21 MAY 1946: Seventy years ago today, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was the first European airline postwar to launch scheduled services to the United States with the arrival of a KLM Douglas DC-4 at New York Idlewild Airport (today's JFK Airport). The aircraft was PH-TAR "Rotterdam". 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.
|PH-TAR "Rotterdam" arrives in New York City|
(KLM Royal Dutch Airlines)
This newsreel clip is in Dutch, but the images are wonderful even for us non-Dutch speakers!