Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

March 12, 1944
Project Remembrance

On the morning of March 12, 1944, B-24E #42-7239 took off from Mountain Home Army Air Field for a formation and gunnery training mission.  The aircraft was with the 849th Bomb Squadron, 490th Bomb Group.  As it left the runway a gasoline leak developed in #3 engine and it caught fire.  The aircraft gained about 300 ft. of altitude and began to veer to the right, while flames came inside through the right waist gun window.  The control tower and three gunners in the rear of the bomber tried to warn the pilot via radio, but there was no response from the cockpit.  Fire damage to the right wing rendered it uncontrollable, and it made a hard belly landing in the desert several miles south of the runway.  It rolled over, broke apart, and burned.  The five men in the front of the aircraft were killed, but the three gunners in the rear, Sgt. Francis A. Beasley, Sgt. Harry W. Thompson, and Sgt. Gordon M. Tyrell, escaped with minor injuries.  Site visited on 9/8/17.  Special thanks to Craig Fuller for help with finding this crash site.



Instructor Pilot                Capt. Harold J. Phillips, Riverside, CA

Pilot                                 2Lt. Richard C. Buttler, Half Moon Bay, CA

Engineer                          S/Sgt. Stanley N. Millholen, Hastings, NE

Radio Operator               T/Sgt. Cecil M. Morris, Kirkland, TX

          Gunner                             Sgt. John H. Suttle, Oklahoma City, OK

Gunner                             Sgt. Francis A. Beasley, Chase, LA

Gunner                             Sgt. Harry W. Thompson

Tail gunner                       Sgt. Gordon M. Tyrrell, New Haven, CT











S/Sgt. Stanley N. Millholen,
courtesy of his nephew, Gerry Millholen.

Sgt. Gordon M. Tyrrell, (kneeling) courtesy of the 801/492nd Bomb Group Historical Research Center.  As of October 2017, Gordon Tyrrell lives in Virginia at age 93.


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