Accident Douglas C-47A-85-DL (DC-3) 43-15598,
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Date:Saturday 12 August 1944
Time:12:56
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas C-47A-85-DL (DC-3)
Owner/operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 43-15598
MSN: 20064
Year of manufacture:1944
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 27
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:Memphis Municipal Airport, TN (MEM) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Memphis Municipal Airport, TN (MEM/KMEM)
Destination airport:Chickasha Municipal Airport, OK (CHK/KCHK)
Narrative:
During takeoff from Memphis Municipal Airport the copilot mistook the captains hand gesture for a command to raise the undercarriage. The engineer immediately tried to pull the landing gear lever to the neutral position, but the airplane already banked left because of the left hand main gear had started to retract. The no. 1 propeller struck the runway, causing one of the blades to separate. The blade cut through the fuselage near the flight deck, causing considerable damage. A fire erupted due to ruptured hydraulic lines and shorted electrical circuits. It came to rest off the side of the runway. All on board, except for the captain, got out safely.

Sources:

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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