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Boulder Lake: Photo by Jayne Eller

 

Dragon Bomber Crash at Loon Lake

 

On January 29, 1943, a twin engine B-23 Dragon Bomber made an emergency landing at loon Lake.  The Army Air Corps bomber flew into a heavy snowstorm on a training flight from Tonopah, Nevada to McChord Field in Tacoma, Washington.  On the approach to Boise, Idaho, they flew blind for over an hour and lost their location.  The aircraft was low on fuel, the radio was failing, and the crew was faced with approaching darkness.  At that time they spotted a small white clearing below.  The aircraft belly landed with frozen flaps on the southeastern shore, sliding 150 feet through trees which sheared off both wings.  Amazingly, only one crewman was injured.

 

Sixteen days later, Penn Stohr, a backcountry bush pilot, spotted the plane and 5 crew members.  The next day, Penn made two hazardous landings to get the crew out and bring Forest Service personnel in to search for the three men who hiked out for help.  These three men spent 15 days walking 35-40 miles in deep snow, down the Secesh River, over Lick Creek Summit, to the Lake Fork Ranger station where they telephoned McCall.  After 17 days, living on a few chocolate bars, squirrels, and woodpeckers, all 8 crewmen survived.

 

 

 


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