Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

Dakota MK IV


Royal Canadian Air Force Warrant Officer Class 2 Floyd E. George was only twenty years old at the time of his death on 3/13/45. He was co-pilot aboard a Royal Air Force Douglas Dakota MK IV KN345 en route from El Paso, TX to Sacramento, CA via Southern California. Other crewmembers included RAF pilot F/S Peter Antrobus, RAF navigator F/S Frank S. Holmes, and RAF radio operator F/S Edward Watkins. USAAF A/C Max K. Nelson was the only passenger; he boarded KN345 in El Paso, TX.

The loss of KN345 occurred at night in stormy weather NW of the Los Angeles Basin in the rugged mountains of the Los Padres National Forest. The wreckage of the Dakota was not located until 5/13/45. We must not forget our comrades in arms from allied nations who lost their lives on missions flown within the U. S. during WWII.

(Special thanks to Marc McDonald for locating next of kin and Walt Witherspoon for contributing to this unfolding story)

More information on the ill-fated flight of KN345 and her crew will be posted soon



Starboard horizontal stabilizer and empennage of Royal Air Force Douglas Dakota KN345 that crashed on 3/13/45 in the mountains of the Los Padres National Forest killing all five men on board. The wreckage was not discovered until 5/13/45, and the X painted on the empennage was applied during the summer of 1945.
(Photo courtesy Craig Fuller, AAIR)

Royal 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)

Floyd E. George is buried at the Beechmont Cemetery Edmonton, Alberta Canada.  (Photo courtesy Edwin & Janice Zander)

W.O.2 Floyd E. George in Canada with a friend on 2/4/44.
(Photo courtesy Edwin & Janice Zander)

F/Sgt. Edward Watkins served as radio operator aboard KN345, and he is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery, CA. along with two of his crewmates, F/Sgt. Peter Antrobus, F/Sgt. Frank Holmes. (Photo courtesy Marc McDonald)

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)



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