Unknown Location, YT Bomber Crashes, Oct 1943


Edmonton, Alta., Oct. 20. -- Eleven American airmen were killed when their big bomber crashed Saturday in the Yukon territory and two other airmen were killed the next day when their searching plane cracked up nearby, United States air force officers announced today.
The bomber crashed on an inacessible lake. The pilot and crew chief of a single-engined plane engaged in rescue efforts Sunday morning were killed near the same spot.
The causes of the accidents were under investigation. Names of the dead were withheld.

Greeley Daily Tribune Colorado 1943-10-20


B-17 crash Oct. 1943, YT

Dear Mr. Beitler,
Thank you for this posting. It sheds light on an incident referred to in a letter I have just now discovered from my father who was stationed at Whitehorse, YT in !943. The letter is dated Oct. 16, 1943 and he describes in detail a "joyride" that was taken by several of his buddies on a B-17 that had undergone repairs there at the base. They hitched a ride on this flight that was presumably a "shakedown" fight but the pilot radioed engine trouble and at least two engines were believed to have had trouble requiring a shutdown and subsequent ditching in a remote lake. All aboard evidently perished save one who had injuries including a broken jaw. Growing up, I had heard anecdotal references to a plane crash my dad had avoided during the war, but only now the details have become clear. He stated in his letter that had he not been busy with duties at the time, he would have readily joined the others on that fateful flight and most likely would have perished with the rest..
My dad passed away in 2003 and now my mother has moved from their house into assisted living. In going through the old letters, this treasure from his war years was discovered. Thanks again for this fascinating information.
Russell Hern
San Antonio, TX