Elk Mountain:  DC-3   and possibly A-20/DB-7

Name Elk Mountain Wyo. DC-3     /   A-20 (DB-7)
CAP data 41 37N 106 32W UNKNOWN C-47 UNK MARKED
GPS coords 41 38 06.1 106 32 20.6 (1.3 miles off)
GPS decimal 41.63503  106.53905
Datum used NAD 27
County Carbon County, Wyoming

Jan 31, 1946

Pima Museum's R4D
R4D at Pima Museum. Similar to DC-3/C-47

Photo by John Sepp. Courtesy of the Pima Air and Space Museum

(Click on pictures to get enlarged image)
small aluminum patch & trees
Little remains but some melted aluminum

The DC-3 wreck cause: Cause of accident seems to be flight taking a shortcut between Sinclair and Laramie Radio Range Nav Aids at unsafe altitude. Flight had originally filed for 13,000'  but later amended the flight plan to 11,000. Elk Mountain is 11,152' MSL. Crashed Jan 31, 1946.

Accident report transcript

DC-3 Casualties:   DC3-Crew: Capt. Walter P. Briggs

                                    First Officer Harry N. Atlas

                                   Stewardess   Dorothy Carter

                                   John D. Fedullo, Staten Island, NY (soldier)

                                  Harry A. Flack, Syracuse, NY (soldier)

                                  Murray Detinko, New York City (soldier)

                                  Bernard T. Creswell, Troy NY (soldier)

                                  Fred L. Grand, New York City. (soldier)

                                  James F. Johnson, New York City (soldier)

                                  Edund G. Klass, Mt. Vernon, NY (soldier)

                                  Jack V. Gulisano, Corona, NY (soldier)

                                   unnamed soldier (need info)

                                  unnamed soldier (need info)

                                  unnamed soldier (need info)

                                   unnamed soldier (need info)

                                  Mr. and Mrs. George A. Bender, Sheffield, Ill., (newlyweds)

                                 Robert S. Pirie, New York,

                                 H.R. Glover, Vancouver, Wash.,

                                 Mrs. E.H. Blake, Richland, Wash.,

                                 William Petracek, New York.


Text of newspaper clippings kindly supplied by Jackie DeCosmo of St. Petersburg, Fla. Jackie is the niece of Corporal John D. Fedullo. (Reading these really puts the state of aviation including search-and-rescue into perspective. It's also terribly sad that the soldiers who'd been away from family and loved ones so long were so very close to home before they were killed.)

The A-20/DB-7 wreck cause:  Unknown. Speculate similar to DC-3 crash above. Solo pilot in a group of aircraft crossing the US headed east to eventually deliver the aircraft to England.

A-20/DB-7 Casualty: Lt. R.F. Gleghorn lost 2/14/42

Yearbook image of Robert Gleghorn provided by David Schember of Akron, Ohio

Site Description:. .10,700' per the accident report. Wreck 99% cleaned up. No engines, no struts, no pieces bigger than a lunchbox. 2 small patches of burned/melted aluminum east of the 2-track road. Some scattered bits in meadows below. These parts probably fell off the salvage trucks as they took a different road down off the mountain than would be done in the present. (Reportedly one of the engines sat in the weeds for many years at the gas station on the north side of the Elk Mtn exit from I-80.) Cannot distinguish between DC-3 wreckage and A-20 wreckage since there is so little. The DC-3 did leave a  faint trail of broken blue and white china but there are other burned/melted aluminum areas on the mountain. It is unclear if all the aluminum melt is due to the DC-3 or whether one or two of them might also represent the A-20. Since everything has been cleaned up, we may never know unless someone from the salvage crews or local population who participated or saw the wrecks before removal surfaces.

Best route Access requires crossing private land of Elk Mountain Ranch. Landowner not necessarily friendly to everyone who asks. (Has been very fair with me . Requesting permission to hunt elk would be out of the question - the ranch has a lease arrangement with a guide service.) The top of Elk Mountain is officially BLM land but the sole road up there is owned and maintained by Elk Mountain Ranch.   There are some weather and radio buildings on the mountain for Wyoming State College experiments but access is sometimes disputed by Elk Mountain owners.

Trips to find the Elk Mountain DC-3 and/or the DB-7

Pictures of the removal of the DB-7 engines in the 40's.  Joe Wilkson collection via Len Wallace.


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Last Modified: 8/5/2012