The following was posted on the WAE Message board:-

5th Air Force, 33rd Troop Carrier, 374th, New Guinea, 1943

Question posted by DR Fawn (drfawn@swbell.net) on Friday, May 08 at 04:42 AM EDT


I'm am hoping to locate any veterans of the SW Pacific Theatre who might help me or recall any information that can provide assistance in my research concerning my Uncle. My Uncle Clifford Jesse Fawn known as "Bud"... though I never knew him, enlisted in the Army Air Corps on April 4, 1942. USAAF serial# 15076739. He was assigned to 33rd Troop Carrier Squadron of the 374th Troop Carrier Group, U.S. 5th Air Force. Shot down in C-47 #I-386658 (1941 model #41-38658) by Japanese Zeroes near airfield at Wau, Papua, New Guinea. He was missing and presumed dead for 46 years. The wreckage of his plane as well as his remains was discovered in October 1988 by Grant Malensek, a Canadian geologist with Australian mining company CRA Explorations.

The aircraft was one of 3 planes on a routine combat flight from Jackson Airdrome near Port Moresby, New Guinea to Wau airdrome, New Guinea. About 1045 hours on 6 Feb. 1943, the flight was circling Wau when it was attacked by  enemy aircraft. Two of the US aircraft succeeded in getting away and returned to Jackson Airdrome. This aircraft, #41-38658, was last seen by other members of the flight heading into the mountains near Wau. The aircraft was reported to be under control when last seen and there was no evidence that it was damaged or that any of the crew was injured. I was able to secure from documents from the US military, one of which referenced that a documentary production was being filmed by a news crew from Channel 7 in Sydney, Australia. The production focused on this plane, it's loss and subsequent recovery 46 years later. "Bud" was buried with full military honors in the Arlington National Cemetery in November 1989. As she had vowed so many times not to leave this world until her first born came home, my grandmother died peacefully the following day at the age of 96. I would be extremely grateful if anybody could provide me with any available data from any available source. I can offer in exchange (who knows... I'm open to striking a bargain?) at least one of the most incredible and documentable ghost stories ever told associated with this incident. I beleive a story of this event was chronicled in a book call American Flyboy. I'd certainly appreciate you passing this on.... and on.... and on..... Best wishes to all....


Austin, Texas, USA



Posted by Bill Wamsley (Thewams@earthlink.net) on June 27, 1998 at 19:21:55:

My father was in the 33rd Troop Carrier Squadron in New Guinea in 1942-43. I'd like to hear from anybody who might like to contact him. He's still sharp and active, knows a lot abaout that piece of history and has written a neat book about it, called American Fly-Boy. He's coming to San Fran to visit at the end of July, and I'd like to show him around the Web, so if yo know of any neat sites, I'd like to know about those. Thanks.


E-mail from Jim McCune

E-mail from Bob Borchert
Radio Operator from 33rd TCS


Can anyone help me with more information?


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 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


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