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  C-47-DL "Shady Lady" Serial Number 41-38631  
USAAF
5th AF
374th TCG
33rd TCS

Pilot  SSgt Marvin L. Brandt, 16027948 (KIA, BR) Anchor, IL
Co-Pilot  S/Sgt Quentin C. Ruecker, 20938780 (KIA, BR) Salem, OR
Crew Chief  Sgt Joseph G. Baltascavage, 7021199 (KIA, BR) Shenandoah, PA
Radio  Cpl Hugh Mack Bryan (KIA, BR) Peoria, IL
Crashed  November 26, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas Aircraft Company. Constructors Number 4734. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-47-DL Skytrain serial number 41-38631. Ferried overseas from Hamilton Field via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 374th Troop Carrier Group (374th TCG), 33rd Troop Carrier Squadron (33rd TCS). Nicknamed "Shady Lady". Australian call sign VH-CCZ.

Mission History
On November 26, 1942 took off from Dobodura Airfield piloted SSgt Marvin L. Brandt on a flight bound for 5 Mile Drome (Ward) near Port Moresby. While flying at low altitude over the north coast of New Guinea intercepted without warning by A6M2 Zeros at low altitude and shot down near Dobodura. Also lost is C-47 "Swamp Rat" 41-38601.

Recovery of Remains
The remains of the crew were recovered. Bryan was individually identified. Postwar, the remains of the crew were transported to the Philippines and United States for permenant burial.

Memorials
The crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Each earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Three of the crew were buried at Manila American Cemetery are Brandt at plot A row 13 grave 76. Baltascavage at Plot A Row 15 Grave 80. Ruecker at plot D row 2 grave 203.

On July 20, 1949 Bryan was buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 18, site 4-3.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-47-DL Skytrain 41-38631
"38631 (MSN 4734) to USAAF Sep 20, 1942 - 5th AF, Australia Oct 17, 1942, operated as ‘VHCCZ’. Cond Dec 02, 1942 (Shot down)."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - C-47 Dakota 41-38631
The Oregon Statesman "Sgt Ruecker of Salem Killed In Plane Crash in New Guinea" March 5, 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Marvin L. Brandt
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Quentin C. Ruecker
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph G. Baltascavage

FindAGrave - SSgt Marvin Louis Brandt (grave photos)
FindAGrave - SSgt Quentin C Ruecker (photo, obituary)
FindAGrave - Sgt Joseph G Baltascavage (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Hugh Mack Bryan (grave photo) date of death listed as November 27, 1942 [sic]
Arlington National Cemetery ANC Explorer - Hugh M. Bryan date of death listed as November 27, 1942 [sic]
The Forgotten Fifth aircraft nickname index lists nickname as "Shady Lady"
WWII Pacific Air Transport History List, Volume One (2003) page 350 listed as shot down 11/25/42

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Last Updated
January 2, 2022

 

Tech Info
C-47
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