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Crashed C-47 at Wau

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:44 pm
by robstitt
Does anyone have any info on a wrecked C-47 in the gully off the side of the Wau airstrip? I visited the site in 1977. Fin had an RAF-style fin flash and there was a plate indicating that a component or assembly had been overhauled in 1954.
Robert Stitt

Details on C-47 crash at Wau Airfield

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:28 pm
by Justin Taylan

I did some quick research and found this likely canidate:

C-47 Dakota 41-38667

This C-47 crashed on landing on January 18, 1943. Some Australian Army passengers and American crew died in the crash, and likely the wreckage was converted to parts afterwards or remained at the airfield. I do not have the names of all those aboard or those that died.

Wau Airfield

I was told there was some aircraft wreckage at Wau Airfield until the 1980s, but was scrapped or otherwise removed by the 1990s. When I first visited Wau in 2003, I did not see any wreckage there.

It is possible that there was some post war crash or accident at Wau, but I do not have any information on such an incident offhand. Possibly the '1954' was some other part number or information. If you have any photos of this wreckage, please scan and share them. They might help to identify this crash further. Naturally, credited to the source.

Phil Bradley's book, The Battle for Wau has a reference to this crash, and is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the Wau campaign.

A better match: postwar C-47 crash at Wau

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:21 pm
by Justin Taylan

I was discussing this with Edward Rogers, and he pointed out another crash that fits the information you provided more accurately.

Dakota A65-92
Crashed October 22, 1960

This was a wartime built C-47B in RAAF service, thus the fin flash you observed. Also, fits with a 1954 overhaul as your recalled from your notes. There is an extensive, 160 page Court of Inquiry file available on NAA. Lost in the fire was a set of golf clubs of one of the crew. Here is a photo of the burned tail section abandoned at Wau. ... -tail.html

Therefore, this is more likely the wreckage you saw in 1977.

Re: Crashed C-47 at Wau

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:25 pm
by robstitt
Thanks Justin. Our off-board exchanges confirmed that his was the aircraft I saw. The Court of Enquiry file makes interesting reading.
Thanks and regards:

Re: Crashed C-47 at Wau

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:00 pm
by GordyB2
Hi all

Here's a pic of A65-92 at the time of the accident