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.|