Curtiss R5C-1 "Commando"

June 3, 2022

Curtiss R5C-1 "Commando"

A photo of a Coast Guard Curtiss R5C

Historical Information:

The Coast Guard acquired 10 of these Curtiss R5C-1 Commando aircraft, known in Army Air Force parlance as the C-46, beginning in the latter half of 1943.  They were stationed at the Aircraft Repair and Supply Base at Elizabeth City and used to transport parts and personnel to various Coast Guard air stations around the country.  They were also fitted with additional fuel tanks in the fuselage for flights to air stations overseas as well.

They were turned over to the U.S. Air Force and Navy between April, 1947 and December, 1950.  Very little is known regarding which 10 aircraft the Coast Guard acquired or their flight histories.  Only one has been identified: Bureau No. 39537 which was "struck off charge from the US Navy on 31 May 1947 as surplus.  It was reinstated on 31 July 1948 and assigned to the US Coast Guard.  It was held by the US Navy at NAS Norfolk, Virginia.

Curtiss R5C

"Coast Guard operated 10 of this model, acquired in second half of 1943.  They were turned over to the Navy & Air Force between April 1947 & Dec. 1950."; 13 May 1943; National Archives (Navy) Photo No. 80_G-79995; photographer unknown; view from port, forward; probably at Naval Air Station Anacostia, Washington, D.C.


Arthur Pearcy, U.S. Coast Guard Aircraft Since 1916 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991), pp. 160-162.