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Douglas C-47A-35-DL (Dakota) #42-23919 of the 70th Troop Carrier Squadron, 433rd Troop Carrier Group, 5th Air Force was diverted to Cooktown Civilian Airfield for refuelling on 17 September 1943 during a flight from Townsville to Port Moresby, New Guinea due to fog at the Cooktown RAAF Airfield. The C-47 had left Townsville at 0611 K hours with 5,700 lbs of cargo which also included 3,200 lbs of bombs.

At 0806hrs, during its landing run, the C-47's brakes failed, causing the aircraft to overrun the end of the airfield and lodge itself in soft ground. The aircraft was severely damaged, including damage to the nose, the belly of airframe,  and the starboard engine was torn from its mount. The port airscrew was also damaged.

The crew as follows were only slightly injured:-

1st Lt Russell A Morrison 0-740880  P
F/O Robert A Johnson T-923 C-P
2nd Lt Richard J Harrigan 0-807202 Nav
S/Sgt John D Rollins 3436056 Eng
Pfc Robert C Auld 18193038 R/O

The aircraft was salvaged on 20 September 1943 and Struck off Charge.

The cargo was transferred from the damaged C-47 to another C-47 which took off for Port Moresby at 1500Hrs.

Douglas C-47A-35-DL had been assigned to the 70th Troop Carrier Squadron, 433rd Troop Carrier Group, 54th Troop Carrier Wing of the 5th AAF in August 1943. .



I'd like to thank Gordon Birkett 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 12 October 2013

This page last updated 12 October 2013