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Last updated: 26 November 2021
Date:Tuesday 12 July 1949
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54D-1-DC (DC-4)
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 42-72476
MSN: 10581
First flight: 1945
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:19 km (11.9 mls) W of Rathenow (   Germany)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Celle RAF Station (ZCN/ETHC), Germany
Destination airport:Berlin-R.A.F. Gatow Airport (GWW/EDBG), Germany
Crashed after engine number three and four malfunction. Ten tons of coal on board. The airplane from 317th TCW/40th TCS was part of the Berlin Airlift.

There is some uncertainty regarding the identity of this plane; according to the Turbo Prop Airliner Production List, s/n 10581 was sold by USAF to the Turkish Air Force in 1966 (as ETI-581).

» The 317th Veterans Group Web site (
» USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to Present / Joe Baugher
» The Unheralded: Men and Women of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift/Edwin Gere
» Die Rosinenbomber, Die Berliner Luftbrücke 1948/49/Huschke, Wolfgang
» The 317th Veterans Group Web site (


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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 Celle RAF Station to Berlin-R.A.F. Gatow Airport as the crow flies is 210 km (131 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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