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  C-53-DO Skytrooper Serial Number 41-20066  

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Stan Gajda 1980

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Ed Plenty 1980

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Martincj 2006
Pilot  1st Lt Ray Vandiver (survived)
Co-Pilot  1st Lt Melvin C. Lewis (survived)
Crew Chief  Sgt Milford W. Lambert (survived)
Radio  Pfc Melvin C. Scharp (survived)
Passenger  David Campbell, Postmaster-General's Department (survived)
Passenger  Jack Lyons, Postmaster-General's Department (survived)
Force Landed  February 26, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas at Santa Monica, CA. Constructors Number 4836. Assigned Australian call sign VH-CDW. Assigned to Air Transport Command (ATC). Tail code 62-TG-66. No known nickname or nose art.

Wartime History
On February 26, 1942 took off on a mission. Returning in the dark, this aircraft overshot Broome Airfield and flew another 400 miles before force landing wheels in the only clear area near Vansittart Bay about six miles southwest of Truscott. The entire crew survived. The crash landing was prior to the construction of Truscott Airfield. After the crash, this aircraft was declared Missing In Action (MIA) until discovered.

After the crash landing, some parts were salvaged. Postwar, the cargo door was salvaged by MacRobertson Miller Airlines (MMA). The rest of the aircraft remains in situ.

Lambert passed away on October 19, 1974 due to a apartment house fire. He is buried at Gypsum Hill Cemetery in Salina, KS at plot block 10, lot 44, space 1.

Scharp passed away on May 23, 2006. He is buried at Kaysville City Cemetery in Kaysville, UT.

Allied Air Transport Operations SWPA in WWII - Volume One, page 345
ADF Serials - C-53 41-20066 - C-53 41-20066
FindAGrave - Milford W. Lambert (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Melvin Conrad Scharp (photos)
Thanks to Stan Gajda and Daniel Leahy for information

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Last Updated
June 3, 2020


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