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2nd/Lt Peter E. Geiger of the 17th Tow Target Sq and his crew of 4 departed Wheeler Field late in the morning of 28 Jul 45 on a B-24J SN 44-40706.  They were on what was to be a routine instrument training flight.  It appears from witness accounts that some sort of engine malfunction occurred shortly after takeoff.   An after the fact "educated guess" by the webmaster would be the possibility of removing power on a good engine rather than the affected one.  While not mentioned in the official findings, conflicting witness accounts lend more credence to this thesis.  Regardless of the circumstances, these aviators perished in the service of their country and deserve to be remembered and honored

HAPS survey crews spent two years  and six trips in the Kaukonahua Gulch and River looking for evidence of this crash.  Finally, after months of paperwork and correspondence with Army Range officials, we received official permission to enter the firing range and conduct our search from above.  After a two hour sweep, we came across evidence of the crash.  Not much remains of the aircraft besides molten metal and small parts.  The terrain is steep and heavily eroded, so we expect many pieces are covered with soil and that much was removed right after the accident by the Army Air Corps. 

HAPS will propose  that a granite memorial be placed next to the crash site just behind the firing line.  This location wouldn't be viewable by the general public, but would seen by the thousands of soldiers who fire at that active range each year.

Click here to view the accident report in pdf format


Photo Gallery of site

Don in the high grass

GPS coordinates of wreckage

Colin with piece of wreckage

Portion of cowl flaps

Hand grenade fuse

Crash was near an old grenade range

Crewmember headset ear piece

The river below

Heavy erosion in the area

Piece of wing


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