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AZG

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Posts: 21
 #1 
Anybody recognize this wreck site?

I located a crash site that is about 12 miles west of Rice AAF.  It is a micro-site with a sizable crater and a smashed up radial engine.  I had wondered if this was the O-47 listed in Pat Machas book but the AAIR list of crash reports places that wreck 6 miles EAST of Rice AAF.  That general location places that O-47 about 18 miles from this site.

The plane went in hard and maybe close to vertical.  Individual small parts were located out to about 100 in 3 directions.  Fuel cell scraps or other rubber parts were some of the most widely scattered.

It looks like the DTC boys had a good time with the wreck as the site was littered with artillery shrapnel - the largest of which was about 12-inches in length.

I scoured the site for parts with inspection stamps or part numbers - there wasn't much.  I have attached photos of the radial and all the marked parts I could find.

I look forward to your responses.
Thanks,
Mark



-First photo is the radial.
-Second photo is a cast aluminum part that appears to have several inspection stamps and a casting number(?).
-Third photo shows the base of one of the cylinders.
-Fourth photo is a possible part number.
-Fifth photo is a tag of some sort with the word "close" and some other text.
20190124_150633.jpg  20190124_151513.jpg  20190124_152822.jpg  20190124_153330.jpg  20190124_154554.jpg

TreyB

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Posts: 315
 #2 
Mark-
That is a USAAF Douglas A-24 Banshee dive bomber (the plane was also used by the Navy and better known as the SBD Dauntless).  It crashed on November 24, 1942 and wasn't found until DTC soldiers conducting maneuvers through Palen Pass stumbled across the debris 3 months later. Investigators noted the plane crashed in a high-speed, near vertical angle with the imprint of the engine and wings depressed into the desert floor. Not much more wreckage was left back then too.
Here I am at the site in 2007
Trey
http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com
DSC00724crop.jpg
AZG

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Posts: 21
 #3 
Trey - Thanks for the quick response, I figured someone out there would know this site.  That is an interesting story too.

Maybe you saw this too - I found it interesting that there appeared to be the remains of two steel mesh sieves laying next one of the washes about 100 yards down slope.  They appeared to be very old, possibly from the period of the crash.  Given the energy of the crash I wondered if they weren't sieving for remains.

Do you know the tail number?   I would like to track down a copy of the crash report etc.

Thanks,
Mark
AZG

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Posts: 21
 #4 
I found the tail number for the A-24.

Interesting - it looks like the same aircraft had a taxiing mishap about two weeks prior to the crash with a different pilot.

Thanks Again,
Mark
TreyB

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Posts: 315
 #5 
Mark-
Sounds like you have it, just to confirm, 42-6731. In one photo of the report you can see jeeps and GMC CCKW  2 1/2 ton trucks from the divisions on maneuvers to the left of the photo. Note the engine in the center-right. On the hills in the background are fox holes and rock emplacements with rusted food, gas and supply can scattered about.
Trey
DSC00741.jpg 

AZG

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Posts: 21
 #6 
Trey

Thanks, that's the number I came up with.  It is a very interesting area to hike around in the cooler months.  I have been gradually exploring the area over the past 20 years or so.  I have hiked up on bunkers that have ration cans, brass, and barbed wire still on the stakes.  It looks like the maneuver boys just walked away a few days ago - except for the rust.  Also - there are anti-tank landmines (practice) - live ones.  

I have seen your DTC website, and that is some great work you are doing.  

I have been working for the past several years on finding the B-29 that crashed in teh maneuver area west of the Palen mountains in 1951.  It is reported to be a micro site and the photos from the crash report are pretty poor.  During the search I have logged about 12 miles in a search pattern and found lots of maneuver related features. As you might imagine, with tank tracks everywhere, there is no way to identify where equipment came in to recover the wreckage.  Lots of fun, and an interesting challenge.

Thanks Again,
Mark
TreyB

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Posts: 315
 #7 
Thanks Mark, the DTC is a fascinating area between the divisional camps, airfields( I.E. Rice, Blythe, etc..) and maneuver areas. So much debris left out there in the middle of nowhere. between crashes and DTC there is enough to explore for a lifetime.

Trey
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