A Xanten Crash … ?

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by Cee, Nov 16, 2023.

  1. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    A Xanten Crash … ?

    We were discussing various photos in the back channels (PMs) here when this one came up.

    Crash near Church.jpg

    Originally from Paradata. I just assumed it was a scene photographed at Hamminkeln (east of the Rhine) during Operation Varsity as stated. Alberk, however, claimed it was actually shot at Xanten. So here’s one for you folks to hunt down and perhaps fill in a few blanks. What do you see?

    Regards …
     
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  2. HighTow

    HighTow Junior Member

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  3. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    It is certainly Xanten. March 24th, 1945 or the day after. Wreckage still smoldering...
    Now it is a matter of identifying whether it is a C-47 or C-46
     
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  4. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    A Crop

    A few features pointed out. Did it strike a horse or perhaps an equestrian statue - odd?

    Xanten Crash Crop-2.jpg

    Regards ...
     
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  5. HighTow

    HighTow Junior Member

  6. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    My contact suggests it’s a C46. The square opening is most likely the escape hatch over the wing.
    I think we are looking at this section
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Is that a propeller far left, a single wheel just to the right of that?
     
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  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Could be, yes.

    Regards ...
     
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  9. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    A comparison C46. Look at the square window and hatch shape, also the large cargo door and metal seam can be seen, which would naturally be a weak point in a crash, hence the large square shaped hole in the rear of this aircraft at Xanten
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    C-46

    Another view of front end of C-46:

    342-FH_001109-crop.jpg

    Regards ...
     
  11. S Hayward

    S Hayward Well-Known Member

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  12. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Yo,

    Came across this account by Jock Walker. Possibly another crash in the Xanten area - not sure?

    BBC - WW2 People's War - The King's Shilling - Part 9a - Germany and Beyond

    "Came dawn, and I returned across the Rhine to do my secondary job (and return the exposed film we had shot), which was picturing the building of the pontoon bridge and its eventual use by the armour, etc. Before I went down to the water’s edge, where the REs were starting to build the bridge the airborne lift passed over under very heavy flak by Jerry and in fact, one Dakota, carrying American paratroops, was hit and set on fire on our side of the river; the blokes in it had to make their jump at a very low altitude on our bank in order to escape the inevitable crash. I don’t think the crew escaped. Shades of Sicily!"

    Regards ...
     
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  13. S Hayward

    S Hayward Well-Known Member

    Is the debris visible in the high rez aerial?

    Separately:
    Trying to narrow things down a bit:
    The Curtiss C-46 Commando (faqs.org) states: "The only real difference of the "CW-20B-2" / "C-46D" from the C-46A was that the C-46D had double instead of single cargo doors". If an aviation expert can confirm this statement as true, then the wide gap where the cargo door would be might be a way to narrow it down, but would need somebody more knowledgeable to check.

    As a starting point ASN's database may help further:
    Aviation Safety Network > > ASN Aviation Safety Database results (aviation-safety.net)

    BR,
    SH
     
  14. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Not sure if this what you are referring to but there were double doors to rear of wing on the port side and only a single door rear of wing on starboard side.

    Varsity-Achiet.jpg

    Regards ...
     
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  15. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    It’s a C46 in the picture.
     
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  16. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    If it's a C-46 it would be a 313 TCG aircraft out of Achiet airfield in France.

    Regards ...
     
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  17. S Hayward

    S Hayward Well-Known Member

    "Not sure if this what you are referring to but there were double doors to rear of wing on the port side and only a single door rear of wing on starboard side."

    Yes, that was essentially what I was getting at yes, the double vs single door variant of the C46.


    "It’s a C46 in the picture"

    Completely agree. I think the right-angle shape to the right of the wreckage is caused by a single large door being ripped from the fuselage rather than a double door, I have sketched what I think we are looking at in the sketch below, although this is very much subject to change as things are examined closer and other more experienced member's review.

    upload_2023-11-17_23-2-21.png
    Figure 1 - My initial thoughts on what we are looking at (Note: the use of ? means I am taking a guess)


    Welcome thoughts and criticism on this.

    BR
    SH
     
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  18. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Pretty much yes. I posted a pic with an outline of what I thought we were looking earlier I think?
     
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  19. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Great sketch - old school. Like it very much and find it highly useful!
     
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  20. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi,

    Yes, 313 TCG was the only one flying C-46s and believe most were double door variants. First time used in combat and often mistaken for C-47s.

    Regards ..
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2023
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