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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 74133
Last updated: 19 August 2019
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Date:09-AUG-1944
Time:22:26 L/T
Type:Consolidated PB4Y-1
Owner/operator:VB-116, US Navy
Registration: BuNo 38766
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 11
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Stickell Airfield, Eniwetok Atoll -   Marshall Islands
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Eniwetok
Destination airport:Eniwetok
Narrative:
This accident resulted in the destruction of the PB4Y and the loss or serious damage to no less than 106 US Navy planes parked in the replacement carrier aircraft pool at Stickell Airfield, Naval Advanced Base, Eniwetok in the South Pacific. The airfield, 6,800 feet by 4,000 feet, was crowded with aircraft.

The patrol bomber was taking off for a night recce. patrol, and was overloaded by 2,000 pounds above its emergency gross weight. Such overloading was common in this theatre of the Pacific War.
During the take off the pilot of the PB4Y concluded that he had insufficient runway ahead to become airborne and closed the throttles to abandon the take off.

The aircraft was in fact airborne, and as it settled back onto the ground a light crosswind drifted it off the runway mat and into the 340 planes of various types parked in the replacement aircraft pool situated close by.

Havoc ensued, in which 106 aircraft were destroyed or seriously damaged.
The bomber's war-load of nine 500-pound bombs exploded, adding to the carnage.
Eight men of the crew died in the crash, one died later from his injuries and the two survivors were seriously hurt. The pilot was one of the dead.
Amazingly, no personnel on the ground seem to have been killed or injured.

PB4Y-1 Bureau Number 38766 was ex-USAAF B-24J Liberator 44-30348.



Sources:

https://d28lcup14p4e72.cloudfront.net/20562/942063/Eniwetok_the_Navy%27s_worst_accident.pdf


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Apr-2010 11:55 angels one five Added
10-Sep-2013 10:01 angels one five Updated [Time, Registration, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
30-Oct-2014 09:03 Tu104 Updated [Operator]
03-Jan-2015 01:38 angels one five Updated [Registration, Operator, Narrative]

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