Did Lt Muirs C-47 definitely crash at L'isle Marie?

Did Lt Muirs C-47 definitely crash at L'isle Marie?

adam517
Registered User
Joined: 27 Jun 2010, 10:05

14 May 2014, 23:03 #1

Hi All,
I come here with information that perhaps disproves a piece of well known history. It is commonly believed that 2/Lt Marvin Muir, flying C47 #42-100876, crashed at the L'Isle Marie near Chef Du Pont on D-Day after having dropped Paratroopers of 2/506. However, I have evidence that might suggest it was a different C-47 that crashed there, and here's why.
I have recently been looking for information regarding a C-47 from the 62nd TCS that went down after dropping paratroops from 2/508 on D-Day. Its quite a famous story, as it took three runs for the DZ on account of the Jumpmaster believing it was too low. Anyhow, the crew survived, and reported that the plane burnt also completely away, with only the tail section remaining almost completely intact. This plane carried the tail letter "S". I noticed in Marty Morgans book at the 507th PIR a photo showing a burned out C-47 with an intact tail section, carrying the tail letter "S" and began to wonder if this was it. There's nothing on the photo to suggest where it went down so as far as clues go it was a dead end. Anyhow, I recently located an Aerial photograph of the L'Isle Marie, showing a downed C-47 and it is, without doubt, the same one. Now those who are familiar enough with 2/Lt Muirs C-47 will know that his C-47 carried the tail letter "Q", we know this from well documented picture of Muirs crashsite, in which the tail number of his plane can easily be seen. Here's the evidence:
ImageHere is 2/Lt Muirs C-47, clearly identifiable from its tail number, burnt out in a field. (Thanks Marty for the photos)
ImageHere is the C-47 with the tail letter "S", sat in marshes and clearly not Muirs, however........
Image.....it clearly IS the same C-47 shown in this segment of an Aerial photograph dated June 8th of the L'Isle Marie (top right corner).
The question is,  to what certainty is it known the Muirs C-47 came down at the Lisle Marie?.... as it certainly isn't the one shown above. The second question is, did any other squadron fly on D-Day with the tail letter "S"? If not, then we're likely looking at photos of #42-93002 and it's exact crash location.
I'm not here trying to say 2/Lt Muirs C-47 didn't crash at the L'isle Marie, but on this evidence it was not the only one.
Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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Scorpio58
Registered User
Joined: 28 May 2009, 12:31

14 May 2014, 23:37 #2

Very nice find and query!! I love the detective work you've done in the past and as " evidenced" in these photos more detective work is in the offering! I'm excited to follow this very timely inquiry. Johnny F
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adam517
Registered User
Joined: 27 Jun 2010, 10:05

15 May 2014, 11:41 #3

Hi All,

Ok so I've been informed by a reliable source (Patrick Elie) that every Squadron had a plane with the "S" tail marking, so that means there's no guarantee without being able to see the number of the tail that the plane thats shown above was #42-93002 from the 62nd TCS. But we do still know that it isn't 2/Lt Marvin Muirs C-47.

Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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Scorpio58
Registered User
Joined: 28 May 2009, 12:31

15 May 2014, 15:13 #4

As opposed to say going to and ditching in the channel? I thought that I had recently read something like 40 something planes were lost. Not including gliders naturally. Any info on the number lost? I remember that during our trip back in '09 that we were "investigating" various locations or points of view that Dick Ladd had discussed with us as well as a couple of locals around the Le Mezieres area, if I recall correctly. Maybe an identification might be made through process of elimination. Just wondering..................Johnny F
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adam517
Registered User
Joined: 27 Jun 2010, 10:05

15 May 2014, 15:56 #5

Johnny,

That I don't know the answer to. In all honesty, my research on crashed C-47s has recently only started based on my interest in that particular C-47 from the 62nd TCS that dropped elements of HQ/2/508, and the reason for that is because of a project I'm working on. That particular plane did three runs at the DZ, eventually only releasing its stick on the third run because both engines were on fire. On the second run a young paratrooper on board was wounded in the abdomen (Fatally, it turned out) and had been left on board to return to the UK with the plane but after both engines cut out any chance of that was eliminated. The plane was crash landed, all crew survived, and the Paratrooper on board, but original crew reports state they think they came down near La Coquerie, the only one of which I can find in Normandy is actually North of Brevands, close to the coast. Another plane did report having seen a downed C-47 with the tail letter "S" on the mudflats near Utah Beach, and I have actually found another aerial photograph (Shown below) that appears to show a C-47, but this plane appears more intact along the main fuselage, whereas the original crew report states that 42-93002 burnt almost completely as a result of the engine fires, so I'm totally confused.

Image
Very careful examination of the above shows a crashed C-47 close to the center of the image. This aerial photograph was taken on the Mudflats further along from where the 4th Infantry Division landed, perhaps the pilot wanted to put it down as close to the coast as possible to aid evacuation?
Ignorance means life is lost.
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Scorpio58
Registered User
Joined: 28 May 2009, 12:31

15 May 2014, 17:44 #6

Any idea where this wreck is in relation to Meehan's plane?  Also, don't I remember you either going to print or actually had a book printed recently?? If so "hook a brother up"! I'd love to get a copy what do I do. JohnnyF
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patelie
Registered User
Joined: 21 Dec 2007, 17:55

17 May 2014, 07:05 #7

Adam
I think you have seen my answer about that on Army Air Forces forum?BTW I can tell you that I know exactly where 002 crash landed because I have parts of her at home. She is not on your photographs.
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John Szweda
Registered User
Joined: 22 Aug 2012, 14:51

15 Sep 2017, 18:33 #8

adam517 wrote: Johnny,

That I don't know the answer to. In all honesty, my research on crashed C-47s has recently only started based on my interest in that particular C-47 from the 62nd TCS that dropped elements of HQ/2/508, and the reason for that is because of a project I'm working on. That particular plane did three runs at the DZ, eventually only releasing its stick on the third run because both engines were on fire. On the second run a young paratrooper on board was wounded in the abdomen (Fatally, it turned out) and had been left on board to return to the UK with the plane but after both engines cut out any chance of that was eliminated. The plane was crash landed, all crew survived, and the Paratrooper on board, but original crew reports state they think they came down near La Coquerie, the only one of which I can find in Normandy is actually North of Brevands, close to the coast. Another plane did report having seen a downed C-47 with the tail letter "S" on the mudflats near Utah Beach, and I have actually found another aerial photograph (Shown below) that appears to show a C-47, but this plane appears more intact along the main fuselage, whereas the original crew report states that 42-93002 burnt almost completely as a result of the engine fires, so I'm totally confused.

Image
Very careful examination of the above shows a crashed C-47 close to the center of the image. This aerial photograph was taken on the Mudflats further along from where the 4th Infantry Division landed, perhaps the pilot wanted to put it down as close to the coast as possible to aid evacuation?
Adam,
This may be quite old news to you, but what is actually in the middle of your photo is a waco glider near Beau Guillot...

John
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