Navy Hellcat Crashes In Field West Of Palmdale


Date: December 11, 1944

Informant: MRS. OWEN

Victim:LINGE, H., Lt. Sr. Grade, USN Inyokern Navy Base

Location:3 miles west of Highway 6 on Leona Valley Road, 100 yds. NE of bridge B452, Palmdale, CA

At 12:07 PM on December 11, 1944 informant phoned reporting an airplane crash at above location. At 12:10 PM undersigned received the call and with Capt. England proceeded to the scene, arriving at 12:32 PM.

Upon arrival found a US Navy Hellcat fighter plane, No. 24516, had crashed but not burned. At the scene found George Hogge, of City Ranch, Route 2, Palmdale, a civilian, who stated that from his ranch he had seen the plane going down, the pilot bale out and the parachute open.

At 12:43 PM Mrs. Emil Ritter of Palmdale came to the scene and stated that the pilot had not been injured and she had taken him to Palmdale where they met a State Fish and Game Warden who then transported the pilot to Palmdale Air Base.

J.M. Aiken of the 21st Fighter Squadron at Palmdale Airport arrived at the scene at 1:05 PM and took charge of the plane pending the arrival of Navy authorities.

Lt Sewell Griggers of Sheriff's Aviation and the US Navy Control Center at US Marine Base in Santa Ana were notified. As investigation will be handled by the government authorities recommend that this case be suspended


I attempted to locate the remnants of the Navy Hellcat without success. I located bridge No. B452 and proceeded in a northeasterly direction towards the crash site. As the plane remained intact upon impact presumably it was removed without a trace left behind. In recent years there has been extensive construction work in the area and there is evidence that the ground has been recently disturbed, so any remnants of this crash, if there were any, are gone for good.

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