Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum

Crashes and Wrecks

P2V-7 Crash

January 10, 1963

This is unusual in that there is still quite a lot of wreckage still on the site. It is located on the north side of Old Womens Mountain just above the Devil's Creek gulch behind Aviation Hill housing at 57 44 44.1 north, 152 31 0.1 west, NAD83. The site is about 350 feet in elevation. The alder and devil's club is quite thick around the site. The wreck can be seen from the highway where it crosses Devil's creek if you look closely.

Digital photos taken May 8, 2001 by Curt Law:

Some equipment nomenclature tags still readable:
TF-158/APS-20B, TG-8A/APA-69 serial 73CPK, AS-407/APS-20B, nosewheel door P2V-7 serial A28 226 p/n 517486.

Crew list, comments and newspaper article about the crash. This site has a comment about a memorial erected at the site. In fact the memorial is on the other side of the mountain and is not a memorial to any specific crash but to everyone who has died in the line of duty. See another of our pages for ten photos of the base taken from the memorial site.

John Anthony Cole family in guest book.

Michael Newman was a PH2 who took picture of the crash at the time.

I have 24 more pictures of this crash site.

West of Anton Larsen Bay

Sharatin Mountain
N57 49' 24" W152 40' 53"
(You can copy those figures into Google Earth and it will take you there.)

Douglas B-18A "Bolo" A/C No. 37-522 -- April 29, 1942, 0900


background enhanced

All photos courtesy of Don Dumm.
Some numbers:

PART NO   1035701
9-23-33  A.C.ORDER 5307



Discusion on identifying the wreck - What type of aircraft was it?

The only major identifiable wreckage in the pictures is the reinforcement on the main landing gear drag beam:

The DC-3/ C-47 drag beam is more slender and has lightening holes in it:

The B-18 is based off the DC-2, and the beam reinforcement is pretty near a match:

Other than the reinforcement, the gear is a very similar to the DC-3. I'll have to double-check, but think they had the same power plant. The date stamped on the part in the picture tipped me off; 1933 is too early for the DC-3. There were two B-18's that crashed on Kodiak.

Dave Ostlund.


Selected crashes

1942 APRIL 29 B-18a serial No. 37-522 crashed on Sharatine Mountain near Anton Larsen Bay just west of the Kodiak airport. There were seven fatalities of the eight crew. The survivor was severly injured. Remains of the aircraft are still on the site described above on this page. Crash summary.

1942 MAY 22 LB-30 No. AL602 crashed along the Buskin River near the Kodiak airfield. This was one of the B-24s (A model, I believe) that were slated for British Lend-Lease, but were appropriated by the AAF. It is on the books under the RAF designation of LB-30. The serial number was AL-602. It belonged to the 36th BS, 28th CG, 11th AF. The AAIR site info is Date 420522, Aircraft Type LB-30, Serial Number AL-602, Sqdn 36BS, Group 28CG, Pilot Maupin, Robert N., Location USA AK Kodiak, AK. This site has pictures but the date and pilot name are different: Crashed 5 Jun 42 at Kodiak - Pilot Frederick Andrews. [Thanks to Dave Ostlund, 9 March 2011]

1942 JUNE 13 PBY plane Bu. No. 04490 crashed on take-off at Kodiak, Alaska, Killing Ensign Robert D. JONES, A-V(N), U.S.N.R., and injuring M. E. HUMPHREYS, CAP, and M. BENEFIEL, ARM3c. Plane destroyed. aircraft history card
External links:
From Wikipedia Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina, BuNo 04490, of VP-61, crashes on takeoff at Kodiak, Alaska, killing one crew. Underwing torpedo drops and runs but misses a ship and explodes between the docks.
Search for 04490 mentions hull number and a little bit more.
       Was headed for Cold Bay.
       While I know it was not a complete history, I do hope that someone, somewhere has made notice of the crash. Jones was my uncle. The only other record of this event that I have found anywhere, after several searchers were contacted on internet, is the oral record by a civilian witness. It was obtained some twenty five years ago and I do have a tape of it. There is apparently no other official record of the event. Considerable research was done by my brother in law Jerome Wesley Campbell, while he worked as a civil engineer with the Coast Guard Base during the '90s.
       I would certainly hope that somewhere in the country there is a least a name recorded, on some memorial, of his death, even though not in combat. His full name was Robert D (no period) Jones, Jr. He grew up in the Dallas, Texas, area. [From Jerry Eoff, 18 March 2021]

1942 DECEMBER 9 B-24D serial No. 40-2367 crash landed at Bechevin Bay on Atka Island. All eleven aboard survived. Aircraft still there 2008. Aircraft manufactured in 1941 was No. 19 of only 20 B-24Ds produced. Anchorage Daily News article 2008 December 29. Capt. John Andrews pilot, Louis Blau copilot, James Beardsley navigator, Passengers were Colonel Hart and Brigadier General William E. Lynd. Search Google.

