Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

Picture Archive 3

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Gary Salazar with engine compartment of Firebee including the Continental J-69-T-29 turbojet engine. Gary discovered this wreck as we surveyed an F4U crash site lost on 3/4/49.
Date of Firebee loss is unknown.

Gary Salazar with wing tip assembly of the Firebee drone. Wreck is in steep canyon N.W. of Scorpion Ranch on Santa Cruz Island.


Grandson Brady and son-in-law Pete pose with propeller hub of YB-12A.

Brother Chris Macha and son Cory sit amid partly salvaged engine parts of YB-12A.

10/3/34 Martin YB-12A #33-171 U.S.A.A.C. crashed on San Joaquin Ridge north of Mammoth Lakes following mid-air breakup in clear air turbulence. Three crewmen died and one parachuted to safety, the dead pilot was the commander of the 11th Bombardment Squadron. Every effort is currently being made to protect this historically important site.


On 8/2/56 a pair of McDonnell F2H-3 USN fighters from Alameda NAS were zooming through the Owens Valley and up the steep canyons of the High Sierra. # 126341 did not succeed in reaching the crest with fatal result for the pilot

My son Patric reached the crash site of #126341 during the summer of '03 thanks to the help of Chris Killian and his sons.

The ejection seat of F2H-3 #126341 as seen in the summer of '03.



Patric J. Macha stands next to right boom of Fairchild C-119C (modified to G standard) USAF Reserve that crashed on Pallet Mountain in the San Gabriel Range 9/30/66.

The left wing of C-119G rests just below ridge line of Pallet Mountain. Had the plane been fifty feet higher disaster would have been avoided. Accident occurred at night and in cloudy weather. Four reservists died in the crash.

Grumman F6F-5N USMC in the Santa Ana Mountains northeast of  El Toro MCAS. Date of crash 1948-49 and bureau number is 588287


Douglas C-47 #43-30676 USAAF crashed on Mt. Lewis in the High Sierra 3/16/45. The wreckage was not located until 9/23/45 when two deer hunters stumbled on bodies of four crewmembers. USAF personnel removed part of the tail in late summer 1969. This photo was taken by Bob Koch at Parker Lake near the June Lake Loop. #43-30676 was en route from March Field in Riverside County, Ca. to Minter Field near Bakersfield, Ca. A winter storm blew the C-47 and its crew off course and into history. Some wreckage remains visible to this day. (Special thanks to Craig Fuller at AAIR for additional information on this story)


Beechcraft Model 50 (Twin Beech) wreck near Edwards AFB that crashed in the early 1960's. Wreck is upside down on flat desert. The crash date is listed 10/5/?. Any information regarding this presumed general aviation accident would be appreciated.

Douglas AD-6 BuNo139669 USN crashed below Olmstead View in Yosemite National Park killing the pilot. Crash date is early 1960's. Park Service removed most of the wreckage in the the mid-70's.


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