On the night of October 18, 1943 a B-17 "Flying Fortress" and a crew of eight went down in a fiery crash into the mountainside of Stormy Peaks near Pingree Park, Colorado.
The men that died that night: Richard M. Creamer of Ohio; Joseph R. Arnold of California; Warren M. Dean of Seattle, Andrew H. Christensen of Wisconsin; William N. Cook of Texas; Robert J. Hopkins of New York, Carl E. Hamre of Iowa; and Philip Doddridge of Colorado.
I joined a group of five others and hiked out to the crash site to review the 65 year old remains. From Fort Collins, it's about an hour and forty-five minute drive to Pingree Park. From the park, you can hike to the site (if you know where to go!)
We started out by the park at an altitude of around 8,880 feet.
There was three inches of new snow; It would be difficult to find the crash site in the snow!
We climbed up another 1,400 feet and with the help of our GPS, we found what we were looking for! Here's one of the 1,200-hp Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone turbocharged radial piston engines.
We found pieces like this scattered all over the mountainside. Although most of the aluminum was carted off by local residents, there were still some recognizable items left after all these years.
Here is part of the wing section. We ate lunch on top of the wing.
Here is one of the B-17's electrically retractable landing gears.
Here is another engine. We searched around and found all four engines in the snow. We didn't see any other hikers out today, probably because of the snow. On the way back, a blizzard started coming in from the south so we got the heck out of there ASAP!
Labels: hike, plane