Today in Military History: Dec. 13, 1941, civilian airlines available for war effort, if needed

On December 13, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues an executive order, Executive Order 8974: Control of Civil Aviation,  authorizing the Secretary of War to take control of any civilian airline needed for the war effort. Contracts with the airlines permitted the purchase of aircraft and airline services.

A Douglas DC-3 of Eastern Airlines sits in front of the new main terminal of Washington National Airport in 1941. In military service, the airliner was designated the C-47. (Library of Congress)