Accident and Missing Air Crew Reports




Sources: AAIR, USAAFDATA, MACR, WWII AAF Casualty List, NARA (see resources page).

Squadron Crew Year Month Role Name Rank Serial Status
HQS/UNK391102447AGKolar, Richard W.Cpl.37493207
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31751. 24 Jul 1944
NOTES: Botsford and Kolar were killed when 41-31751 made a belly landing after engine failure 2 miles short of the runway at Lake Charles AAFB, LA. Their roles are a guess.
573573133452AGBertram, John H., Jr.Sgt.19199128
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95820. 12 Mar 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73. On 12th March 1945, 2nd Lieutenant Homer W. Lentz was scheduled to fly a B-26B45, AF No. 42-95820 on a local night transition mission. He received instructions for landing from the tower and then gave his co-pilot permission to land the plane. Because of ground haze he did not turn on the landing lights until in the round-out of the approach. When the lights came on, he saw that they were not lined up with the landing runway; instead of, they were to the right. Pilot gave co-pilot verbal orders to go around, which the co-pilot did not hear. At the same time the pilot retracted the wheels, and the co-pilot proceeded to land the aircraft with wheels partially retracted. Aircraft was completely wrecked due to this action. Cause: 100% pilot error. Poor judgement, in that incorrect decision was made. Recommendations: none.
573573132451AGEast, Samuel S.Sgt.33360705
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35252. 12 Mar 1945
NOTES: Take off accident at Roye/A-73. On 12th March 1945, 2nd Lieutenant Atwood L. Edwards was scheduled to fly a B-26C25 aircraft, AF No. 41-35252, on a combat bombing mission. Edwards started his take-off on runway 10 in the normal procedure. He had reached the speed just under that at which the aircraft becomes airborne, when the tire of the right main gear deflated. He at once cut the throttle and held aircraft straight until right gear collapsed, causing the aircraft to swerve to the right off the runway. After leaving runway the right strut dug into the ground, turning the aircraft 90 degrees and bringing it to a stop. Main gear was wrecked and right wing was buckled. Cause: 100% material failure; aircraft structure. Recommendations: none.
573573134448AGTheis, Earl L.S/Sgt.37529790
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-107806. 21 Mar 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73. On 21 March 1945, 1st Lieutenant Philip S. Walter was flying a B-26C45 aircraft, AF No. 42-107806, on a local night training mission. Lieutenant Walter made normal traffic pattern dropping his wheels while our base leg. He asserts positively, that gear indicator was in down and locked position before landing. He landed ship on runway to 28 approximately 50 yards from end of runway. After rolling approximately 2,500 feet, nose wheel was let down and brakes applied. As brakes were applied, the right main gear collapsed. The right engine and propeller have major damages, the right wing-tip, aileron, wheel-well doors, engine cowling and fuselage were damaged. In view of the fact that the down-lock was not actuated, it could not have engaged the switch which actuates gear indicator, gear indicator could not have possibly shown down and locked for right gear operation. Cause: 100% pilot error, carelessness. Pilot and co-pilot failed to accurately check the gear indicator prior to landing. Recommendations: None.
573573147448AGTheis, Earl L.S/Sgt.37529790
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34454. 5 Jan 1945
NOTES: Ground looped at Roye/A-73.

On 5th of January 1945 first Lieutenant Walter was flying a B26G10 aircraft, AF number 43-34454 on a combat mission. The mission was recalled 5 minutes before fighter rendezvous. Lieutenant Walter returned to the field in formation and prepared for a normal formation landing. After a normal approach and landing Lieutenant Walter had a blow out of his left main gear tire approximately 100 yards after touchdown. The pilot endeavored to keep the airplane straight and was successful for a short interval; however, the slippery condition of the runway finally caused him to slide off of the left edge. When the aircraft struck the soft soil it spun around and skidded, tearing off the right main gear, breaking the right wing and buckling the fuselage.

Cause: The accident was caused by 100% material failure, i.e. tire blew out.

Recommendations: None.

NOTE: This was a 573BS crew flying a 574BS aircraft.

57557511343AGBates, Calvin L.S/Sgt.19049133
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95805. 23 May 1944
NOTES: Landing accident at Matching/Sta 166. At about 1050 on the morning of 23 May 1944, B-26B50MA, 42-95805 made a normal approach for a landing on runway 03. The plane touched down fast almost on three points and according to testimony of occupants of the plane, almost immediately tended to swerve to the right. About 4 seconds (300 yards) after touching down both main wheels were locked, the left very slightly before the right as evidenced by the tyre marks on the runway. These marks continue to the point where the plane left the runway about 700 yards further along and show by their breadth that the right tire blew out about 100 yards before the left which burst shortly before the plane left the runway. Upon leaving the runway, the plane skidding on the soft shoulder, was shorn of the left main gear which raked the left side of the fuselage and allowed the left the nacelle, propeller, and wing to be damaged. Post-crash examination of both wheels showed no sign of binding or heating within the brakes; both wheels were free to turn. The brake valves were inspected and found satisfactory and the lines were clear except for a minimum of hydraulic fluid in the airlines. The air bottle had not been pulled. The brakes had been adjusted within the squadron only the day before. The evidence shows that after landing the plane had tended to swerve to the right which condition the pilot attempted to compensate first by rudder, then by normal use of the left brake and application of power to the right engine, the wheels changed almost instantaneously from a condition of freewheeling to one of complete lock, and that the brakes were locked at a point unreasonably far from the end of the runway and under conditions that refute any contention that the pilot held the brakes depressed thereby causing the accident. With the evidence presented, this board finds itself unable to fairly affix the responsibility in the case of this accident. There are no recommendations.