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Found: Lost Navy plane

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Conagher, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Conagher

    Conagher Dark Custom Rider Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    PORTLAND — Loggers working near the Oregon coast discovered the wreckage of a World War II-era warplane in woods not far from a naval air station decommissioned in 1948, military and police officials said Thursday.

    Investigators said human remains may be in the aircraft.

    The origins of the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, a U.S. Navy dive bomber, are a mystery. The crash site is not far from two naval air stations that were active during World War II.

    “There are so many different air stations they could have been flying from,” said Christian Gurling, curator at the Tillamook Air Museum, site of the now-defunct Naval Air Station Tillamook.

    A U.S. Navy team worked at the scene along with the Oregon State Police and the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office. Also involved in the investigation is the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing In Action Accounting Command, a Hawaii-based military joint command that tries to account for Americans missing in action.

    State police bomb technicians checked the site Wednesday afternoon and found no sign of unexploded ordnance.

    A logging company discovered the wreckage on March 18 in a heavily wooded area and notified law enforcement officials, who then notified the U.S. Navy.

    Officials have found a wing, a tail section, landing gear and other debris spread out over about 200 yards, state police said.

    Gurling said the Tillamook station was originally an airfield for blimps guarding the Pacific Coast, but airplanes were there in later years.

    The SB2C Helldiver, which operated off aircraft carriers, replaced the Douglas SPD Dauntless. Gurling said it carried two crew members — the pilot and a radio operator, who was also the gunner.

    The Helldiver, also known as “the Beast,” was a formidable warplane, but Gurling said it was also “plagued by problems.”

    “In the earlier planes, the pilots were told to not dive for fear the planes would fall apart,” said Gurling.

    “Which wasn’t good for a dive bomber.”

    — Associatd Press writers Abby Haight and Tim Fought contributed to this report.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  2. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Wow...that's something....
    Now I wonder IF the pilot and radio man are listed as "missing"?
    One just never knows about these WWII aircraft that became lost....
  3. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I heard this on the news. They're asking for onlookers not to and if they've already grabbed a "souvenir", to please return it (some have).

    Interesting mystery. :cool:
  4. draynes

    draynes Monkey+

    During the war years about 15,000 airplanes were lost in the US due to training and operational accidents, and about 50,000 deaths of airmen. Those are staggering numbers compared to modern aircraft safety stats.
  5. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Cool Planes, would love to fly one.
  6. Conagher

    Conagher Dark Custom Rider Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've always loved the Vought F4U Corsair.


    And the Grumman F6F Hellcat;

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