Douglas Skymaster C-54A-5 (DC-4) S/N 41-107470 C/n 7489
The Douglas C-54 departed the U.K., flying American service personnel back home. Intermediate stops were planned at Keflavík, Iceland and Stephenville, Canada. Last radio contact with C-54 was three hours after takeoff from Keflavík, when over the North Atlantic Ocean off Greenland. The aircraft did not arrive at Stephenville and was declared missing. No trace of the plane was ever found.
Among the passengers was Lt. Col. Leon Robert Vance, Jr. On 5 June 1944, he led a Heavy Bombardment Group, in an attack against defended enemy coastal positions near Wimereaux, France. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit repeatedly by antiaircraft fire which seriously crippled the ship, killed the pilot, and wounded several members of the crew, including Lt. Col. Vance, whose right foot was practically severed and with 3 engines lost to the flak, he led his formation over the target, bombing it successfully.
Nearly two months later, after receiving medical treatment in the United Kingdom, Vance was sent back to the United States on a Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport for further treatment and possible fitting of a prosthetic foot. The C-54 with all aboard disappeared on July 26, 1944, and was presumed to have crashed into the Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and Newfoundland. The recommendation that he be awarded the Medal of Honor was confirmed in orders on January 4, 1945, but his widow requested that the awards ceremony be delayed until the medal could be presented to their daughter. On October 11, 1946, Major General James P. Hodges, commander of the 2nd Bomb Division when Vance was assigned to it, made the presentation to Sharon Vance.
Capt. Funhouse, R W and his crew of 5 were reported missing.
20 Passengers reported missing.
MFG.: Douglas Aircraft Company
Type: C-54A Military Transport Aircraft
S/N: 41-107470 C/n: 7489
Operator: USAAF Air Transport Command.