passengers.  The service acquired three R50-5 transports later that same year as well.  These were the standard transport model with seating for twelve to fourteen passengers.  One of the R50-4 aircraft, service number 12453, served as the commandant's executive transport.

These aircraft were used primarily for administrative flights and were based at New York and Elizabeth City, North Carolina before the Coast Guard air station was established at Washington National Airport.

One R50-4, No. 05049 which was assigned to Air Station Arlington, crashed on 24 January 1948 in Baltimore, killing four men: LCDR C. W. Schuh; LTJG W. Killibrew; AMM1 C. A. MacArthur; and ARM1 R. H. Schoning.  No details on the cause of the crash are available.

The remaining Lodestars were phased out of service between 1946 and 1953 and turned over to the Navy, the War Assets Administration, and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. 

Lockheed R-50

R50-4, CG No. 12453; no caption/date/photo number, photographer unknown; on tarmac, view from starboard rear-quarter.

Lockheed R-50 in flight

R50-4 (?); no caption/date/photo number, photographer unknown; in flight, profile view of starboard side.

Lockheed R-50

R50-4; no caption/date/photo number, photographer unknown; on tarmac, view from starboard front-quarter.


Arthur Pearcy, U.S. Coast Guard Aircraft Since 1916 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991), pp. 232-233.