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Douglas C-74 Globemaster Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2021 Title Douglas C-74 Globemaster
Author Nicholas M. Williams Publisher Ginter Books
Published 2021 ISBN 978-1-7349727-8-8
Format 108 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $32.95


Author Nicholas M. Williams deftly details America’s concept-prover for post-WWII, heavy-lift, long-range transports in the 223rd entry in Ginter Books’ acclaimed “Air Force Legends” range.

Douglas C-74 Globemaster surveys the whole story in 108 lavishly illustrated pages – including covers.

Contents follow Ginter’s familiar format. After introductory notes, coverage courses from design and development through testing to service and fate of individual Globemasters.

In the closing stages of World War II, C-74 designers sought to marry sleek aerodynamics, powerful propulsion, and cavernous capacity for maximum speed, range, and cargo – especially in trans-oceanic missions.

But victory prompted cancellation of 50 planned USAAF C-74s. And just 14 were manufactured.

They soon proved their worth during 1948’s Berlin Crisis. As USAF MATS commander William H. Tunner reckoned, just 68 C-74s could haul “the 4,500 tons needed in Berlin each day”. By contrast, he gauged, the West required a remarkable 899 C-47s to convey the same tonnage.

Experience in the Korean War further confirmed the Globemaster’s value in operational conditions. And planners, Williams reports, explored other missions for the capacious, long-range transport.

Douglas proposed an intriguing anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant. And the Air Force even considered C-74s as launch aircraft for a proposed “all-rocket version” of Douglas’ X-3 Stiletto!

With USAF retirement in 1955, only a handful saw subsequent civilian service. Essentially an historical footnote today, the C-74 nevertheless forged fame as direct progenitor of the legendary C-124 Globemaster II. And Williams tells that transitional tale, too.

Actions and anecdotes season the study. And commentary on crew experiences with Douglas’ “bug-eye” canopy configuration proved illuminating – and interesting.

Hundreds of period photos, color shots, detail images, and drawings – many from tech manuals – sumptuously spice sections. And details include performance and measurement minutiae.

Ginter’s usual model section wraps things up. But this understandably anemic installment covers just Anigrand’s 1:144 resin kit – the only one available.

Strongly recommended.

With thanks to GINTER BOOKS!