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Last updated: 1 December 2021
Date:Friday 26 January 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: 41-38636
MSN: 4739
First flight: 1942
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Birmingham Army Air Base, AL (BHM) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Birmingham Army Air Base, AL (BHM/KBHM), United States of America
Destination airport:Lubbock-South Plains AAF, TX (LBB/KLBB), United States of America
A Douglas C-47 transport aircraft was destroyed in a takeoff accident at Birmingham AAB, killing all four on board. The airplane had left Laurinburg-Maxton AAF on a ferry flight, towing two Waco CG-4A gliders. While over Birmingham, the pilot requested to land the two gliders downwind on the takeoff runway. He was advised to use the longer NE-SW runway, but the pilot decided to use the N-S runway. The gliders landed without problems but the C-47 stalled when attempting to take off. It crashed and burst into flames.

Loss of control

» Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research (AAIR)
» 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 Birmingham Army Air Base, AL to Lubbock-South Plains AAF, TX as the crow flies is 1385 km (866 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.
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