World War II plane crash on Mt. Tam r...

World War II plane crash on Mt. Tam recalled 65 years later

There are 39 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Nov 29, 2009, titled World War II plane crash on Mt. Tam recalled 65 years later. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

Charlie Gallagher holds some of the wreckage scattered among the bushes at the site of a 1944 plane crash on Mt.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

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United States

#23 Nov 30, 2009
What happened to post 7, the theory relating to Amicita in Mill Valley?

South San Francisco, CA

#24 Nov 30, 2009
Can you post this on WIKI

San Francisco, CA

#25 Nov 30, 2009
Can you post this on WIKI
You can wiki on this post...
wally kowalski

Fernley, NV

#26 Nov 30, 2009
Ranger Matt wrote:
Sorry for the extra posts, things appeared to have been lost in cyberspace...
The phone line knocked down was the old abandoned phoneline to the Taveran of Tamalpais.
The bikes likely belonged to the Aircrew for use around their bases. The unit record book of the squadron has pictures of squadron members on bikes by PBMs on the seaplane ramps.
A Navy admiral was killed in a seaplane crash in Mendocino County in 1943 or so. It was A Pan Am Clipper being used by the Navy.
Ignacio crashed mentioned in the comments killed 14, it was an LB30 (an export version of the B-24)that crashed there on a cargo/ferrying flight in 1942.
"If they want people to leave the wreckage alone why are they showing a picture of someone holding pieces of it?" People who find the wreckage are going to pick up pieces to look at, just respect the site and take only pictures. The wreckage is a legally protected historic resource.
nice job matt.proves that not everybody that blog's here is a raving lunatic. hope the people at the ij read your comments, your a better writer(and investigator) than 90% of their staff.
wookie trail user

Mill Valley, CA

#27 Nov 30, 2009
Thanks Ranger Matt. You are a resource on Mount Tam!.And to think your love of the Mountain was started on a MOUNTAIN BIKE!!!!!!
K in SA

Mill Valley, CA

#28 Nov 30, 2009
Papai wrote:
I've hiked up there twice the past year. The exact crash site is hard to find. There are some charred wood and trees in the area off of the Vic Haun trail. However, it's well concealed now. Nothing obvious at all left.
The radial engine in Cataract Creek is easy to find. That was from a Corsair that crashed there in 1945. I've plenty of photos of that.
1944 crash site on map here:
Radial Engine in Cataract creek:
Have you seen the other Corsair engine?, yes there are two up there.
Check out for more info...
Ranger Matt

Mill Valley, CA

#30 Nov 30, 2009
wookie trail user and wally kowalski, thanks!

I also wanted to thank Brent Ainsworth for writing the article and interviewing the two "boys" who found it 65 years ago, that provided some additional info on the story of PBM-5 Peter-9 and Combat Aircrew Charlie who were lost 65 years ago tonight.

Pittsburg, CA

#31 Dec 1, 2009
Cate wrote:
Anyone wonder if the crash has anything to do with the extreme cancer rates in Marin? It is one of our watersheds, right? Perhaps the orange bikes were disguised weapons laden with something toxic? Just a thought... why else would the Navy deny bikes being on board when clearly the boys saw them and that's not something youngsters would mistake or forget.
ps - I'm glad to see this story come to light. I'd hear about it myself from a native MV man and it was only after searching Google and finding pictures and a story about the crash hidden amongst a post about native plant pictures did I ever find something about this.
Cate, in the 50s,60s and 70s they sprayed school yards and told the schools it was mosquito vector when in reality they were testing chemicals on the general population. Marine was hit the most because of Mare Island was close by.

Pittsburg, CA

#32 Dec 1, 2009
By the way. Someone should start a thread about the 1973 februrary crash in alameda. I was a kid back then and the Corsair crashed about 5 blocks from out house shattering our bathroom window and killing like 17 residence. They said as many as 300 people would have died but 90% of the complex was empty. For whatever reason most of the people went out that night. Talk about that. And how clothes were thrown several blocks away from the plane crash blast. Some say it carried Napalm. All I know is we saw a massive mushroom cloud and thought we were being nuked for a moment. This was during the height of the cold war.

