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  C-47A-DK Skytrain Serial Number 42-92062 Nose 385
USAAF
5th AF
433rd TCG
70th TCS

Pilot  1st Lt Russell A. Morrison, O-740880 70th TCS (MIA / KIA) Deleon, TX
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Kenneth E. Wirth, O-772242 70th TCS (MIA / KIA) Lincoln, NE
Engineer  TSgt John F. Semmens, 12123113 70th TCS (MIA / KIA) Harrington Park, NJ
Radio  SSgt Frank M. Staker, 39529923 70th TCS (MIA / KIA) Liberal, KS
Passenger  Colonel Oscar D. McNeely, O-7325 HQ, 25th AAA Group (MIA / KIA) OK
Passenger  Pfc Paul E. Almon, 39197973 574th Signal Air Warning Battalion (MIA / KIA) WA
Passenger  Captain Hal Sayre, O-355966 821st Engineer Battalion, Aviation (MIA / KIA) CO
Passenger  Pfc William H. Hatch, 34466193 574th Signal Air Warning Battalion (MIA / KIA) NC
Passenger  Captain Boothe C. Haltom, O-366455 146th AAA Ops Detachment (MIA / KIA) MS
Passenger  1st Lt Harry E. Petersen, O-1640812 929th Signal Battalion (MIA / KIA) Roosevelt, MN
Passenger  Pfc Irvin H. Miller, 33489435 574th Signal Air Warning Battalion (MIA / KIA) PA
Passenger  Lt. John R. Riisoe, O-2036215 HQ FEAF (MIA / KIA) KS
Passenger  Pvt Francis J. Benson, 38363676 574th SAW Battalion (MIA / KIA) TX
Passenger  1st Lt William L. Pilgrim, O-1289620 151st IR, 38th ID (MIA / KIA) SC
Passenger  1st Lt Claude A. Reese, Jr., O-1288619 21st IR, 24th ID (MIA / KIA) TX
Passenger  T/5 Alfred G. Daigneau, 15376994 574th SAW Battalion (MIA / KIA ) OH
Passenger  2nd Lt George D. Steel Jr., O-2036224 HQ, FEASC (MIA / KIA) WY
Passenger  T5 John L. Zajicek, 37181290 574th Signal Air Warning Battalion (MIA / KIA) MS
Passenger  Lt(jg) John H. Fezler, 2281365 USN (MIA / KIA) OK
Passenger  CAOM William C. Meadville, 6048993 USNR (MIA / KIA) PA
Passenger  Lt Peter Ogilvie Graham, QX26597 2nd MLG (MIA / KIA) Kingaroy, Queensland
Passenger  Captain Clement Loughlin Schrader, SX9339 2/7 Fd. Regt. Artillery (MIA / KIA) Adelaide, SA
MIA  October 1, 1944
MACR  9016

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 11821. On June 17, 1943 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-47A-DK Skytrain serial number 42-92062. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
On August 27, 1943 Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 433rd Troop Carrier Group, 70th Troop Carrier Squadron. Nose Number 385. No known nickname. When lost, engines: R-1830-92 serial numbers CP-354000 and 41-16632. No armament was aboard this aircraft.

Mission History
On October 1, 1944 at 5:47am took off from Cyclops Drome near Hollandia piloted by 1st Lt. Russell A. Morrison on a flight bound for Finschafen Airfield. Aboard was four flight crew from the 70th Troop Carrier Squadron. Also aboard were passengers from the U. S. Army plus two from the U. S. Navy and six Australians. This aircraft was last seen on take off. The flight route was unknown, but presumed to be direct to the destination. The weather was reported as clear with occasional scattered thunderstorms and good visibility. On October 2, 1944 by 9:00am it was determined that this C-47 had never arrived at the destination and radio messages were relayed to all stations south of Hollandia, that confirmed the plane had not landed anywhere else nor contacted any other radio stations. Afterwards, this aircraft was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
The search effort was directed by Captain Michael M. DuBelko, O-529245. On October 3, 1944 at 7:30am two C-47s searched between Hollandia and Hansa Bay over land and sea routes, flying eight hours each, without results. On October 4, 1944 at 6:30am two C-47s searched the inland route to Finschafen flying ten hours, without results. All planes in this vicinity were advised of the missing aircraft.

