JUNE 8, 1944
From Fletcher Hank's, "WHEN AND HOW THE CNAC CRASHES HAPPENED ON THE HUMP AND ITS ENVIRONS DURING WWII" (hand-dated 5/4/02)
Tom Loomis, 06/08/44, C-47 #85.
6 fatalities, crew & 3 extra crew killed, all Chinese. McBride reports, "Five planes arrived over Kunming from Dinjan about the same time. I was the first to be cleared for letdown from 16,000 feet through a very solid 6000 thick overcast. As I broke out at 10,000 feet, I flew through many pieces of burned metal. A wing was falling past me on the right and the plane came down on my left side. I watched it hit and explode. I called the tower to report the crash. When I landed, I was assigned to assist the base surgeon to recover the bodies. They were buried by the impact several feet underground. We identified Loomis and the Chinese copilot by their position in the ship. Their seat belts were intact and not burned. There were 3 other Chinese extra crew that were killed."
"The cause of the accident: The jack pad had been removed from the right wing root. This left 4 large holes directly under the fuel tanks and directly in line with the exhaust. When Tom cut the throttles to descend, the flame only went as far back as the holes. There the flames went up around the fuel tank, igniting the fumes and blew the wing off."
Source: Don McBride's log.
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