The four-seat Fairchild F24, sporting and training aeroplane, made its first flight in 1932. The design attracted attention from the civilian American market and improved models soon began to appear. With the appearance of the F24W series, the aircraft’s potential as a light military transport was recognised by the United States Army. An initial contract for 161 aircraft for the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) was placed in 1941. However, all the aircraft were re-allocated to the Royal Air Force under the American Lend-Lease Act which allowed war materials ordered for the United States armed forces to be given to other nations for the duration of the war.
Further contracts led to the delivery of more than 600 aircraft to the United Kingdom. Known in the USAAF as the Forwarder, those arriving in Great Britain were given the official name Argus.
The Argus was used in the light communications role by the RAF and found a particular niche ferrying pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary.
The Museum’s aircraft was used during the war as a hack for the US 8th Air Force. After purchase from private owners in 1973, it spent many years in deep storage, before restoration for the Museum by the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society in 1999.