Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West
Statement By G. Pat Macha and
On October 26, 1944, a WASP pilot departed from Mines Field (now LAX) in a P-51D. Her name was Gertrude Tompkins. She has not been heard from nor seen since. So far, efforts to locate her or her aircraft have yielded no conclusive results.
Gertrude V. Tompkins has two sisters: Margaret Tompkins Wade and Elizabeth Whittall. Ms. Whittall's granddaughter, Laura Whittall-Scherfee and her husband, Ken Whittall-Scherfee, of Sacramento, California are resuming that search effort with the assistance of Pat Macha.
Mr. Macha is a noted expert and author on the topic of aircraft wreck sites in California. Through Mr. Macha, Gertrude Tompkins' relatives have narrowed their search to Santa Monica Bay, generally, and the area just west of the south runway at LAX, extending from the beach west for approximately two miles, in particular.
Mr. Macha and Gertrude's relatives will search the subject area, using the services and assistance of any person interested in volunteering to assist in this interesting saga. The search will include use of magnetic anomaly detection equipment in boats and, if available, sub-surface vehicles, as well as analysis of data showing infrared depictions of the subject area.
In addition to these methods, Mr. Macha and Gertrude's relatives ask for the assistance of any person who has personal knowledge, or has heard of any information, regarding an aircraft crashing into Santa Monica Bay on October 26, 1944 in the late afternoon. Should you have any such information, or know of anyone who does, please contact Pat Macha at (714) 345-9210 or Ken Whittall-Scherfee at (916) 446-0955.