PSA started flying the DC-3 on May 6, 1949. The first one was leased for $2000/month, with the owner expecting it to run 12 hours per month. When he found out PSA was using it 150 hours per month, the owner sent a 250 pound man to Burbank to repossess it. Needless to say, the lease was renegotiated.
In the early days, PSA received approval to operate the DC-3 to 27,500 lbs weight. Leo Leonard and Joe Plosser ended up flying the airplane. To operate the DC-3, they had to compute single-engine performance figures. After loading the airplane to the maximum weight with unsecured lead weights, they took off from Lindbergh. The two ended up climbing at about 150 feet/minute on only one engine...over Mission Bay!
PSA steadily added DC-3s through the years. One noted example is a plane PSA bought, and installed a chartreuse green interior in it. Passengers learned to hate the green airplane (N49840) until a new interior was installed.
The fleet information listed below is from PSA archives, and other sources. The dates are from PSA archives. No dates have been found for the other 4 DC-3 aircraft.