Date & Time: Jun 14, 1943 at 0600 LT
Operator:
Registration:
40-2072
Flight Phase:
Takeoff (climb)
Flight Type:
Military
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Mackay - Port Moresby
MSN:
2072
YOM:
1940
Country:
Australia
Region:
Oceania
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
6
Pax on board:
35
Pax fatalities:
34
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
40
Circumstances:
Aircraft was on its way from Mackay to Port Moresby with a crew of six and 35 US soldiers on board, following a permission period. Shortly after takeoff, the captain decided to make a low pass over the airport so the people on ground could take all's leave off. During last turn, the aircraft christened 'Miss Every Morning Fixin' went out of control, stalled and crashed in a huge explosion about one km from the runway threshold. A passenger was seriously injured while all 40 other occupants were killed. Up to date, worst plane crash in Australia.
Crew (19th BG):
1st Lt Vern J. Gidcumb Jr., pilot,
F/O William C. Erb, copilot,
2nd Lt Jack A. Ogren, navigator,
Sgt David E. Tileston, radio operator,
S/Sgt Lovell Dale Curtis, crew chief,
S/Sgt Frank E. Whelchel, crew chief.
Passengers:
Pfc Jerome Abraham,
Cpt John O. Berthold,
T/5 William A. Briggs,
Sgt Dan H. Busse,
T/Sgt James A. Copeland,
Sgt Carl A. Cunningham,
T/5 George A. Ehrman,
Pvt James E. Finney,
Sgt Leo E. Fletcher,
T/Sgt Alfred H. Frezza,
Pfc Norman J. Goetz,
S/Sgt Roy A. Hatlen,
S/Sgt John W. Hilsheimer,
Pfc Vernon Johnson,
Sgt Donald B. Kyper,
Sgt Charlie O. LaRue,
Pvt Raymond D. Longabaugh,
Pfc Kenneth W. Mann,
Cpl Marlin D. Metzger,
Pvt Charles D. Montgomery,
Pfc John W. Parker,
Pfc Frank S. Penska,
Maj George N. Powell,
Sgt Anthony Rudnick,
Cpl Charles W. Sampson,
Pfc Arnold Seidel,
Cpl Jacob O. Skaggs Jr.,
Cpl Franklin F. Smith,
Cpl Raymond H. Smith,
Pfc Frederick C. Sweet,
Cpl Edward Tenny,
Pfc Dale Van Fosson,
Pvt Ruben L. Vaugh,
Charles M. Williams.
Sources & photos: http://www.ozatwar.com/ozcrashes/qld46.htm
Probable cause:
The exact cause of the accident was undetermined. Nevertheless, the assumption that an engine failed was not excluded.