B-24D, 41-23855, crash in White Mountains, AZ,

on September 11, 1942

Civil Air Patrol spots missing B-24 in White Mountains

Returning to Davis-Monthan from a navigational training flight, B-24D (41-23855) with ten men onboard, crashed into the White Mountains, Arizona. Salvage crews wrestled most of the big bomber off the mountain, but scattered debris still remains at the crash site.


The Liberator left Davis-Monthan on a navigational flight to Omaha, Nebraska. The first leg of the flight was successful. The return flight began at approximately 2330 CWT (Central War Time). Rough weather was encountered along the Arizona/New Mexico border. The ceiling was down to 6,000 feet. Mt. Baldy rises to over 11,000 feet. Off course by 30 miles and flying through bad weather, the bomber crashed into Mt. Baldy. It would take several days before a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) plane located the wreckage.


Fatally injured:

Earl. E. Snell

Blair B. Knudson

A. W. Dwyer


J. L. Easton


William H. Prunty

Jack W. Horton

Gene M. Hirtsch

Donald L. Miller

J. R. Cerwenka
Melvin Harry Davis

B-24D similar to the one that crashed in the White Mountains, Arizona.  (U.S. Air Force photo)

Weathered cross at the crash site. "Our Beloved AL. Captain Dwyer AAF  Sept, 11 1942'

Copyright © 2002-2017 Chris McDoniel

All Rights Reserved

Blair B. Knudsin, Class 42-F, Goodfellow Field, San Angelo, TX. Courtesy of Kent Kamm, Blair's cousin.  (U.S. Air Force photo)

Nose gear

Portion of an airman's headset.

Looks like a turbo super charger on the left. On the right might be remains of a main landing gear.

Small scattered debris among the fallen trees.