C-47 # 42-24064    74th Troop Carrier Squadron

 

Just a week after the newspaper article of  C-53 # 42-68710 the webmaster received a request for help. Geoff Pell, crew chief of another surviving C-47, asked me about 42-24064 and provided the information that it flew with the 74th Troop Carrier Squadron. He wrote that the plane was in the USA and that there were plans to paint it into the colours of Waorl War 2.

 

There wasn’t much of information in the files. But it provided the information that the plane flew the Rhine mission with chalk number 90, being the very last plane in the serials of the 434th Troop Carrier Group. It also revealed the tail letter of the aircraft, being N.

 

The aicraft was also involved in an accident in April 1945. From reports:

C-47A 43-16029 and C-47A 42-24064 were damaged on strip Y-67 prior to take off on return flight from a gasoline haul. A ship from the 72nd TCS overshot the strip and taxied into both ships which were waiting taxi and take-off instructions from the tower. The ships were grounded on 5 April following the accident and were declared operational on 10 April 1945 for a return flight to Strip A-80.

Aircraft # 029 was lost to the 33rd Air Depot for a left wing replacement on 11 April and was returned on 30 April 1945 with the necessary maintenance accomplished.

Aircraft # 064 was not seriously damaged so was declared operational on 11 April 1945.

 

 

The surviving C-47, with the name “Placid Lassie’ pictured somewhere between June 1944 and April 1945.

During research to the 74th Troop Carrier Squadron, I did get in touch with Mr. Ed Tunison. That was in June 2014, shortly after the D-day  ceremonies. Ed wrote me that his plane was named “Placid Lassie”. With all the Facebook traffic I realized the plane was still flying and had flown the D-day  ceremonies. With some further research I was able to get in touch with the owners. And get the owners and Ed in touch with each other. More of the history of the airplane became known.

Ed wrote:
Placid means calm, lassie means lady. The crew named it.
My pilot, was Capt. Richard Lum, My co-pilot was Lt, Lundgren, My  navigator, was William Vaughn. My crew chief was
Eddie Appadoca. I was the Radio operator. We flew the Lassie,through the war,from
where we originated, in Alliance Nebraska. It was easy to fly. Our pilot, let all the crew fly it from time to time, just in case
we had a problem. We carried no arms, but side arms, and a carbine. We had flak helmets,and a flak vest.

Lt. Lundgren did get hiw own plane later on and he lost his live when his plane crashed on 19 September 1944 during Operation Market Garden. This was the third day of the operation.

In September 2015, the owners of the aircraft flew it again for the ceremonies in Holland, remembering Market Garden. At this time, Ed and his son Claude were among the crew and participated in the flights. Thanks to James and Eric, the owners of the plane.
Left; The crew left to right: T/Sgt. Eddie Apodaca, 1st Lt. William M. Vaughn, 1st Lt. Merton E. Eckert, 1st Lt. Richard M. Lum and S/Sgt. Edward H. Tunison.  (74th Troop Carrier Group History)
Placid Lassie at Weeze airport, 2014. Having just returned to drop paratroopers at DZ-O near Overasselt, the DZ originally used by the 504th PIR. Left to right, owners Eric and James, Ed Tunison, webmaster, Clause Tunison and Sietske, webmasters partner.
‘Eager’ Eileen is Ed’s wife. The other engine carried the name of the crew chief’s wife.