Rare B-17C Crash Site

 

  On November 2, 1941 a AAF B-17C, tail number 40-2047 similar to the one pictured broke up over the High Sierra's on a flight that had originated in Salt Lake City, Utah with 1st Lt. Leo Walker as the pilot. The destination of the flight was Sacramento, California where the number 3 engine with over 420 hours on it was to be replaced.

  In short, after waiting in Reno for the weather over the Sierra's to clear, flying over the High Sierra's, the aircraft experienced multiple failures beginning with the navigation radio, then flight instruments, then engines, followed by the controls. While trying to regain control the aircraft, 1st Lt. Walker ordered the crew to put on their parachutes. At 18,000 feet west of Lake Tahoe control of the aircraft was lost and it began to break up.

  As the aircraft began to break apart, six of the crew were able to escape by jumping out, two were thrown from the plane. All eight of these airmen parachuted to safety, leaving the pilot; 1st. Lt. Leo Walker trapped in the cockpit as the B-17C plummeted down to earth. Lt. Walker did not make it out.

  Sadly, this memorial site has been recently been vandalized, someone has removed sections of the wing, the cut's can be seen in my photos. The damage was either done by someone needing restoration parts or scrappers looking to make an quick buck.

And now for my Soap Box Rant;
  Many historical sites and aircraft crash sites are becoming "geocache" sites. I personally believe this is in extremely bad taste, making a game of sites where men died serving their country. AND not to mention the additional traffic this activity brings to sites, many of these people that "geocache" have no clue or respect for these historical sites. 
  Unfortunately there's a "geocache" located at this historical memorial site.

B-17C History:

  In 1940, the Army Air Corps ordered 38 improved B-17B's as B-17C. The B-17C was upgraded from 1,000-hp to 1,200-hp Wright R-1820-65 radial engines. Flat sliding gun panels were installed instead of waist gun blisters which provided better crew safety and a cleaner design. The ventral gun blister was replaced by a "bathtub" turret. 

  Twenty B-17C's were transferred to the RAF where they were used during the early stages of World War II. Eighteen of the remaining "C" models were modified to the "D"  configuration late in their service lives. 

B-17C Specifications: 

One .30-cal. and six .50-cal. machine guns and 4,800 lbs. of bombs 
Engines: Four Wright R-1820-65 turbo-supercharged radials of 1,200 hp each 
Maximum Speed: 323 mph at 25,000 ft. 
Cruising Speed: 227 mph 
Service Ceiling: 37,000 ft. 
Range: 3,400 miles (maximum ferry range)
Wingspan: 103 ft. 9 in. 
Length: 67 ft. 11 in. 
Height: 15 ft. 5 in. 
Weight: 48,500 lbs. gross weight (actual - normal load) 
B-17C Serial Numbers: 40-2042 to 40-2079

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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