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United Airlines Flight 409

Flight 409
At the time, it was the worst crash involving any variant of the Douglas DC-6 airliner the second-worst aviation accident in U.S. history, and one of the worst air accidents anywhere in history, and it equalled the 11 August mid-air collision of two United States Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcars over West Germany and the 6 October United Airlines Flight 409 crash as the deadliest air accident of 1955.
Another 66 lives had been lost earlier that year in the March 22 crash in Hawaii of a United States Navy Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster military transport aircraft, and 66 had also died in the mid-air collision of two United States Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcars over West Germany on August 11, placing the three crashes in a three-way tie as the deadliest aviation incidents in 1955.

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1955–1959)

crashed195744-29125
*List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1955–59)
A United States Navy Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster, BuNo 131612, c/n 43715, of Air Transport Squadron 3 (VR-3), assigned to the Military Air Transport Service, hits a cliff on Pali Kea Peak in the Waianae Range on Oahu, 15 mi northwest of Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, United States, at 0203 hrs., killing all 57 passengers and nine crew, making it the worst heavier-than-air disaster in U.S. naval aviation history.

Hickam Air Force Base

Hickam FieldHickam AFBHickam
The R6D-1 was carrying a U.S. Navy crew of nine and was loaded to capacity with 57 passengers on a Military Air Transport Service flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Travis Air Force Base, California, via Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii.
On 22 March 1955, a United States Navy Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster transport on descent to a landing in darkness and heavy rain strayed off course and crashed into Pali Kea Peak in the southern part of Oahus Waianae Range, killing all 66 people on board.

1956 Atlantic R6D-1 disappearance

disappeareddisappearsdisappearance
The accident was the first of two major air disasters involving an R6D-1 in less than 19 months, the second being the disappearance of an R6D-1 over the Atlantic Ocean in October 1956.
The disappearance was the second major accident involving a Navy R6D-1 in 19 months, an R6D-1 having crashed in Hawaii in March 1955.

Military Air Transport Service

MATSAir Transport Commandair-base
The R6D-1 was carrying a U.S. Navy crew of nine and was loaded to capacity with 57 passengers on a Military Air Transport Service flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Travis Air Force Base, California, via Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii.
On 22 March 1955, a U.S. Navy Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster, BuNo 131612, operating a MATS flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Travis Air Force Base, California, via Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii, flew into a mountain peak in Hawaii, killing all 66 people – 55 military passengers, two civilian passengers, and a Navy crew of nine – on board. It remains both the deadliest aviation accident in the history of Hawaii and the worst heavier-than-air accident in the history of U.S. naval aviation.

United States Navy

U.S. NavyNavyUS Navy
The 1955 Hawaii R6D-1 crash was an accident involving a Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster of the United States Navy which crashed into a mountain peak in Hawaii on 22 March 1955, killing all 66 people on board.

United States Air Force

Air ForceU.S. Air ForceUSAF
At the time, it was the worst crash involving any variant of the Douglas DC-6 airliner the second-worst aviation accident in U.S. history, and one of the worst air accidents anywhere in history, and it equalled the 11 August mid-air collision of two United States Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcars over West Germany and the 6 October United Airlines Flight 409 crash as the deadliest air accident of 1955.

Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar

C-119Fairchild C-119G Flying BoxcarC-119 Flying Boxcar
At the time, it was the worst crash involving any variant of the Douglas DC-6 airliner the second-worst aviation accident in U.S. history, and one of the worst air accidents anywhere in history, and it equalled the 11 August mid-air collision of two United States Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcars over West Germany and the 6 October United Airlines Flight 409 crash as the deadliest air accident of 1955.

West Germany

West GermanFederal Republic of GermanyGermany
At the time, it was the worst crash involving any variant of the Douglas DC-6 airliner the second-worst aviation accident in U.S. history, and one of the worst air accidents anywhere in history, and it equalled the 11 August mid-air collision of two United States Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcars over West Germany and the 6 October United Airlines Flight 409 crash as the deadliest air accident of 1955.

