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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
On April 4, 1943 took off from Reid River Airfield piloted by Captain Harry O. Patterson on a practice flight. This bomber buzzed the airfield then crashed nearby, possibly due to the failure of the left engine. Altough Patterson feathered the engine, but then the right engine also stopped. Without power, this B-26 crashed landed into the bush.

Fates of the Crew
The navigator left the crash site, and proceeded north. He came to a hospital, and gave the news that there had been a crash.

After the crash, search parties from Reid River with flashlights searched almost all night for the crash site. A bushman was called into to assist with the search and questioned the navigator about what landmarks he had passed on his way to the hospital. Using a couple jeeps the bushman led the search. 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 crew member 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."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-26 40-1392
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 106, 128

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Last Updated
May 11, 2018


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