After the Varsity airborne operation of March 24, the Troop Carrier shifted into
her role in ferrying supplies. The 80th Troop Carrier Squadron was doing this business
when one of there plans was lost in an accident. The plane number was 42-100532 and
on that day it was crewed by:
PIL 1st Lt. Harry F. Smiddy
COP 2nd Lt. Robert R. Turner
NAV F/O Harold A. Moore
C/C T/Sgt. Frank W. Robinson
R/O S/Sgt Ralph E. Zangmaster
The plane was flying supplies from Melun airfield (A-55) to Nidda airstrip (Y-87).
After unloading the supplies, the crew was ready for take off. The co-pilot was in
the left seat (pilots seat). Lt. Smiddy, in the right seat, advised the crew chief
to stand by to raise the landing gear upon notice. He wanted to be free to check
on the co-pilot who was flying.
Upon reaching flying speed Lt. Smiddy told to Lt. Turner to ‘get it in the air”.
T/Sgt. Robinson misunderstood and raised the gear. Lt. Turner still held the plane
down for more flying speed not knowing the gear was coming up because of the very
The switches were cut by Lt. Smiddy when the propellers hit the runway.
The photos above show the wrecked C-47. Visible is the tail letter being A. Photos
via J. Crow.