Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

Veteran's Photos
Page 7

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USAAF 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)


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. L. Reichbach.

In two photographs provided by Kirk Lacewell, the co-pilot’s son, we see his dad standing on the wing of a NAA SNJ “Texan” during carrier qualifications. In the second picture the young lieutenant beams with well deserved pride at being a United States Navy Aviator.

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.

SNB-4 Story
Project Remembrance

1st Lt. 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)

T-33A Story
Project Remembrance

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 England’s 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 that’s 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)

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)

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)

KN345 Story

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