Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West



On September 28, 1944, Lt. Robert M. Faber, who was assigned to the 265th Base Unit, took off from Pocatello Army Air Base in P-47G #42-25138 for a dive-bombing practice mission.  After completing the mission north east of the base, the Thunderbolt suffered a loss of engine power.  Lt. Faber radioed the tower at Pocatello and reported that all instrument readings were normal and that he had tried both fuel tanks, but was unable to restart the engine.  After spotting a flat potato field near the Snake River, Lt. Faber radioed the tower that he was attempting a belly landing.  Below, Fred Nelson and his father were stocking a potato cellar near Firth, Idaho, and were startled by a whistling sound overhead.  As the Thunderbolt passed over at about 50 feet of altitude,  Lt. Faber slid back the canopy and yelled, Im out of gas!  After gliding another quarter mile, Lt. Faber was about to touch down when he suddenly banked to avoid hitting a farm house.  The right wing clipped an irrigation canal embankment, and the aircraft slammed into the opposite side.  Lt. Faber was killed by the impact, and the aircraft was destroyed.  He was from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was only 21 years old at the time of the accident.  Special thanks to Fred Nelson, Betty Steffenson, and Dave McCurry for help with locating this crash site.  Site visited 9/26/15.


Lt. Robert M. Faber, taken about 1940 for his graduation at Washington High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Courtesy of his niece, Gay Ruby.

Fred Nelson, taken 9/26/15 by Marc McDonald.  Fred and his father were first on the scene of the accident, but were unable to help Lt. Faber.


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