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  C-46F-1-CU Commando Serial Number 44-78961  
USAAF
20th AF
13th Airdrome Squadron

Pilot  Captain James Curley Queen, O-705422 13th Airdrome Squadron (MIA / KIA) MD
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. George Eisenhour Jr., O-2058130 (MIA / KIA) Palmyra, PA
Navigator  1st Lt. Richard George Davis, 2078947 (MIA / KIA) NY
Engineer  Sgt Earl C. Glass, 15115981 19th Airdrome Squadron (MIA / KIA) WV
Radio  Sgt Stanley Brudny, 12209337 (MIA / KIA) NY
Passenger  2nd Lt. Dwight K. Gilbert, 1651745 3362nd Signal Battalion (MIA / KIA) IA
Passenger  WO(jg) Alfred Joseph Di Piletro, W2127771 (MIA / KIA)
Passenger  Pfc Arthur Brown, 39490305 811th Engineer Battalion, Aviation (MIA / KIA) OR
Passenger  Sgt Joseph Bowens, 33800498 (MIA / KIA) SC
Passenger  T4 Fred Brown, 34292586 (MIA / KIA) LA
Passenger   T5 Robert L. Goins, 45040629 440th Port Company (MIA / KIA) IN
Passenger  SSgt Vivian L. Harris, 32557268 (MIA / KIA) NJ 440th Port Company
Passenger  T5 Emanuel M. Jackson, 43004921 3527th Transportation Corps (MIA / KIA) VA
Passenger  T5 Jessie L. Glover, 46019499 440th Port Company (MIA / KIA) MS
Passenger  T5 Carnell Boyd, 44004947 440th Port Company (MIA / KIA) TN
Passenger  Pfc John T. Eatmon, 42271279 440th Port Company (MIA / KIA) NY
Passenger  Pfc Jonathon Culbertson, 33556137 440th Port Company (MIA / KIA) MD
Passenger  Pfc Clarence W. Brown, 44160430 440th Port Company (MIA / KIA) NY
Passenger  Pfc Earnest Flowers, 38210568 440th Port Company (MIA / KIA) IL
Passenger  Cpl Harry L. Edmonds, 34870809 3527th Transportation Corps (MIA / KIA) MS
Passenger  Pfc L. C. Hollins, 38299950 536th Quartermaster Company (MIA / KIA) TX
Passenger  Pfc Williams Jenkins, Jr., 35865144 536th Quartermaster Company (MIA / KIA) OH
Passenger  Pfc Robert Hillaman, Jr. (MIA / KIA) GA
Crashed  November 16, 1946
MACR  15061

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss-Wright. Constructors Number 22784. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-46F-1-CU Commando serial number 44-78961. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20th AF), 13th Airdrome Squadron (13th ADS). Also known by the last four digits of the serial number "8961". No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R2800-75 serial numbers 088529 and 088819. No armament was aboard.

Mission History
On November 16, 1946 took off from Guam piloted by Captain James C. Queen on an administrative flight bound for Iwo Jima. The weather was a cloud ceiling at 1,000' with visibility of 15 miles. At 1:35pm last contacted by radio six miles northeast of Iwo Jima. Afterwards crashed into the sea east of Iwo Jima killing everyone aboard.

Gareth Rosson adds:
"There was a team of Black solders in it. They were coming back from Japan. They went there to play baseball (they lost). At the time, I was a S/Sgt with the 3605th HAM Shop Co. and they had made me acting first Sgt. over the company. I was outside the orderly room with T/ 5 John Willinghoff and T/5 Walker. The plane we could hear it, it was coming in on Airfield No. 3 approaching north to south.  It was way to high and missed the field. It came to our left about 600 feet away. It went on down to the water. It hit about 1,200 feet out in the water to the left of the main office for the island. Col. Thomson was the top man in the office at that time. We saw it hit the water, no one came up and to the top of the water and the plane went down. Record shows that this plane went down about 15 miles out into the water.  ( That is a lie) This plane had 20 enlisted men on it, also Capt Queen was flying it."

Search
After the loss, a search mission was flown by the Emergency Rescue B-17 on November 17 at 1:00am, searching the area the C-46 was lost on radar flying at 1,000 feet, then returned on thirty minutes later due to due to low clouds and mist. At 6:00 a second search was flown for 4:35, sighted ten miles east of the island, including an oil slick which covered five mile area and a photograph of debris was taken. An LST was directed to the area by smoke bombs dropped from the aircraft. Also, a twenty mile search for survivors was conducted, without results.

Memorials
The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. Since this flight was designated as a non-battle casualty, none of the crew or passengers earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

All are memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the court of the missing, court 7.

Queen earned the Air  Medal, Commendation Ribbon.

Eisenhour earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Hillaman earned the Bronze Star.

References
USAF Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando - 44-78961
Missing Air Crew Report 15061 (MACR 15061) created November 23, 1946
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James C. Queen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George Eisenhour Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard G. Davis
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Earl C. Glass
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Stanley Brudny

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Dwight K. Gilbert

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alfred J. Di Pietro
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur Brown
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph Bowens
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Fred Brown
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert L. Goins
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Vivien L. Harris
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Emanuel M. Jackson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jessie L. Glover
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Carnell Boyd
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John T. Eatmon
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jonathon Culbertson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Clarence W. Brown
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Earnest Flowers
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harry L. Edmonds
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - L. C. Hollins
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Williams Jenkins, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert Hillman Jr.
FindAGrave - Capt James Curley Queen (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt George Eisenhour, Jr (obituary, courts of the missing photo)
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Thanks to Gareth Rosson for additional information

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020

 

Tech InfoC-46

MapRadar Map
Nov 16, 1946

MIA
MIA
23 Missing
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