P38 Hits Just Below Ridgeline Near Mount Wilson


DATE: September 20, 1944

FILE NO: A-44977

Victim: - CAMERON, Roy, Test Pilot for Lockheed Aircraft

Location: West slope of Mount Harvard, SW of Mount Wilson

We took the old Mount Wilson toll road to a point approximately 2 miles from the top where we discovered a fire burning in the brush. Leaving the car we hiked approximately half a mile up and over the hog back in the direction of Mount Harvard and at a point about 300 yards below the top of the ridge we observed a burned plane in the center of a burned off area.

Thomas Darling of Los Angeles, care of Radio Station KFI, who was in the vicinity experimenting for that radio station accompanied us and stated that he was on top of Mount Harvard and at 3:33 PM he observed the plane crash head on and burst into flames.

We continued on down the side of the mountain to where the plane lay and found parts of it still burning, including the body of the pilot.

Both US and County Forestry forces arrived, among them being Captain Henry Wertz of Eaton Canyon Station.

Army authorities arrived from the Grand Central Airport, Glendale, to make its investigation. Two different units of walkie-talkies attached to the civilian defense force in the Altadena district were also at the scene to render communications assistance.

We searched for identification and found an Allison motor number A058793 out of a P38. This plane evidently was being tested by the pilot for the Lockheed plant.

Lt. Griggers arrived on the scene ad took over the investigation from this pint, and will make a supplementary report.

Edward's and Cummings Mortuary of Pasadena were notified to meet Lt. Griggers at the Mount Wilson toll gate in Altadena to take charge of the remains. That mortuary later phone the station and stated that they had contacted a Mr. Hall of the Lockheed plant employees division who will notify the parents of the victim.


We located the P38 about 300 feet below the ridgeline. The remains of both engines, radiators and a lot of fuselage pieces were still there. We also found the landing gear and a two-way radio with the earphone plug still attached. Had the pilot been just a hundred feet higher disaster would have been avoided.

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