|A Boeing B-29 Superfortress on the ramp at Davis-Monthan Field in Tucson, circa 1945.|
Boeing B-29A, # 44-69943, crashed on June 30, 1945, 100 miles east of El Paso, Texas.
Summary: The B-29 departed Davis-Monthan Field for a 3,000 mile night cross country navigation flight on the evening of June 30, 1945. The non-stop route was to take the bomber from Tucson to Mobile, Alabama and back. The crew was to fly at 11,000 feet elevation until Pecos, Texas, where they would descend 100 feet per minute until they were 1,000 above the terrain, and continue this altitude until Mobile, Alabama. This would keep them above the 8,700 foot high mountains 100 miles east of El Paso.
At 10:40pm, an American Airlines pilot reported he saw a huge fireball below him and believed it was a large aircraft that had impacted the side of a mountain. The Investigation revealed the B-29 hit the side of a mountain while at normal cruising speed. The wheels were retracted, flaps were up, cowl flaps were closed, and there was no indication of any malfunction. The 12-man crew perished. The crew was: 1st Lt's James Couch and Joseph Mennen, Flight Officers James Thomas, Ernest Wilson and Eugene Ghale, 2nd Lt's James Green and Wesley Waldron, M/Sgt Orval Lawless, Cpl. Ariste Landers and Pvt's Fayette Stanfield, Ralph Martin and Clark Moore.
|Debris is scattered hundreds of yards along the side of the mountain.||More debris along the mountain.||The yellow "X" was painted on the fuselage to identify this as a known wreck.||Looking in the direction the aircraft came from. The massive wheels are still attached to the wing.|
|Standing next to one of the 2,200 hp Wright R-3350 turbo supercharged radial engines.||Another smashed engine.||One of the gun turrets. An ammo chute is seen on the right.||Stenciled information inside the turret.|
|The impact point. Not only was it freezing, but the wind was so strong you had to brace yourself to keep from falling over.||A close up shot of the dome and snapped off fourth propeller blade.||One of the pilot's chairs.||A third engine further down the hill. The bent back blade indicates it was running when it impacted.|
|A gun mount that .50 caliber guns would normally be affixed to.||A bomb shackle still mounted to the frame.||A massive exhaust manifold.||The frame to one of the wing sections.|
|A compact ashtray found in the impact debris. There would have been a small handle mounted where the hole is.||Wires and debris at the impact point.|