Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

January 8, 1944
Project Remembrance

Rediscovering Bomber 42-73365 .PDF

  Post Register:  Recovering the Past .PDF 

On the evening of January 8, 1944, B-24J #42-73365 with the 776th Bomb Squadron, 464th Bomb Group, took off from Pocatello Army Air Base, Idaho, for a night time practice bombing mission.  After proceeding to the bombing range north of the base, the crew made three practice runs on the target from 20,000 ft.  Following the third run, the aircraft developed engine trouble and went into a stall / spin situation.  After a harrowing three-minute descent, the crew was able to pull the aircraft out of the spin at 500 ft.  The left rudder then tore off, the aircraft went out of control, and crashed.  All seven crew members were killed.  The crash site is on U.S. Government property at Idaho National Laboratory.  Site visited 3/14/14.  Special thanks to Julie Braun-Williams, Hollie Gilbert, Brenda Pace, Dan Mahnami, and Craig Fuller for help with finding this site.




USAAF pilot 2nd. Lt. Richard A. Hedges, Jr. (left), and his brother Edgar W. Hedges (right).  Lt. Hedges, who was assigned to the 776th Bomb Squadron, 464th Bomb Group, was killed in the crash of B-24J #42-73365 during a night time practice bombing mission north of Pocatello Army Air Base on January 8, 1944.  (Photo courtesy Paula Bell via Marc McDonald)

Lt. Robert W. Madsen was the navigator on the ill-fated B-24J 42-73365. (Photo via Marc McDonald)


Sgt. Charles W. Eddy of Tempelton, CA. Sgt. Eddy served as a gunner aboard 42-73365






Sgt. Louis H. Rinke and his sister Norma pose in this 1943 photo. Sgt. Rinke was the flight engineer aboard B-24J 42-73365 that crashed in Idaho on 1/8/44 killing all on board. (Photo courtesy Bob Rouzer)



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