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Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 20 March 2018
Date:Thursday 6 May 1954
Type:Silhouette image of generic C119 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild C-119C-14-FA Flying Boxcar
Operated by:Civil Air Transport
On behalf of:L'Armée de L'Air
Registration: 149
C/n / msn: 10386
First flight:
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20WA
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 6
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Ban Sot (   Laos)
Phase: Maneuvering (MNV)
Departure airport:Haiphong-Cat Bi Airport (HPH/VVCI), Vietnam
Destination airport:Haiphong-Cat Bi Airport (HPH/VVCI), Vietnam
During the French Indochina War (1945-54) Civil Air Transport C-119's were flying CIA supply dropping missions. The C-119 was attempting to deliver an artillery piece to the besieged French garrison at Dien Bien Phu when it was shot at by Viet minh troops. The plane lost an engine to flak.
With one engine afire, the aircraft flew another 75 miles southward, into Laos. Approaching 4,000-foot mountains, the pilot radioed a fellow C-119 pilot for help in finding level ground. The aircraft then cartwheeled into a Laos hillside near the Sang Ma river in Houaphan Province.
Pilots were James B. McGovern, Jr. and his co-pilot Wallace A. Buford.

Shot down from the ground
Forced landing outside airport

» Vliegende huursoldaten / Time Life, 1982
» Fairchild C-82 and C-119 / Alwyn T. Lloyd, Aerofax, 2005
» The Shootdown of “Earthquake McGoon”
» Working in Remote Countries: CAT in New Zealand, Thailand-Burma, French Indochina, Guatemala, and Indonesia / by Dr. Joe F. Leeker


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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