Novato, CA

#33 Dec 1, 2009
JaysBoyToy wrote:
What happened to post 7, the theory relating to Amicita in Mill Valley?
Thanks for asking. It was deemed offensive to our readers who might be named Amicita or know someone named Amicita. And thanks for using the IJ web site!!!

Santa Clara, CA

#34 Dec 1, 2009
<quoted text>Thanks for asking. It was deemed offensive to our readers who might be named Amicita or know someone named Amicita. And thanks for using the IJ web site!!!
Good to know... but weren't some of the replies to my actually serious question offensive as well? And no, radiation and other chemicals are particularly persistent. Local sites of note, Hamilton Field which was allegedly cleaned up. But, if you look at the disclosure package when purchasing there, you'd be shocked at the voluminous 300 page tome.

I do appreciate the many intelligent replies - very interesting to know about the other crashes in Fairfax and other places, as well as the spraying of schools. Sadly, after the LBMoth debacle as of recent (unauthorized/slightly secretive assault, really) not much surprises me these days.

Rest in peace, servicepeople, especially on this sad anniversary.

Washington, DC

#35 Dec 4, 2009
As a grand niece of the PBM-5 Combat Aircrew Charlie pilot, I'm sure like all pilots, my uncle felt that his plane was a part of him. I hope people visiting the crash site remember that fact and leave it alone. Removing pieces for whatever purpose is like removing pieces of my uncle. Let him rest. Thank you.

Greer, SC

#36 May 29, 2010
Just discovered this post on the crash of PBM-5 Combat Aircrew Charlie. I'm the daughter of the Commander of the PMB Combat Aircrew put together that replaced these young men. Commander John F. Michael and his crew were patched together from other aircrews but melded well and joined the 208 Squadron in the Pacific for the remainder of WWII.
My dad stayed in the Navy Air as a pilot and instructor until 1953. He died in 1961 when I was 9 years old and I'm learning a lot about him during that time from the Captain of the "Bad Penny" that served under him (Now 86 - Dad would be 88). I think all should know that most of these pilots, commanders, captains and brave men were just 21 - 24 years old.
Younger than my children are now and yet from pictures of them in the Pacific - they all have old eyes. They had seen a lot, lost a lot, learned a lot. None of them should be forgotten. Whether they died in Marin County or overseas, they were doing their duty as they saw it.

Bridgeport, OH

#37 Jun 14, 2010
thanks for the post. My Uncle Tom Joyce Jr. was killed in this accident and it was very interesting to read what happened as my Mom was three years old when this occurred.

Buffalo, NY

#38 Aug 21, 2010
Does anyone have info on a plane crash in Alaska on March 18 1945 I had a cousin aboard-a lieut in the air force and I was the last person in our family to talk to him and he visited me as he had a few hours delay in his plane taking off from the states. He left a wife and baby son and a girl on the way within months. His wife was at the airport and had left for home before his flight was delayed so he knew I worked nearby and came to see me to pass the time.

Washington, PA

#39 Jan 2, 2011
I read this article a while back and am re-reading now. My uncle, Thomas Joyce, was killed in this crash. I certainly hope that the site and remaining wreckage is being left alone. Those men died for their country, that alone should allow for some respect. Thank you for this article. My mom was only 3 when he passed so it was never really clear to me what happened.
L White

San Rafael, CA

#40 May 2, 2012
Tom Boyte wrote:
Interesting, I never heard about this crash. I knew of one in Ignacio on the hills above the I.J. building during the war. Now that thhe news is out, parts will probably arrear for sale on E-bay!
Tom El Mirage, AZ.
That was maybe a P-40 from a training mission Vucmunovic (or sim) was the pilot in the early 40's.
Joe Baine Colvert

Nashville, TN

#41 Oct 22, 2012
My Grandfather, Joseph E. Cook, was supposed to be on this flight, but was reassigned, I believe, the night before. I, nor my family, would be here today if that had not happened. Thanks to the author and commenters for shedding light on such a personally interesting piece of history.

Since: Apr 13

Phoenix, AZ

#42 Apr 27, 2013
Very good

Airplane Crashes

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