History of the Grumman Goose
Original Use and WWII
The Goose was originally designed for the purpose of transporting businessmen from Long Island to New York City, and it began production in 1937. It was roughly contemporary with the DC-3, and at the time the all-metal construction was on the cutting edge of modern airplane design.
Most of the 345 Gooses that were built went into military service, and while most of them were used in a utility role, some were equipped with bombs. (One 250 pound bomb under each wing) During the war, a Goose was captured by the Japanese, and they liked it enough that they continued to fly it. Production ceased at the end of the war in 1945.
Post-War and Beyond
In the post-war years, the Goose became a successful commercial seaplane and saw use throughout the Caribbean, at Catalina Island off the California coast, throughout the inside waters of British Columbia and the Southeast Alaska Panhandle, on Kodiak Island, on the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands.
The airplane’s excellent handling characteristics in rough water and strong winds kept it flying in Alaska long after it was retired elsewhere. In 2012, Alaska’s last scheduled commercial Goose service came to an end when PenAir closed their Dutch Harbor operation.
Since the airplane was first introduced, it has had an extraordinarily long service life of 75 years. It is estimated that there are 30-40 airworthy Gooses worldwide.