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  C-47B-1-DL Dakota Serial Number 43-16204  
USAAF
5th AF
360th Service Group

Pilot  2nd Lt. Jacob "Jack" E. Wondaal 8th Service Group (KIA, BR) Chicago, IL
Radio  ? (survived)
Crew  ? (KIA)
Crew  ? (KIA)
Crew  ? (KIA)
Crew  ? (KIA)
Crew  ? (KIA)
Crew  ? (KIA)

Crashed  February 19, 1945
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas to the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 360th Service Group, Combat Replacement Training Centre (CRTC). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 19, 1945 took off from Nadzab Airfield on a flight bound for Port Moresby. During the flight, this C-47 dropped to low altitude to investigage a crashed plane observed on the ground. Near Wau, this C-47 impacted the side of a mountain killing seven of the crew. The radio operator bailed out and survived.

Fate of the Crew
The radio operator was rescued by local people and returned to duty.

Wreckage
Afterwards, the crash site was located and remains of the crew were recovered and buried at Finschhafen Cemetery. Postwar, the crew was exhumed and transported to the United States for permanent burial.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, Wondaal was buried on June 20, 1948 at Fairmount-Willow Hills Memorial Park in Willow Springs, IL at plot 12A lot 308.

Relatives
Linda Mashek (niece of Wondaal):
"My uncle, Lieutenant Jacob (Jack) E. Wondaal was piloting a C-47 over Wau, New Guinea while flying from Nadzab to Moresby on Feb. 19th, 1945. According to his funeral memorial "The plane crashed into the side of the mountain near Wau, while dropping to a low altitude to investigate a wrecked plane they saw on the ground. Their plane was completely destroyed and Jack and seven crew members were killed instantly. The radio operator bailed out and was rescued by natives. Jacks remains were flown to the US Military Cemetery at Finschhafen, New Guinea, where he was given a Christian burial" Approximately 3 years later his body was returned to the family."

References
AAIR February 1945 USAAF Overseas Accident Reports
FindAGrave - Lieut Jacob Enneus Wondaal (photo, grave photo)
Chicago Tribune June 29, 1948 abstract 89808999
"2nd Lt. Jacob E. Wondaal, U.S.A.A.F., late of 280 W. 106th st., killed 2/19/1945, at Wau, New Guinea, son of Enneus and Alice, brother of Richard and Darlene. Funeral Wed., 6/20/1948 at 2 p.m. from chapel,
10928 Michigan av., to First Ref. Church of Roseland, 107th and Michigan. Interment Fairmount ."
Thanks to Linda Mashek for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
C-47
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