B-24/C-109 wreck on the Hump

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Higgins
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B-24/C-109 wreck on the Hump

Post by Higgins » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:17 pm

Hi! Does anyone have info (serial numbers, accident reports) on B-24s or C-109s that might have crashed on the Hump? A friend found the remains of an aircraft that may be a B-24 or C-109 in a very remote part of India - above the treeline, near Burma - and I'm trying to identify it. I've looked everywhere I can think of for a list of all the aircraft lost on the Hump but have only found one partial one, for CNAC.

Andy in West Oz
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Post by Andy in West Oz » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:44 am

Hi mate

Do you have any pics or parts to help? The surviving parts may still have their identifying numbers that were unique to each aircraft type.

Cheers

Andy
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Post by Leondus » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:41 pm

eek!
CBI had around 600+ planes go down/missing and about half of them was every found.

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Post by Higgins » Fri Aug 18, 2006 6:49 pm

Andy in West Oz wrote:Hi mate

Do you have any pics or parts to help? The surviving parts may still have their identifying numbers that were unique to each aircraft type.

Cheers

Andy
Yes, a few: they're at http://www.flickr.com/photos/harshmanra ... 218426486/.

They did find a part described as a "wing" with "21589" on it. I'm taking it as a USAAF serial number, possibly 42-1589, and the "wing" as the vertical tail. Unfortunately, that exact tail number was assigned to a Vultee BT-13A, which is unlikely to have turned up in the Himalayas. However, guessing that the last digit may be missing, 42-15890 through 42-15894 were all C-53-DOs. This is especially significant since they were looking for the wreck of CNAC C-53 tail number "58." If it turns out that one of these C-53s was passed on to CNAC, then they probably found the right wreck. It seems reasonable that the tail number could have been painted over in theater, but then exposed by the elements.

That, or it's simply a USAAF C-53.

My guess about it being a B-24 or C-109 was based on the engines and an accidental transposition of digits. To my knowledge they only found two engines at the site.

Yours,
Mike

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Post by Andy in West Oz » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:52 am

Hi Mike

She had a 3 blade prop/s too so that counts out the C-46 and supports your C-53 thoughts.

The actual parts themselves have a number code unique to the type of aircraft. For example (example only, can't remember any numbers off the top of my head), the C-53 might have had the code "61" as the parts identifier and the P-40 has the code "37". Or they might be three digit numbers.

Sorry I can't be too specific, been a while since I looked into this type of thing. The parts numbers are also stamped into the part and are pretty small.

Could a digit before the "21589" be missing?

Cheers

Andy
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Post by Higgins » Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:20 pm

Hi Andy,

I do have a couple of photos of the part with the serial number that Kai didn't publish. Unfortunately they're multi-meg monsters. Here is a smaller version:

Image

If you zoom in past the "9" you can see what appears to be the bottom of another digit. Since it's rounded I'm guessing a "3" or a "0." Since starting to look in to this we've learned that '93 suffered an accident in Tunisia on 9 Sep 44 while in USAAF service and may have been written off at that time; and that '90 was passed to China, possibly as one of seven C-53s that went to CNAC during the Jul-Dec '42 timeframe. So, current best guess is that this is '90. However, we still can't connect this with a CNAC serial.

Kai recovered some small parts, but unfortunately they appear to have been from radios and instruments and so wouldn't have that airframe type number (I don't think).

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Post by Colin C Tigwell » Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:23 pm

The photos you have shown so far indicate C47 family, it is not by the look of it from the B24 family.

Regards

Col
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Post by Daniel Leahy » Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:29 pm

Based on the number on the tail, I would say this is 42-1589* (the * indicating an unkown digit).

I've checked Joe Baugher's site and came up with the following:

42-15870/15894 : Douglas C-53-DO : c/n 7387/7411.

His site lists the C-53 as "Paratroop transport version of C-47. Fixed Skytrooper metal seats, no large cargo door, no reinforced floor, no astrodome" which corresponds with what Col has said.

One of which stands out as the one you were looking for:

15890 (c/n 7407) to China as CNAC 58. Crashed while flying the Hump in 1943 in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Hope this is of assistance...
Last edited by Daniel Leahy on Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Leondus » Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:31 pm

I just download the image and hit it with paintshop pro, using Negative image and Histogram.

It looks like
21589
Image

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Post by Higgins » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:12 pm

Colin C Tigwell wrote:The photos you have shown so far indicate C47 family, it is not by the look of it from the B24 family.

Regards

Col
Right. Check the 4th post down.

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Post by Higgins » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:26 pm

Daniel Leahy wrote:Based on the number on the tail, I would say this is 42-1589* (the * indicating an unkown digit).

I've checked Joe Baugher's site and came up with the following:

42-15870/15894 : Douglas C-53-DO : c/n 7387/7411.

His site lists the C-53 as "Paratroop transport version of C-47. Fixed Skytrooper metal seats, no large cargo door, no reinforced floor, no astrodome" which corresponds with what Col has said.

One of which stands out as the one you were looking for:

15890 (c/n 7407) to China as CNAC 58. Crashed while flying the Hump in 1943 in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Hope this is of assistance...
Thank you. The rest I had, but the link between the CNAC serial and the Douglas c/n and/or the USAAF serial is precisely what I was looking for. Where did "15890 (c/n 7407) to China as CNAC 58. Crashed while flying the Hump in 1943 in Arunachal Pradesh, India" come from? Is it from the PacificWrecks database?

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Post by Leondus » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:34 pm

AeroTransport Data Bank
http://www.aerotransport.org/spooled/at ... ns_88.html
or
http://www.aerotransport.org/php/go.php?q=regn+42-15890
has 42-15890 listed but my session limits exceeded for this week :(

Does anyone have membership to this org?

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Post by kai » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:41 am

I checked the ATDB site--useless. The same info that is on the Douglas Production List. Confirms that 42-15890 was transferred to China but after that 'Ultimate Fate Obscure'.

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Post by kai » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:01 am

And I'm afraid Joe Baugher's info is from me--I was telling him about another C-47 I identified (42-92316) and added that I was convinced that CNAC 58 was the same as 42-15890 (which I am, in an optimistic sort of way). He took me at my word, but I'd still like to find some clincher linking the two numbers.

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Post by Higgins » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:28 pm

Hi Kai,

Well, drat. I was afraid it was too good to be true. However, we still have the aircraft cards coming from the gentleman at Accident Reports (I think he pulls them from the National Archives).

Even if they prove nothing new I think we're reasonably certain (say, 90%) this is a CNAC C-53. Factor in that the local people are sure this is #58 and that makes a strong case for it. However, there are some other missing CNAC C-53s, so I hate to close this out prematurely.

MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE ON THIS FORUM! YOU'VE BEEN A GREAT HELP!

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