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The first XC-97, 43-27470, was initially stationed at Kirtland Army Air Field, New Mexico and assigned to the 428th Army Air Force Base Unit. This was a Strategic Air Command unit, but it was transferred to Air Materiel Command (AMC) on 1 December 1946. The assignment to Kirtland was related to the nearby Sandia Laboratories, where the Manhattan Project had been established in the utmost secrecy to develop the first atomic bomb. Sister XC-97s 43-27471 and 27472 were delivered to Wright-Patterson, joining AMC’s 4000th Army Air Forces Base Unit.

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