Four DC-2s on the Lunghwa flightline, 1937

Here are CNAC’s four DC-2s on the Lunghwa flightline in 1937, before the Marco Polo Bridge incident, the Japanese invasion, and the Battle of Shanghai.

These were four remarkable airplanes, and they gave the airline many thousands of hours of productive flight time. One of them became the first civilian airliner ever shot down by hostile air action when it was attacked by the Japanese after leaving Hong Kong in August, 1938… salvaged, repaired, renamed, renumbered, and reinstalled in service, it would get shot down and totally destroyed by the Japanese for a second time in October, 1940. Two of them were bombed to death in the Japanese air raid on Hong Kong’s Kai Tak airport on the morning of December 8, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day west of the international dateline), and the last one  crashed and burned while trying to take off from Kunming in March, 1942.

Four DC-2s at Shanghai 1937 (Courtesy of Tom Moore at

Moon Chin was the copilot of CNAC’s first DC-2 crew, for DC-2 number 24, when it debuted for the airline in the spring of 1935, and he would fly it regularly until December 8, 1941, when he watched it get blown out of existence from his bedroom window.

Tom Moore of is the nephew of pilot Emil Scott, who was killed in the March 1942 crash of CNAC’s last DC-2. Here’s the link to Scotty’s page at

China’s Wings: War, Intrigue, Romance and Adventure in the Middle Kingdom During the Golden Age of Flight.



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