Crash Landing
Of
Marine R4D #50767

 


Cargo of crashed R4D being Used R4D in background burning

T/Sgt Dave Schwitzer And Sgt. Keith Mac Leod


R4D # 50767 Crashed on Landing Hagaru Dec 1st-Destroyed Dec 6th 1950

Captain Paul Noe1 was a pilot assigned to 1st Marine Air Wing Headquarters. On 1 Dec. 50, he was advised that a rough, emergency airstrip had been scraped out at the village of Hagaru-ri, near the Chosin Reservoir, and that the Marines trapped there were in desperate need of Ammunition and evacuation of their wounded. There was no other pilot readily available, the mission was urgent, and it was late in the day, so Capt. Noel went with the crew chief, T/Sgt. Dave Schwitzer, performing co-pilot duties. They, along with a third crewman, Sgt. Keith Macleod, left Yonpo Air Field flying Marine R4D #50767, with a heavy load of artillery ammo on board. When they made a hard landing on the rough, undulated surface of the air strip at Hagaru-ri, the load shifted, unbalancing the aircraft, resulting in a propeller digging into an up slope. This caused the plane to skew off to one side, collapsing the landing gear. Artillery ammo filled the front cabin of the aircraft to the depth of the throttle levers, bending in the cabin bulkhead, and nearly trapping the third crewmember. The aircraft did not catch fire, and all hands were able to evacuate safely through the emergency exit. They sustained no serious injuries. An infantryman, who Capt. Noel thought looked like an apparition due to his dirty, bearded face, long parka, and heavy winter clothing, came running up to the aircraft to see if they were injured. When he discovered all were OK, he asked if he could have the aircraft's clock. Capt. Noel told him he could have the whole damn aircraft, as far as he was concerned. There were a couple of USAF C47s at the strip, and Capt. Noel was able to hitch rides out for his crewmen and himself.

EDITORS NOTE : Our Thanks to Bill Brennen (Mag 33) For the Pictures and Crash Info..

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