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  C-47A-70-DL Dakota Serial Number 42-100728  
5th AF
375th TCG
57th TCS

Click For Enlargement
Elliot Smock 2000
Pilot  2nd Lt Thomas H. Fletcher (KIA, BR)
Co-Pilot  Robert McDowell, O-721828 (KIA, BR) OH
Crew  1/Lt Carl F. Copeland (KIA, BR) MA
Crew  Sgt Charles A. Donnelly (KIA, BR) MA

Crew  TSgt James E. Wilson (KIA, BR)
Crashed  January 9, 1945 at 10:17am
MACR  11648

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructor Number 19191. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-47A-70-DL Skytrain 42-100728. Ferried overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
On January 9, 1945 and crashed on Biak due to undetermined reasons. Officially condemned on June 28, 1945.

This crash site was found and the remains of the crew recovered. As of 2000, the wreckage includes the tail section and other wreckage.

Elliot Smock reports:
"This C-47 is located about 1km from the P-39. Max Priban is pictured with the tail stabilizer and wing parts lie close to the road and it is said that some of it was bulldozed there during construction of the road. Villages told us that further up the hill human remains are present in what they say is the wreckage of the forward fuselage but they would not take us as it was getting dark."

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the crew were recovered and transported to Manila and the United States for burial.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the crash. Remains were recovered after the crash and were later buried at Manila American Cemetery. McDowell at Plot F Row 8 Grave 66. Copeland at Plot A Row 3 Grave 171. Donnelly at Plot F Row 3 Grave 52.

Other sources list this aircraft as C-47A 42-100479
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-47A-70-DL Skytrain 42-100479
"100479 (375th TCG) lost Jan 9, 1945, SW Pacific. MACR 11648"
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-47A-70-DL Skytrain 42-100728
"100728 (MSN 19191) condemned missing Jun 28, 1945"
January 1945 USAAF Overseas Accident Report does not list C-47A 42-100728 / C-47A 42-100479 or Fletcher
FindAGrave - Lieut Thomas H Fletcher (grave photo)
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Thanks to Ted Darcy and Phil Fazzini for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


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