Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West


B-24J #42-64112
 1/13/45

 

At 6:30 p.m. on January 13, 1945, B-24J #42-64112 took off from Mountain Home Army Air Field, Idaho, for a high altitude bombing and instrument practice mission.  The aircraft was with Section 3 of the 213th Combat Crew Training Squadron, 2nd Air Force.  At midnight, fog rolled in off the Snake River Valley and obscured the airfield.  After completing its mission, the bomber returned at 12:30 a.m. on the morning of the 14th.  Flying in zero visibility conditions, the pilot homed in on the radio beacon south of the runway, lined up on the red glow from its lights, and lowered the landing gear.  Short of the runway the bomber struck the ground hard, and the pilot applied power to climb.  The tower radioed the crew to land in clear weather at Pocatello, but they were low on fuel and were given permission for a second try.  On the second attempt the aircraft was not lined up with the runway and the pilot banked to avoid a row of hangars looming out of the fog.  The left wingtip dug into the ground and the bomber crashed short of the runway at 1 a.m.  All ten men escaped with major injuries.  While the navigator and flight engineer struggled through the darkness to get help at the flight line, other crewmen threw sand on a burning engine.  The pilot and flight engineer both stated later that the altimeter read 400 ft. of altitude when they crashed.  Site visited on 9/8/17.  Special thanks to Craig Fuller for help with locating this crash site.

 
Crew:
Pilot                                 F/O Herbert E. Simpson             Evanston, IL
Copilot                             2Lt. Michael E. Clements          Hawthorne, NJ
Navigator                         2Lt. Henry C. Petrilli                  Egg Harbor City, NJ
Bombardier                     2Lt. Andrew D. Buchan
Engineer                           S/Sgt. Clarence R. Snyder         Wichita, KS
Radio                                Cpl. Ralph R. Aslin                      Lincoln, OR
Top Turret Gunner          Cpl. Otis J. Cliett, Jr.                  Athens, GA
Ball Turret Gunner          Pfc. William J. Weldon
Nose Gunner                   Pfc. Jack S. Lippincott                Huntington, IN
Tail Gunner                      Pfc. Vernon M. Andrews           Kent, WA 

 

Photo of S/Sgt. Clarence R. Snyder
courtesy of his niece, Julie O'Brien.

Photo of Pfc. Jack S. Lippincott is from his
1943 yearbook at Huntington North High
School, Huntington, Indiana.

Home