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XHunter

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 #1 
 - Hey guys,

 I have been asked to escort the family of Douglas test pilot Tom Kilgariff, to the January, 1954 crash site of an A3D NAVY test article  (Original post said B-45... I was not paying attention, I have the '45 in mind lately...)  near Barstow, Ca and could use some help. I know the site is in an old plowed field near Hinkley, Ca but would like to be able to take them as close as possible. Any help would be appreciated as this for family and not a site location trip. We, as a  "knowledgeable body" have always shown great respect for the families of the lost...

THANY YOU for any help with this....
 
Tony

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SixbyFire

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 #2 

I will check the newspaper.com archives if you didn't already, a cursory search shows the year might have been 1958 though. Lots of hits for Thomas Kilgariff in that year, sounds like Dale Benethum was killed in the crash too. I'll see if they have a better location in any of the papers.

Jeff

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 #3 
Ok, here is some more info. See attached photos too. According to the newspaper the San Bernardino County Sun, the main part of the fuselage came to rest near Community Blvd at Dixie Road. They said the location was 600 feet north of Community and 200 feet east of Dixie. That puts it close to: 34.909128, -117.135502.

Two of the newspapers mentioned this location was the Hartwick Ranch. Historic Aerials shows an orchard or something just outside the location where the fuselage came to rest, I suspect this is the plants/trees that you can see in the background of the only photo I found of the crash. The tail reportedly came down 1/2 mile northwest of the fuselage, however, other articles reported that since this was a mid-air explosion, that wreckage was scattered over a large area. I couldn't find any other newspapers with any better location info than the San Bernardino County Sun.

CSU San Bernardino has some great historic aerial imagery, however, the Hinkley area was done in 1963, but you can't get full size images online. That being said, there might be a light colored scar of a vehicle track from Dixie Road that heads toward where the fuselage came to rest, or it could just be me trying to see things there. I don't see any other dark areas or scars on the land. I will attach a screenshot of that too.

Hope this helps!

Jeff


Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: The_San_Bernardino_County_Sun_Wed__Jan_29__1958_.jpg, Views: 62, Size: 430.96 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: The_San_Bernardino_County_Sun_Wed__Jan_29__1958__copy_photo.jpg, Views: 65, Size: 432.19 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: The_San_Bernardino_County_Sun_Wed__Jan_29__1958__copy_article.jpg, Views: 62, Size: 430.78 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Press_Courier_Wed__Jan_29__1958_.jpg, Views: 37, Size: 240.07 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Chicago_Tribune_Sun__Feb_2__1958_.jpg, Views: 51, Size: 313.22 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Screen_Shot_2017-01-24_at_4.41.12_PM.png, Views: 48, Size: 65.01 KB 

SixbyFire

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 #4 
I probably should have just edited my earlier post, but I found another interesting article. A reward offered for pieces of the aircraft as part of the investigation. Looks like this ran for a full week in the San Bernardino County Sun.

Edited this post, found another photo, it's pretty bad though. See below.

Jeff

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: The_San_Bernardino_County_Sun_Wed__Feb_19__1958_.jpg, Views: 39, Size: 341.52 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Kingsport_News_Fri__Jan_31__1958_.jpg, Views: 40, Size: 336.47 KB 

XHunter

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 #5 
THANKS Jeff! This will go a long way to helping his daughter visit the spot where she lost her dad. We'll be bringing her to see the A3D we have on base and then head out to look over the area.
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SixbyFire

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 #6 

Glad I could help, I did some additional searches after my last post last night, but didn't find anything useful.

Jeff

SamParker

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 #7 
I took Jeff's aerial photo and did a careful GE overlay. I too see the light colored area he mentions and outlined it in the attached screenshot. Looking at the middle of lighter colored area I get coordinates of  34.908964° -117.134861° which is within 200 feet of Jeff's coordinates.

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: A3D.JPG, Views: 33, Size: 516.75 KB 

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Sam Parker

SixbyFire

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 #8 
I'm not at all good at doing the overlay thing, I've tried it a few times, but gave up. This overlay looks good, that light colored area lines up well, if that is what remains of them driving something in to haul away the wreckage, but that's the spot I saw!

Jeff
SamParker

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 #9 
Teamwork baby!
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Sam Parker
XHunter

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 #10 
Today Pete Merlin and I made good on a request from Ceil and Bob Davis, daughter and son-in-law of Douglas Aircraft test pilot Tom Kilgariff, to take her to her fathers A3D-2 crash site. We went out to the spot plotted in the newspaper..."600ft North of Community Blvd and 200ft East of Dixie Rd"..."you know, X" marks the spot... and couldn't find a darn thing. It's an active farm field and has had topsoil and fertilizer tilled under for very long time so finding aircraft fragments is iffy.. at best. We looked all over the place and finally decided to walk back over to the side of the field to deliver the news to Mrs. Davis that we couldn't find any physical evidence of her father's aircraft. I however did let her know that this was still the right area for her to pay her respects to her father. As I was half way through telling her that sometimes it's hard to find any trace of an aircraft in a situation like this that I noticed the fragment of Plexi window from her dad's airplane almost at her feet. 

A special Thanks to Jeff, Sam and Walt W. for their help in giving us the right farm field to march through (it was there!

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: a3d_plexi.jpg, Views: 54, Size: 361.22 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Ceil_and_Bob_Davis.jpg, Views: 50, Size: 226.62 KB 

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SixbyFire

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 #11 

Glad to hear the story about the visit. Great group effort here on the board! Amazing there was plexiglass there too.

Jeff

XHunter

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 #12 
Okay. I was talking to Mrs. Davis today and we figured out that we had gone to the same elementary school in the San Fernando Valley and had lived about 400ft from each other when we were kids... she lives in Alabama now...
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DaveTrojan

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 #13 
It is a small world. That is why we need to help each other. 
Congratulations on a successful expedition.
The more I do that kind of thing, The more I want to do. It is very rewarding for all.  
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