Summer of ’72

ONA DC-9

From the Cargo Facts Archives!

It’s the summer of 1972 and we’re seeing Overseas National’s DC-9 N938F (msn: 47221), named “Gina” ( it’s on the nose, although you can only just make it out) taking on crew somewhere – likely Norfolk Naval Air Station/Chambers field (NGU). Unusual for a sixties DC-9, it doesn’t appear that there’s an airstair on this plane (later photos reveal crews using a giant home-depot-style ladder, like this crew is doing). The car they’ve apparently gotten out of is a 1967 Chevrolet Corvair sedan (yes, they were still making them in 1967).

47221 was originally built as part of a large order of 20 DC-9-32s for Alitalia, and was delivered to the Italian carrier on April 5th, 1968. Most of its sister ships stayed with Alitalia until the 1980s but 47221 was sold to Overseas National in February of 1972. ONA, based at JFK, was primarily a military charter operation but also did some pax charter work. Expansion in the 1970’s led to the acquisition of two DC-10s, both of which were written off in non-fatal accidents in 1975 and 1976 (resulting from a bird strike and a bad landing). With financial troubles mounting, ONA shut down in 1978, only to be briefly resuscitated from 1980-1986 by officials of the former company.

47221 was bought from ONA by Evergreen in the fall of 1976 and flew for the Oregon-based carrier until 1984, when it was bought by the United States Navy and redesignated as a C-9B Skytrain II, flying logistics operations for the Navy and other armed services branches. It is currently stored.

Scanned from an archived print.

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