Santa Monica Celebrates 80th Anniversary of DC-3 Flight

Museum of Flying dedicates renovated monument.

Last week the Museum of Flying at Santa Monica Airport celebrated the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Douglas DC-3, a flight that took off from SMO on December 17, 1935. A ceremony was held at the newly renovated DC-3 monument right outside the main entrance to the museum.

The monument was first dedicated in 2009 and features an actual DC-3, which was donated to the city in 2004 by David G. Price, mounted atop three concrete pillars. This particular airplane was originally delivered in 1942 as a C-47, but was converted to a DC-3 in 1946 and used in a wide variety of civilian missions before it was retired. The airplane has been repainted with Douglas' own white and red scheme, used in the 1950s.

The renovation was made possible by a grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California and was a partnership between it, the City of Santa Monica, the Museum of Flying and a long list of volunteers.

A DC-3 from Van Nuys Airport-based Clay Lacy and a C-47 from the Lyon Air Museum at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County made a formation fly-by over the airport to commemorate the event.