|Pilot 1st Lt Leonard N. Guest, O-790456 317th TCS, II Air Command (MIA / KIA) NC
Co-Pilot 1st Lt James D. Spore, O-729258 317th TCG, 46th TCS (MIA / KIA) MS
Crew Chief S/Sgt Rollin M. Feese, Jr., 35265290 317th TCG, 46th TCS (MIA / KIA) KY
Asst Crew Chief Cpl Frank G. Parker, 34266734 317th TCG, 46th TCS (MIA / KIA) GA
Radio Operator Pfc William M. Wooldridge, 37277661 (MIA / KIA) ND
MIA April 8, 1943
MACR 16534 / 16438
Built by Douglas as a DC-3-362. Constructors number 3297. Prewar, this aircraft served with Trans Continental and Western Airlines (TWA) and registered in the United States as NC1953, but never allocated. Instead, assigned to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-49-DO serial number 41-7694. Ferried overseas via Hawaii across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force on September 4, 1942 with Australian Call sign VH-CDF. Assigned to the 374th Troop Carrier Group, 21st Troop Carrier Squadron. During January 1943 nicknamed "Calamity Mary Jane". Possibly assigned Australian call sign VH-CDH.
On April 8, 1943 took off from Garbutt Airfield at Townsville at 5:40am piloted by Guest on a flight via Cooktown Airfield bound for Port Moresby. This aircraft failed to arrive at either airfield. When it failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
For several days, search aircraft searched for this aircraft over the Coral Sea without result.
was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing in Manila American Cemetery.
Guest is memorialized at the Lincoln County Courthouse Monument in Lincolnton, NC at the cenotaph.
Spore has a memorial marker at Englewood Cemetery in Clinton, Missouri.
Missing Air Crew Report 16534 (MACR 16534)
Missing Air Crew Report 16438 (MACR 16438)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leonard N. Guest
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James D. Spore
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Rollin M. Feese Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank C. Parker
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - William M. Wooldridge
FindAGrave - 1LT Leonard Nelson Guest (photo)
Lieut Leonard Nelson Guest (memorial)
FindAGrave - 1Lt James D Spore (tablets of the missing photo)
James D Spore (memorial photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Rollin Montgomery Feese, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Frank C Parker (tablets of the missing)
Corp William Morton Wooldridge, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - C-49 41-7694
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-49 41-7694 incorrectly lists date of loss as April 24, 1943
"DC-3-362 MSN 3297 impressed by USAAF Mar 22, 1941 before delivery to TWA. Registration NC1953
was assigned but NTU. To 5th AF, Australia Sep 04, 1942 - RAAF for ADAT VHCDF *Calamity-Mary-Jane* Jan 1943, also reported VHCDH. Missing Apr 24, 1943."
Daniel Leahy adds:
"According to Baugher's references this information had been provided by a Jean Louis Bleneau. The ADF Serials site does not list this aircraft, though does list that CDB-CDE, CDG, and CDJ-CDK had served with, or had been loaned to the RAAF at one point or another. However the AWM databases have not returned any possible Australian casualties on that date."
Allied Air Transport Operations SWPA in WWII - Volume One page 333
Allied Air Transport Operations SWPA in WWII - Volume Two pages 371, 400
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June 3, 2020