ASN logo
Accident description
Last updated: 25 June 2017
Date:Monday 25 December 1944
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47B-1-DL (DC-3)
Operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 43-16151
C/n / msn: 20617
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 23
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 27
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) SW of Harrisburg-Municipal Airport, PA (HAR) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 213 m (699 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Dayton-Wright Patterson AAF, OH (FFO/KFFO), United States of America
Destination airport:Minneapolis-Wold-Chamberlain Field, MN (MSP/KMSP), United States of America
A Douglas C-47 transport plane was destroyed when it flew into the side of a hill. All four crew members and eight of the 23 passengers were killed in the accident.
The flight had left Patterson Field, OH at 22:21 on a flight to Minneapolis. Serious headwinds forced the crew to descend to a lower altitude than the 12.000 feet they had been cleared for. Then the airplane began to pick up ice. The crew decided to return to Patterson at 23:18. Weather at Patterson had deteriorated and the pilot was given an alternate of Harrisburg, PA. Weather at Harrisburg also deteriorated but the flight was cleared for a runway 12 straight in approach. After nine unsuccessful attempts to land the airplane was low on fuel. Ceiling continued to lower and the crew manoeuvred around the airport until the airplane struck 900-foot Reeser's Summit at an elevation of 700 feet.

» Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945, Vol. 3: August 1944-December 1945 / Anthony J. Mireles


photo of Douglas C-47B-1-DL (DC-3) 43-16151
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

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 Dayton-Wright Patterson AAF, OH to Minneapolis-Wold-Chamberlain Field, MN as the crow flies is 933 km (583 miles).

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.
languages: languages