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34BG TRAINING ACCIDENTS

 

Late Summer 1941 (The Group’s first major accident.)

PT-17 piloted by Lt Everett J O’Conner, with T/Sgt Charles G Nowark also on board.

Both men were with 7th Squadron and were uninjured. The plane, a two seat biplane trainer, hit the ground wire of a high tension line and plunged into the Connecticut River, near North Sunderland, Massachusetts. The plane was raised from the river and salvaged.

 

December 16, 1942

B-17F 42-5100 piloted by Edward E. Woodward, Jr. at Blythe CA

B-17F 41-24630 piloted by Joseph K. Gemmill at Blythe CA

 

January 15, 1943

B-17F 42-5120 piloted by Herbert Jones at Blythe CA

 

January 21, 1943

B-17F 41-24638 piloted by Robert W. Mansfield at Blythe, CA

 

January 26, 1943

B-17F 41-24634 piloted by Donald Foster at Great Falls, MT

 

February 3, 1943

B-17F 42-5415 piloted by Robert Wilcox at Pyote, TX

 

February 13, 1943

B-17F 42-5472 piloted by Joe S. Peck at Blythe CA

 

February 20, 1943

B-17F 42-29552 piloted by Benjamin R. Chaneles at Blythe CA

 

March 20, 1943 (approximately)

A B-17 was lost when the pilot attempted to buzz the field at Blythe. A wingtip struck the ground and the plane crashed and burned. Apparently all on board were killed.

 

Early Spring 1943

A B-17 flying in clouds hit the side of a mountain about 100 miles from base. All killed.

 

Late Spring 1943

A B-24 crashed. All killed. The pilot was an instructor and a veteran with B-17s of Pearl Harbor and Midway and the early campaign in Guadalcanal.

 

Unknown date but while at Salinas.

A B-24 crashed and burned Southeast of Salinas nearly wiping out the 7th Squadron’s instructors. A new instructor, fresh from Standardization School took up a group of instructors to demonstrate emergency procedures and flying with 1, 2, and even 3 engines out. 

 

July 4, 1943  TB-24E

A B-24 on a 1000 mile over water navigation flight encountered difficulty as it approached the coast in darkness. For some unknown reason, the navigator and bombardier bailed out over the ocean near the Santa Barbara Channel and were lost. The plane continued inland where the remainder of the crew bailed out. One crewman suffered a broken leg. Other injuries were minor.

 

July 5, 1943

A search was launched for the plane missing from the previous night. On the search one B-24 with an instructor pilot aboard tried to penetrate the heavy undercast and disappeared. No distress call was heard. The plane was not found until the next spring. All men aboard were killed.

 

August 12, 1943

B-24 crashed into a mountain in Riverside Co., California. It seems all on board were killed.

Wilensky, Arnold                                Sgt          killed.

Other crewmembers not know as yet.

 

September 22, 1943

B-24D-53-CO 42-40356 crashed into a hillside in southern Osborne County, Kansas at 10:30 p.m. on September 22, 1943. The bomber was part of the 20th Bomber Command, 34th Bomb Group, 391st Squadron. It was on a training flight from their airfield at Blythe, California to San Antonio, Texas, via Topeka, Kansas. All eleven men on board were killed.
Kidder, Donald L.                                 FO           Instructor-pilot     Milton Junction, WI
Lee, LaRue B.                                        1 Lt                                         Sacramento, CA
Beves, Joseph H.                                 2 Lt                                         Staten Island, NY
Christopher, Cleatus                            2 Lt                                         Paris, TN
Fischer, Howard R.                              2 Lt                                         Floral Park, NY
Lamker, Arthur H.                                2 Lt                                         Littleferry, NJ
Waldrop, J. Singleton                          FO                                           Atlanta, GA
Chamberlain, Marlin G.                        Sgt                                          Williamsport, PA

Eicher, Howard R.                                Sgt                                          Piqua, OH

Sanford, Bobby S.                                Sgt                                          Marks, MI

Urbanowicz, Chester J.                        Sgt                                          Jersey City, NJ

 

November 26, 1943

A B-24 crashed 12 miles north of Blythe. 7 minor and 2 major injuries.

 

January 19, 1944

A B-24 crashed 3 miles west of Blythe. 8 men killed, 1 injured.

 

January 24, 1944

A B-24 crashed 4 miles north of Quartzsite, Arizona. 7 killed.

 

January 25, 1944

A B-24 crashed at Chin Lee, Arizona. 1 killed. 10 bailed out safely.

 

February 13, 1944 Training Accident  (See reel BO113, pp.957-958)

B-24F 41-29086 crashed and burned completely destroying the aircraft. It was on a cross country training flight piloted by 2 Lt. Glenn W. Turner. 5 men were killed including the pilot, the Co-pilot received major injuries and the other 4 men received minor injuries. No one bailed out. The plane experienced an oil leak from #2 engine which was feathered. The pilot then attempted a forced landing at March Field but was too low. Apparently when trying to apply power to go around again, the plane lost power in one or more additional engine and the plane veered to the left crashing onto the field hitting and destroying a parked B-24. (Apparently in several models of B-24s, suddenly going to full throttle to stop losing altitude actually causes a further loss of power. In these conditions, with 91 octane gas and the application of full throttle, detonation occurs causing further loss of power and control.)

Killed      Turner, Glenn W. (P)           2 Lt.        O-523105

Major     Yoder, Owen D.    (CP)        2 Lt.        O-700593

Killed      Smith, Alden G. (N)              2 Lt.        O-704079

Killed      Evinger, Holler P. (B)           2 Lt.        O-698914

Killed      Kimmel, Robert L. (E)           Sgt.         37413475

Killed      Gamache, Alfred J. (R)         Sgt.         11084243

Minor     Germann, Bernard C. (G)     Sgt.         33489999

Minor     Tilton, Walter F. (G)             Sgt.         32602614

Minor     Grzeskowick, Raymond F.   Sgt.         32831163

Minor     Layton, Lawrence D.           Sgt.         14147329

 

March 3, 1944

A B-24 crashed 14 miles NW of San Bernardino, California. 7 killed.