The Santa Barbara B-24 Disasters: A Chain of Tragedies Across Air, Land & Sea

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Three separate and related tragedies occurred during and after a training run of a B-24 Liberator on July 4, 1943, over the Pacific off Santa Barbara County: The heavy bomber crashed near Santa Barbara and two of the crew were never found, another B-24 search-and-rescue crew looking for survivors off the coast never returned at all and was found later to have cashed on San Miguel Island, killing all 12 aboard, and the Air Force investigators of that accident, years later, in 1954, coming to the island in a Coast Guard cutter, hit a yacht, killing two more people. Author Robert A. Burtness takes you inside these somber stories with recorded first-hand accounts and vintage images.
ISBN: 9781609495718
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: California
Series: Disaster
Images: 49
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Robert A. "Bob" Burtness was born in Santa Barbara, California and attended local public schools before completing a bachelor's degree at Claremont Men's College (now Claremont McKenna College). Upon graduation, he joined the air force and spent most of a five-year period as a supply and logistics officer in Greece and New Jersey. Following separation from the service in 1966, he attended graduate schools at what is now called Chico State University and California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo and earned an MA in English from the latter institution. He spent the next thirty years as a teacher in the Santa Barbara secondary school system, followed by flunking retirement and continuing as a substitute, mostly in private schools. Other activities include Boy Scout summer camp staff positions in nature, aquatics and bugling; a volunteer wilderness ranger with the forest service; volunteer projects with the Nature Conservancy on Santa Cruz Island; Commemorative Air Force oral history interviews; driving a miniature train at the Goleta Depot; toy train collecting; swimming, hiking and bicycling; and reading and writing. He and his wife, Lynn, whom he has known since the ninth grade, live in a longtime family home rebuilt into a Queen Anne/Victorian. Both widowed some time ago, they are the parents of three adult daughters. The family in residence now consists of two cats and a variety of wildlife in the surrounding urban forest.
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