Date & Time: Feb 21, 1947 at 0958 LT
Operator:
Registration:
45-21768
Flight Phase:
Flight
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Plain
Schedule:
Fort Wainwright - Fort Wainwright
MSN:
13662
YOM:
1945
Country:
Greenland
Region:
Europe
Crew on board:
11
Crew fatalities:
0
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
0
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew left Fort Wainwright (Ladd Field) on a Top Secret flight over Soviet Union, a mission that should take from 12 to 20 hours. While returning to his base and flying over Greenland at an altitude of 24,000 feet, the crew encountered poor weather conditions and lost his orientation. The pilot was unable to locate his position and informed his base that he was forced to attempt an emergency landing as the fuel reserve was four minutes only. The aircraft crash landed on an icy area located about 280 NM north of Thule Airbase. The crew was rescued three days later and the aircraft christened 'Kee Bird' was abandoned. A team was created in the nineties to recover the wreckage but unfortunately, on May 21, 1995, the aircraft caught fire following a fuel leak and was destroyed.
Crew (46th Reconnaissance Squadron):
Vern Arnett, pilot,
Russel S. Jordan, copilot,
Talbert Gates, copilot,
John G. Lesman, astro navigator,
Burl Cowan, navigator,
Robert Luedke, flight engineer,
Howard Adams, radar observer,
Lawrence Yarborough, gunner,0
Ernie Stewart, gunner,
Paul McNamara, gunner,
Robert Leader, radio operator.