Aircraft

heavier-than-airflying machineheavier-than-air flight
It remains the worst air disaster in the history of Hawaii and the deadliest accident involving a heavier-than-air aircraft in the history of United States naval aviation.

Naval aviation

naval aviatoraviatornaval aircraft
It remains the worst air disaster in the history of Hawaii and the deadliest accident involving a heavier-than-air aircraft in the history of United States naval aviation.

United States military aircraft serial numbers

serial numberBuNotail number
The R6D-1 involved, Bureau Number 131612, had been manufactured in 1953 and was based at Moffett Field, California.

Moffett Federal Airfield

Moffett FieldNAS Moffett FieldMoffett Field Naval Air Station
The R6D-1 involved, Bureau Number 131612, had been manufactured in 1953 and was based at Moffett Field, California.

California

CAState of CaliforniaCalifornia, USA
The R6D-1 involved, Bureau Number 131612, had been manufactured in 1953 and was based at Moffett Field, California.

Tokyo

Tokyo, JapanTokyo MetropolisTōkyō
The R6D-1 was carrying a U.S. Navy crew of nine and was loaded to capacity with 57 passengers on a Military Air Transport Service flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Travis Air Force Base, California, via Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii.

Japan

🇯🇵JPNJapanese
The R6D-1 was carrying a U.S. Navy crew of nine and was loaded to capacity with 57 passengers on a Military Air Transport Service flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Travis Air Force Base, California, via Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii.

Travis Air Force Base

Travis AFBFairfield-Suisun AFBFairfield-Suisun (later, Travis) AFB
The R6D-1 was carrying a U.S. Navy crew of nine and was loaded to capacity with 57 passengers on a Military Air Transport Service flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Travis Air Force Base, California, via Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii.

Territory of Hawaii

HawaiiHawaii TerritoryTerritory
The R6D-1 was carrying a U.S. Navy crew of nine and was loaded to capacity with 57 passengers on a Military Air Transport Service flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Travis Air Force Base, California, via Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii.

United States Army

U.S. ArmyArmyUS Army
The passengers included 55 servicemen – 17 U.S. Air Force, 22 United States Army, 12 United States Marine Corps, and four U.S. Navy personnel – and two civilians, who were the wife and three-year-old daughter of one of the military passengers.

United States Marine Corps

MarinesMarine CorpsMarine
The passengers included 55 servicemen – 17 U.S. Air Force, 22 United States Army, 12 United States Marine Corps, and four U.S. Navy personnel – and two civilians, who were the wife and three-year-old daughter of one of the military passengers.

Oahu

OʻahuO'ahuO‘ahu
At 2:03 a.m. local time while on its descent, the aircraft flew into 3098 ft Pali Kea Peak at the southern end of Oahus Waianae Range, 15 mi northwest of Honolulu.

Waianae Range

Waianae MountainsWaianaeWaianae Ranges
At 2:03 a.m. local time while on its descent, the aircraft flew into 3098 ft Pali Kea Peak at the southern end of Oahus Waianae Range, 15 mi northwest of Honolulu.

Honolulu

Honolulu, HawaiiHonolulu, HIHonolulu, Hawaii, USA
At 2:03 a.m. local time while on its descent, the aircraft flew into 3098 ft Pali Kea Peak at the southern end of Oahus Waianae Range, 15 mi northwest of Honolulu.

Lualualei, Hawaii

LualualeiLualualei Valley
During the impact, the wings separated from the aircrafts fuselage, which already was ablaze as it fell in one piece to the bottom of a gully at a point about 2000 yard from the Lualualei Naval Ammunition Magazine and burned.

Atlantic Ocean

AtlanticNorth AtlanticAtlantic coast
The accident was the first of two major air disasters involving an R6D-1 in less than 19 months, the second being the disappearance of an R6D-1 over the Atlantic Ocean in October 1956.