Robert A McGee, at age eighteen following his completion of
boot camp in 1944. Quarter Master 3rd Class Robert A. McGee was a
passenger on USAAF C-47B #45-1085 when it crashed on 3/19/46 killing all
twenty-six men on board in the High Sierra. ( Photo courtesy Robert L.
Captain John Phillips, Jr. was flying a Boeing KC-97G
assigned to the Strategic Air Commandís 96th Air Refueling Squadron when
he crashed in the cloud enshrouded Box Springs Mountains on June 27, 1954.
The accident occurred at 1:58 AM as the KC-97G approached March Air Force
Base in Riverside County, CA. Captain Phillips and all thirteen of his
passengers and crew were tragically killed in this weather related loss.
(Photo courtesy Edward Phillips)
at Box Springs Mt, CA
Gertrude "Tommy" Tompkins in her leather flight jacket with Fifinella
emblazoned on it.
(Courtesy Whittall-Scherefee Family)
Ongoing Search for
Gertrude Tompkins Silver
Silver update August 26, 2010
Congressional Gold Medal
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Missing Aircraft Appeal
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Courtesy of KCET SoCal Connected
Project Remembrance =
Stories with Returned Artifacts
B-29A 2/5/52 (not yet posted)
Dakota MK IV
Lear Jet 24B
TWA Martin 404
B-24J/TF100C 7/2/44 & 4/9/57
BLM Aircraft Historical Sites
Recent find in
Loggers find WWII-era wreckage
62 year old crash
Latest picture posted 4/17/2013
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How to ID a micro-site
ID a micro-site
World War II
Frozen in Glacier
For a complete list of articles featuring
Related Links, Organizations
E. "Butch" Gates
Wing section from Lockheed T-33A lost 2/10/59 and located 6/18/59. (P.J.
The wreckage of USAF Lockheed T-33A 56-3683 was located thanks
to aerial search efforts by pilot, Chris LeFave. Reaching the crash site
foot proved to be very difficult, but worth it. Chris LeFave & Pat J.
photo documented the site in 2011. (Photo by Chris LeFave)
Widely scattered wreckage of Sikorsky CH-54A N64KL found on the Mojave
Desert. The three man crew were killed following separation of a main
rotor blade on 7/18/98. Note part of the anti-torque tail rotor blade. (G.P.
Crash site of Convair JF-106A 57-02338 confirmed on Mojave Desert. The
proof is in the prefix number, 8-. The Edwards FTC based Delta Dart
crashed following successful pilot ejection on December 6, 1965. (G.P.
Nannes was only twenty-one years old at the time of the crash.
DC-3 Gamblers Special Story
Honoring our Veterans of the skies who
made the ultimate sacrifice!
B. Shelton, USAAF was an assistant flight engineer on a B-24D that
disappeared while on a routine training mission in October 1943. (Photo
courtesy Marc McDonald via the Shelton Family)
6, 1943 Consolidated B-24D 41-24041 departed Pocatello Army Air Field in
Idaho for an over water navigational training mission to the Pacific Ocean
southwest of Fort Dick, California. The B-24D was to have made radio
contact with shore stations every thirty minutes until they landed at
Hamilton Field in California. The only radio message received was at
Klamath Falls, Oregon. When 41-24041 failed to arrive at Hamilton Field
the aircraft and its crew of ten were posted missing, and were presumed to
be lost at sea. No trace of the B-24D or its crew has ever been found.
Search missions were flown over the wilds of southwestern Oregon, and
northwestern California in case the ill-fated B-24D had crashed on land.
S/Sgt. Gordon L. Walker was the Crew Chief aboard North
American Aviation B-25D #41-30114 assigned to Victorville Army Air Base in
fall of 1944. Tragically, S/Sgt. Walker shown in this photo with his wife
Alyene, was killed along with his crewmates on October 2, 1944 in a crash
on the Mojave Desert. S/Sgt. Walker was twenty-four years old at the time
of his death. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Gordon S.
Walker, the grandson of S/Sgt. Walker)
S/Sgt. Irving B. Kibler was killed flying a USAAF Douglas
DB-7B (A-20) on October 10, 1942 while flying a gunnery training mission
south of Blythe Army Air Base. The accident was attributed to possible
target fixation during a strafing run. S/Sgt. Kibler was the sole
occupant of the DB-7B and he was assigned to the 51st Bombardment
Squadron at the time of his death. S/Sgt. Kibler was described as eager
to serve his country
in combat. (Photo courtesy of the Kibler
2nd Lt. Gordon A. Zempel served as a B-17 pilot during
WWII, and he continued to serve in the USAF Reserve until his death at
age twenty-three on January 24, 1948. 2nd Lt. Zempel disappeared in a
USAF North American Aviation T-6D while on a routine proficiency flight
from Norton Air Force Base. The wreck of his aircraft was not discovered
until August 6, 1948 in the San Bernardino Mountains. (Photo courtesy
William H. Zempel)
Howard Daniel Jones looking sharp in the cockpit of a USAF North
American Aviation F-86D. Tragically, 1st Lt. Jones was killed on 9/1/58
while taking off from El Toro MCAS in a Republic F-84F serial number
52-6527. 1st Lt. Jones was number two in a flight of three F-84Fís
departing on a runway with an uphill gradient towards rising terrain.
