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  C-47A-30-DL "Betty El" Serial Number 42-23589 Call Sign VH-CGK
USAAF
5th AF
317th TCG
40th TCS

Former Assignments
375th TCG

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Ian Williams 1990s

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Daniel Leahy 2001

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Alan Murray 2006
Pilot  1st Lt. Raymond E. Anglin, USAAF (KIA, BR) TX
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. James W. Kennedy, USAAF (KIA, BR) Allen County, OH
Engineer  Sgt Frank J. Ropinski, USAAF (KIA, BR) Jefferson County, WI
Radio  Sgt Harold L. Baumstein, USAAF (KIA, BR) Hartford, CT
Crew  Sgt Robert L. Adkins, USAAF (KIA, BR) Lima, OH
Passenger  Flt. Lt. Roy Edgar Abbott, RAAF 264204 (KIA, BR) Mittagong, NSW
Passenger  Flt. Lt. Albert Ernest Watkin, RAAF 405265 (KIA, BR) Bundaberg, QLD
Passenger  Sgt Ronald Keith Pitchford, RAAF 410850 (KIA, BR) Hawthorn, VIC
Passenger  Cpl William Brady, RAAF 35720 (KIA, BR) Kingsgrove, NSW
Passenger  Cpl Francis Paul Morris, RAAF 71310 (KIA, BR) Stanmore, NSW
Passenger  LAC John Given Maxwell, RAAF 21638 (KIA, BR) Greta, NSW
Passenger  LAC Stanley Kirk Sims, RAAF 28071 (KIA, BR) Crystal Brook, SA
Passenger  Lt. Hartley H. Lockie, AIF NX151680 12 Adv. Ord. Depot HQ (KIA, BR) Orange, NSW
Passenger  Lt. Ross Roswell AIF NX107453 (KIA, BR) Newcastle, NSW
Passenger  Sgt Victor Frederick Bishop, AIF NX82072 5 Movt. Control Grp (KIA, BR) Queenscliff, NSW
Passenger  Sgt William Joseph Parker, AIF NX133213 (KIA, BR) Strathfield, NSW
Passenger  LSgt Trevor William Davey, AIF VX69200 (KIA, BR) Elsternwick, VIC
Passenger  Gnr William Howard Dorman, AIF QX24775 (KIA, BR) Charters Towers, QLD
Passenger  Pte A. H. Mildre, AIF QX52001 1 Trg. Bn. (KIA, BR)
Crashed  November 16, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas Aircraft Company. Constructors Number 9451. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-47A-30-DL Skytrain serial number 42-23589. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 375th Troop Carrier Group (375th TCG). Next, assigned to the 317th Troop Carrier Group (317th TCG), 40th Troop Carrier Squadron (40th TCS). Nicknamed "Betty El" with Australian call sign VH-CGK.

Mission History
On November 16, 1943 took off from Darwin piloted by 1st Lt. Raymond E. Anglin on a flight bound for Brisbane. This C-47 flew into a violent storm with lightning and crashed at Carnarvon Gorge killing everyone aboard in the crash. Officially condemned on June 9, 1945.

Wreckage
This C-47 crashed onto the Rewan property at Carnarvon Gorge, Queensland. The wreckage was recovered by the Australian Army 25th Battalion / Assault Pioneer Platoon.

Daniel Leahy adds:
"The remains of a USAAF C-47B (VH-CGK) are located at Carnarvon Gorge, Queensland. It appears as if the white bar has been hastily added to the pre-43 star in circle logo. The back of the wing has been hacked by what looks to be an axe."

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the crew were recovered by the Australian Army 25th Battalion / Assault Pioneer Platoon and transported to Springsure. Later, the Australians were buried at Rockhampton Cemetery. Mildre at Plot A. Row A. Grave 15. Lockie at plot A. row A. grave 16. Bishop plot A, row A, grave 12. Lockie plot A. row A, grave 16.

