The C-47 was the first transport aircraft to serve with New Zealand’s armed forces when it entered service with No. 40 Squadron RNZAF in 1943.

For the duration of World War Two, these aircraft flew supplies and personnel to New Zealand military stations across the Pacific.

After the War, some of the RNZAF’s Dakota aircraft helped establish a civilian airline service around New Zealand, while others were retained for general transport and VIP duties through until 1977.