Topics - C-46D Crash
Wheeler-Sack Airfield, New York
February 10, 1952

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Most recent update to this page: February 21, 2020


During winter maneuvers at Camp Drum, New York, a C-46D aircraft (#44-77508) plummeted to the ground just after taking off from Wheeler-Sack airfield on February 10, 1952.  The plane was from the 514th Troop Carrier Wing at Burlington, Vermont.  It was the ninth plane in a formation of 17 planes to take off during maneuvers.  The plane began a sharp 90-degree turn, circled the field, and then crashed into a row of parked planes.  The left wing and nose of the plane were torn off, flinging wreckage more than 100 yards.  A propeller landed among tents housing troops.  Three crew members died upon impact and the fourth crew member died several hours later in the camp hospital.  Five paratroopers in the plane were injured, but none fatally. 

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Crew Member Fatalities

  • SSgt. Alfred T. Arais
  • Capt. William Castle
  • Capt. Frank Conoscenti
  • SSgt. Martin A. Handy

Biographies of Crew Members

Alfred T. Arais

Alfred's last name might be Arias.  If so, he was born April 8, 1928.  He is buried in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.  He was a radio operator from Kings County, New York.

William Castle

William Castle, a World War II and Korean War veteran, is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.  He was born February 13, 1919.  His parents were believed to be Charlie L. Castle (1892-1980) and Mary J. Castle (1893-1979), and his brother was believed to be Charles Castle (1917-1935).  All are buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Frank Conoscenti

Frank Conoscenti was born April 22, 1920 and was married to Louise Conoscenti (1919-1999).  Both Frank and Louise are buried in Saint Joseph Cemetery, River Grove, Illinois.

Martin A. Handy

Martin Andy was from the District of Columbia.  He was born September 25, 1926.  A crew chief on the fated C-46, he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


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