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The Bomber Crew That Crashed into Iron Mountain Saddle - Park City

Posted by Kathryn Vallee on Monday, May 28th, 2018 at 10:14am.

Park City, Utah

The Bomber crew that crashed into Iron Mountain saddle November 17, 1941 was memorialized this day of May 28, 2018, during the memorial day program. 


The service will remember the deaths of Maj.Robert E. L. Pirtle, the flight commander of the 88th Squadron, and Sgt. Jack D. Anderson, the flight's engineer.

According to the Park Record, the ceremony was as a result of the research from historians Steve Leatham and David Nicholas . They made the following statement, "This was a story that had gotten lost in Park City history, because when it happened none of the survivors told their families about the event," Leatham said during a phone interview. "We almost feel a kinship with those airmen, and feel they want their story to be told."

"In conjunction with the museum, we have a B-18 memorial fund, and it's our goal to raise $6,000, which would be the cost of a large plaque that will be put in an area that is easily accessible for people to look at Iron Mountain," Nicholas said.

The researcher recounted the fateful night during the Park City Memorial, "A dark, stormy night on Nov. 17, 1941, a B-18 Bomber hit the peak of Iron Mountain, soared a few miles east before turning 270 degrees and slamming into the mountain's saddle in a fireball. Shortly after the first impact, six of the seven crew members tried to parachute to safety. "As the wind blew their chutes the plane had doubled back and flew straight at them, catching one of the chutes, which belonged to Major Robert E. L. Pirtle, who was the flight commander of the 88th Squadron, on the wing," said historian Steve Leatham. "He was thrown over the fuselage and fell to his death, ironically, in the Park City Cemetery." He further stated that this occurrence was one in a zillion chance. 

 Type of Bomber Plane flown 

I attended this fabulous event. I have attended several Park City memorials but this one was the best yet! Thank you to all of those that put this program together ho honor those serving our country but most importantly those that died. Amazing and so moving.


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