The Convair 440 airliner in military service was a most versatile aircraft, being flown in casualty evacuation, passenger, VIP, cargo, electronic, aerial mapping, and training configurations—with even an antisubmarine variant proposed.1 The aircraft was designed for American Airlines as a replacement for the venerable Douglas DC-3 that was flown by the military as the Navy–Marine R4D and Army/Air Force C-47/C-53/C-117; their names Skytrain and Dakota were emblazoned in the history of World War II.
1. Convair was formed in 1943 by the merger of Consolidated Aircraft and Vultee Aircraft. In turn, Convair was purchased by General Dynamics in 1943 and then operated as that firm’s Convair Division.
2. A detailed account of R4Y/C-131 procurement and unit assignment is Nicholas M. Williams, “Naval Convairs: The First Thirty Years,” Journal of the American Aviation Historical Society (Fall 1985):188–89.