Crash Location

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The primary crash location is deep in the Buckhorn Wilderness section of the Olympic National Forest on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.    The site is well-traveled, serving as a destination for many hikers, Boy Scout troops, and souvenir hunters.    The upper debris field is a steep half-mile up from the main wreck and is relatively undisturbed.

Many aviation archeologists have strict codes regarding secrecy of crash sites.    I believe aviation archeology is a field hobby as much a museum or library endeavor.  If you're reading this, you're probably not some vandal looking for an easy source of scrap metal.   Thus, I'm not morally opposed to divulging the location of the primary crash site.

But I'm not going to spoon feed you GPS coordinates.   To do so would rob you of that most rewarding of experiences:  The thrill of the chase. 

HOWEVER, I can make it easy for you.   Like the video game Ultima, EVERYTHING you need can be had with the click of your mouse.

In the links section you'll find websites for ordering the crash report.  To get the exact report, you'll need the aircraft's serial number:  44-85746

But, since the report is lengthy (and therefore costly- $40 per copy maybe) and much of the relevant information is presented on this site, there are other avenues to focus your research. 

If you're going to venture into the Olympics, you'll surely want to experience the many non-airplane sights the Park and National Forests have to offer.  One handy book I HIGHLY recommend is "100 Hikes in Washington's South Cascades & Olympics" by Ira Spring and Harvey Manning.   You'll find many of the hikes rather rewarding, particularly the one with its beautiful wild rhododendrons, alpine meadows, and, of course, "....World War II plane wreckage....."  With the book and the Buckhorn Wilderness custom correct map or a similar Green Trails map, you'll be ready to do your homework and load up the backpack.

Remember to contact the ranger station for restrictions and trail/road conditions.    Sometimes roads can be washed out, turning a 3 mile hike into a 10 mile hike.   All appropriate contact numbers can be found on my links page.

All of that hard work will get you to the main site, where you can see the majority of the debris, including the wings, landing gear, and scattered engines.   BUT, if you want to find the initial impact point, you'll need to do even more homework. 

I can say from experience, the initial impact point and subsequent debris trail are not at all where you'd expect when looking at the main crash site.   NONE of the upper debris field is visible from the lower crash site or trails.  To locate the upper debris, you have to dig deeper- study the accident report and rescue crew descriptions.   Use topo maps to outline the likely path.  Then, follow that path.   The hike to the upper debris field is an extreme, rugged challenge that shouldn't be attempted by the casual hiker.   It's a slow, methodical process of metallic discovery.  Follow the bearings you've calculated and, with any luck, you'll stumble across the path less traveled.

Mike Morrow

PS- I can tell you where the crash site IS NOT LOCATED:

Tyler Peak (far from it, actually)

Dirty Face Ridge (close but no cigar)

Gold Creek

Tyler MT, WA (doesn't exist?)

Olympic Mountain