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KG 587

KG 587; None of us knew her by this number, it meant nothing to us. To us she was just a tired old Douglas DC-3C parked in the corner of the ramp. She hadn’t moved in years let alone flown, her fabric covered flight control surfaces were torn and it seem less and less likely with the passing of every year that her situation would change unless scrapped or broken up.


That was until one summer afternoon a leading aviation historian who happened to be passing by noticed her and identified her as the decorated war veteran that she actually was. Under that faded paint and neglected exterior was an aircraft that had fought in, and survived the embattled skies over World War II Europe during one of the most turbulent periods in human history.

Unbeknownst to us; N115SA had originally started her extraordinary flying career as a British Royal Air Force Douglas Dakota Mk. III, serial number KG 587.

Further research has revealed that this aircraft was once based at RAF Down Ampney in the heart of the English countryside, as a member of 48 Squadron RAF. KG 587 had been built by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation at their Oklahoma City Plant and arrived in the United Kingdom during May 1944. She became operational with 48 Squadron RAF during July of that year, flying numerous sorties to advanced fields in Europe in support of the newly established second front. The most significant operation for KG 587 came several months later when on September 18th 1944, she towed a Horsa glider into the battle raging around the Dutch town of Arnhem as part of the infamous operation Market Garden. She was then involved in 3 further trips to the Arnhem area attempting to resupply the beleaguered allied troops in the area. Enemy activity and opposition became more and more intense with each trip, with a sortie on September 21st proving most hazardous when almost half of the aircraft in the formation were lost to enemy fire – KG 587 survived.

Her operational career continued throughout the remaining months of World War II. She was again called to arms with her involvement in operation Varsity during March of 1945.

 Our old ramp tramp had participated in some of the most significant airborne operations in the history of aerial warfare. KG 587 survived (with combat damage) when many of her squadron sister aircraft did not.

Now with the efforts and dedication of a few, dedicated individuals, craftsmen and professionals the intention is to restore KG 587 to full flying condition and return her to her World War II RAF configuration. She will then be flown across the Atlantic Ocean in time to attend one of the very last reunions of the veterans who flew this very aircraft.

Support this unique undertaking -
Continue this spectacular story

The Down Ampney Project -


We are currently offering shares in this project and ownership opportunities in the aircraft.

Contact Aerometal to discover how you can be part of this unique project.


Click here to view a copy of the original pilot's log-book



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