C-53D Skytrooper 42-68728 of the 435th Troop Carrier Group, USAAF, crash landed on Ossoms Hill near Grindon, Staffordshire, on the 13th January 1944

C-47 Dakota


Edward M. St John 1st Lieutenant Pilot OK
Calvin H. White 2nd Lieutenant Co-pilot OK
Robert L. Delancey 2nd Lieutenant Navigator OK
John F. Griffith Staff Sergeant Engineer OK
Raymond F. Brandt Corporal Radio Operator OK
Russell M. Ford Flight Officer Passenger OK
Sydney D. Wex Staff Sergeant Passenger OK
Junior Jeremiah Sergeant Passenger OK
J. Vacarro Sergeant Passenger OK


The aircraft, a C-53D Skytrooper (dedicated paratroop variant of the Dakota), was flying from Langar, near Nottingham, to Burtonwood, near Warrington, during the early afternoon of the 13th January 1944 with a crew of 5 and 4 passengers.  The distance between the two points is only 81 miles and would have been covered in a little over 30 minutes at the pilots intended cruising speed.

Half way into the flight while flying at about 600′ above ground level the starboard wing tip “crumpled” up.  The two pilots immediately decided to force land the aircraft.

The pilot landed the aircraft on top of Ossoms Hill near Grindon, the aircraft caused damaged to three stone walls before coming to a halt.  All of the crew and passengers were able to vacate the aircraft without injury.

Examination of the failed wing tip showed that there were scratches on the upper surface which matched with the first row of heavy rivets on the under side of the wing of all varients of the Dakota.  These marks were probably caused during taxing at Langar and the internal structure of the aircraft had been weakened causing the eventual failure.

Little if anything remains at the site today, the site is on National Trust owned land and their policy prohibits searching with metal detectors so locating remains is extremely difficult.  However in recent years a single piece of olive drab painted aluminium was found in one of the walls the aircraft demolished.