Surviving the salt
On October 20, 1944, a B24 was on a routine training mission when it developed engine trouble. The landing caused severe damage to the undercarriage and other structures of the plane. Due to the damage and poor lakebed surface, it was impossible to fly the massive ship out, and so the army decided to abandon it. The B24 lay intact in this barren and remote desert wasteland until sometime in the late 1950's or early 60's at which time salvors dismantled and hauled it away. All that remains of that fateful night are a few small metallic parts, a tire and the memory of the "Corporal from Kansas."
a photo of the downed plane before it was dismantled and removed
Occasionally the surface of the playa dries sufficiently for a solid crust to form that will bear the weight of pedestrians. At such times, the few remnants of the ill-fated flight of the B-24 can be viewed.
The site can be easily found by following a set of old tracks that lead to the site. The tracks appear to be remnants of the original landing.
Not much is left. Salvagers, souvenir hunters and salt have slowly whittled away at the remains.
pieces of the landing gear remain
Not a lot to see in a lonely place.
An electrical box as evidenced by some old wiring. The remains of a tire can be seen in the background.
The B-24 is not all that remains upon this lonely playa. At the turn of the century salt was mined from this location and transported to Owens Valley via a tramline.
The next feature in the Photo Gallery will be a collection of old and recent photos of the infamous salt tram. Stay tuned!
Read an account of the rescue of the crew of the B-24 in the "Corporal from Kansas."
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