The pilots in this flight had not been briefed regarding the up hill
gradient or the rising terrain beyond the end of the runway. Hazy
conditions prevailed at the time of take-off. (Photo courtesy Peggy and
1st Lt. Howard D. Jones prepares to board a USAF NAA
F-86D . At the time of his death 1st Lt. Jones was assigned to the Air
Force National Guard in Springfield, IL where he flew the Republic F-84F
Thunderstreak assigned to the 170th Tactical Fighter Squadron. In the
spring/summer 2010 the Project Remembrance Team made two efforts to
locate the wreckage of F-84F #52-6527. The first search was
unsuccessful, but the second found wreckage consistent with jet aircraft.
Since then we have learned that two A4D-2N Skyhawkís crashed in the same
general area as the F-84F. Our goal now will be to confirm the type of
aircraft at site one, and if it is the F-84F the next of kin can visit
the crash if they choose to do so. Special thanks to Sam Parker for his
efforts on behalf of 1st Lt. Jonesís family. (Photo courtesy Peggy and
Lt. Cmdr. Robert F. "Bob" Coad
USNR was aboard Lockheed SP-2E Bu No 131487 that crashed in bad weather
in the Santa Ana Mountains on 2/11/69 with loss of the entire crew:
Lt. Cmdr. Beal G. Dolven, Jr.
Lt. Cmdr. Oliver B. Walley
Lt. Jon E.
A/O Walter R. Jacobson
A/O John E. Hansen
A/MM Harris R. Hendrickson
(Photo courtesy John Ibson)
Harris Russell Hendrickson Aviation
Machinist Mate USN in photo circa 1942 at age twenty. A/MM Hendrickson
had a long career in the U.S. Navy that ended tragically on 2/11/69
aboard Lockheed SP-2E Bu No 131487.
(Photo courtesy Gail Hendrickson)
Lieutenant Commander Oliver Bruce Walley, USNR was the
navigator aboard Lockheed SP-2E Bu No 131487 on February 11, 1969. He
was thirty-three years old at the time of his death. Lt. Cmdr. Walley
was happily married with a son and a daughter.
On May 18, 2012 his daughter Susan Walley Schlesman went
to her fatherís crash site with the assistance of the Project
Remembrance Team. During her visit she placed a memorial message
honoring the memory of her beloved dad. (Photo courtesy of Susan Walley
A/MM H.R. Hendrickson in his flight suit with a Lockheed P2V/P-2 Neptune
on which he served.
(Photo courtesy Gail Hendrickson, photo restoration by Ron Funk)
ABC 7 News Report and Video
OC Register Article and Video, May 25, 2012
Daughter visits father's SP-2E Neptune crash site after 43 years, May 18,
ABC 7 News Report
Allen Weis is flanked by his sisters, Alberta Weis on the left, and
Aletha Weis on the right. The photo was taken just three weeks prior to
Allenís tragic death on 10/29/43 when his Consolidated B-24E serial
number 42-7092 crashed on the south flank of Cucamonga Peak. Pvt. Weis
was one of ten airmen killed in this weather related accident. Chris
LeFave spotted the remains of 42-7092 from the air, and then hiked to
the crash site in October 2010. Chris described his hike as the toughest
heís ever done. The complete story will be posted soon. (Photo
courtesy Alicia Beauchamp)
Lt.Commander Arthur K. Tyszkiewicz, USN lost his life in
Laos 1/14/67 while flying Douglas A-4C Bu No 145087. His service record
was impressive, and his life story worthy of a book. I did not know Art Tyszkiewicz, but I taught with his brother Charles (Mr. T to his
students) at Hawthorne High School for many years.
I had visited the A-4C Bu No 148570 crash site on the
Mojave Desert that occurred on 8/18/66 from which LCDR Tyszkiewicz
successfully ejected following an engine fire on a combat tactics
training mission. Since there were two A-4 wrecks in the same area, I
did not know for sure who the pilot was until I obtained the accident
report. The surname listed got my immediate attention, and I called Mr.
T. ( Photos courtesy Charles Tsyzkiewicz) Complete story to be posted
Arthur Kasimir Tyszkiewicz taken shortly before his death at age
with Navy Attack Squadron VA-56. Following a mid-air collision over Laos
1/14/67 LCDR Tyszkiewicz parachuted successfully into the jungle, but
when the rescue helicopter attempted to recover him the cable became
entangled, and he was dropped with fatal results.
With great respect we honor the good service and
sacrifice of Lt. Commander Arthur K. Tyszkiewicz. (Photo Courtesy
U. S. Navy Aviation
Machinist Mate 3rd Class Charles E. Sellars died in the crash of a USN
Beechcraft JRB-4 Bu No 76779 on April 19, 1946. A/MM3c C. E. Sellars was twenty-three years old and married at the time of his death.