Memorials
All U. S. Army crew and passengers were officially declared dead the day of the mission. None of the American crew or passengers earned the Purple Heart posthumously as the flight was a routine flight in an area deemed to be a non-combat area, although the likely flightpath was over Japanese occupied areas.

The U. S. Navy passengers were officially declared dead on October 2, 1945.

All American crew members are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Australians Graham and Schrader are both memorialized at Lae War Cemetery on the Lae Memorial, panel 1.

Morrison earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain. He also has a memorial marker at De Leon Cemetery in De Leon, TX.

Wirth also has a memorial marker at Wyuka Cemetery in Nebraska City, NB at section 2.

Semmens earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

Staker earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Oak Leaf Cluster and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

McNeely earned the Legion of Merit. He also has a memorial marker at Memorial Park Cemetery in Enid, OK.

Sayre was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major. He also has a memorial marker at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, CO at section 70.

Reese earned the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Hatch also has a memorial marker at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.

Haltom also has a memorial marker at Magnolia Cemetery in Batesville, MS.

Petersen also has a memorial marker at Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji, MN.

References
Other sources list five additional Australian passengers as:
Joseph Engel, TC-10622, Arthur Hawley, TC-7041, Ronald Ince, TC-2405, John Mignot, TC-10720 and Dennis Rawson, TC-9730, yet Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) only lists two Australians as missing on October 1, 1944 and memorialized on the Lae Memorial.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-47A-DK Skytrain 42-92062
"92062 (MSN 11821) delivered Jun 17, 1943. 5th AF Bri Aug 27, 1943. With 433rd TCG lost Oct 1, 1944, Humboldt Bay, New Guinea. MACR 9016"
Missing Air Crew Report 9016 (MACR 9016) created October 5, 1944
(Page 1) Lists additional Australian passengers as: Joseph Engel, Arthur Hawley, Ronald Ince, John Mignot and Dennis Rawson. These names do not appear on Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).
(Page 23) Lists additional Australian passengers as: Joseph Engel, Arthur Hawley, Ronald Ince, John Mignot and Dennis Rawson. These names do not appear on Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - C-47 Dakota 42-92062
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Russell A. Morrison
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Kenneth E. Wirth
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John F. Semmens
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank M. Staker
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Oscar D. McNeely
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul E. Almon
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Hal Sayre
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William H. Hatch
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Boothe C. Haltom
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harry E. Petersen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Irvin H. Miller
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John R. Riisoe
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Francis J. Benson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William L. Pilgrim
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Claude A. Reese, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alfred G. Daigneau
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George D. Steel Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John L. Zajicek
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John H. Fezler
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William C. Meadville
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) - Peter Ogilvie Graham
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) - Clement Loughlin Schrader
FindAGrave - Capt Russell Andrew Morrison (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Russell Andrew Morrison (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Kenneth E Wirth (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Kenneth Edwin Wirth (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt John F Semmens (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Frank M Staker (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Col Oscar DuBois McNeely (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Col Oscar DuBois McNeely (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Paul Edward Almon (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Maj Hal Sayre (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Hal Sayre (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - PFC William Hardaway Hatch, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - PFC William Hardaway Hatch, Jr (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Capt Boothe Carothers Haltom (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Boothe Carothers Haltom (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Harry E Petersen (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lieut Harry E Petersen (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Irvin H. Miller
FindAGrave - John R. Riisoe
FindAGrave - Francis J. Benson
FindAGrave - William L. Pilgrim
FindAGrave - Claude A. Reese, Jr.
FindAGrave - Alfred G. Daigneau
FindAGrave - George D. Steel Jr.
FindAGrave - John L. Zajicek
FindAGrave - John H. Fezler
FindAGrave - William C. Meadville
FindAGrave -
FindAGrave -

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Last Updated
October 1, 2020

 

Tech Info
C-47

MIA
MIA
22 Missing
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