MIA Recoveries

C-53DO #42-15890 a.k.a. CNAC #58
Expedition Photo Gallery

This CNAC aircraft was enroute from Dinjan, India to Kunming, China on 07 April 1943. It was a routine cargo flight over the Hump on Able route. The aircraft was loaded with graphite electrodes destined for an electric smelting furnace somewhere in China.

As the aircraft climbed high to cross the mountains on the India-Burma border, it started accumulating a heavy load of ice and loosing altitude. Pilot Joe Rosbert called Dinjan and said he couldn't make it over the border mountains and he needed to return to Dinjan. He turned the ship 180 deg. and proceeded to return to his homebase. With the palm of his hand held against the windshield to melt the ice and his face pressed against the glass in an effort to see, the aircraft had no sooner turned when it skimmed across the snow-covered ridge of a mountain. The mountain tore off the engines and landing gear, and the aircraft slid to a stop at almost 15,000 ft. altitude on a steep slope just below the summit of the mountain. No fire or explosion occurred.

The radio operator was killed in the crash and the pilot and co-pilot were slightly injured. After weeks of agonizing travel down the mountain, the pilot and co-pilot eventually reached a tiny tribal village. The Mishmi villagers cared for the pilot and co-pilot until a runner could bring a British survey team to the village, and then the Mishmis helped carry the crew down to the US base at Sadiya, India. Dead: 1.

View the Crashed Aircraft Site Report

Click here to read Joe Rosbert's account of this crash

  • CNAC #58 photo by Pete Goutiere 1944
  • Cargo and fuel tank plate
  • Mishmi couple and Clayton in NE India, near crashsite
  • Joe Rosbert and Clayton
  • Joe Rosbert and Clayton
  • Flying Tiger ace Tex Hill and Clayton
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Important Notice: These MIA recovery expeditions and this website have been almost entirely self-funded by Clayton Kuhles.  No funding is received from the US government.  If you believe this is a worthwhile humanitarian project that needs to be pursued, then please visit the Funding page on this website to see how easy it is to support this project in a meaningful manner.  MIA Recoveries, Inc is a tax-exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Donations to MIA Recoveries, Inc are deductible under section 170 of the Code.  Thank you!


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