Flying Fortress B-17G # 42-102899, crashed September 17, 1944, San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff

History Of Flight: This B-17G was stationed at Kingman Army Airfield when it departed in the early evening of September 17th for a night navigational flight. As it approached Flagstaff, witnesses reported the engines were running at an excessive speed and that the aircraft's airspeed was below normal. The plane began a 360 degree climbing turn around the San Francisco Peaks when two fires were seen on the aircraft. Approximately one minute later, a third fire was seen in the rear of the aircraft. Soon after, the flaming aircraft lost power and began a descent until it impacted into the side of a peak, spreading wreckage down the steep canyon and killing all on board.  The airmen were: 1st Lt. Richard Howell, 2nd Lt. Richard Davis, Flight Officer Lafayette Brown, Sgt. Edmond Sikora.  In 1997, friends and fellow wreck hunters Bob Lasher and Robert Kropp found Ed Sikora's sterling silver AAF ring in the wreckage and were able to return it to Sikora's sister. In 2009, I had the pleasure to take Ed Sikora's nephew, Jim Sikora, back up to the crash. He was the first family member to visit the site where Edmond had died.

Sgt. Ed Sikora days before his final flight. Sgt. Sikora, at top left, in front of his B-17 Flying Fortress at Kingman AAF. The first piece of wreckage we found was a radio component. Jim Sikora with wing skin. The olive drab has faded to a dull yellow.


Scattered debris down the mountainside. A turbo supercharger. A supercharger and a propeller mount with the feathering gears. Rubber gas tanks and the chin turret mount.


This heavy Wright R-1820 nine cylinder engine is almost completely buried by its own weight in the soft soil. An intact alarm bell with the wires protruding from the bottom side. It might be able to ring again with some work. An engine mount and other debris. This engine has been resting against this tree since 1944.


More scattered debris. The dots on the paint are rain as it started to pour. Looking up the steep slope to the main burn area. The tail wheel assembly. One of the main wing gears in the burn area.


A throat microphone belonging to one of the crewmen. The data plate to a Ford manufactured Supercharger. Jim's memorial he made for his uncle and left at the crash. He is holding part of an old cross someone made long ago that has his uncle's name etched on it. Jim and myself at the main debris area.


Jim taking a break on the other main gear. A large data plate for operation of the Bendix chin turret. A propeller hub. 1943 dated coins and a Colt .45 casing.


An aileron high on the peak. An engine, gun shroud, and ammo belt chute.