Free Homepage Translation
Powered by FreeWebsiteTranslation

Photo at Freeman Field
by Earl L. Ware, Base Photographer,
Freeman Field, 1945-1946

at Freeman Field
Source: NASM
YC-64 (USAAF-25046) awaits delivery to the USAAF on the Carterville flight line.  Note the sticky paper still on the windows.  The photo appears to have been shot with a red filter which makes the sky a dramatic dark shade but it also turned the red tail white. 

Source Disposition
  Accepted by the Army on September 21, 1942. 
Freeman 05/09/46 Relocate to Chicago
08/10/1945 08/101/945 to arrive at Freeman Field


The Noorduyn Norseman is one of the truly Nobel light transports of Second World War and aviation history.  They flew for 18 different nations, including the militaries of Canada, America, Norway, Brazil, Sweden, Indonesia, Australia and the Netherlands East Indies.  It's  territory ranged from the parched Australian outback and the jungles of New Guinea to the Swedish arctic circle.  Oddly enough, before the war, Canadian Norseman and German JU-52's served side by side in the largest airlift in history (to date) when they were used to ferry in massive amounts of oil drilling equipment to the newly discovered fields in New Guinea. 

After service testing seven YC-64s (below), which were Mk IV's, the U.S. Army Air Force adopted the aircraft as a light transport in 1942 and placed an order for 749 Mk VI's as the C-64A Norseman.  Three of these were diverted to the U. S. Navy as JA-1s, and the Army Corps of Engineers bought an additional six UC-64Bs fitted with twin Edo floats.

The USAAF  assigned Noorduyn the following USAAF work numbers for the 1942 production runs of the Harvard and Norseman including 6 YC-64's and the first C-64A  production model:


Noorduyn AT-16-ND


Noorduyn AT-16-ND


Noorduyn C-64A Norseman


Noorduyn YC-64 Norseman

The third Norseman accepted by the USAAF, S/N 42-5046 is displayed at the National Aerospace Museum and was accepted by the Army on September 21, 1942. 

The National Air and Space Museum's example bears AAF Serial Number 42-5046 and is the third of the seven original service test aircraft. The Army accepted this airplane on September 21, 1942, and assigned it to the 29th Ferrying Squadron at Goose Bay, Labrador. By mid-1943, the Norseman was at Headquarters, North Atlantic Wing, Presque Isle, Maine. In October 1944, the Army transferred it to Grenier Field, New Hampshire, and then to Syracuse, New York, two months later. Just before VJ Day, the aircraft arrived at Freeman Field, Indiana. It was among the one hundred-odd Allied and Axis airplanes that General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold selected for the National Air Museum. The aircraft arrived at Orchard Place Airport, Park Ridge, Illinois, on May 22, 1946, with just under 438 total flight hours on the logbooks. The Smithsonian accepted the airplane from the Air Force in 1960 and stored it at the Paul Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Noorduyn produced 762 Norseman for the USAAF before the war ended and the Canadian Harvard (AT-6 trainer) was also produced on a parallel production line with the Norseman at Carterville.  Both Aircraft used the same 600hp engine.  (The Harvard became the mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan as well as Noorduyn's profit structure during the war.  Harvard IIBs were first ordered from Noorduyn in Montreal in January 1940.  Noorduyn eventually built 2,800 Harvards for the RAF and RCAF.  Canadian Car and Foundry made 550 Mk.4s for Canada and the United States in the 1950s.) 

Designed for the worst of conditions, the Norseman was also employed in Europe and the Pacific as well as in the U.S. during the war. On Dec. 15, 1944, a UC-64A disappeared on a flight from England to France with the famous band leader Major Glenn Miller on board. The aircraft was only recently found.  Miller was on a flight from US Air Station 547 with a stop at RAF Cranfield/Twinwood Farm to Bordeaux to set up a show for military personnel in the area.  The band was to follow a day later in a C-47.  There is reason to believe it was accidentally blown out of the sky when a British Lancaster bomber returning to England from a scrubbed mission,  which jettisoned its' bombs right on top of the Norseman.  (Click for more info on the Miller flight)

At the end of the war, Norseman production ended and Candair took over the Cartierville Plant.  We are not sure when, but some time after WW2 the rights to the Norseman were sold to "Canadian Car and Foundry" who produced it in small numbers. 

Span: 51 ft. 6 in.
Length: 31 ft. 9 in. 
Height: 10 ft. 1 in. 
Weight: 7,400 lbs. max. 
Empty: 4478 lbs, 
Useful load: 2822 lbs.
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN1 of 600 hp.
Crew: One or two
Original Cost: $28,000 

Maximum speed: 162 mph. 
Cruising speed: 148 mph. 
Range: 1,150 miles 
Service Ceiling: 17,000 ft. 

Civilian: 100
Canada (RCAF): 69
US Army Air Force:
  *YC-64: 6
  *UC-64A: 746
  *UC-64B: 3
  *Other types: 4
US Navy: 3


Noorduyn YC-64 Norseman IV



Glenn Miller lost in this type a/c in 1944


Jim West
Page last revised 09/26/2010