Remember that beautifully restored DC-3 I posted about before Christmas? The one that had once flown for the China National Aviation Corporation as CNAC No. 100 and had recently been returned to service in Pan Am livery by the Historic Flight Foundation?
Despite the laconic caption inked on the photo above, I’m pretty certain that the CNAC mechanics had No. 100 back in service within a few days.
(UPDATE: According to the story from Sam Belieff’s grandson posted in the comments below, CNAC 100 was back in the air the next day. Great detail!)
No anecdotes about the airplane made it into China’s Wings, my book about William Langhorne Bond and the madcap adventures of the China National Aviation Corporation, but the next plane in fleet number sequence most definitely does.
CNAC No. 101 was the C-47 in which CNAC wildman Jimmy Scoff died leaving Dinjan on the night of October 7, 1944, when a violent thunderstorm tore the wing off the plane (China’s Wings, pp. 358-359). Scoff was CNAC’s great wildman during the Hump years, the star of many of the company’s most legendary stories — most notoriously the time he shot the lock off the door of a whorehouse in Calcutta. (China’s Wings, pp. 326-327)
Here’s the report about Scoff’s fatal accident at cnac.org. Apparently the wing of Scoff’s airplane stayed stuck in a tall tree through the rest of the war.