CO 40-2367 11 28 404 ~   01-1


Starboard (Right) Side - 10 Dec 42

Contributor - Rhodes F. Arnold
Belly-landed at Bechevin Bay 9 Dec 42 - Pilot John Andrews

Info Contributor - Robert Livingstone
From the Accident Report 9 Dec 1942: In another attempt to bomb Kiska, the Eleventh Air Force launched a B-24D, 40-2367, from the 404th Bombardment Squadron flown by Capts John Andrews and Louis Blau on a preliminary weather reconnaissance mission. Brig Gen William Lynch, the Army Air Forces Inspector General, and Col John V. Hart, Chief of Staff, Eleventh Air Force, were aboard as mission observers. General Arnold had sent General Lynch to the Aleutians after hearing reports about the weather and its impact on missions. Captains Andrew and Blau flew their bomber to Attu, circled over Hotz Bay and then headed back to Adak, arriving there at 1600. They found the field obscured by clouds, which also hid the alternate fields as far away as Cold Bay. After three attempts to land at Adak, they flew to nearby Atka Islands where the weather station there had reported clear conditions. Since the field there was not ready, they flew around the island looking for a flat place to land. Spotting a flat area at the head of Bechevin Bay, they made a wheels up landing after a low-level approach across the bay. Other than General Lynch, who had a cracked collar, no one was injured. The B-24 broke in two just behind the wing trailing edge. Everyone had moved forward prior to landing, which prevented their possible injury. The crew spent the night at the crash landing site. A B-24 from the 21st Bombardment Squadron arrived over the site the next day followed by another from the 404th Bombardment Squadron. Supplies including sleeping bags were dropped. A PBY crew from Fleet Air Wing Four arrived shortly afterwards. It could not take off with the crew because of the weight. The seaplane tender Gillis (AVD-12) arrived later that evening and evacuated the crew, who were given Christmas leave. The B-24 was abandoned.

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B-24 Best Web. Published on Veterans Day 11/11/97. Last modified: 27-Mar-2021