CRASH OF A C-47A DAKOTA
AT COOKTOWN
ON 11 JUNE 1944

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On 11 June 1944, a C-47A Dakota under the command of Captain David C. Vaugher of the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 374th Troop Carrier Group crashed at Cooktown.

The aircraft was a new arrival from the USA and the co-pilot was a new replacement pilot on one of his first trip assignments. There were about 20 plus US soldiers in full gear aboard the aircraft. No one was injured and the Sergeant in charge quickly responded to Captain Vaugher's order to abandon the aircraft and moved his company to a safe distance from the site. No fire occurred. There was a gash cut in the fuselage just aft of the co-pilot window by the propeller.

Captain Vaugher was given another 60 days duty in New Guinea by the 374th Troop Carrier Group commander for his "pilot error" in allowing the new pilot to make the landing at Cooktown from the left seat which was not in accord with Group policy. The co-pilot apparently suffered from headaches to the point that he was eventually re-classified as a ground officer.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank David C. Vaughter, Capt. USAF (Ret) for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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This page first produced 23 May 2000

This page last updated 30 March 2013