MARCH 24, 1944
DINJAN TO KUNMING
From Fletcher Hank's, "WHEN AND HOW THE CNAC CRASHES HAPPENED ON THE HUMP AND ITS ENVIRONS DURING WWII" (hand-dated 5/4/02)
James Scoff and Billy Stone, 03/24/44, C-53 #51.
No fatalities. Radio Operator, W.Y. Wong (Chinese). Scoff took off from Dinjan for Kunming. When 100 miles out of Kunming, all radios were turned off so the Japanese bombers had no radio beam to home-in on. Jim thought he was holding over Yunnanyi but apparently drifted so when the radios came on after an hour, he could not get a fix on any station so he was lost. After 11 hours 25 minutes and out of fuel, he was still lost. They bailed out. Jim caught his parachute strap inside the plane when he bailed out. He dangled outside of the plane while it was going down several minutes before he could get free of the plane. The only thought that troubled him while he was hung by the strap was that he had two paychecks in his pocket that he hadn't spent. All 3 crewmembers survived but Billy Stone broke his hip as he weighed over 200 pounds and the parachute allowed him to fall too fast. He returned to U.S. to recover but didn't return. This was CNAC's first bailout in history. Everyone expected Jim to be fired by Woodie but this was not the case.
Source: Kirkpatrick and Don McBride logs.
Valley Morning Star (Texas), 26 March 1944
(Courtesy of Patti Gully)
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