Douglas C-47B 43-48473 of the 27th Air Transport Group flew into the cliffs above Llyn Dulyn in the Carneddau while flying form Le Bourget to Burtonwood on the 11th November 1944
|William C. Gough||2nd Lieutenant||Pilot||Killed|
|Richard R. Rolfe||2nd Lieutenant||Co-pilot||Killed|
|Hyman Levitski||Corporal||Radio Operator||Killed|
|Kirk McLoren||Staff Sergeant||Flight Engineer||Killed|
The crew were flying the aircraft from Le Borget airport near Paris to Burtonwood in Cheshire. They had departed at 08:30 (local) on the 11th November with a flight of three other C-47s which were also bound for Burtonwood.
On nearing Burtonwood the crew were informed that the airfield was closed due to bad weather and that they should divert to RAF Valley where weather conditions were suitable, they acknowledged this order and proceeded towards North Wales at just before 13:00 GMT. No further radio communication was had with the crew and after failing to arrive at RAF Valley the aircraft was declared as overdue.
By the time it had been declared overdue it was too late to conduct an air search for the missing C-47 so the following morning an aircraft (probably and Anson) from No.9 (O)AFU at Llandwrog with the Senior Medical Officer (and leader of the Mountain Rescue Team) onboard left to conduct a search of the mountains of Snowdonia. Attention was paid to the Carneddau range where it was thought they aircraft may have crashed, as experience had shown aircraft approached from the east usually came to grief on this range. No wreckage was spotted an the search by the RAF was stood down. Strangely no ground search was ordered.
On the 22nd November that the wreck was located by an RAF radio unit which was carrying out maintenance on a warning beacon which had been placed on the summit of Foel Grach. The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted high up on the cliffs of Craig y Dulyn above the Dulyn Reservoir.
During the autumn of 1972 parts of the aircraft were recovered from Llyn Dulyn by the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group and the West Bromwich Underwater Exploration Club. One of the items recovered was the tail fin of the aircraft. It went on display at the WWIG’s museum, which is currently located at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton. Below is a photograph of the fin taken in the early 90s, it may not be there as there have been a number of changes in the past few years at Perch Rock.
Two of the crew were buried at Cambridge American Cemetery, these were S/Sgt McLoren and Cpl Levitski.