The Duck was technically the first flying boat built by the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation. It evolved from the Loening OL amphibian after Grumman obtained the rights to the design.

Designed as a carrier-based utility transport, its duties included observation/scouting and what later was known as COD. (Carrier Onboard Delivery). Other military uses included transport, photoreconnaissance, rescue, bombing, and depth-charging. Ducks served with the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard before and during World War II.

Foreign air forces that have used the Grumman amphibian include those of Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico. In civilian service, Ducks have been used in movies, as firefighters, and as air taxis. New York’s Dawn Patrol Seaplane Base used this aircraft to ferry businessmen between Long Island and Manhattan. Today, most surviving Ducks are in museums, though a handful are maintained in flying condition.