Eniwetok, site of The Navy’s Worst Ever Aircraft Accident

Discussion in 'Stories' started by daveT, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    There were many tragic accidents with great loss of life and aircraft during World War Two. One accident in particular stands out from the rest due to the greatest number of aircraft destroyed and damaged due to one accident. Eniwetok Island was the site of the Navy's worst ever aircraft accident. Read enclosed pdf file to learn the full story of this tragic event. This accident has been researched using the official Navy accident report. I welcome your comments.
    V/R
    DaveT
     

    Attached Files:

  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Excellent find!!!!!!

    Thanks very much for this.
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,672
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Video and multi-media communications expert
    Location:
    FL
    very interesting
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,740
    Likes Received:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Very interesting, thanks for sharing.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    Good read.
     
  6. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    14,953
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    model builder
    Location:
    Revis Island.
    Thanks Really enjoyed the article.
     
  7. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    15,719
    Likes Received:
    339
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Auto Restoration
    Location:
    Abingdon, VA.
    Great find daveT. Very interesting. Thanks.:thumbleft:
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Excellent read and a well done story. :thumbleft: With your permission, I would like to forward this to the newsletter editor for the CAF SoCal wing. I am sure he would be interested in the story.
     
  9. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    Great find!
     
  10. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    Thanks for all the comments.You have my permission to forward this to the newsletter editor for the CAF SoCal wing. I like to research the aircraft accidents and write stories about them as a type of memorial to the crews so they will not be forgotten. I'll post more. I've visited over 50 crash sites and written stories about many of them. I'm looking for a magazine somewhere to publish them.
    DaveT
     
  11. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Send me a PM with your e-mail address. I will get you in touch with our newsletter editor. He loves stories to put into the newsletter. Unfortunately, there's no money in it, but the newsletter is published to the web, so the exposure is excellent. I will forward your PDF on.
     
  12. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Virginia
    used to be one of my favorite trivia questions:

    Which aircraft destroyed the most USN aircraft, and how many, in a single mission?
     
  13. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    Well I guess I answered that trivia question. We will never know for sure why he aborted his takeoff. I believe the old PB4y-1 was just too heavy.
     
  14. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Virginia
    Indeed. I first ran across this years ago when looking at Joe Baugher's bu no index and started running across all these "destroyed on ground by crashing PB4Y-1 38766 Aug 9, 1944, Eniwetok" notations. I believe he's pretty much identified all those destroyed. Once made a list . . . as most around here know I have a tendency to make lists . . . of all of them, but, as with a great many of my lists, not sure where it is.

    Rich
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    8,857
    Likes Received:
    376
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Workin' for the man....
    Location:
    South East Queensland
    Good read Dave, thanks for posting mate. This incident reminded me of a USAAF B-24 crash in New Guinea that killed 59 and wounded 90 odd Australian soldiers who were waiting in their trucks to board C-47's. Truely terrible stuff.
     
  16. Bill

    Bill New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My Dad asked me to thank WW2aircraft and DaveT for the story. He was a Seaman 1st Class and was on the Eniwetok from 2/1944 to 9/1945. Besides the duties of maintenance on the airstrip, he ran a supply route to the 4 gallies on the island.

    He was at the warehouse when the bombs started going off. He and his buddy(s) ran outside and then took cover in a trench along the sea line. Someone came by in a jeep and was looking for "volunteers". They went into the action and started pushing planes away from the burning and exploding planes.

    In an old Navy man's bark, he let me know that he had a problem with your information that it was the ARMY ran a canteen there. Other than that, after an initial look, he hasn't disagreed with much else.

    Dad is going on the Nebraska Honor Flight to D.C. to see the WWII memorial next week. Our timing of finding your story is perfect!

    Attached is his commendatory letter with a description of the mishap.

    Do you have any more photo's of Eniwetok you can share? He would appreciate seeing them.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     

    Attached Files:

  17. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    Thanks Bill for the copy of the commendation letter. I can't imagine how bad all the explosions must have been on such a small Island. Here are some more photos of Eniwetok.
    DaveT
     

    Attached Files:

  18. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    Photo of B-24 / PB4Y on Eniwetok.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Erik Hromatka

    Erik Hromatka New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I want to thank you all for your hard work to put this information together.

    6 years ago I married Sarah Burkhartzmeyer. Her Grandfather is Al Burkhartzmeyer who to my understanding was the only survivor from this crash. It appears that in several reports his name listed as a survivor was spelled wrong. I know these reports say that two people survived, but I've never heard him say that in his recount of the accident. Possibly the other person died later of injuries sustained in the crash?

    Al is still alive today, infact I had dinner with him tonight and asked him enough questions to finally track down the accident on the internet.

    If anyone else knows of more information, preferably photos, of Eniwetok or the crash, I would love to be able to show them to him.

    Thanks again for your hard work.

    Erik
     
  20. secondhandjan

    secondhandjan New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My father, Merritt P. Anthony, a Navy Seabee, CBMU 592, MM/2C, was stationed on Eniwetok from 24 June 1944 to 17 Nov 1945. I don't remember him speaking of the accident, but he did tell me he helped pull dead bodies out of a plane that had crashed on the runway. I am going to request his military records. Dad passed away in Oct 2010 at the age of 87.

    Secondhandjan
     
Loading...

Share This Page