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Dennis

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 #1 
Went over to Avon Park today.  Our goal was to check out the B-26 site (which we were unable to locate).  Going into the swamp, I noticed something man made embedded in a Cypress tree.  It appears to be part of a hydraulic pump maybe?  A little further away, I found the second piece.  At first, thinking these to be parts of the Marauder, I thought this might be part of the Martin 250CE top turret.  The close spacing of the bolt holes, and the material make me suspicious.  The material is heavy, but resembles aluminum Titanium maybe?  Possible parts from  jet engine (GE J79 possibly?)
The honeycomb material is not anything I have seen in WWII vintage.  Dennismystery parts Avon Park 5-28-19 001.jpg mystery parts Avon Park 5-28-19 002.jpg mystery parts Avon Park 5-28-19 003.jpg mystery parts Avon Park 5-28-19 004.jpg

DaveTrojan

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 #2 
I'd say definitely not WWII. The hyd. fittings looks much more modern,
metal does look like jet. 
ThunderPigC130

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 #3 
Hello Dennis

  Below is a J79 turbine section from an RF4C.  The one piece you have is not enough for a positive ID for me, but i would say if you look at the bottom of this photo that ceramic liner is exactly the same as your 3rd picture - But i dont know if there are any other types of engines that used the same or similar ceramic liners.

Steve

26  Turbine Section.jpg 

Dennis

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 #4 
Thanks guys.  I had my suspicions.  There were the remains of an electric solenoid on the first part that also looked too new for WWII.  Hopefully, Kathy was able to mark the coordinates for each part so we can go back (at some time) and start a search for a possible debris trail.  This could also be a catastrophic engine failure.  This area is difficult for electronics.  Between whatever electronic measures the base uses and whatever other reasons (Kathy claims the area is haunted[smile] - we do know that 6 men died there in the B-26.
As for not finding the plane, she plans 2 other options.  First she will take a GIS person to see about the electronic aspect, then she said she might make finding the plane "a National Guard exercise".  Florida rapidly reclaims anything that is cleared.  This site was cleared and categorized back around 2010 after we first found it (with help from Army Rangers).  Foot deep water doesn't help much either.
At the end of the day I said "It doesn't matter much that we didn't find the B-26.  What matters is that we DID find the F150 (our truck).  
For me, it was good to be "back in the field". (or swamp[biggrin])  Dennis
ChrisBaird

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 #5 
Some possibles:

F-4C 63-7516 22 May 1964 crashed on Avon Park Range, both crew killed

F-4C 63-7648 26 Sep 1967 Avon Park Gun Range,in-flight fire left engine bay, both crew survived

F-4D 65-0770 14 Apr 1982 crashed on Avon Park Range during bombing pass, both crew killed

F-4E 67-0330 27 Jun 1973 crashed Avon Park range, crew survived
Dennis

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 #6 
Thanks Chris.  Figured that it would most likely be an F4.  It appears the J79 engines were used on B58s, F104s, and F4s.  Don't know if B58s ever bombed AP.  Brings up a question: Wonder what kind of "gunnery" training F104s used as they were primarily a high altitude interceptor (if anyone knows, you would).  Which leads us to "The Flying Brick".
Now to figure out when to do further investigation.  Kathy is kind of frustrated with that swamp, although these parts were just barely in the swamp.  Temp is HOT, and I will be starting a new job on Monday (6/4) so I won't really have time to get over there.  Add to that this is a restricted area.
I really didn't see any other parts, but I bet if these two were lined up, a trail could be established.  Dennis
DaveTrojan

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 #7 
remember that the engine parts are usually the most forward from the remainder of the wreckage
Dennis

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 #8 
Yes, typically.  I am looking at this more as a possible engine failure for now, which could mean there is no main wreckage.  Also, not being used to jets, I have to consider that the technology (helicopters) was there to remove the main wreckage, even from a swamp.
What baffles me is back in 2009 when we first found the B-26 wreckage, we had a team of 14 hunting for the (B-26) wreck.  This included experienced wreck hunters and Army Rangers (who I think found the first B-26 pieces).  If there is a debris field of any kind, I'm surprised we didn't find something then.  For the B-26, there was only one piece that was outside of the Cypress dome (as they call the thicket in a swamp) and that was one of the front gear doors.  
ChrisBaird

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 #9 
Looks like there was only one F-104 accident at Avon Park.

