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colsonj8

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 #1 
On Monday my uncle and cousin and I hiked to the crash site of B-17G No. 42-31688 that crashed in the Guadalupe Mountains in Texas on December 23, 1943. The B-17 was on a training flight out of Roswell AAFB when it crashed in heavy fog in the Guadalupe Mountains. Only one of the six men who were on board survived. We also tried to find the B-24 wreck in the high country- we got about 300m away but had to turn back because a blizzard was pounding down on us.

We still got to visit this B-17 site though, which was good because last year we looked for it but couldn't find it. It is not as remote as some crash sites, but this site is very well hidden in the lower reaches of the Guadalupe Mountains. We hiked there from the parking lot in a little less than an hour, and there was snow all over the place. This site would probably count as a micro site, the biggest piece of wreckage was the landing gear. There were also many small parts scattered about. Photos are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/colsonj8sphotos/sets/72157638137352586/

If anyone has the names of the 5 men who were killed in this accident I would appreciate it if you could let me know, I wasn't able to find them. The memorial that was placed there in 1995 was long since gone. We did place a flag at the site, however, to honor these men who died. There turned out to be some interesting stuff there and Im glad I got to check it all out.
Brad

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 #2 
Great job Colson, looks really really cold. 
Did a little research on the survivor and looks like his first name was actually Nick. Below that is a newspaper article on the rest of the crew. 
Here is some info from his enlistment records. Appears he passed away in Oct 2007 in CA.
Name:Nick A Mardesich
Birth Year:1921
Race:White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country:Jugoslavia or Montenegro or Yugoslavia
State of Residence:California
County or City:Los Angeles
  
Enlistment Date:6 Oct 1942
Enlistment State:California
Enlistment City:Los Angeles
Branch:Air Corps
Branch Code:Air Corps
Grade:Private
Grade Code:Private
Term of Enlistment:Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component:Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of
Source:Civil Life
  
Education:4 years of high school
Civil Occupation:Semiskilled mechanics and repairmen, motor vehicles
Marital Status:Single, without dependents
Height:68
Weight:157
Brad

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djordan

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 #3 
Goodness!!  After viewing those pictures I had to get up and put my coat on.  I then cranked up the heater and threw another log on the fire.  Which is pretty interesting, because I don't' have a fireplace.

Good job!

Don

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Don Jordan
Mtflyer

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 #4 
Great photos Colson, looks really cold out there.

Joe 

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Joe Idoni

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DaveTrojan

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 #5 
Dude,
Wreck Chasing 101
wreck chase in the deserts during winter and wreck chase in the mountains during summer!
Or 
wreck chase in the south during winter and the north during summer!

I'm currently wreck chasing in southern Alabama now. 
DaveT


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 #6 

Colson, here's a list of the crew members that were killed in the accident.

 

Capt. Edward L. Gholson, instructor pilot

Capt. Robert C. Gibson, instructor pilot

Capt. Charles E. Silkwood, instructor pilot

2Lt. Rafael E. Arce, student

2Lt. Lawrence B. Assell, student

 

Joe


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Joe Idoni

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skyraider0609

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 #7 
I really like in particular the photo of the white tree with the mountains in the background. That's pretty cool. Thanks for posting Colson and for leaving the flag as well.

Pete
colsonj8

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 #8 
Thanks for the remarks everyone, and thanks for the information about the crew. Brad, do you mind if I post that newspaper clipping in the photoset?

We got to the mountains pretty early and it was nice and clear and sunny but only about 26 degrees. The hike to the site wasn't too far but it took a long time because it was so cold and icy. When we left the site some of the snow and ice was melting, so it must have gotten above the freezing point. After visiting the site we climbed Guadalupe Peak (highest mountain in Texas) and a blizzard stormed in just as we were approaching the summit. It's like the park ranger said, "the mountains make their own weather."
Brad

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 #9 
Colson,
Feel free to post the article.
Brad
huron1988

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 #10 
Nice photo-set. A little more snow and you might not have found it!
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Jeff Benya
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 #11 
Hello. Would you have the coordinates to find this site? Thank you
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