B-24E Liberator, #42-7122 crashed August 12, 1943, north of Indio, California

SUMMARY: The B-24 and its crew of 10 were assigned to the 7th Bomb Squadron, 34th Bomb Group, stationed at Blythe Army Airfield. A few minutes before 10 p.m. on August 12th, 1943, the Liberator departed the airfield and set an altitude for 15,000 feet and a heading towards Muroc for a night training bombing mission. No radio contact was made with the crew of the Liberator after take-off. At 10:06 p.m., approximately 50 miles west of Blythe and north of Indio, the B-24 crashed and burned on a mountainside. Although an investigation revealed the loss of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers in flight, a lack of witnesses and no communication with the crew precluded investigators from determining the exact cause of the crash.

The liberator spun in without much forward momentum leaving a very centralized, small debris area.

The crewmen were; 2nd Lt's Harold Schonberg, pilot; Gene Healy, co-pilot; Arnold Johnston, navigator; Harry Louis, bombardier; Sergeant's Ernest Simard, flight engineer; Arnold Wilensky, radio operator; Melvin Steeley, flight engineer, Ross Hill, radio operator; Paul Trusley, gunner; John Sweeney, gunner.

Overview of the impact area. Molten aluminum and steel shards. A chest parachute frame, ripcord cable, and flying suit heater. A tangled wad of control cable.


A airman's parachute ripcord. The top cover to a Browning .50 caliber machine gun. Steel gears and molten aluminum. Parachute buckles in the debris area.


The bomber's "Radio Call" with the aircraft's tail number, and an American Bosch data plate. They made magnetos and radio equipment during the war. The tail fins to one of the sand-filled bombs that were to be dropped on the Muroc bombing range. Another view of the impact area. More debris.


Top of the '522 Control Box', and the recoil spring plate and top cover to a .50 cal gun. Part of a fuse panel; 'Tail, Nose, Arm, Safe' A bomb shackle, radio mount and steel cables. A few coins and an Army uniform button.


Oxygen regulator and Jack Box Wiring diagram.