Date & Time: Dec 8, 1945 at 0113 LT
Operator:
Registration:
45-0922
Flight Type:
Military
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Minneapolis – Fargo – Billings
MSN:
16925/34183
YOM:
1945
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
2
Pax on board:
21
Pax fatalities:
17
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
19
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a flight from Farago to Billings with 21 veterans on board. In flight, the weather conditions at destination worsened and visibility dropped from 10 miles to half a mile due to heavy snow storm. On final approach to Billings Airport, the aircraft was too low, hit a tree and crashed in flames in a snow covered field, 400 meters short of runway threshold. Both pilots and 17 passengers were killed, four others were seriously injured. Those killed were:
Crew:
Cpt George D. Miller, pilot,
Cpt Vernon Pfannkuch, pilot.
Maj Ray Craft,
S/Sgt Thomas Thomsen,
T/Sgt Glenn Marr,
Sgt Don Haley,
Tec Virgil Kinne,
Tec Warren Parrish,
Lt Anthony Alnsky,
Pfc Clayton Thompson,
Tec Fred Chapman,
Pfc Maceo Hobbs,
Pfc Walter Orchard,
Tec John Marshall,
Sgt Charles Ennen,
Cpl Lorrell Cassell,
Tec Ned Neasham,
Pfc David Gillett,
Tec Adolph Tokie.
Those who survived were:
Tec Emil A. Hasch,
Pfc Raymond Parkins,
Cpl Milford Barnes,
Tec Raymond Emerson.
Probable cause:
According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency, it appears that the pilot descended too rapidly during the last turn to the left and failed to allow for the possibility of a downdraft. At any rate, (the) pilot wound up below the level of the field, still in a turning attitude, (then the) aircraft struck a tree, crashed and burned.