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DaveTrojan

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 #1 
Here is a photo of a plane wreck that I want to find.
Air Mail plane USM 109 wreck photo dated Springtime 1923. No further location info, but good background information. Looks like a DeHavilland DH-4 aircraft. Thirty-four of the approximately 200 pilots who flew the mail from August 1918 to September 1927 lost their lives due to plane crashes.
air mail personnel remains of 109 in springtime 1923 SDASM.jpg

WaltW

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 #2 
That doesn't look like a crash.  It looks like a plane stripped down and being towed by a truck.  The terrain looks Northern NV, Utah, Idaho, Northern AZ.  Small patches of snow still visible at a guess.

A search turned up one interesting report of a crew going to salvage two mail planes that had crashed Dec '22, Jan '23 but were stuck until spring thaw.  Report is in Jun '23.

The towns mentioned might have the right terrain, particularly the high mountains in the back of the shot.  But if this shot is of the salvage in the report it could be anywhere along the route, not the crash site.

See attached.

Walt

[edit]  Obit for pilot Boonstra has more on these two. 

[edit]  The December crash was of plane 249 which is now in the Smithsonian collection, see https://postalmuseumblog.si.edu/2010/12/crash-of-airmail-plane-249.html


Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: Mail Plane salvage report Salt Lake Telegram 23 Jun 1923 pg2.jpg, Views: 11, Size: 66.50 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Mail pilot Boonstra obit 1984.jpg, Views: 10, Size: 100.25 KB 

AAIR

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 #3 
I kind of doubt this is Boonsta's second crash as according to the reference below, it was a spin accident and it sounds like the aircraft sustained more damage than the one in the photo.

The very next month, Boonstra crashed a second time in the snow-covered mountains. On January 4, 1923, he left Rock Springs, Wyoming, headed for Salt Lake City, Utah. The Watsatch Range was blanketed with heavy snowstorms. Unable to stay below, Boonstra chose to try to fly over them. At about 18,000 feet, his engine quit and as his plane dove back into the storm, Boonstra lost his bearings. He managed to the pull the airplane out of its final spin just before slamming into the ground. The airplane was completely destroyed, and Boonstra lay unconscious in the wreckage for at least three hours. As he noted in his forced landing report, "Attempts to get down to get visibility I caught a glimpse of the trees just before hitting them. The plane was totally wrecked and I was knocked unconscious and cut and bruised about the face. After coming to I put on the snow shoes and walked over to the railroad and returned to Salt Lake City by train." https://postalmuseum.si.edu/airmail/pilot/pilot_rest/pilot_rest_boonstra.html  

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WaltW

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 #4 
In digging around I can't find a single other pic of a mail plane marked with just the letters U.S.M..  Mysteries make me curious.

Walt
ThunderPigC130

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 #5 
Maybe im crazy, ( Insert joke here for those of you who know me ) but if you look in the sky above the mountains i can see the faint impression of what looks to me to be writing on the back of the picture that came through when it was scanned.  

  The first line looks to say "In the springtime".  Cant make out the second line.

  Does anyone else see what im talking about?
WaltW

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 #6 
Yes, caught that too.
DaveTrojan

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 #7 
Yes, The photo caption was
 "air mail personnel remains of 109 in springtime 1923"
From a collection held by the San Diego Air & Space Museum
AL13 Air Mail Pioneers Album Page 5
Photos from an Album (AL13) documenting the early years of Air Mail and the Air Mail Pioneers.
713 photos> very interesting and lots of early wrecks

here is a link to the original photo 
 https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/30291818858/in/photolist-N9MuoW


and onto the photo album
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/albums/72157637354856766/page1

Found more pictures of USM 109: 
Note Mt. Rose is between Truckee and Reno
air mail personnel reno nevada.jpg  air mail personnel righting of 109 in 8-feet of snow at foot of mt. ro.jpg  air mail personnel righting of 109 in 8-feet of snow at foot of mt. rose


singoto

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 #8 

air mail personnel remains of 109 in springtime 1923 SDASM.jpg 
Steve is right !!

There is a writing on the back of the photo.

I used the paint soft and fliped the pic and enhanced the color.

Now, you can read "IN THE SPRINGTIME THE ???????"

For me, it looks like "IN THE SPRING TIME THE DEHAVILLAND ???" or "IN THE SPRING TIME THE DECEMBER ???"



AAIR

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 #9 
Nice work singoto! 
I feel like I read about a crash (or two) in the Truckee area that were intact and going to be recovered in spring while I was researching C. Eugene Johnson 4 FEB 1927 crash near Troy CA. I this is a different crash as the one near Troy was in pieces and pulled out with a dozer.  4c.jpg 

I might have read about it at https://www.truckeehistory.org/apps/search?q=air+mail though now I also feel like I have also seen a picture of a truck towing a plane across a meadow with the article.



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WaltW

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 #10 
After some poking on GE here is some info:

The topic post pic of U.S.M. 109 was taken facing due east at 39° 23.368'N 119° 48.622'W.

There is still a dirt road there which GE Street view has mapped.  Unfortunately there is a copse of trees at the road curve which blocks the perfect terrain match image.

The image attached is GE looking East from about 130' down the road from the perfect spot.

The added info about Mt. Rose was key.

Walt Mail plane 109 GE alignment appx 60ft E of perfect.jpg 

DaveTrojan

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 #11 
Great work Walt!
WaltW

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 #12 
I browsed the photo archive and ran across the pic of U.S.M. 109 on its back in the snow.

A bit of GE work and it looks like the bird came to grief about 2/3 mile up the road from where the salvage pic was taken.

39° 23.366'N 
119° 49.335'W

Walt

U.S.M. 109 approx crash view GE.jpg  U.S.M. 109 plane as crashed 1923.jpg 

DaveTrojan

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 #13 
Super!
I wonder if he dropped anything there???
Good actionable intel on this one!!!
Worth a trip with a metal detector to find out. 
Thanks Walt!

Hey Walt, please look through the rest of the photo archive

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/albums/72157637354856766/page1

and see if you can find any more???
WaltW

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 #14 
I'm working on the one near Imlay NV.
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