1943 MARCH 10 On 10 March 1943, PBY-5A(Wing designation 28V), BuNo. 7297, departed Dutch harbor on a routine flight to NAS Kodiak and has been missing since that date. On 25 June 1945, wreckage was sighted by NAS Kodiak Operations aircraft on a mountain slope on the northeast shore of Lake Becharof, approximate Lat. 57o58" North and Long. 155o48" West, which has subsequently been identified as the above missing aircraft. [Found mail and eight dead.]

1943 APRIL 3 Wreckage on hill southeast of Afognak Lake, data plate on the wreck: OS2N-1 built Naval Aircraft Factory, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, designed by Vought-Sikorsky. CV-59336 1-2-42. Approximately 58-01N 152-52W. (Location not verified.)
I think this may be your aircraft: 3 Apr 1943, OS2N-1 01239 VS-49, Based at Afognak, AK, Pilot: C A Messenger, Keith B., pass/crew: Thomas, David Kenneth, Crashed while on patrol, 6mi. NW of Afognak Village.
(Source: US Naval Aircraft Accident Reports on microfilm. Terence, pb4y-2 at Thu, 9 Aug 2007)

1943 JUL 18 This PBY-5A, #08055, had been modified to accommodate a nine lens aerial mapping camera developed by the Coast & Geodetic Survey. The aircraft was manned by a combined crew of 8 Coast Guard and Coast & Geodetic Survey personnel. It crashed into Mount Moffat near Adak, Alaska, while on a survey mission. The camera was salvaged and mounted in a USCG B-17. Photo of crash remains.

1943 SEP 1 (From Check-Six.) USN, acft at 600 ft level with parts at 300 and 900 ft. Part of fuselage intact. USCG Kodiak record nr. 15. 53-27N 167-19W OA-10 Catalina 04410. 8 miles SW Kashega on Umnak Is.

1943 SEP 1 (From Check-Six.) USAAC, Chirikof Island. Inverted on beach above surf line. Tail broken off. Three bladed props. 55-53N 155-34W C-47 Skytrain.

1943 NOV In November, 1943, a R4D crashed in lake near Pasagshak. Life rafts were used to bring the plane up from 20 feet of water. It was floated by barge to A&R which made a complete overhaul and turned it over to VR5.

1943 NOV 27 PBY-5A 08118 US Navy. Ensign Charles E. Johnson was on Flight Orders while engaged in running baselines for the then Top Secret LORAN navigation system. The PBY-5A being used for those tests was attempting to land at Dutch Harbor during poor weather conditions when the fatal crash occurred. After readying the aircraft for a water landing, the pilot proceeded to make a normal approach, but was unaware of the height of the ground swells on the bay. Immediately after contacting the water, the aircraft nosed into a ground swell and broke apart at the pilot's compartment. The wing broke off and the plane filled with water and sank. Two others died in the crash

1945 MAR Navy PV-1 ditched off Karluk. All survived. Aircraft lost. Comments from Randall Sherman.

1945 OCT 3 On 3 October, Lieut. Comdr. George Richard Smith, USN, piloting a PBY-5A, Bureau Number 48386, took off from Cold Bay, Alaska, carrying a full crew and nine passengers, for Kodiak. On attempting a landing, the PBY-5A crashed at the foot of Old Woman's [sic] Mountain. Of the fifteen occupants, five officers and three enlisted men were killed in the crash. The rest were seriously injured. [Extensive details given.]

1946 MAR 25 Taxi runs off runway killing two officers. The vehicle had gone straight off the eastward end of runway 10-28 and into the water

1946 JUN 24 On the 24 June the PBY-5A Bu. No. 46626 assigned to NAS Kodiak, piloted by Lt. M. E. Fox, USN, crashed against a ramp in Womans [sic] Bay after completing a landing. The aircraft was damaged beyond a major overhaul and declared a strike.

