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C-47b Skytrain Christmas Day Memorial

Death 25 Dec 1944
La Paz County, Arizona, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 100129587 · View Source
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The pilot departed Tucson, Arizona for Los Angeles, despite being warned that severe thunderstorms and low clouds could hinder his visibility. About 20 Miles southeast of Quartzsite, Arizona the low-hanging clouds shrouded the mountains and peaks in the area, including Black Mesa. Tragically, the C-47 slammed into the side of the mesa about 12 feet from the top, killing all 17 men.

Records indicate that some of the men were in the Navy headed to their ships in San Diego, while others had just come from basic training in Georgia and headed home for a short leave before their combat duty.

The crew on board were:
Captain Ben Gibson (pilot)
Lt. George Winzler (copilot)
Sgt. Jack Maier (engineer)
Pvt Frank Byrne (radio operator)

The passengers were:
Infantry Pfc's George Jones
Dudley Hutton
George Francis
Bruce Carden (1916-1944)
Haig Sansian
Infantry Private Leroy Thomas
Infantry Sergeants Williams Yates
Infantry Sergeants Clyde Wikadel
Navy Yeoman James Woodley
Navy Yeoman Donald Brakebill (1927-1944)
Navy Seaman Edgell Powell
Navy Chief E.O. Milliron
Flight Officer A.C. Middleton


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  • Created by: Marilyn
  • Added: 4 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100129587
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for C-47b Skytrain Christmas Day Memorial (unknown–25 Dec 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100129587, ; Maintained by Marilyn (contributor 47077044) Unknown.