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  C-47B-1-DL Dakota Serial Number 43-16261 Tail Number 61
USAAF
Air Transport Command
(ATC)

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U. S. Embassy July 1966

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via The Star 1985

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Thomas Ooi 2009

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Nordin Manan 2010

Pilot  F/O Judson B. Baskett, T-64445 1305th AAFBU (MIA / KIA, BR) Houston, TX
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. William H. Myers, O-796183 1305th AAFBU (KIA) Elizabethtown, PA
Radio  Pfc Donald E. Jones, 37484709 1305th AAFBU (MIA / KIA) MN

MIA  November 27, 1945
MACR  15001

Crew History
All three crew members were part of the 1305th Army Air Force Base Unit. Baskett was from Texas and married. Jones was from Minnesota and married.

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 20727. Assigned to the Air Transport Command (ATC). No known nickname or nose art. Tail number "61" with a "C" at the tip of the tail. On the right side of the rear fuselage was the ATC logo, a black circle with "The Air Transport Command" and "U. S. Army Air Forces" with the Air Transport Command logo in the center. When lost, engines R-1830-90-C serial numbers CP-139362 and P-1333226. No weapons or armament was aboard.

Mission History
On November 27, 1945 took off from Singapore piloted by F/O Judson B. Baskett on a transport flight via Swittenham Airfield (Klang) bound for Butterworth Airfield. Weather was scattered showers and occasional rain with visibility of 15-20 miles. Last reported location by radio was over Malaoca. When this aircraft failed to arrive, it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
After being reported missing, U. S. Army Air Force aircraft and were briefed to look for this aircraft. Also Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft cooperated in the search. On the fifth day of searching, flares were sighted at Lat 100° 59' East and Long 4° 24' North. But no results were reported.

During March 1946, an object was observed on the side of a mountain 45 miles south of Butterworth. Several efforts were made to reach the site by foot, but were unsuccessful. Later, it was determined to be a waterfall. On November 28, 1946 crew was officially declared dead.

Wreckage
In fact, this C-47 crashed into a jungle covered mountain slope, the nose section was crushed but the wings and tail section remain largely intact. Today, the crash site is located in the Bubu Forest Reserve, west of Ipoh.

On July 6, 1966 a Malaysian cutting sugar cane discovered the crash site in the jungle on a mountain side near Perak, Malaysia. Afterwards, a report was made to the Kuala Kangsar Police and relayed to the Malaysian Ministry of Defense Joint Operations Center who then notified the U. S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

On July 12, 1966 the embassy's U. S. Air Force Air Attaché trekked to the crash site and confirmed the site, observed the tail serial "316261" and took photographs. On July 14, 1966 the Air Attaché notified the Department of the Air Force. During middle July 1966, a spokesman at the Pentagon was quoted in WWII Pilot's Mother Wants Jungle Search "the plane was identified by numbers on the tail section spotted by aircraft flying overhead. Identification of the persons presumably killed in the crash was done by checking with the Army casually branch."

In early 1985, the wreck was rediscovered by two rattan (palm) collectors, who notified the press and Museum Negara and Military Museum.

In 2009, locals again rediscovered the wreck and photographed it. They reported the wreck to the U. S. Embassy in Malaysia and Pacific Wrecks. On October 13, 2009 Pacific Wrecks reported this wreck to JPAC and the report was acknowledge on October 14, 2009.

Brig General (Ret) Akbar Din adds:
"We have [rediscovered] found a wreckage of a US Plane (Air Transport Command - U.S. Army Air Forces). Tail number 16261. I got pictures of the plane as attached. Please be fast or else the villages is going to cart it (with the remains of US Pilot) to the scrap dealers."

On April 13, 2010 a investigation team from JPAC interviewed a Malaysia man who logged the area and visited the crash site to confirm it was this aircraft.

During 2012, a team from Malyasian Historical Group (MHG) visited the crash site and recovered personal effects from the wreckage.

On February 26, 2015 a partnership was created between the Malaysian Government and the United States Government to undertake remains recovery work at this crash site.

Recovery of Remains
During September 2015, "Operation Gangga" teams from the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces and Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) visited the crash site and performed a remains recovery operation. About 110 personnel from DPAA, Royal Malaysian Army, Universiti Sains Malaysia archaeology department and the Forestry Department were involved in the operation.

A news conference was held on September 9, 2015. The DPAA team of eleven was led by Captain Gregory Lynch with anthropologist Dr. Owen O'Leary. The Royal Malaysian Armed Forces team included Brig General Datuk Dr, Mohd Ilham Haron, forensic odontology. Remains and personal effects were recovered from the crash site including the flight jacket of Myers.

On November 4, 2015 at Subang Airport a turnover ceremony was attended by U. S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and the Malaysian Armed Forces. The remains recovered from the crash site were transfered aboard C-17 Globemaster HH 55150 and flown to Joint-Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham to DPAA arriving the next day.

On June 15, 2016 the Department of Defense (DoD) announced Baskett was identified using dental and anthropological analyses plus circumstantial and material evidence.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on November 28, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery.

Baskett also has a memorial marker at Hollywood Cemetery in Houston, TX. After his remains were identified in 2016, he was permanently buried on August 12, 2016 in Houston, TX at

No memorial service was ever conducted for Myers, whose mother hoped that he would one day return.

Relatives
Are you a relative of any member of this crew? Contact us
Bill Myers (nephew of Myers)
John "Chris" Kerr (great nephew of Baskett)

References
Missing Air Crew Report 15001 (MACR 15001) incorrectly lists co-pilot as "Meyers" [sic Myers]
Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) Judson B. Baskett
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Judson B. Baskett "remains have been recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William H. Myers
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Donald E. Jones
FindAGrave - Judson Boyce Baskett (photo, memorial marker photo)
Department of the Air Force Staff Message Branch "Discovery World War II Wrecked Aircraft" July 14, 1966 p 1-2
Pentagon Telecommunications Center "Possible WWII Crash Site" August 27, 1980
Philadelphia Inquirer "WWII Pilot's Mother Wants Jungle Search" July 19, 1966
Corpus Christi Caller-Times "Long-Lost Wreck Found" July 20, 1986
The Star "Mystery in the jungle" June 24, 1985
AP "Finding history: Web, vets help unearth war wrecks" October 2, 2010
Knoxville News Sentinel "Knoxvillian wants uncle's reburial in US" May 28, 2012
Perak Today "Malaysia – Amerika Syarikat Optimis Misi Bawa Keluar Rangka Manusia Berjaya" September 9, 2015
The Star "Hopeful of finding remains" September 10, 2015
YouTube "Hopeful of finding remains from WW II plane crash after excavation" September 9, 2015
Stars & Stripes "Remains from WWII C-47 crash coming home" November 4, 2015
The New York Times "Malaysia Returns Remains From Site of 1945 US Plane Crash" November 4, 2015
DPAA News Release 16-055 "Airman From World War II Accounted For (Baskett)" August 05, 2016
Click 2 Houston "70 years later, WWII pilot's remains identified as Houston man" August 5, 2016
ABC News "Body of WWII Veteran Missing 70 Years Returns to Houston" August 10, 2016
Thanks to Brig Gen (Army) Akbar Din (Ret) and Thomas Ooi for 2009 wreck report
Thanks to Bill Myers, John Kerr, Anthony Morris and Shaharom Ahmad for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

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