RD-4 Dolphin

U.S. military purchasers of the airplane, originally built as an “air yacht” for the commercial market, included the Navy, Army Air Corps and Coast Guard, the latter service procuring 13 of the airplanes and naming each of them after a star (i.e. Rigel, Vega).  In Coast Guard service, the planes flew primarily in the search and rescue role, the first Distinguished Flying Crosses ever awarded to Coast Guardsmen coming as the result of open-sea rescues of fishermen by pilots of RD Dolphins.  The museum’s aircraft, originally purchased in 1934 by William Boeing, founder of the Boeing Airplane Company, later flew with Alaska Airlines.