Postwar, the Americans were returned to the United States for internment. Ropinski is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at section B site 976. The burials of the others are unknown, presumed to be in private cemeteries.

Memorial
The entire crew and passengers were officially declared dead the day of the mission.

Anglin is buried at Ridge Park Cemetery in Hillsboro, TX in section 19.

Kennedy earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He is buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot A Row 10 Grave 156.

Ropinski is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at section B site 976.

Baumstein is buried at Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery in Wethersfield, CT at AF 53.

Adkins is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, OH.

The Australian passengers are buried at buried at Rockhampton War Cemetery. Abbot at plot A, row A, grave 6. Watkin at plot A. plot A. grave 8. Watkin also has a memorial marker at Anakie Cemetery, Anakie, QLD on the memorial wall. Pitchford at plot A, row A, grave 6. Brady at plot A, row A, grave 7. Morris at plot A, row A, grave 5. Maxwell at plot A, row A, grave 10. Sims at plot A, row A, grave 11. Lockie at plot A, row A, grave 16. Rowsell at plot A, row A, grave 13. Bishop at plot A. row A, grave 12. Parker at plot A, row B, grave 1. Davey at plot A. row B, grave 2. Dorman at plot A. row A, grave 14. Mildre at plot A. row A, grave 15

After the recovery of remains, the Australian Army 25th Battalion / Assault Pioneer Platoon built a memorial at the crash site at Carnarvon National Park including the port wing with the US star marking, an engine and landing gear leg. The memorial was since refurbished by Roma Boy Scouts Group, and the Injune R.S.L. Red, white and blue display posts raise the wreckage above the ground for display. The other engine was moved to Springsure (approximately 70km away from the Carnarvon Gorge) as a monument to the location where the bodies from the crash were initially transported.

References
Some sources incorrectly list the crash date as November 9, 1943 [sic, November 16, 1943]
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - James W. Kennedy
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Frank J. Ropinski
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - H. L. Baunstein
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-47A-30-DL 42-23589
"23589 (MSN 9451) condemned Jun 9, 1945 due to accident"
FindAGrave - 1LT Raymond E. Anglin (photos, grave photo)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James W. Kennedy
FindAGrave - MSgt James W Kennedy (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Frank J. Ropinski (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SGT Harold L. Baumstein (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Robert Levett Adkins (grave photos)
CWCG - Roy Edgar Abbott
FindAGrave - Roy Edgar Abbott (grave photos)
CWGC - Albert Ernest Watkin
FindAGrave - Lieut Albert Ernest Watkin (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Albert Edward Watkin (memorial marker photo)
CWGC - Ronald Keith Pitchford
FindAGrave - Sgt Ronald Keith Pitchford (grave photos)
CWGC - William Brady
FindAGrave - Corp William Brady (grave photos)
CWGC - Francis Paul Morris
FindAGrave - Col Francis Paul Morris sic Cpl (grave photos)
CWCG - John Given Maxwell
FindAGrave - John Given Maxwell (grave photos)
CWCG - Stanley Kirk Sims
FindAGrave - LAC Stanley Kirk Sims (grave photos)
CWGC - Hartley Horace Lockie
FindAGrave - Lieut Hartley Horace Lockie (grave photos)
CWGC - Ross Rowsell
FindAGrave - Lieut Ross Rowsell (grave photos)
CWGC - Victor Frederick Bishop
FindAGrave - Sgt Victor Frederick Bishop (grave photos)
CWGC - William Joseph Parker
FindAGrave - Sgt William Joseph Parker (grave photos)
CWGC - Trevor William Davey
FindAGrave - Sgt Trevor William Davey (grave photos)
CWGC - William Howard Dorman
FindAGrave - William Howard Dorman (grave photos)
CWGC - Andrew Henry Mildren
FindAGrave - PVT Andrew Henry Mildren (grave photos)

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Last Updated
January 2, 2022

 

Tech Information
C-47
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