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KLM: From Amsterdam to New York

KLM PH-TAR Douglas DC-4

On the 21st of May, 1946, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines became the first European airline to launch post-war scheduled services to the United States. A KLM Douglas DC-4 (PH-TAR “Rotterdam”) arrived at New York Idlewild Airport (today’s JFK Airport). After the end of the Second World War, KLM’s long-haul fleet consisted of former military Douglas C-54 Skymasters, the military transport derivative of the DC-4. To augment this fleet, right after the war, KLM ordered four DC-4s and PH-TAR was one of these four aircraft. It was delivered to KLM on 12 April 1946 and flew the first US services just five weeks later.

KLM PH-TAR Douglas DC-4 "Rotterdam"
KLM PH-TAR Douglas DC-4 “Rotterdam” Arriving in New York City

The newsreel clips are in Dutch, but the images are wonderful even for non-Dutch speakers.

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