1946 DEC 16 On 16 December a Pacific and Northern Airliner, a DC3, undershot an approach to the station field, and crashed on the runway. Major damage was done to the aircraft but no injuries were sustained by the passengers or crew.

1947 MAY 7 At 1826 on the 7 May Flight N/6907 of the Naval Air Transport Service crashed when it ran off the end of runway 18 while attempting a landing. The aircraft, an R5D, dropped off a 45 ft. embankment and came to rest at the water's edge. There were no serious injuries to crew or passengers although it was necessary to survey the aircraft. Lt. Hutsall, pilot of the plane attributed failure of the braking system as the cause of the crash. This was substantially proven the cause at the investigation.

1947 AUG 6 On 6 August Lt. (jg) William H. Zeigler with Lt. (jg) Nave "A" Fuliehan departed Kodiak for Dutch Harbor in a PBY-5A V34032 transporting the Dutch Harbor Softball Team from the recent tournament at Kodiak. The aircraft last reported 170 miles east of its destination. To date there has been no trace of the aircraft or its twenty occupants. A thorough search of the area by all ships and planes in the Aleutian sector for a period of weeks failed to unveil the mystery of the lost aircraft. Although five previously unreported crashes were located no sign of this plane has been found.

1947 SEP Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina 34032 went missing 8/6/1947 while flying Army-Navy football team from Kodiak to Dutch Harbor, Alaska with 20 missing.

1948 NOV 1 (From Check-Six.) USAF. USCG Kodiak record Nr. 20. 55-12N 162-46W B-17. (Location ???)

1948 NOV 3 VP-20 --- 03 NOV 48 A/C: PB4Y-2 LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska 10mi.PORT MOLLER Strike: Yes BUNO: 59685 Deaths: 12/MISSING Pilot LT Paul R. Parker, ENS Harold R. Herdon, Midshipman William R. Musgrove, ADC Robert W. Trenton, ADC Franklin E. Barden, AD2 Norman M. Holland, AD3 Joseph D. Somers, ALC William G. Coleman, AO2 Lloys O. Askildson, AOC Robert W. Eichron, AO3 William N. Clark, and SA James A. Wooley. This info and picture of crew at above site, bottom of page.

1949 FEB 2 F-80 landed short, crashed and burned. Pilot sustained only minor injuries.

1949 FEB 11 F4U aircraft crash landed on field after mid-air collision with an F8F in which it lost four feet of wing tip. Aircraft ran off run- way and nosed over in deep snow. No injury to pilot.

1949 DEC VP-4 --- 09 DEC 49 A/C: P2V Location: NAS Kodiak, Alaska Strike: NO BUNO: 89351 Cause: OVERSHOT LNDG Contributed by Terry [23MAR99]

1950 JAN 10 MATS aircraft C-54 BUNO 570 crashed after landing long on Runway #18. The aircraft ran off the approach end of Runway #36 into the water of St. Paul Harbor. Six (6) of the twenty-eight (28) occupants received minor injuries. No fatalities occurred.

1950 JUN 19 A civilian aircraft crashed in Mill Bay. Navy crash boat was sent to scene -- picked up survivors.

1951 MAY Lockheed P2V-2 Neptune 39351 (VP-812) overshot runway at NAS Kodiak, AK 5/19/51

1951 JUN 14 VP-812 --- P2V-2 BUNO: 39351, Location: NAS Kodiak, Alaska Strike: Yes Deaths: 1/minor, 3/ok Cause: Over shot landing Solo check flight. Contributed by Terry [04APR98]

