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53-2820 at accident location, Dörenberg.
Photo: Kurt Löckmann © 05 December 1961 - via Heiner Schliehe




53-2820 US Army #1363. L-20 No: 364. Command A-4. Delivered 19-Mar-1953. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

Accident: Dörenberg, near Karlsplatz, Germany. 04-Dec-1961 2K.

Presume scrapped


Translation by Heiner Schliehe:


US ARMY Aircraft crashed  - 2 dead

Osnabrück, Dec 5th 1961     ( day of Crash ? )

Between fir trees, a crashed single engine US Army Aircraft had been found yesterday near the summit of the 333m high Dörenberg Hill in the Teutoburg Forest.

Finally a rescue mission came to its end , which lasted  hours and had covered large search areas in the counties of Melle, Wittlage and Bersenbrück.

Two aircraft of the same type ( de Havilland ) took of on Monday 4th Dec 1961.

In Bremerhaven with destination Karlsruhe, Private Pilots in Osnabrück recognized the two US ARMY aircraft at approx 13:30 over the City of Osnabrück.

One of the Aircraft was flying at approximately only 100m ( 300ft ) above Ground .

Both seemed to be heading towards the OESEDE Radio Beacon.

" Thats no good, they will get in trouble if they dont change course " the Osnabrück Flyers thought to themselves, but they had no chance to get in contact.

Some Minutes later the accident must have happened. One of the two lost aircraft flew at full speed into the forest of Dörenberg. ( The highest obstacle in the region ). Fir trees were broken and both wings broke away in the crash.

Both Pilots, age around 24, lost their lives on impact.One of the Pilots was married, and just 3 weeks ago he celebrated the birth of his first child.

Nobody discovered the crash on the hill, as on such a bad weather day tourists don't visit the forest, which is on sunny days a highly frequented walking area.

The remains of the aircraft rests near Karlsplatz, just 200m away from the Youth Hostel.

Meanwhile British Soldiers secured the area. No further Information was given :"Top Secret !"  was the answer to our questions. So far we know, the search and rescue alarm was started at 17:00 local time in Karlsruhe, that was the endurance of the aircraft.- No fuel remaining.

The other Aircraft landed safely in Karlsruhe and the Crew reported bad weather in the Region of Osnabrück." In this area we had very bad weather , low visibility, suddenly there was a Hill and then the other Aircraft disappeared."

Today an Investigation team is on the spot at Dörenberg to find more clues . Our picture shows the tail and part of the fuselage of the crashed Aircraft.


Excuse mistakes in my translation please. A very sad tragic story, many other Pilots lost their lives at exactly the same hill too. Even Pilots from the mentioned Osnabrück Aero Club some years later.


Heiner's friend Martin, who supplied the cutting, added this detail:

The crash is confirmed December 4th 1961. Military helicopters were circling for hours over the hills. My brother and I have still today vivid memories of that event. There was nothing in the media at that time. At the weekend we visited the crash site with our father.


North Germany is flat country, suddenly this ridge appears, called Teutoburger Wald, famous for the Battle between Romans and the German Tribes 2000 + years ago.....