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  B-26 "Old Timer" Serial Number 40-1392  
5th AF
22nd BG
2nd BS

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Jim Houston 1942

Pilot  Captain Harry O. Patterson
Crashed  April 4, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Martin. Assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Squadron.

Wartime History
Ferried to Australia by a crew led by 2nd Bombardment Squadron C.O., 1st Lt. George R. Anderson, arriving at Amberley Field near Brisbane on April 16, 1942. This B-26 flew 18 combat missions, the first on May 2, 1942.

Mission History
Took off from Reid River Airfield on a practive flight, buzzed the field then did not return, instead crashing near the airfield. Apparently the left engine stopped. Patterson feathered the engine, but then the other engine also stopped. He made a crash landing in bush. Parties from Reid River with flashlights searched almost all night for the crash site.

The navigator left the crash site, and proceeded north. He came to a Hospital, and gave the news that there had been a crash. A Local Australian bushman was called into to assist with the search. He questioned the navigator about what landmarks he had passed on his way to the Hospital. They got a couple Jeeps with the bushman on the hood and started looking. The bushman directed them to a point and said that they were where the plane should be. They fired a flare, and another was fired within 50 yards of them, found the wreckage. One crewmember had died, the rest were unhurt.

Jim Houston, 22nd BG recalls the crash of a B-26:
"I was in the 22nd Bomb Group during the time we were flying the B-26. Every one went searching. They were found about midnight thanks to the help of an Aussie Bushman. What happened is that soon after they passed over the strip, the left engine quit."

Revenge of the Red Raiders page 106, 128

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018


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