Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West



On 2/24/44 a factory fresh Lockheed PV-1 BuNo 49467 USN was making a hop from Burbank to Palmdale with a flight test crew of four. The weather en route included rain showers and heavy clouds blanketing the ridge tops. Lockheed test pilot George G. Dory was on course, however being 25' too low he collided with Sierra Pelona Ridge. All four men died instantly, most of the wreckage was promptly buried by the recovery crew and the site was quickly forgotten.


On 5/27/44 a memorial plaque was bolted to a rock just above the crash site. The inscription reads:

FEBRUARY 24, 1944
The Wings of God Took Up His Flight
"so long My Guy"
MAY 27, 1944

High on a steep-sided hilltop
You feel like a part of the sky
She came in the spring-time to leave there
A token of love for her "guy"

A quiet place where the cattle
Stood solemnly trying to share
The grief of the young widow Martha
For the loss of her flier so fair.

God fashioned the hills and the granite,
She added a simple bronze plate.
"God took him" it said, a loving goodbye.
His name, and hers, and the date.

A long time ago, and I wonder
Why I was led there to share
A bit of the story of Martha,
and the death of her lover up there.
                                                      Dan Crabtree


When Dan Crabtree happened by chance to see the PV-1 crash site and plaque he was moved to write this poem.


Thanks to Chris Killian for being our guide to this site.

Smashed remains of BuNo 49467 partially buried.

Pat J. Macha with landing gear and gear doors. Persons unknown to me did some excavation of this site in 1996. Happily no additional digging has been done since then.



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