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  CG-4A "Fanless Faggot" Serial Number 43-41???  
USAAF
6th AF

Click For Enlargement
U. S. Army June 28, 1945

Click For Enlargement
U. S. Army June 28, 1945

Aircraft History
Designed by Waco Aircraft Company (WACO) in Troy, Ohio and built by sixteen contractors. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as CG-4A Glider serial number 43-41??? (last three digits of the serial number unknown). Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

In New Guinea, nickname "Fanless Faggot" as a reference to it being a non-powered aircraft made of a bundle of sticks with the nose art painted on each side of the nose in block letters with a black shadow.

Wartime History
On June 28, 1945 C-47 "Leaking Louise" took off from Hollandia towing this glider and released it over the Hidden Valley (Balim Valley) and landed at a prepared clearing to rescue three survivors from the May 13, 1945 crash of C-47A "Gremlin Special / Guinea Gopher" 42-23952 plus Filipino medics who parachuted to their aid four days later.

Thirty minutes after landing, this glider was man handled into position with the help of local people and the tow cable attached to two posts for pickup. The three survivors: TSgt Kenneth Decker, Cpl Margaret Hastings and 1st Lt. John S. McColom plus two paratrooper medics from the U. S. Army 1st Filipino Regiment (1st Recon) Sergeant Benjamin “Doc” Bulatao and Corporal Camilo “Rammy” Ramirez boarded the glider. Above, a B-25 with Colonel Ray T. Elsmore aboard orbited to observe the rescue.

Once ready, the same C-47 swooped in low and "snatched" the tow cable line pulling the glider airborne. During take off, a parachute placed on the ground as a marker became stuck on the bottom. As the glider became airborne, it barely cleared trees but limbs caused tears in the lower fabric surfaces and the parachute flapped violently against the bottom causing drag and more damage.

Aboard, 1st Lt. John S. McColom crawled to the rear of the glider and was able to retrieve the parachute. Climbing out of the valley, the C-47's engines nearly overheated before clearing the mountains and flew back to Hollandia. In total, it took 47 days to rescue the three survivors who were photographed with this glider.

Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - CG-4A 43-41???
Lost in Shangri-La (2012) by Mitchell Zuckoff profiles this C-47 loss and the story of the rescue

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Last Updated
June 28, 2020

 

Tech Info
CG-4A

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