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Last updated: 6 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 2 February 1944
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-20-DL (DC-3)
Operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 42-23487
MSN: 9349
First flight: 1943
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 18 / Occupants: 18
Total:Fatalities: 22 / Occupants: 22
Aircraft damage: Missing
Aircraft fate: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Location:off Papua New Guinea (   Papua New Guinea)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Townsville-Garbutt Airfield, QLD (TSV/YBTL), Australia
Destination airport:Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip, Fall River) (GUR/AYGN), Papua New Guinea
A Douglas C-47A went missing on a flight from Townsville-Garbutt Airfield, Australia to Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip, Fall River). Papua New Guinea. En route weather included periods of rainfall and an area with cumulonimbus peaks to 18-20,000 feet.
The aircraft was last heard from by Horn Island Radio when the crew attempted to contact Milne Bay by radio. There was no reply from Milne Bay.

» The Douglas DC-1/DC-2/DC-3 - the first seventy years / J.M. Gradidge


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Townsville-Garbutt Airfield, QLD to Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip, Fall River) as the crow flies is 1062 km (663 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 509th loss
  • 174th fatal accident
  • 10th worst accident (at the time)
  • 176th worst accident (currently)
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 Papua New Guinea
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 8th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile