A Histororic Dakota C-47 lays in ruins due to deceit and misrepresentation


Seth Washburne from Dallas, Texas filed a law suit on October 14th, along with Thirsty 13th LLC. The suit claims that they were both cheated out of $900,000 by James Terry and others. These defendants claimed that they would repair a plane that was the military equivalent to a commercial DC-3.

Washburne’s father passed away when James was only 7 years old. The father left behind some WWII memorabilia, and one of these was a patch from a flyer’s jacket. The patch had the name “Thirsty 13th” with a beer bottle with wings on it.

Washburne took the patch and began researching. He found that the only plane someone from the Thirsty 13th flew was flying as a cargo plane in Puerto Rico and it was for sale for $75,000.

He got in touch with the sellers of the plane and offered to purchase the plane to preserve history. Washburne learned about the Vintage Flying Museum at the Meacham Airport in Fort Worth, Texas. It was here when he met Terry, who convinced Washburne to keep the plane and restore it. Terry also said that he would take care of the plane and take it to various airshows around the country.

Terry and those who were to help work to restore the plane began working on the restorations in February of 2010 and estimated that they would be done within five months.

Two and a half years later, the plane was not completed. In fact, according to Washburne’s lawsuit, the plan was a ‘dismantled wreck: its wings had been removed and had new holes punched in them … Billie’s fuselage, which is the heart of Billie, was stripped of parts with no record of what went where, and was thoroughly destroyed, being broken in half, with almost every rib broken and the skin torn to shred.’

Washburne accuses Terry and the other defendants with misrepresentation, lies, theft, and faulty advice.

The Chron could not reach Terry for a comment regarding the lawsuit.

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Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE