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Author Topic: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group  (Read 43648 times)

Gary LaPook

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Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« on: May 14, 2012, 07:13:01 PM »

I havent either Jeff, unless the PBM (#45236) that went down in the phoenix group, ended up on the reef slope at Niku. Records indicate the crew was rescued by the  Liberty ship James P Doty Sept 5, 1944. Captains log states that the mishap occured at 06*25' S, 176*25'W or about 175 miles SW of Gardner on a 228* heading. That would be a long way for a plane to drift, but I guess since it was a Martin Mariner, it might be possible with enough currents, and enough bouyancy to make it. A real stretch, but well see in July.

Tom
Maybe it's the B-17 that was carrying Rickenbacker that went down enroute to Canton.

gl
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 06:30:33 AM »

Gary ---That is interesting----i'll get back to you. UPDATE: From what I can find out Rickenbacker was inroute to Canton from Hawaii for refueling on his way to meet MacArthur. Apparently due to some navigational issues, they missed Canton, and ditched in the ocean. Canton is about 230 NM from Gardner. They were finally picked up Tuvulau (?) about 500 nm from Gardner.
I suppose its possible that the B17 was near Gardner whenit ditched, and they didnt see the island, even though they were at 5000 feet. I suppose it is possible, that currents, and stuff could have allow the plane to drift to the reef at Gardner. I dont have coordinates of where it went down, and neither does anyone else.
i guess we'll know in July.
Tom
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« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 06:55:14 AM by Tom Swearengen »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 09:30:08 AM »

I suppose its possible that the B17 was near Gardner when it ditched

On a Pacific scale, it was right next door.

Quote
I suppose it is possible, that currents, and stuff could have allow the plane to drift to the reef at Gardner.

I think it is absolutely possible. 





This is a possible candidate for a wreck that might have produced Nessie.  It's a genuinely new piece of information that, as far as I can tell, has never come up in the Forum before.  And it is a very interesting tale of survival.

Since the prevailing winds are from the northeast, the drift of the rafts and, presumably, the wreckage, was through the general vicinity of Niku. 

On the other hand, I think the account of the wreck suggests that the landing gear was up.  It does not seem hugely probable that a landing gear would have worked its way out of the wheel wells, through the closed doors, to the surface, and thence to Niku.  But strange things do happen, so it is not entirely inconceivable.

The map shows Kanton to Funafuti because we had earlier discussed a flight that was lost on that route.
LTM,

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« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 09:46:50 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 10:38:55 AM »

Marty, Eric Bevingtons photo was take in 1937 and Rickenbackers B17 went down in October 1942 so the Nessie photo couldn't be parts from his B17.
On the other hand, IF wreckage is found on the Nikumaroro reef this year then it could be from his B17.
This must be the place
 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 12:40:42 PM by Jeff Victor Hayden »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 11:03:19 AM »

This must be the place
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 11:05:05 AM »

http://www.navworld.com/navcerebrations/rickenbacker/braingame1.htm

This is the link to the site where the previous image lives.
This must be the place
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 01:03:59 PM »

Apparently they ditched everything that wasn't nailed down to try to keep the B17 aloft for as long as possible and, after ditching the B17 still remained partially afloat/submerged (take your pick) until they lost sight of it.
As the gas gauge neared zero, Cherry began preparing to ditch. Meanwhile, all hands were busy tossing out everything not considered essential to survival, including mail, a toolbox, cots, blankets and luggage, as well as Rickenbacker's briefcase containing classified material.
The B-17 was still partially afloat, although by then it had begun settling deeper into the water

http://www.historynet.com/eddie-rickenbacker-and-six-other-people-survive-a-b-17-crash-and-three-weeks-lost-in-the-pacific-ocean.htm
This must be the place
 
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 01:12:29 PM »

I dont think we are disputing that Nessie is not part of either of these aircraft accidents. no way possible without a time machine. BUT----we previously had been discussing other known, or unknown aircraft wrecks 'near' Nikumaroro. The PBM, and the B17 of Rickenbacker were the only 2 that I came up with that were not documented with a location. Most were around Canton Island.
In light of all things possible, yes the wreckage that we 'see' on the reef could be on of those planes. It could be our Electra. It could be something we dont know about, such as a Japaneese seaplane, or Zero, or a Val, or anything. I'm not convinced, nor is anyone else. But, we have to acknowledge that the possiblility does exsists. PT109 drifted quite a long way before ending up in its resting place. I would like to think its the Electra, but I'll wait until the expedition to celebrate.
tom
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 01:14:44 PM »

Marty, Eric Bevingtons photo was take in 1937 and Rickenbackers B17 went down in October 1942 so the Nessie photo couldn't be parts from his B17.

We're not going to let a facts few inhibit our imagination, are we?   :D

Quote
On the other hand, IF wreckage is found on the Nikumaroro reef this year then it could be from his B17.

Nice save!  I thought I was going to have to kill this thread.   :o
LTM,

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« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 01:20:18 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 01:59:00 PM »

Marty---leave it open for a bit--at least until July when Ric announces that we have a wing and engine from NR16020.
Tom
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 06:39:23 AM »

Would this be a historically significant aircraft---being the Rickenbacker plane?
That would be a needle in a  haystack!
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 07:34:16 AM »

The overshoot of kanton island is estimated to be between 100 and 200 miles to the Southwest.


This website has it as at least 100 miles
 The first part of the journey should have ended on Canton, however, the B-17 carrying Eddie Rickenbacker, his aide Col. Hans Adamson, and their flight crew, overshot Canton Island by at least 100 miles to the southwest

http://www.janeresture.com/tuvislands/nukufetau.htm

 In his book he records the crew  as estimating the overshoot as being around 200 miles.
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 09:25:36 AM »

that puts it in the neighborhood.  kind of
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 11:42:36 AM »

that puts it in the neighborhood.  kind of
Which, BTW, supports what I have been saying for years, that just flying into the Phoenix Island group does NOT guarantee that you will stumble onto one of those islands. TIGHAR has been claiming the opposite, that Noonan and Earhart abandoned searching for Howland and continued to the southeast because they thought that they were sure to find one of the the many islands in the Phoenixs, So, I say TIGHAR's hypothesis on that point has been tested and proven to be incorrect.

gl
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 01:36:10 PM »

Which, BTW, supports what I have been saying for years, that just flying into the Phoenix Island group does NOT guarantee that you will stumble onto one of those islands. TIGHAR has been claiming the opposite, that Noonan and Earhart abandoned searching for Howland and continued to the southeast because they thought that they were sure to find one of the the many islands in the Phoenixs, So, I say TIGHAR's hypothesis on that point has been tested and proven to be incorrect.

gl

Hardly a slam dunk there, Mr. LaPook. What else ya' got?

LTM, who belives in the possibles,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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