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Accident description
Last updated: 13 October 2015
Date:Friday 20 April 1945
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47-DL (DC-3)
Operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 41-18451
C/n / msn: 4513
First flight: 1942
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 22 / Occupants: 22
Total:Fatalities: 25 / Occupants: 25
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:6,5 km (4.1 mls) SE of Sweetwater, TX (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Midland AAF, TX (MAF/KMAF), United States of America
Destination airport:Nashville Metropolitan Airport, TN (BNA/KBNA), United States of America
A Douglas C-47 transport aircraft was destroyed when it crashed during a personnel flight from Midland AAF, TX to Nashville, TN. All three crew members and 22 passengers were killed in the accident. Some fifty minutes into the flight the airplane encountered a line of powerful thunderstorms. The nr. 2 propeller was apparently feathered and the pilot probably attempted to divert to Avenger Field, TX. The airplane was manoeuvring in IMC when elevators and horizontal stabilizers failed due to severe stresses on the airframe. The crew lost control and the C-47 spun to the ground.


Loss of control

» Military aviation disasters : significant losses since 1908 / D. Gero, 1999
» USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to Present / Joe Baugher
» Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945, Vol. 3: August 1944-December 1945 / Anthony J. Mireles


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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 Midland AAF, TX to Nashville Metropolitan Airport, TN as the crow flies is 1492 km (933 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs 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

  • 1732nd loss
  • ca 13.000 built
  • 8th worst accident (at the time)
  • 109th worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 137th worst accident (currently)
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