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