Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

B-24E  San Miguel Island
Project Remembrance


7/5/43. Consolidated B-24E #42-7160 U.S.A.A.F. crashed on Green Mountain. Wreck is scattered, partly burned, and unmarked. Twelve men died in this weather-related accident. This aircraft was not located until 3/19/44, even though military personnel were based less that a mile from the crash site. This site requires special permission from the National Park Service to visit. Nothing can be removed from this W.W.II monument, according to Park Service regulations.

The crash of 42-7160 is tragic enough with twelve crewmen killed, but two more lives were lost on 11/2/53 when a U.S Coast Guard Cutter cut a sailboat in two while speeding to San Miguel Island after receiving a call that a plane wreck had been found on the island. The wreck was of course not new, but the already known B-24E. Dynamite became the solution for making 42-7160 less likely to be reported in the future.

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Pat Macha and nose landing gear of #42-7160

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Rich Allison and prop with mist enshrouded Green Mountain in background

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Outer wing section of B-24E #42-7160


Pat Coffield poses in late October 2007 with partial engine block, crankshaft, and cylinder heads of an R-1830-43 from #42-7160. (Photo courtesy Patrick Coffield)

2nd Lt. Floyd P. Hart USAAF co-pilot on Consolidated B-24E # 42-7160 that crashed on San Miguel 7/5/43.
(Photo courtesy Mark McDonald)

In late August 2006 Marc McDonald went to San Miguel Island to visit the crash site of Consolidated B-24E #42-7180. He has kindly shared his photos, including one dating from the early 50's. Note the contrast with my photos taken in August 1991. The site is slowly being overgrown by vegetation and corroded by sea air.


Intact tail of 42-7160 prior to being dynamited in 1955 to make the wreck less visible. (photo via Mark MacDonald)

Three bladed prop twisted but intact.
(photo by Marc McDonald)

Engine supercharger.
(photo by Marc McDonald)

Throttle control console.
(photo by Marc McDonald)

Main landing gear and section of fuselage skin.
(photo by Marc McDonald)

Part of Pratt & Whitney 1200-hp R-1830 engine.
(photo by Marc McDonald)



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