F-104A 56-0861 was making a gun pass on 21 May 1968 when the left leading edge flap came off and damaged the rear fuselage and hit the vertical stabilizer.  Report doesn't say if this was ricochet damage or if he had come up too fast on his pull-up.   He landed safe back at Homestead...

If you're going with GE J79, RA-5C Vigilantes were stationed up at NAS Sanford.  But as far as I can tell none crashed on Avon Park.

Chris B.
Dennis

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 #10 
Yeah, Navy kind of had their own practice and target areas.  There was a mystery Skyraider wreck that showed up in a mud hole at Avon a few years back, but nobody ever figured that situation out.  I could do full time over there hunting down and sorting out mysteries, but don't have full time.  Even Kathy, who does, also has everything from prehistoric, to Native American, to 1800s military (there was a fort on the property) WWII (both aircraft and ground ops) and of course Viet Nam and up to date.  She recently oversaw the recovery of a dugout canoe from the Kissimmee River, and work at the WWII "tent city".  They were bringing in so many aircrew that they had to house them in miserable barracks tents (imagine sleeping in a tent, in Florida, in August - heat, humidity, and bugs - not to mention reptiles).
On this last venture, we were accosted by an aggressive Otter.  Yes, they can get territorial.  First I hear 2 women screaming, I turn around and as they are darting BEHIND me, I see SOMETHING coming towards us.  Mr Machete was out and ready as I realized it was an otter and when it realized I wasn't backing down, it changed paths.  Could have been worse.  Saw no snakes, and the only gators we saw on this jaunt were in the creeks on the way out to the swamp.
DaveTrojan

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 #11 
Mr Machete is a good friend of mine...
WaltW

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 #12 
As a desert rat I can't see how anyone can wreckchase in the south when you need a machete and a chainsaw to get 15 feet off the road.
ChrisBaird

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 #13 
Just a quick look at Baugher and Forgotten Jets there are even more F-4 wrecks on Avon Park.  And numerous Phantoms went there as targets (but what you found definitely looks like a crash).

Here's a couple just in '72.

May 8 1972 F-4Es 67-0363 & 68-0359 collided and crashed on Avon Park Range.

And one from Aug 15 1972, cant find the S/N.

There are two B-26s, right?  I thought I ran across two on Baugher.

Attached Images
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Dennis

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 #14 
Thanks again Chris.  Yeah, there have been plenty of Phantom incidents.  I haven't really began to look into deeply as I have been gearing up for going back to work tomorrow.  This site seems to be about 5 miles south of the runway (I finally figured out the area on G.E.)  I don't think there were any air to air target runs made there, that all seems to be out of Eglin (in the Panhandle), and done out over the Gulf.  In the past, the "future target area" had a line of Phantom hulks, then Delta Darts (or Daggers?).  This trip, I only saw a few helicopters (Apachee).  I have seen Hueys in the past.  A look on G.E. will show target airstrips, which are really made out of sand and a variety of aircraft parked on or near those strips.  Many vehicles as well.  There are also plenty of containers (shipping containers).  These can quickly be fabbed into any kind of building they want to "replicate" or even a complete target area.  While we have never been in the active target areas, i was told on one trip "no pictures in this direction, don't pay too much attention to what is over there, and "you may recognize some of this in the news before too long"
AAIR database (which I miss greatly), listed something like 27 B-26 incidents over there.  I have been involved in 2 specific B-26 hunts over there, this one, and one on the target range that we have not yet found.  There is a lot of debris on the range. We found a lot of aluminum, a lot of bombs, and some UXO, but nothing to confirm as B-26.  There is no digging on the range without having an ordinance expert present.  I have yet to be involved in that aspect.
Really making me curious on this potential F4.  Because the larger piece appears to be part of the turbine housing, I am not sure an F4 could continue to fly with this kind of damage.  Also very possible these are "left over" parts after a clean up.  The F16 site, which we saw on the first trip over, had been cleaned up, but there was still many parts left at the impact site, and the bulk of the engine is laying in the woods 1/4 mile away.  That one was really moving when it ground impacted.
Also very curious as to the pump or valve that is embedded in the tree (first part shown), as I am unable to find that on any of the pics I have seen.  Dennis 
ChrisBaird

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 #15 
Maybe part of the accessory or gearbox section?

1.jpg 

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