There was a red tailed C-54 on the Berlin run that was a jinx. If
anything was going to happen to any aircraft in the fleet, it happened
to number "444" first.
I remember one time, just after a good rain, 444 took off, overloaded
of source, when the co-pilot reached for the flap handle and grabbed the
emergency brake lever. Naturally that killed the flying speed and the
ship ran off the end of the strip, buried it self up to itís belly in
the mud, and there it sat for a week until the ground dried out so they
could did it out. Bent up the props some but when they got down to the
gear, there was nothing wrong with it. Once they got a ramp dug, they
just hooked a cletract on to it and hauled it out. Put new props on and
it was flying the next day.
But like I said, if it could go wrong, it did, and it happened to old
number 444 first.

William J. Lance