The pilot of the ill-fated JRB-4 was Chief Aviation Pilot Rulon J. Skeen
who survived the crash with minor injuries.
The accident occurred at
2120 Hrs. during a flight from Mines Field (now LAX) to North Island
NAS. The cause was a rough running engine to which the pilot failed to
apply carburetor heat. CAP Skeen was attempting to make an emergency
landing at Camp Pendleton Field when his aircraft collided with low
rolling terrain and bushes just east of what is now Interstate 5. The
JRB-4 was damaged beyond repair. (Photo courtesy Mary J. Sellars-Gallagher)
Accident report via Naval History & Heritage Command.
2nd Lt. Alfred Parker, Jr.
USAAF sitting in the cockpit of a Lockheed P-38 similar to the P-38G
42-13342 that he lost his life in on 3/31/44 north of Fillmore, CA.
(Photo courtesy of Hilda Lassalette, 2nd Lt. Parkerís sister, via Marc
2nd Lt. Alfred Parker, Jr.
handsome in his USAAF uniform. He was killed on an operational training
mission in which he may have blacked out or lost control of his P-38G on
3/31/44. He crashed in the mountains five miles north of the Ventura
County community of Fillmore on 3/31/44. Less than 1% of the wreckage
remains today. (Photo courtesy of Hilda Lassalette, via Marc McDonald)
Canadian Air Force Flight Sergeant Floyd E. George was only twenty
years old at the time of his death on 3/13/45.
(Photo courtesy Edwin & Janice Zander)
F/Sgt. Edward Watkins, Royal
Air Force Volunteer Reserve was twenty-one years of age at the time of
his death aboard Douglas Dakota Mk. IV, KN345 on March 13, 1945. (Photo
courtesy Marc McDonald)
2nd Lt. Edwin H. Carroll, co-pilot on North American Aviation B-25G
42-65201 lost his life on 2/11/44 in a mid-air collision with B-25D
41-30492 near Sacramento, CA. Five USAAF air crewmen were killed in this
training accident. (Photo courtesy of the William Cordero Family)
Aviation Cadet Bill Garner
was killed following a low altitude bailout from a spinning Vultee
BT-13A 42-89243 near Willows, CA.
(Photo courtesy Reno County, Kansas VFW)
When a USN TV-2 (T-33B) went missing over
the mountains of Ventura County, CA on 4/16/56 a search mission was
launched. Despite many days of searching for the wreckage of the TV-2
and its crew, it was not found. On 4/22/56 a USN Piasecki HUP-2 from NAMTC
Point Mugu crashed while flying a search mission in high winds near
Ojai, CA. Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class Callis C. Gooding was
injured in the crash, but he managed to save the pilot and the Civil Air
Patrol observer from the burning HUP-2 wreckage. A/MM 2/c Gooding was
known for service above and beyond the call of duty when he helped
rescue two downed USAF airmen during the Korean War behind enemy lines.
Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd
Class Callis C. Gooding is the proud holder of the Navy Cross and
Englandís Distinguished Service Award for heroism. The missing TV-2 was
finally located on 4/24/56 with the body of Lt. Robert Thomas on board,
but thatís another story.
Special thanks to Marc
McDonald of Ventura County for locating the HUP-2 crash site, and also
for his research on TV-2 Bu No 136872. (Photo courtesy Mark McDonald)
On January 9, 1955 USN Beechcraft SNB-4 Bu
No 67260 departed from NAS Monterey with a crew of two and one passenger
on a round robin cross-country navigational training flight that would
reach the town of Riverside in Southern California before returning to
their home base in Monterey. At approximately 7:30PM Bu No 67260 crashed
into a cloud enshrouded ridge of the San Bernardino Mountains near Cajon
Peak. Killed in this weather related accident were LT. M. H. Hand,
pilot, LT. Laskey Kirk Lacewell, Jr., co-pilot, and passenger FN USNR H.
In two photographs provided by Kirk
Lacewell, the co-pilotís son, we see his dad standing on the wing of a
NAA SNJ ďTexanĒ during carrier qualifications. In the second picture the
young lieutenant beams with well deserved pride at being a United States
The Project Remembrance Team that includes Chris LeFave, Tom Maloney,
Dave Mihalik, John Walker, Pat J. Macha, and G. Pat Macha completed our
mission on 12/4/10.With storm clouds gathering we escorted Kirk Lacewell
and his son Matt to the crash site of U. S. Navy Beechcraft SNB-4 Bu No
67260. This mission would not have been possible without the help of BLM
Surveyor David Haller, USFS Recreation Officer Melinda Lyon, and Craig
Fuller of AAIR who provided the detailed accident report.
Richard M. Theiler USAF Reserve, assigned to the Air Defense Command,
pilot of the Lockheed T-33A 51-9227 that disappeared after take-off from
LAX on 10/15/55. 1st Lt. Paul D. Smith USAF Reserve assigned
to the ADC was in the back seat. Their mission was a navigation training
that included night flying experience. Theiler was from Tomahawk, WI.
and Smith was from Midland, TX.
(Photo courtesy of the Theiler
Family & the Smith Family)