Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 1: Douglas MO-2BS floatplane

Douglas MO-2BS floatplane

Data current to 14 April 2021.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390223)

Douglas MO-2BS, RCAF G-CYZG during an airmail flight to Saint John, NB from Ottawa, 1929.

Douglas MO-2BS Seaplane (1), (Reg. No. G-CYZG).

The Douglas O-2 biplane family was one of the longest-lived American designs during the inter-war period.  Entering service with the US military as early as 1924, some later models were still service at the outbreak of the Second World War.  The O-2 design featured conventional construction for the period with a welded steel tube fuselage and wooden wings.  Fuel was carried in extra thick centre section stubs for the lower wings. O-2B models were identical the original O-2A model series except the former feature dual controls.

The RCAF’s single O-2BS was originally purchased directly from Douglas during O-2 production for the US Army.  In fact the aircraft was delivered factory fresh in a US Army colour scheme.  It was acquired by Mr J.D. McKee, a wealthy American aviation-enthusiast, and was first used in a Trans Canada flight from Montréal to Vancouver in September 1928.  The aircraft was flown on this historic trip by Squadron Leader A.E. Godfrey of the RCAF.  After the unfortunate death of Mr McKee in an aviation accident in Québec, the RCAF then acquired the aircraft.  It was subsequently converted to MO-2B standard and was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney 425 hp Wasp A radial engine.  It was converted at the same time to a silver colour scheme and carried the G-CYZG registration.  The aircraft could carry an extra seat in this configuration and the aircraft was then used for photographic survey work for the rest of its career with the RCAF until late 1929.

When James McKee bought the aircraft, it was given the United States civil registration NC236. The aircraft was taken on strength with the Royal Canadian Air Force on 22 August 1927.  It was struck off strength on 8 January 1931.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3256153)

Douglas MO-2BS Seaplane, RCAF Reg. No. G-CYZG, Ottawa Air Station, Ontario.

(RCAF Photo)

Douglas MO-2BS Seaplane, RCAF Reg. No. G-CYZG.

(RCAF Photo)

Douglas MO-2BS Seaplane.