Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West


B-25 & WASP Marie Michell Robinson
Project Remembrance


Video: B-25D crash site on the Mojave Desert

The Mojave was cold and grey on a recent visit to the crash site of North American Aviation B-25D #41-30114 USAAF that crashed killing all three aircrew on 10/2/44. The pilot was 1st Lt George D. Rosado, copilot WASP Marie Michell Robinson, and crew chief S/Sgt Gordon L. Walker.

Their mission was listed as "day transition" training for copilot Michell-Robinson. Two eyewitnesses flying nearby in Bell P-39's stated that they saw the B-25D stall and then enter a spin from which there was no recovery. #41-30114 was observed to crash and burn some twenty-five miles west of Victorville AAB.

Crash trucks were able to drive to the accident site. There were no survivors. The wreckage was mostly removed following the completion of the coronerís grim work. In sixty-one years few people have visited the crash site. I had looked for it with Chris Killian and others on a number of occasions without success. Thanks to Mike Lyons I was finally able to find what remained of #41-30114. Joining me was my son Pat J. Macha, and a friend.

We were not surprised to find that only about 2% of the B-25D remained, but we were very surprised to find the WASP lapel insignia of Marie Michell Robinson lying in the surface sand undisturbed for more than half a century. The examination of the site yielded a gold ring, coins and part of a bracelet.

I had been urged to visit this site because holes had been dug there and concern was expressed that the remaining wreckage was going to be removed. The holes we observed did not seem recent, and hopefully the site will continue to remain unnoticed. Should efforts fail to return all personal effects to next of kin the artifacts will be displayed at Texas Women's University at Denton, Texas.

Marie Michell Robinson was only twenty at the time of her death. With our Nation's flag temporarily placed at the center of the crash site, we paused to honor the crew of B-25D #41-30114. We then departed just ahead of the heavy rains to come.

All artifacts recovered were consistent with seating arrangements of the crew on that fateful day in October 1944. Veterans Affairs are assisting in the return of personal effects associated with 1st Lt Rosado, and S/Sgt Walker.

Addendum:

On Sunday July 10, 2005 at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, I met with the wife, son, daughter, sister, and other family members of 1st Lt. George D. Rosado. Personal effects belonging to 1st Lt. Rosado were presented to the family at this time. Gathered at the gravesite overlooking San Diego Bay we were reminded of the sacrifices made by so many fine men and women so we could enjoy our freedom and prosperity today.

 

Article in Los Angeles Times, Memorial Day, May 30, 2005

 

For more information about Women's Airforce Service Pilots, please visit:

 www.wasp-wwii.org
 www.womenofcourage.com

 

Click on thumbnail to see large view!

When we read a name that's one thing, but when we see the person's picture then the loss becomes more personal. Artifacts from February 2005 crash site visitation. Marie Michell Robinson lost her life in service to our Nation on 10/2/44. We remember her and her crewmates, and we honor their sacrifice.
 

The crash site of North American B-25D #41-30114 USAAF. Large piece of melted aluminum is visible near the flag.

 

Pat J .Macha holds aluminum skin from B-25D #41-30114.
 

Parachute and seatbelt buckles litter the crash scene after sixty-one years.

 

WASP lapel pin of Marie Michell Robinson
 

We re-examined the crash site on two more occasions and found artifacts associated pilot 1st Lt George D. Rosado.
 

Among the additional artifacts recovered were some associated with S/Sgt Gordon L. Walker.

Note:  The olive drab NAA B-25J model used in some of the photos is a 1/100th scale Model Power product that is similar to the B-25D that Marie Michell Robinson flew in. The silver B-25J 1/200th scale model is from HMB Models made by Ron Crawford.
 

The marker for 1st Lt George Danilo Rosado as seen on 7/10/05.

 

Personal effects of 1st Lt George D. Rosado as presented to the family on 7/10/05.

The Rosado Family gathers to remember their husband, father, brother, and friend.

 

A dapper George D. Rosado poses with a now rare Stinson Model 10 lightplane circa 1941. ( Photo courtesy Ron Rosado)

Ron Rosado and his sister on 11/12/05 after placing a memorial plaque at the crash site of B-25D #41-30114.
 

The finishing touches on the wet concrete that secures the the memorial plaque.  (Pat J. Macha photo)

 

S/Sgt. Gordon L. Walker was the Crew Chief aboard North American Aviation B-25D #41-30114 assigned to Victorville Army Air Base in fall of 1944. Tragically, S/Sgt. Walker shown in this photo with his wife Alyene, was killed along with his crewmate's on October 2, 1944 in a crash on the Mojave Desert. S/Sgt. Walker was twenty-four years old at the time of his death. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Gordon S. Walker, the grandson of S/Sgt. Walker)

On 11/12/05 Ron Rosado, his sister, and members of his family placed this plaque at the crash site of #41-30114 that honors not only his father, George D. Rosado, but the two other members of the crew as well. The quote at the base of the memorial is from Captain My Captain by English poet Alfred Tennyson.

Ron Rosado and his entire family are to be commended for their efforts in placing this lasting tribute at the crash site of the their beloved brother, husband, and father.

     

Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, Gordon L. Walker and his wife Dana Walker pay their respects at the B-25D memorial site on January 12, 2013. CMS Gordon L. Walker is the nephew of S/Sgt. Gordon L. Walker who was both a passenger, and acting flight engineer aboard B-25D 41-30114 on October 2, 1944. (G.P. Macha photo)

 

 

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