07/31/2011. The last DC-4 produced, this aircraft was handed over to the Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens (South African Airways, SAA) registered ZS-BMH and named Lebombo at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant at Santa Monica, California, USA, on August 9, 1947.
Fifteen years later, June 30, 1962, while on approach to Durban-Louis Botha Airport, South Africa, following a flight from Johannesburg International Airport, the aircraft was involved in a collision with a Harvard of the Suid Afrikaans Lugmag (South African Air Force, SAAF). The North American NA-88 Harvard Mk.IIA of No. 5Squadron and serialed 7464, crashed on the Bluff peninsula, Durban, both pilots, Lt. Paul Sinclair and Lt. A.G. Frolich, parachuted to safety. The rudder and elevators of the DC-4 were damaged but Captain Archie Nasmith managed to land safely.
On January 21, 1966 the aircraft was sold to the SAAF, wearing a camouflage paint scheme and serialed 6904 it was assigned to No. 44 Squadron. Between February and May 1977, the aircraft was leased to Safair, temporarily registered ZS-BMH.
After being phased-out by the SAAF the aircraft was bought back by SAA in 1992. Subsequently it was extensively overhauled and repainted in a retro livery. Again named Lebombo and taking up again the registration ZS-BMH, it re-entered service with the SAA Historic Flight on 8 April 1993.
In July 1994 the aircraft participated in the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and won the best transport aircraft award in the classic category, after it already had established a new world record for the longest propliner flight (time and distance) in one direction, with an unchanged passenger group, when it made the over 9,320 mls (15,000 km) long trip to Oshkosh.
On January 25, 2001 the Transnet Heritage Foundation became the new owner of the aircraft, while late 2007 the aircraft was donated to the South African Airways Museum Society based at Rand Airport. The aircraft is still operated as an airliner by the charter company Skyclass Aviation at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.