Curtiss R5C (C-46As)
BuNo 39507

Blue Angels R5C
photo taken at NAS Oakland, CA
on 14 February 1953
Photos by D. Olson

Aircraft and crew was assigned to NAS Corpus Christi, TX at the time.

1973 in Detroit, Intermountain Airways
Photo by Bob Gerrard


1980 in Miami, Challenge Air Transport
Photo by Bob Gerrard

BuNo 39507 was first assigned USAAF S/N42-23758 (C/N26593) but was one of about 40 C-46As completed with BuAer numbers, as R5C-ls for the US Marine Corps, serving at first with MAG-35 in the south-west Pacific during WWII. She was later transferred to the US Navy and assigned to NAS Corpus Christi and it during this time in 1953 that she served as the Blue Angels support aircraft.

After military service BuNo 39507 entered civilian service registration number N4086A and later was in the service of Intermountain Airways, with registration number N9900Z, in the 1960s. During this time she went under upgrade modifications to a C-46F Super C. Intermountain Airways was formed by the Central Intelligence Agency to perform covert operations in 1963. This C-46 was used to support operations by the CIA.

She was acquired by Evergreen Airlines in October 1975 when they purchased Intermountain Airways and operated it until February 1978.

She was acquired it in June 1978 and Challenge Air Transport was formed with operations starting out of Ormond Beach, FL then later moving operations to Miami, FL. A year later the company was acquired by Bellomy-Lawson Aviation and the company name was maintained.

There hasn't been any sightings or information about this aircraft after 1980. Rumor has it that Bellomy-Lawson Aviation may have been some how linked to the Nicaragua Contra War and that this aircraft had flown operations and possibly disappeared in Nicaragua.

Since this Commando had been used by the CIA, when flying for Intermountain Airways, it is not unreasonable to assume that she may have returned to covert operations and was lost in action

Before 1962 the Navy had it's own system for aircraft designation. After 1962 the Navy used the US Air Force system.