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  C-54E-20-DO Skymaster Serial Number 44-9148  
French Navy
9S Aeronavale

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Aeronavale c1980

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Nicholas Duprey 2002

Pilot  1st Lt. Celton
Crew  CPO Crusson
Crew  CPO Podlesnik
Crew  CPO Decoudu
Crew  CPO Lefurau
Crew  CPO Wullaert
Crew  CPO Gavard-Pivet

Crashed  January 21, 1982


Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 27374 / DO320. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force as C-54E-20-DO Skymaster serial number 44-9148.

Wartime History
During July 1945, this aircraft was given to French General Charles De Gaulle, by U. S. President Harry S. Truman. Assigned to the French with a large '48' on the fuselage and stripes on the side of the nose and call sign F-RAMA.

Postwar
Used by De Gaulle when he visited New Caledonia in 1956. Afterwards, it was based at La Tontouta Airport in 1966 transfered to 9S Aeronavale (French Naval Aviation), overpainting the Army D'Air markings.

Mission History
On January 21, 1982, this aircraft was on a "touch and go" training. It accidentally flew into Mount Kokoreta at an elevation of 1,002m at 9:04 pm.

Wreckage
Can be see from the main road from Nouméa, near La Tontouta Airfield.

Nicholas Duprey visited the site in 2002:
"We left Noumea at 0830am, just before La Tontouta we turn right to the Bangou tribe. After the tribe there is an little chapel, at the foot of the mountain. Here we must walk to the wreck. We follow a track until a little field, after we leave the civilization, and we enter in a dry forest, not high, but thick, with long, sharp, herbs, and small trees covers by small red ants which fall on us, each time we hit theses trees with our sabers."

References
SHAA - C-54E-20-DO Skymaster Serial Number 44-9148

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
C-54

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