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  C-47-DL "Eager Beaver" Serial Number 41-7733 Call Sign VH-CDM
5th AF
317th TCG
40th TCS

Pilot  F/O Harold Gene Wilson, T-185505 40th TCS, 317th TCG (KIA, BR) KS
Co-Pilot  F/O Robert Wilson Forrest, Jr,, T-0000173, 40th TCS, 317th TCG (KIA, BR) Brigham City, UT
Engineer  SSgt Cielinski, 40th TCS, 317th TCG (KIA, BR)
Radio  Cpl David W. Markel, 17057259 40th TCS, 317th TCG (KIA, BR) Kansas City, KS
Passenger  MSgt Donald H. Arbogast, 19017105 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Waterville, WA
Passenger  TSgt Delbert Braund, 16009775 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) LaVelle, WI
Passenger  TSgt Leo W. Butcher, 16054893 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Madison, IL
Passenger  TSgt Grant W. Caldwell, 7001209 347th FG, 67th FS (KIA, BR) Limona, FL
Passenger  TSgt Andrew J. Crowley, Jr., 12080905 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Athens, PA
Passenger  Sgt Herman R. Cummins, 13050228 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Baltimore, MD
Passenger  TSgt Rodney L. Dinneen, 31078190 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Fitchburg, MA
Passenger  MSgt Arah L. Doolittle, 3916281 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Los Angeles, CA
Passenger   TSgt Stephen D. Dzury, 13056189 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Wilkes Barre, PA
Passenger  1st Lt. Owen A. Hawver, O-664588 345th BG, 499th BS (KIA, BR)
Passenger  TSgt Carl J. Huebner, 36222562 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Portage, WI
Passenger   TSgt Charles S. Hunter, 7023939 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Glasgow, VA
Passenger  MSgt Francis M. Lee, 6935927 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Burlington, Iowa
Passenger  TSgt Laurence P. McKenna, 36245602 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Clinton, IA
Passenger  TSgt Ezra E. Rapp, 20926193 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Idaho Falls, ID
Passenger  TSgt George A. Roberts, 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Caraban, TX
Passenger  SSgt Wilmer R. Fowler, 13073375 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Baltimore, MD
Passenger  SSgt William F. Repass, 34283012 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) New Market, TN
Passenger  Sgt Floyd M. Simpson, 39847563 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Caddo, OK
Passenger  Cpl Venard H. Trebon, 17027532 347th FG, 67th FS (KIA, BR) Dubuque, IA
Passenger  S/Sgt Charles W. Tuttle, 1105524 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Lynn, MA
Passenger  S/Sgt Willard G. Van Patten, 36178495 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Sumner, MI
Passenger  SSgt Charles J. Zahora, 13054137 345th BG, 500th BS (KIA, BR) Coaldale, PA
Crashed  August 7, 1943 at 5:20am<
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army as C-47-DL Skytrain serial number 41-7733. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 317th Troop Carrier Group, 40th Troop Carrier Squadron. Nicknamed "Eager Beaver". No known nose art. Call sign VH-CDM.

Mission History
On August 7, 1943 took off at 5:00am from Garbutt Airfield at Townsville on a flight bound for Archerfield Airfield near Brisbane. Aboard were four crew and twenty three passengers. Shortly after take off, crashed into Cleveland Bay southeast of Townsville at 5.20 am. All twenty seven aboard died in the crash.

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the crew and passengers were recovered.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, the remains of the crew and passengers were transported back to the United States for permanent burial.

Six are buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Dinneen at plot B grave 155. Crowley at plot C grave 594. Braund at plot B grave 381. Cummins at section F, site 572. Huebner at plot A grave 292. Zahora at plot A grave 969.

Wilson is buried at Highland Cemetery in Ashland, Kansas.
Forrest is buried at Brigham City Cemetery in Brigham City, Utah at plot B-51-53-4.
Cielinski is buried at Mountain View Cemetery, Longmont, CO.
Markel is buried at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery section B site 2196-E.
Arbogast is buried at Waterville Cemetery, Waterville WA.
Butcher is buried at Butcher Cemetery, Turnertown, WV.
Caldwell is buried at Hackney Cemetery, Riverview, FL.
Doolittle is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood CA at plot: Ins Gr div B, lot 399, evergreen
Dzury is buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery section 2, site 345.
Hawver is buried at Stafford Cemetery in Stafford, KS at plot H-90.
Hunter is buried at High Bridge Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Natural Bridge, VA.
Lee is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery, Canton, SD.
McKenna at Saint Marys Cemetery in Clinton, IA.
Rapp is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery, Idaho Falls, ID.
Roberts is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at section N site 79.
Fowler is buried at Baltimore National Cemetery in Baltimore MD at section D, site 1129.
Repass at New Market Cemetery, New Market, TN.
Simpson is buried at South Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Tucson, AZ at section 1.
Trebon is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery Key West Dubuque County Iowa, USA
Tuttle is buried at Long Island National Cemetery at plot H grave 9030.
Van Patten at Arlington National Cemetery at section 12 site 5351.

On August 14, 2005 a memorial to this aircraft and crew was dedicated at Kissing Point in Townsville, adjacent to the existing US WWII Memorial. The head of the US 5th Air Force, Lt Gen Bruce Wright was in attendance.

Mary Jane Hawver McEntire (cousin of Owen Hawver)
"Our fathers were brothers. Owen was killed before I was born but I grew up hearing about 1st Lt. Owen A. Hawver.  His mother never got over his loss. Part of the Hawver history that his mother Ina Hawver wrote may be of interest. It is heartbreaking to read from a mothers point of view. Here is a photograph of his grave."

The Forgotten Fifth aircraft nickname index lists nickname as "Eager Beaver"
Oz@War - Crash of a C-47 Dakota into Cleveland Bay, Townsville, QLD on 7 August 1943
Oz@War - Ten Worst Aircraft Crashes in Australia
FindAGrave - FO Harold Gene Wilson (grave photo)
FindAGrave - FO Robert Wilson Forrest, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Robert J. Cielinski (grave photo)
FindAGrave - David W. Markel (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Charles E. Tuttle
FindAGrave - Donald H. Arbogast (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Delbert Moses Braund (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Leo W Butcher (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Grant W. Caldwell (grave photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Andrew J Crowley, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SGT Herman R Cummins (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Rodney L. Dinneen (grave photo)
FindAGrave - MSGT Arah Leroy Doolittle (grave photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Stephen D. Dzury (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Owen Andrew Hawver (photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Carl J Huebner (grave photo)
FIndAGrave - Charles H. Hunter (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Francis M. Lee (grave photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Laurence P McKenna (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Ezra Errol Rapp (grave photo)
FindAGrave - George A. Roberts (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Wilmer Roland Fowler (grave photo)
FindAGrave - William Fred Repass (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Floyd M. Simpson (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Venard H Trebon (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Charles W Tuttle (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Willard G. Van Patten (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Charles J Zahora (grave photo)
Thanks to Michael Claringbould, Rob Manning and Robert McClelland for additional information

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Last Updated
June 2, 2020


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