Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West


On May 4, 1945, USAAF Consolidated B-24J #44-48772 departed Victorville Army Air Base on a routine radar bombing training mission with a crew of five officers and two enlisted men on board. An in-flight engine fire lead to the aircraft’s explosion from which only two crew members managed to parachute to safety.  The wreckage of this ill-fated plane remained scattered over many acres of desert until a housing development encroached on the crash site.

In an effort to preserve the memory of this plane and its crew, Chris Le Fave saved a few small items from being bulldozed. On one 7”x 5” piece of metal Chris painted a tribute to the crewmen of B-24J #44-48772. On the reverse side of this piece Chris listed those who died: 1st Lt. William McKain, 1st Lt. John Wisebart, 1st Lt. Gregory Willis, 2nd Lt. Charles Griffith, and PFC Charles Stowe. A memorial marker will be placed near the B-24J crash site in the near future.

More photos and details to be posted soon.


(Artwork courtesy Chris Le Fave, photo by G. P. Macha)




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