Narrative:A Douglas C-47 transport plane departed Patterson Field at 22:21 on December 24, 1944. It was cleared to fly at 12.000 feet to its destination Minneapolis.
En route the plane encountered substantial headwinds of 54 mph. The pilot decided to return to Patterson Field at 23:18. Weather had deteriorated and the pilot was not able to land. He continued to Harrisburg, the alternate. Harrisburg reported a 2500 ft ceiling and good visibility. However, weather deteriorated at Harrisburg as well. After five unsuccessful attempts to land, the pilot reported he was low on fuel. The airplane manoeuvred around the airfield until it flew into 900 foot Reesers Summit. It broke up and a fire erupted.
» Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945, Vol. 3: August 1944-December 1945 / Anthony J. Mireles
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.