Ambitious Restoration of a C-47 to be filmed as a documentary

USAAF Douglas C-47A Dakota 43-48234
USAAF Douglas C-47A Dakota 43-48234

“Let me help, let me help”; this unusual message was received by David Kingshott from Paul Matraves in response to a post on an aviation forum.

David Kingshott had posted a message saying that he was bringing a Douglas C-47 from Mareeba to Caboolture with the intention of fully restoring the plane to its former glory. This particular plane had taken to the skies 72 years ago from the production facility at Oklahoma City and had joined the 22nd Airlift Squadron of the USAF. During WWII it saw service in the Pacific transporting troops, undertaking aerial supply drops and transporting wounded servicemen.

The plane is now parked up in a hangar at Pacific Dakota Restorations, waiting for her restoration which will include modern avionics. David Kingshott hopes the restoration will be completed by Anzac Day 2018, after which he is hoping to fly the plane to Normandy in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Finally, he hopes to undertake a round-the-world trip in 2020.

The other person in this unusual partnership is Paul Matraves who is determined to film the entire restoration project for a documentary that he has named, Against the Wind. Matraves grandfather flew the same model of aircraft during the war, for the Australian Air Force, and both Matraves and his father have pilot’s licenses.

Both of these men have a deep love for the world of flying, and Matraves said, “If I can inspire one person (with this documentary), then the project has been a success. It’s a human interest story that everyone can resonate with.”

Mr. Kingshott said, “I’ve always wanted to rebuild a (C-47) and fly one myself. I want to inspire people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.”

The restoration project can be followed on-line at – Paul is hoping that donations will help him to get together the $150,000 needed to cover the filming of the project. Donations can be made at

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE