The Lockheed C-60A is a twin-engine transport based on the Model 18 Lodestar. The Model 18 was a civilian airliner, developed as a competitor to the Douglas DC-3. Slightly smaller and faster than the DC-3, it soon was in service with many airlines around the world. At the beginning of the war, 102 Model 18’s in service with U.S. airlines or under construction were impressed into military service; these “drafted” aircraft were designated C-56, C-57, C-59 or C-60 depending on their configuration and engines. The C-60A was the first “Lodestar” which was built specifically for military service. It was used as a cargo aircraft, VIP transport and paratroop transport. C-60A’s also served with the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, South African Air Force and Netherlands East Indies Air Force.
Lockheed also developed the Ventura medium bomber for the British using the same basic airframe. The Ventura was armed with up to eight .303 and two .50 caliber machine guns, and could carry 2,500 pounds of bombs. Although initially flown in attacks against land targets, it was primarily used as a patrol bomber in an anti-submarine and anti-shipping role.
Carrying the name and nose art “Goodtime Gal”, the C-60A acquired by and assigned to the Houston Wing was built in 1943, and is configured as a paratroop transport, complete with jump lights and a static line hookup.