1951 JUN 15 VP-812 --- A/C: P2V-2 LOCATION: NAS Kodiak Strike: Yes Deaths: 1/minor, 3/ok BUNO: 39351 [04APR98]

1951 JUN 15 USN VP-2 P2V-2 BUNO 124253, 1 fatality, NAS Kodiak. Hit ditch on landing resulting in a/c fire.

1951 AUG 12 Aircraft PB4Y-2 Privateer BuNo 66298 Squadron VP-9 Wing CFAW-4 from NAS Kodiak crashed on Amak Island, 20 miles NW of Cold Bay. Action: Killed: Lt Roy Edwin Park, 31, Columbus, Ohio, pilot; LtJg Robert Wilfred Conklin, 24, South Great Falls, Mont., co-pilot; ENS Henry Howard Wood, 21, Denver, Colo., navigator; Joseph Dale Witherspoon AN, 22, Fordtown, Tenn.; William Stuart Wagner AN, 21, San Francisco, Calif.; Bobby Enloe AN, 21, Houston, Texas; Elnord Ellis Flinkfelt AN, 20, Pawtucket, R.I.; Leonard Walter Sexton AD1, 30, San Jose, Calif.; Edwin Francis Busby, Jr. AT3, 22, Lowell, Mass.; Ronald Lee Hunt AM3, 21, Black Butte, Ore.; Brooks Alton Williams AT1, 30, Chicago, Ill.; Charles Wyalis Elkins AO3, 28, N.W. Linton, Ind. [information also from The Kodiak Bear August 17, 1951. Wreckage sighted 15 August by navy PBY, pilot Lt A.M. Zakarian. 900 foot mountainside. USS Tillimook sent to investigate.]

1951 NOV HO3S, BuNo 124346 crash landed on Puffin Island, Kodiak, due to engine failure. Aircraft received strike damage; injuries to pilot and passengers were minor.

1952 FEB VP-931 --- 18 FEB 52 A/C: P2V-3W LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska; NAS Adak, Alaska Strike: NO BUNO: 124289 [17MAR99]

1952 SEP 10 An Air Force F-94, AF5493 crashed and burned at approach end of runway 25 during an attempted night landing. The Kodiak Naval Station Crash Crew removed the pilot and passenger from the burning aircraft within approximately one (1) minute after the crash. On the night of 10 September at approximately 2235AST, an Air Force F-94 #15493 undershot the runway on a night approach to landing, bounced off the rocks below the approach end of runway 25, and slid down the runway for approximately fifteen hundred feet, disintegrating almost completely. The fuselage section immediately surrounding the cockpit remained fairly intact. The aircraft exploded upon impact and burst into flames as it slid along the runway. The high degree of readiness and training of the station crash/fire-rescue team resulted in rescue of both occupants of the aircraft in less than (1) minute. Neither of the occupants suffered from burns. The Naval Station duty ambulance crew gave immediate first aid and removed the patients to the infirmary. Both occupants survived the crash.

1954 DEC 14 Grumman USCG UF-1G Albatross, 2121, was flown from Annette, Alaska to Haines, Alaska on 14 December 1954 to perform a medical evacuation. The aircraft crashed during a water take-off, possibly due to a layer of ice which had built up on its wing during the wait for the patient to be delivered. Photo.

1955 JUN 1 (From Check-Six.) USAF. Highest point on Sitkinak Is. 10 POB. Unrecovered. C-47 Skytrain 15594. N56 34, W154 10        Obit of one passenger, Sgt. John Claxton        [Anchorage Daily Times, July 1, 1955] Identify C-47 Crash Victims WASHINGTON (UP) -- The Defense Department today identified four Air Force personnel and three Army men, listed as missing after the crash. The four Air Force crew members were listed as: Capt Summer Mervin Alpert, husband of Mrs. Maidie R. Alpert, now residing in Alaska and son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael S. Alpert, Boise, Idaho. 2nd Lt. Tully W. Moore, husband of Mrs. Hudine Moore, residing in Alaska, and son of Mr. and Mrs. Tully C. Moore, Gridley, Calif. Airman 1-c George W. Hart, husband of Mrs. Bonnie Hart, Marion, Ohio, and airman 2-c Harold D. Bohm, brother of Doris Gunnett, St. Louis, Mo. The three Army men were listed as Sgt. 1-c John M. Claxton, husband of Mrs. Nina Rose Claxton, Ft. Richardson, and son of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Claxton, Decatur, Ill: Pfc. Thomas M. Gravel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis, Bemidji, Minn. and Corp. Richard H. Langdon, son of Mrs. Anna E. Langdon, 3150 West 26th Ave., Denver, Colo. Names of three western electric personnel killed in the crash have not been released.

1955 JUN 22 22 Jun 1955 USN P2V-5 VP-9 While flying a patrol mission from Kodiak, Alaska, this aircraft (BuNo 131515) crash-landed on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea after an engine was set afire during an attack by two Soviet MiG-15s. Of the eleven crewmen, four sustained injuries due to gunfire and six were injured during the landing. (This was the only incident in which the Soviet Union admitted any responsibility.) One picture of this crash is on page The picture itself is at

1957 September/October? Via email Air Force aircraft fell short of runway in bay. No survivors of 8-9 crew. NEED MORE INFO. Contact us.

