391st BOMB GROUP: Aircraft information for serial number: 41-17781
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Aircraft information for serial number: 41-17781
Taxi Squadron Serial Code Name Source Taxi Sheets
781-?57341-17781T6-?B-26BAccident 05/06/1943

Aircraft history for serial number: 41-17781 (kindly provided by Paul Clouting).
Delivered direct from the Martin Baltimore plant to the Martin Omaha Modification Centre (from 6/8/42). Then went to Harding Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (from 3/9/42), Barksdale Field, Louisiana (from 10/9/42), Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indianna (from 10/9/42), MacDill Field, Tampa Bay, Florida (from 16/12/42), Jackson Army Air Field, Mississippi (no date listed), Lake Charles, Louisiana (from 14/2/43), again at MacDill Field, Florida (from 22/4/43). Finally served as a 391st BG training aircraft at Myrtle Beach Bombing Range, South Carolina. Crashed whilst manouvering at low altitude three miles South of Jersey, Georgia at 1545 hours EWT on 5/6/43, killing the crew of six. The aircraft flown by 2nd Lt. George R Barkhurst had been cleared on a navigation training mssion from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia. The aircraft had been observed flying under high voltage wires near Bostwick, Georgia, and investigators stated that the aircraft had been flying at low altitude, between 20 - 50 feet for at least eight miles prior to the crash. Just prior to the crash the aircraft was flying up a slight draw, passing over a house, about one eighth of a mile beyond was a hill. The tail and both propellors struck the the hill about 150 feet from the top. The aircraft bounced back into the air, and the left engine stopped. Parts of the aircraft were strewn from this point to where it eventually came to rest. It hit the ground again about 800 feet from the first point of impact, and the right engine stoped. The aircraft bounced again and slid along for another 770 feet, where the fuselage broke in two, just forward of the upper gun turret, about 25 feet from where it came to a rest. Both engines then broke off at this point, and the wings and forward fuselage section then swung through 210 degrees, before coming to rest on fire. Also killed in the crash was, Cpl. Leibel I Engel. Also the carcass of a large German Shepard dog was found near the wreckage and was thought to have been on board the aircraft at the time of the crash. Listed as 391st BG / 573rd BS in training. Myrtle Beach to class 26 per gain and loss report, dated 5/6/43.

Incident listing for serial number: 41-17781
Mission Source_id Description Serial
0A00007Accident Report, 41-17781. 5 Jun 194341-17781