QuestMasters Aircraft Archeology
U.S. Army/USMC Curtis A25-A (SB2C-1A "Helldiver")
This is quite an unusual find. This rare aircraft started its life as
a United States Navy SB2C "Helldiver". During the Second World
War the Army ordered 900 "Helldivers" and renamed them A25-A.
The U.S. Army later transferred the aircraft to the USMC and
renamed them SB2C-1A. The history of this aircraft is unknown.
The aircraft is seen (recovered from Barbers Point Naval Air
Station, Hawaii) in an overall olive green paint scheme with grey
undersides. It is interesting to note that two U.S. insignia are
painted on the sides of the aircraft (this is due to war time
repainting at different periods - exposure to the elements have
uncovered both insignia).
U.S. Army B-17F "Flying Fortress" named "LOS
LOBOS".
This is the starboard side of the nose section. Under
"LOS LOBOS" is also painted "ROVER BOY". The
history of this aircraft is unknown.
U.S. Army B24D-13-CO-41-23938
This aircraft is believed to be a Consolidated B-24D
Liberator due to the fact that it crashed near several
other B-24D Liberators of the same or near serial
number. This aircraft was found near Wheeler Army
Air Force Base, Hawaii, January 1996. The photo
depicts the forward starboard section of a B-24
Liberator painted in olive drab with the number 938
stenciled in yellow below the navigators window. This
section of the B-24 has been recovered for the
QuestMasters Museum for preservation. Any further
information on this aircraft would be greatly
appreciated.
U.S. Army B24J-155-CO-44-40332
This Consolidated B-24J Liberator was found in
February 1993 in Aiea, Hawaii. Built in March 1944,
"44-40332" crashed on May 5th, 1944 due to an
on-board fuel problem. "332" was on her maiden
voyage from California for final assignment to the 5th
A.A.F. in Australia. All ten crew members were killed
on impact having never seen a day of combat. Upon
impact, "332" burst into flames nearly destroying the
entire aircraft. "332" did not carry any unit markings,
or nose art. Today only "332's" right and left wing
with wheels, four engines, tail turret, and many small
parts remain on the impact site.
U.S. Army B24J-80-CO-42-10021X
This Consolidated B-24J Liberator was found near
Wheeler Army Air Force Base, January 1996, in
Hawaii. Very little is known of the history of this B-24.
Only part of the tail was found, as seen in this photo.
No fire damage was found on the remains at the crash
site. This was an early B-24J as noted by the
olive-green paint that remained on the vertical
stabilizer. Later B-24 Liberators were unpainted to
save both materials and total aircraft weight
(approximately 1000 pounds). The serial number was
found to be partly obscured, so the last digit is
represented by an "X". The only unit markings found
on the aircraft were four horizontal lines on the
vertical stabilizer.
U.S. Army B24D-10-CO-41-23901
This Consolidated B-24D Liberator was found on the Wailua Sugar
Cane Plantation near Waimea Falls, 1994, in Hawaii. This aircraft
crashed March 1942 during a routine coastal patrol of the Hawaiian
coast. Three of her eight man crew died in the crash. Official Army
Air Force reports concluded that the aircraft was on final approach
when fuel ran out and the pilot ditched the aircraft in a sugar cane
field. The aircraft remains today in a very sorry state. The aircraft
was stripped in the late 1980's for aluminum scrap, but many pieces
remain on the crash site. Due to the lack of fuel on-board the
aircraft, very little fire damage to the aircraft is present. The aircraft
was painted in an overall olive drab paint scheme with "early"
wartime U.S. insignia. Several small pieces were recovered for the
QuestMasters Museum including the port wing star (seen in photo),
an E-6B flight computer, several gun chutes, a mess kit, a match
container, multiple .50cal armor piercing rounds and a propeller hub
from one of the engines.
Curtis P-36A 38-16 and P-36A 38-70
This P-36A crashed on the Wailua Sugar Cane
plantation, Oahu Hawaii U.S.A., due to a mid-air
collision between Lt Ulysses S. O'Hern (P-36A 38-16)
and Lt Richard A. Toole (P-36A 38-70) on July 12,
1941 0915 AM. Both aircraft were from the 45th
Pursuit Squadron, 15th Pursuit Group, 7th Air Force.
U.S. Navy TBM-1C "Avenger"
This Navy TBM-1C "Avenger" was also found on
Barbers Point Naval Air Station, Hawaii. The aircraft
was recovered by QuestMasters and is seen prior to
disassembly for shipment. This aircraft served with a
training squadron on Barbers Point Naval Air Station,
Hawaii U.S.A., until a young U.S. Navy Ensign
"ground-looped" the ill-fated plane (his third and final
crash). The Ensign was unhurt but the aircraft was
struck from inventory due to extreme damage. This
TBM-1C sat for 50 years in the runway bushes of
Barbers Point NAS until recovered in the mid-1990's.