A local news story on TV indicated that on Sat July 15 2000, there would be a dedication of a roadside marker for a W.W.II era bomber that had crashed in the mountains many years ago.  I had no personal connection with this plane or any of it's crew, but since it is was supposed to be located in Maine, and I had heard that the wreckage was still there, I decided to learn more about the story.

  I drove to the general area of the dedication, where I found some home-made cardboard signs with directions to the dedication.  After driving 16 miles up a logging trail on a mountain west of Rangeley Maine, I got to the dedication site, which to my surprise was apparently also the crash site.

  Turns out it was for AC# 43-38023, which was a B-17 apparently was on it's way from  Nebraska on it's way to Dow Field Maine from where it would have go on to the war,  on  July 11 1944.   Unfortunately, apparently the crew got lost.   According to the speaker, the plane was last contacted by radio from Grenier Field (now Manchester airport),  before it got lost, and wasn't heard from again.  They were apparently WAY off  course.  Rather than being near Bangor, they were over near the NH/Canada border on the  other side of the state, and instead of being over relatively flat terrain, they were over  an area dotted with 3000-5000' mountains around lakes at approximately 1500' . There was apparently a 1000' ceiling that day (ie the mountain peaks were in the clouds) , and  since they didn't know where they were, they circled for two hours (according to  witnesses on the ground who heard the plane going around and around), apparently waiting for the clouds to clear.  The clouds didn't  clear.  They tried to come down to see some landmark on the ground only to see a  mountain in front of them.  Apparently they tried to turn and climb, but the right wing
hit, and the plane cart wheeled, and broke up into tiny pieces.  It took them days to find  the site, and days more to get there, but there was little left.  Other than the few crew remains that were taken back to Dow Field, what remained of the wreckage was left on the site.
    Decades later, a logging company un-earthed the wreckage while building the  logging road we drove in on.  They dug a big hole, and bull dozed the remains into the hole. Trees  grew over the site.  Apparently recently, a storm uprooted some big trees
that had  grown over the site, and when the roots came up, so did parts of the plane.  This is apparently  what inspired the group up there to build the memorial, which is a nice stone marker  way back in the woods, with the name of the unfortunate crew.  The group that did the dedication had no connection to the AAF or the plane that crashed (in fact they mis-identified it as a B-17-J when it is actually a B-17-G), but they had great respect for the crew that lost their lives for their country, which was very moving.   A few pictures were taken at the site, first, a view of the color guard that participated in the program.

Once we got to the crash/memorial site, we snapped a picture of the stone with the
color guard behind it.

A close-up of the stone


shows the crew names that were lost on the plane.

    Someone there had a xerox copy of 4 photos of the crash site taken from the air back
in 1944.

The quality is pretty poor, being a photo of a Xerox of a photo, but you can see that there wasn't much left of the
plane, as things are scattered over a wide area. The impact area was supposed to be something like a couple hundred feet wide, by a quarter mile long. Now there is a logging road through the area, and the trees aren't as tall, since it was logged since then.  Pretty much all of  the wreckage is apparently still there, but much of it is underground.  However they
sent out a couple small kids to see what they could find, and an assortment of remnants were found:

     I knew about the existence of this crash site, but not it's location or the story behind it, so I
had imagined a nearly whole carcass of a plane remaining.  I had no idea that only
small pieces would remain.

     The dedication ceremony was quite moving, despite the rain that was falling at the time.  A program was given out, part of which is shown below.

     The crash site is only about 15 miles north west of  Rangely.  On the way back, we stopped at a
roadside overlook of the Rangely area, and you could see the crash mountain, which is
Deer Mountain.

  The mountain is a 3500' mountain,  and the crash site is at about 2900'.  The lakes below are
at about 1500'.  Picture is taken from rt 17, about 15 miles southeast of the mountain.

It is not often that one gets the chance to visit the crash site of a W.W.II era bomber, and it is well worth the effort.