Hike to This WWII Bomber Crash Site Outside of McCall
The next time your venturing out near McCall, don't miss out on the opportunity to see an eerie piece of WWII history left behind in the wilderness at Loon Lake.
In 1943, a group of military men were flying an American B-23 twin-engined bomber, also known as the “Dragon Bomber” from Nevada to Tacoma Washington. When flying over central Oregon, it began to snow distorting visibility for the pilot. The plane began to lose altitude and the crew was forced to make an emergency landing at the closest airport which would've been Boise.
There were several failed attempts to contact ground control and to make matters worse, the intensity of the snow was picking up and ice had started to form on parts of the plane. The crew realized that Boise was no longer an option and began to prepare their parachutes to jump.
Then the pilot spotted what had looked like a clearing of an open field and decided landing there would be their best bet. However it was not an open field and was actually frozen Loon Lake. The pilot was committed to landing at this point. The plane touched down on the frozen lake and skidded all the way into the surrounding trees. It wasn't a graceful landing by any means but luckily, all 8 crew members survived!
The plane itself though is a different story. It had crashed so deep in the timber that the military deemed it "unsalvageable." The wreckage remains there today. It's definitely a trek getting to the crash site. After all in 1943, half of the crew hiked 14 days through the snow and threw the Lick Creek Mountain Range. They traveled 42 miles on foot after finally finding help and rescue at the Lake Fork Guard Station.
It Started Outdoors does a great job of explaining different ways of getting to Loon Lake so you seen the wreckage for yourself.
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