Johnson Flying Service Curtiss C-46
founded Johnson Flying Service in Missoula, Montana, as far back as
originally as a flying
school. It was, in fact, an important entity in training
pilots during WW II.
Following the conflict the company began specializing in fire control
services, initially dropping
from C-47s. Later, the company evolved into one of the largest
dropping outfits in
the world. In the early 1950s the company also entered the
cargo charter field.
Their fleet also included Ford Tri-Motors, DC-3s, a DC-2 and, in the
L-188 Electras. In the later 1950s the corporate name
was changed to
Johnson Air, and then to
Johnson International Airways before being purchased in 1975 by
Inc. This company, in turn, later became Evergreen International
lines. The above C-46 was probably operated on cargo
charters although may also have
been used for parachute dropping of firefighters.
Bill Larkin's photo above was taken at
Oakland on 28 November 1953.
It was probably leased at the time, since the owner of
record was Charles E.
Evans. Larry Smalley saw at at the same locale two years later in
April 1955 (below). My records indicate that N92854 is the ex
Douglas D. Olson, who was with Bill at the time, got inside this
and indicates that the c/n
determined it to be a Curtiss C-46D-10-CU with USAAF
serial 44-77824. That
aircraft had the c/n 33220. It is
possible that there were two different
N92854, although the liveries on these two photos seem to indicate they
were both the same C-46, plus a slightly later FAA reguster
lists N92854 as being c/n 250.