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|Pilot 2nd Lt Harold B. Majure O-789731 (KIA, BR) MS
Co-Pilot Sgt Douglas Croot, RAAF 415020 (KIA, BR) Canna, WA
Radio TSgt Clifford D. Stephens, 6944185 (KIA, BR) WV
Engineer Sgt Jack J. Deonier, 17019533 (KIA, BR) FL
Passenger Col. Lawrence A. Quinn, O-439 C. O., 126th Inf Reg (KIA, BR) VA
Passenger Capt Harland C. Andrews, O-369941, 126th Inf Reg, supply officer (KIA, BR) MI
Passenger Pvt Stanley C. Davis, 20634246, 126th Inf Reg (KIA, BR) Adrian, MI
Passenger Pvt Kenneth W. Horrocks, 20635362, 126th Inf Reg (KIA, BR) MI
Crashed November 5, 1942
Built by Douglas Aircraft Company. Constructors Number 4643. On August 24, 1942 delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-47-DL Skytrain serial number 41-38615. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
On October 9, 1942, assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 374th Troop Carrier Group (374th TCG), 6th Troop Carrier Squadron (6th TCS). Nicknamed "The Broadway Limited". Australian call sign VH-CFM. On October 31, 1944 this aircraft was officially written off.
On November 5, 1942 at 10:50am took off from 5 Mile Drome (Ward) near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt Harold B. Majure with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) co-pilot Sgt Douglas Croot on a mission to drop supplies to the U.S. Army 32nd Infantry Division, 126th Infantry Regiment at Bofu during their crossing of the Kapa Kapa Trail across the Owen Stanley Range. Aboard were four passengers including Col. Lawrence A. Quinn, C. O. of the 126th Infantry Regiment. plus three others from regiment including Captain Harland C. Andrews, Pvt Stanley C. Davis and Pvt Kenneth W. Horrocks.
G. L. Thoman adds:
"The primary reason Col. Quinn was on the fatal air drop flight was that he was curious about how the air drops would work with parachutes. My father Capt. Kenneth R. Thoman was the supply officer of the 126th and had been flying on the air drops. They crammed in as many drops as daylight would permit. On a signal from the co-pilot my father and three of his men would push the cargo out of the door. Hoping it would hit the drop zone and still be usable without parachutes. On the first day they used cargo chutes my dad and his men had the C-47 loaded. Col. Quinn drove up to the plane and told Capt. Thoman to stay back and he would handle the drop. The Col. wanted to see how the new chutes would work. On the first pass the chute opened inside the aircraft and fouled the elevators. The whole crew was lost. It was curiosity that cost the Colonel his life and saved my fathers."
Over Bofu during the supply drop, one of the cargo parachutes became tangled on the tail assembly, causing this C-47 to crash into a hillside, killing everyone aboard on impact. The crash was observed by C-47 "Dumbo" 41-18568 piloted by 2nd Lt Earl B. Lattier who saw it drop supplies then crashed.
That same day, the crash site was found east of Natunga by 126th Infantry Regiment soldiers in the vicinity. A supply parachute fouling the tail is believed to have caused the crash.
The Ghost Mountain Boys page 151:
"Upon arriving at Natunga, Lutjens noted that the salvage team pulled out 'mashed bodies' with one hand and enjoyed undamaged fruitcake it had found among the wreckage with the other."
Recovery of Remains
At the crash site, eight bodies were recovered from the wreckage. Chaplin Father Stephen Dzienis performed burial services for the dead crew at the crash site. On November 8, 1942 a memorial service was held for Col. Quinn by the 126th Infantry Regiment in Port Moresby.
Postwar, the field burials at the crash site were exhumed by American Graves Registration Service (AGRS. After the recovery of remains, the crew were permenantly buried in New Guinea, the Philippines and the United States.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission.
Australian Croot was buried at Bomana War Cemetery at A8 C 17.
Three of the crew were buried at Manila American Cemetery. Majure at plot N row 3 grave 153, Stephens at plot N row 4 grave 88 and Davis at plot D row 13 grave 128.
Two were buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery. Quinn at section J site 905 and Deonier at section C site 603.
Andrews was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Adrian, MI at block 12.
Davis was buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Hudson, MI.
Horrocks was buried at Evergreen Township Cemetery in Sheridan, MI.
This C-47 was nickname "The Broadway Limited" but might have been spelled "Broadway Limited" or "Broadway Ltd.", the exact spelling is not know in the absence of any photos of the aircraft from 1942.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - 4C-47-DL Skytrain 41-38615
"38615 (MSN 4643) to USAAF Aug 24, 1942 - 5th AF, Australia Oct 09, 1942. w/o Nov 5, 1942 while dropping supplies, parachute entangled in the tail and crashed near Natunga, PNG. Cond Oct 31, 1944"
HyperWar: US Army in WWII: Victory in Papua page 121 (states supply drop was at Natunga)
Casualty File Microfilm 80350 Frame 1354 (Note: aircraft serial number incorrectly quoted as 41-18615)
The Carnegie Herald, Wed., Dec. 2, 1942
Sgt. Jack Deonier, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Deonier, was killed in air plane accident in Australia [sic] November 5, according to word received by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Deonier, Cowden. The young man enlisted in the Air Corps in Florida.
Edward Deonier, U.S. Marine, was killed by a Jap sniper August 7, 1940 in China more than a year before Pearl Harbor. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Deonier.
Both Adolph and Ernest were in World War I and Ernest is back in active service in the present conflict, and their younger brother, Pvt. Roy R. is enrolled in a special course at the Signal Corps' school at Camp Murphy, Fla. He was selected for his training on basis of his aptitude."
Casualty File 80350 Frame 1354 lists SN as 41-18615 incorrect
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - C-47 41-38615
CWGC - Douglas Croot
FindAGrave - Col Lawrence A Quinn (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Jack J. Deonier (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Capt Harland C Andrews (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Stanley C. Davis (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Kenneth W. Horrocks (grave photo)
Advance to Buna Part 2 reference to Col Quinn
The Ghost Mountain Boys (2007) pages 148-151
Thanks to Daniel Leahy and G. L. Thoman for additional information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
8° 58' 0S 148° 16' 60E
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