World War II bomber found in Mojave Desert

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Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
Interesting story.

I bet Flyboy knows this area well.

For those of you who dont know where this area is, its in California, just north of Edwards AFB.

World War II bomber found in Mojave Desert

Posted 6/5/06
An aviation archaeologist discovered the lost wreckage of a World War II bomber in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

A military recovery mission is underway with the discovery of decades-old bones.

"It's very,'s an emotional experience," said U.S. Marines Captain George Murphy. "Even though we didn't know these men personally, we share a common experience."

On April 09, 1944, a B-24D Bomber went down during a training mission just southwest of the then Mojave Marine Corps Air Station.

The coroner issued death certificates to the families of all ten men on board. And, the cause of the crash was listed as pilot error.

Now, 60 years later, the site has been cleaned up and all but forgotten.

Until, amateur wreck chaser Don Jordan set out to find the site five years ago, and stumbled on it last summer.

"He did finally find it and posted it on his Website," said Kelly Cowan Kern County Deputy Coroner.

"And, then the niece of the radio operator of this particular plane read that and asked Mr. Jordan to retrieve some sand and some sort of artifact for her," said Cowan.

Jordan honored her request.

He also called in members of the POW and MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) out of Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, after finding several bone fragments.

The command setup shop over a month ago and has carefully unearthed personal artifacts like zippers, and dog tags and even more skeletal remains.

Back then, witnesses said the plane hit nose first in the location where recovery teams are now digging.

Whatever the team finds will be taken back to the base in Hawaii for identification, including DNA analysis of the bone fragments.

The team's archaeologist said its part of their pledge.

"It may take 60 years, but we will return home every fallen service member, back," said Dr. William Belcher Forensic Archeologist
Pretty cool Sys!!! That's my ole stomping grounds, miss those windmills!

There's at least 2 dozen wrecks to the west of Mojave Airport - there are publications mapping their locations, it's just a matter of digging and finding whats left.

Although the report mentions Mojave Marine Air Station, the B-24 probably came out of Muroc. During the war years B-24 and P-38 pilots were trained there - Mojave had F4Fs and later F4Us flying around....

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