Most fatal crash in operation Market Garden     -   C-47 # 43-15180

 

Of all crashes in the Market Garden operation, the one of Capt. Ottaway was the most fatal. With a crew of 6 and 18 paratroopers, the crash costs the lives of 24 young men.

 

On September 18, the 314th and 315th Troop Carrier Groups were to drop the British 4th Para Brigade. Earlier landed troops had kept the drop zone free for the paratroopers to land. Bad weather delayed the take off. The course to be flown to the DZ was almost the same as the day before.

At Saltby airfield in England, the 50th Troop Carrier Squadron took off as part of Serial A-3, heading for DZ-Y on the Ginkel Heath.

Chalk number 619 was carrying 18 paratroopers of the Medium Machinegun Platoon of the 56th Para Batallion.

 

The plane was hit somewhere between the Initial Point (located near the village Vught) and the LZ. The left engine and fuel tank were hit and the containers on the belly of the plane started to burn.

Fellow squadron members noticed that the plane moved out of the formation and that the landing gear was lowered. This was most probably caused by damage to the hydraulic system. To others it appeared that the pilots attempted to land the crippled C-47.

Upon impact one of the fuel tanks exploded. The left wing broke off and the plane turned turtle and caught fire. The crew and paratroopers had no chance for survival. One paratrooper was thrown clear of the wreckage. He died later that day.

Four of the crew members are buried today at Neuville, Belgium.

Airborne Troop Carrier - Holland