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Old 23rd February 2020, 01:04
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Captain David Thaxton " Tumbleweed" Bechtol, O-764965.

Hello,
Seeking details of aircraft in which Captain Bechtol was killed.
Sources differ, some give the ac as a B-29 while others have it as a B-25.
He was with the 38th BG/823BS.
But was killed on an a/c test flight.
He is recorded as both KIA and KNB.
As it was a test flight would therefore not I assume exclude training on a B-29 . However the 38 th was a B-25 Group.
MACR number is 16043, date 28th June 1945.
Thanks
Alex
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Old 23rd February 2020, 04:46
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is online now
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Re: Captain David Thaxton " Tumbleweed" Bechtol, O-764965.

Hello,

Possibly:

B-25J 44-31047 - (Training) - Crashed 1 mile east of Luegayan [sic]* strip, 06/28/1945 (MACR 16043).

Known casualties (5 of 6?).

0-764965 Capt David T. Bechtol (38 BG/823 BS)
0-705055 2Lt Edward C. Simmons (345 BG/501 BS)**
1635452 2Lt Kenneth H. Wagner (345 BG/501 BS)**
19179059 Sgt Daniel B. Johnson Jr.**
32308426 Sgt Harry Fischer (345 BG/501 BS)**

* Read: Lingayen Airfield, Luzon, P.I.
** See below.

https://www.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/...033c9757b/data (Control + F search: Bechtol)

and ...

The 823rd lost two of its B-25's during the month of June (1945). Neither to enemy action. On 28 June one of the squadron's pilots who had finished his tour of combat duty and was sweating out the arrival of orders returning him to the states, and a flight officer who had recently joined the 823rd and had not yet flown a combat mission, volunteered to test-fly one of the unit's new planes. Trouble developed soon after takeoff, the pilot called the tower to say he was coming back to land, but the plane crashed into a rice paddy and "BOTH" occupants were killed.

http://www.sunsetters38bg.com/index....dron-histories

Everything needs confirmation.

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 23rd February 2020 at 23:40.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 17:44
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Captain David Thaxton " Tumbleweed" Bechtol, O-764965.

Thank you Col, just what I wanted.
Alex
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Old 27th February 2020, 07:52
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Captain David Thaxton " Tumbleweed" Bechtol, O-764965.

According to entry of Capt. Bechtol on findagrave.com, the sixth person was F/O Lawrence J. Russell of 823rd BS.

See
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...haxton-bechtol and https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...-james-russell

Regards,
Leendert

Last edited by Leendert; 27th February 2020 at 07:53. Reason: Typo
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Old 28th February 2020, 16:22
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Captain David Thaxton " Tumbleweed" Bechtol, O-764965.

There is a 3 page MACR, 16057 on fold3 which mentions both Russell and Bechtol along with a description of the crash:

https://www.fold3.com/image/29432719

I there was a second crash on June 28 which involved the other men listed. Note they were in the 345th BG, not the 38th.

Last edited by RSwank; 28th February 2020 at 16:54.
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