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Accident description
Last updated: 11 December 2017
Status:
Date:Tuesday 23 November 1943
Time:ca 09:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47-DL Skytrain
Operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 41-18675
C/n / msn: 6081
First flight: 1942
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Total:Fatalities: 25 / Occupants: 25
Airplane damage: Missing
Airplane fate: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Location:Nakety Bay (   New Caledonia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Nouméa-Tontouta Airport (NOU/NWWW), New Caledonia
Destination airport:Espirítu Santo-Pekoa Airport (SON/NVSS), Vanuatu
Narrative:
In November 1943 the USAAF 403 Troop Carrier Group (TCG) was part of an organisation known as SCAT - South Pacific Combat Air Transport. It was based at Luganville Airport (aka Pekoa) on Espirítu Santo and provided an air freight and military passenger service all around the South Pacific.
Douglas C-47 Skytrain 41-18675, call-sign "675-Baker-253" took off from Noumea-Tontouta Airport, New Caledonia bound for Espiritu Santo.
Radio contact was established at 0810 but the aircraft failed to respond to a scheduled call at 0910. Two days later, damaged gear and some personal effects from the plane were found in Nakety Bay.
A cold front had passed through the New Caledonia area in the early hours of the morning of the 23rd bringing a cloud layer at 2 to 4 thousand feet and a visibility of 4 to 6 miles, with 3 miles in heavier rain. The route was considered flyable on instruments and several aircraft flew it that day without the pilots reporting any difficulty with the weather conditions.
The bodies of the 6 crew-members and 19 passengers (3 RNZAF and 16 USMC from VMTB-232) were never found.

Sources:
» Report of the official investigation


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Map
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 Nouméa-Tontouta Airport to Espirítu Santo-Pekoa Airport as the crow flies is 729 km (456 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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
  • 410th loss
  • 138th fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 112th worst accident (currently)
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 New Caledonia
  • The worst accident
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