1958 SUMMER VP-9 --- SUMMER 58 A/C: P3 LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska TYPE: Collapsed nose gear in snow bank STRIKE: No DEATHS: 00 BUNO: Unknown [28AUG99]

1961 MAR 31 (From Check-Six.) Acft. on south slope of Crown Mt. 57-37N 152-53W G-44 Grumman 56198.

1963 JAN 11-Jan-63 VP-17 P2V-7 7 fatalities NAS Kodiak, Alaska. Collision with mountain during landing in bad weather. BUNO 135559.

1963 JAN 11 JAN 63 A/C: P2V LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska TYPE: Collision with mountain STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 07 BUNO: 135559 CAUSE: Attempted landing in rainy weather SEE VP-17 Crew - In Memorium - VP-17 Crew

1963 JAN VP-17 --- 11 JAN 63 A/C: P2V LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska TYPE: Collision with mountain STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 07 BUNO: 135559

See pictures of the above incident at the top of this page.

1964 SPRING VP-2 --- SPRING 64 A/C: P2V LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska TYPE: Landing Mishap STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 00 BUNO: YC-9 [11JUN99]

1964 JUL 3 Grumman USCG HU-16E Albatross, 7233, Five Coast Guardsmen were killed when their HU-16E crashed on a mountainside near Ketchikan while searching for a grounded fishing vessel. The plane was searching for the fishing vessel Jean, which had grounded on Nunez Rocks and sank. The aircraft was returning to the Coast Guard Air Station on Annette Island when it apparently crashed on Dall Head on Gravina Island, only three miles from the Air Station. The pilot had radioed for landing instructions just prior to the crash.

1967 FEB 8 Grumman USCG HU-16E Albatross, 1271, was performing a scheduled logistics/law enforcement mission to the Loran Station on St. Paul Island. When then arrived they encountered poor weather with a ceiling below 400-feet with light snow falling. With insufficient fuel available to reach an alternate airfield, the pilot attempted to land at the strip. On the fourth attempt to land, the plane crashed when the right wing tip struck the ground. Petty Officer (AT2) Frank R. Edmonds was fatally injured as a result.

1967 JUN 15 Grumman USCG HU-16E Albatross, 7237, from Air Station Anette was searching for a downed aircraft. After an exhaustive night's search the crew flew into a box canyon and crashed into the ridgeline of a mountain. Crew of three perished.

1981 AUG 7 USCG HH-3F #1471 and its crew lost near Cordova. Photo.

1982 JUL 30 Lockheed USCG HC-130 Hercules, 1600, was transporting personnel and cargo to the USCG LORAN station on the island of Attu, AK. VFR weather conditions deteriorated, forward visibility was lost, and the aircraft impacted with the terrain. Two of the crew died but the remainder of the crew escaped with injuries and survived. Picture of the aircraft in Kodiak circa 1978.

1986 NOV 2 USCG HH-3F #1473 and its crew of 6 lost on Ugak Island, Kodiak. (Rockmore-King Clinic on base is named for two of the crew.) Photo.

1988 NOV 8 USAF F-15 from King Salmon crashed into 2,200 foot level of 2,506 foot Barometer Mt.

Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 23:14:16 -0400 (EDT) 
From: RB4RRK at 

In reading the aircraft crashes link the crash of a Kingfisher based at Sand Point in June or July,1943, comes to mind. Several Kingfishers were stationed at Sand Point to perform routine submarine survilence in that area. On one occasion, as we were told, a pilot was sent east from Sand Point to a village on the south coast of Alaska, below the Valley of the Ten Thousand Smokes, pick up a priest and carry him to another village along the same course and return to Sand Point. He did that, however he did not return to Sand Point. Searches were made by his associates for several days without success. Finally the search was called off. This did'nt sit too well with his fellow pilots and they met with local natives in the area and solicited their support. In a day or so the natives located the pilot on a bluff near the ocean. They also found the inflated life raft on the beach. The pilot suffered severe frost bite on his hands, face and feet. I saw the pilot as he was lifted from a boat at our pier on the Sand Point beach. He was able to tell his fellow pilots that he had seen them during their seach efforts , however he was too weak to get their attention.

Reuben Burton
43rd CB.


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