Douglas C-47 Skytrain D-Day paratroopers

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Dec 2, 2007
We would be interested to hear from anybody who might have information about the cabin lights and the 'jump' lights that were fitted on the C-47 that carried paratroopers during the D-Day landings.
Cabin lights were fitted down the centre of the roof, and were dome shaped. there were, I think, six of these, each approximately six inches in diameter, and were diffused. They wouldn't normally be used on operations, for obvious reasons, but if they were switched on, they would normally be fitted with a dim blue bulb.
The jump lights were mounted on a rectangular box, about two inches deep, four wide and eight high, just to the right (forward) of the door frame, at eye level. The red 'Stand By' light was on the top of the front face of the 'box', with the green 'Go' or 'Jump' lamp beneath, both approximately three inches in diameter, and dome shaped.
Depending on the unit concerned, there was sometimes a second set of these lamps, slightly smaller in diameter, mounted directly above the door.
Hope this helps a bit, but someone might have more detailed info and/or pictures or drawings.
Here is a pic of the interior with the cabin lights. Still looking through my pics for the jump light.


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    C-47 Interior.JPG
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Nice piC there VB. Judging by the para's helmets and kit, it's post war, but the interior is the same anyway, apart from maybe the suspension bars above the guys heads. I've got film footage of the jump lights somewhere I think, on old VHS tape, but don't know if I can find a photograph. If you're stuck, I could do a sketch and drawing though.
Hi guys, thats me in the pic there :p I hope its useful! It was taken at Shoreham Airshow, August 2009 here in the UK.

My Grandad was an Arnhem Para and would have jumped out of one of these, so its been a lifetime ambition of mine to have a look inside one.
Well James, apparently you are the only person in the entire world that has a pic of the jump lights so it's much appreciated! Hope you didn't mind me posting the entire pic. BTW, welcome aboard!

If you have pics of your granddad, we'd love to see them.

I echo David's post. Love to hear more, as I'm ex-Para, though very post war!
Nice work there David. I notice the entire door and frame has been removed on this 'Dak', not unusual for para-drops. However, the design allowed the door frame to remain locked in place, with the door panel being removed by unlatching three clips, and pulling inwards. Most often, the aircraft flew with the panel open anyway or, as shown, the door removed also.
Folks, My name is JimmyG. and am representing the 1941 Historical Air Group in Geneseo NY. Our C47 needs jump lights. In this section, i have seen 2 different variations, and actually saw lights of the dome type in an aircraft on Long Island. However they were located at the top of the door sill. Does anyone know where a set can be found?
Which are the correct lights and where is the correct placement?
Thank You . My contact is [email protected]
Hi Jimmy. Both types are correct, and both locations also. I'm not 100% sure, but the dome type might have been of British manufacture, fitted by the RAF. As to where you'd get some, I have no idea, as I think they'd be scarce, compared to parts for other vintage aircraft. It might be easier to have some made, to the same or similar style, which shouldn't be difficulat or expensive.

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