The Douglas Dakota proved itself to be an outstanding all purpose transport aircraft during the war and it was used in all theatres.
Although designed as a civil transport aircraft, it was easily modified for dropping parachute troops and glider towing. When 46 Group RAF was formed in January 1944, the five squadrons were completely equipped with Dakotas. Three Marks - I,III, and IV - were used by the RAF and US IX Troop Carrier Command for their operations in Europe.
The aircraft carried 20 fully equipped parachute troops who jumped out of a door forward of the tail on the port side. It could tow a Horsa or smaller type of glider, and for this purpose had a radius of action of 325 miles towing a Horsa, or an additional 25 miles with a Hadrian (US CG4-A). For dropping parachute troops its radius of action was 450 miles.