Taylor Park B-24 Trips
This report is from the Unimog trip in 1997.
At Buena Vista I stop for gas then head west up Cottonwood Pass. Cottonwood is really, really pretty. The east side is newly paved so it's about as nice as it gets. And it's good that the scenery is nice since the forward speed is about 13mph. I just set the hand throttle in 3rd and occasionally adjust it a little.
Toward the summit I pull off for lunch then head over the summit and down the west side. It doesn't take very long before I'm down along the Taylor River and looking for Lodgepole campground.
After studying the road, looking for and finding the surveyor's tape on the trees, and then coming to Lodgepole NFS campground I select the upstream most site, shut down and rig up for a hike.
1500 I'm at the surveyor's tape which is in the first grove of trees uphill from the Lodgepole campground and after about 5 more minutes of heavy exertion going up the rockslide I find the site of a B-24 crash.
This one has a brass plaque with the names of the crew and some plastic roses. The wreckage consists of the landing gear legs, some engine mount tubing, some firewall metal, a few supercharger impellers and misc melted lumps of aluminum. I look the area over thoroughly including climbing up from directly below looking for the engines. Not there. Must have hauled away most of the wreckage since it was about 200' above the road on nearly a cliff. What in the world was the airplane doing down here in the gorge at this altitude? (I found out later that it was seen to come down vertically out of some clouds in pieces. Probably lost control at higher altitude and didn't recover.)
(Click on picture to get enlarged image)
|Memorial plate w. names||One main landing gear leg.|
In March 2000 Duke was contacted by David Beazly regarding the crash. His uncle, James Beazly was asst flight engineer on this aircraft. David might visit the site someday. I hope that I can meet him on that occasion.
Last Modified: 1/1/2008