Missing P-40 Located in Southern Sierra

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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 21, 2016 - 11:38pm PT
Fruitnuts had a good question?
this whole story sounds contribed
It was a good question, but I think the clarification from Pat Macha in Jon Beck's 5:53pm post answered it -
the original "15 miles N of Lake Isabella" was not an exact location.
The actual exact site of Pease's crash was forgotten, so the above was a rough approximation.
Guernica

climber
dark places
Jun 22, 2016 - 12:54am PT
Sorry for the thread drift here, but apogee, I was in fact on an Outward Bound trip near the Silliman Crest in 96 (I think it was). During the last phase we were attempting Thunder Mountain when a rock rolled over a poor girl's ankle, apparently breaking it and in any case rendering her unable to move. One instructor, a lanky dark haired wild man, stayed with her and the other instructor, a Canadian named Brian (again I think it was), raced off alone to summon help. The rest of us students were actually allowed to complete the last couple days alone, meeting up with the others in the predetermined ending location.

Since you were teaching around then, did you ever hear anything about that?? What happened with the girl?? We did hear a chopper the next day, assuming it was for her...

Awesome find Jon, sorry again to hijack.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jun 27, 2016 - 02:04am PT
Holy SH#T man!

As an "aviation archaeologist" (That's what us wreck chasers call ourselves to be fancy-like) I have to hand you a HUGE congratulations on locating this wreck. It's one of many that have languished in my "cold file" for years.

I'm sure that Pat has already explained it, as he's really good at what he does, but please do not post photos that show the location or directions to the wreck site on open media. There are too many people out there who would just tear that wreck apart and there would be nothing left.

Very exciting news. If you haven't already, the folks over at wreckchasing.com would love to hear the tale.


Edit to add - the numbers that Pat was giving, were part number prefixes specific to the P-40 aircraft, not the serial number of the plane itself. That will have to be determined either by location, or by data plates within the wreckage or visible numbers in the paint if any is left.

Edit Edit - The missing T-33 is probably THE Holy Grail of missing Sierra wreck sites. There are a couple other military birds missing, but finding the 33 would be a huge accomplishment.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 13, 2016 - 11:51am PT
Will be going back to the site with a NFS archaeologist in the near future, to document it and hopefully recover some items before they are pilfered. Pat Macha has spoken to the pilot, Col. Pease, 97 years old, the Colonel's son wants to hike out to the site.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 13, 2016 - 01:18pm PT
Cool! Amazing the pilot is still around and talking, too!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 13, 2016 - 01:22pm PT
Neat! Iv'e often wondered about planes going missing in places like the Sierra. The forests aren't that fit and satellites seemingly can read the license plate number on the car in your driveway.
Coach37

Social climber
Philly
Jul 13, 2016 - 01:53pm PT
There is a P-40 static display outside the 30th Space Wing HQ, you California types can pop by and have a look at an intact version of this plane. There is another at Dobbins and one at Hanscomb, for you east coasters.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jul 13, 2016 - 03:28pm PT
Wow, keep us posted Jon.
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Jul 13, 2016 - 07:29pm PT
Not to hijack this thread, but if you have an interest in WWII aircraft recovery here are a couple of interesting stories.

This is a link to the recovery of one aircraft from a flight of P-38's which were crash landed in Greenland.

http://p38assn.org/glaciergirl/index.htm

Here are a couple of links to the attempt to recover a B-29, Kee Bird, which also crash landed in Greenland in 1947 after WWII.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kee_Bird

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u4YBwjQTds
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 13, 2016 - 07:34pm PT
The Nova documentary about the attempt to fly the B-29 off the ice is very good. Sad ending though, when it catches fire and the crew can do nothing but watch it burn.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2019 - 12:05pm PT
Belated finish to this story. Went back out to the site with 6 others including Col. Pease's son, Pat Macha's son and some others. They did a good job of documenting the remains. One of the people that went with me put together the pictures on a website.

Col. Pease asked us to look for his B-4 bag which contained his wrist watch and other personal items, it was never recovered, he assumed it was left there when the wreck was originally recovered. Would be cool to find that but the bag would have be long gone and the watch would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

http://suntothenorth.blogspot.com/2016/09/more-hidden-history-of-sierras.html
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
May 21, 2019 - 04:22pm PT
Cool, Jon. Thanks for the update!
Messages 21 - 32 of total 32 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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