|Pilot Ensign Matthew Richard McFarland (MIA / KIA)
Passenger Lt. Jessie Raymond Battenfield (MIA / KIA)
Crashed February 15, 1945
Built by Douglas at El Segundo, CA. Constructors Number 4977. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN). Assigned to Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 7 (CASU-7). No known nose art or nickname.
On February 15, 1945 took off from the NAS Seattle
piloted by Ensign Matthew Richard McFarland on a training mission and failed to return. In fact, this aircraft crashed on the south slope of Three Queens Mountain in Washington
State. Possibly, the crew survived the crash but died afterwards from their wounds or exposure.
During a late September 1945 an aerial search for a missing Beach 18 and this aircraft, resulted in the wreckage of this aircraft being spotted from the air. A civilian and military team trekked to the crash site and buried the remains of both crew at the crash site.
Two crosses made of stainless steel inscribed with the names of the crew were erected over the graves.
This crash site in the Wenatchee National Forest
in the Cascade Mountains in Washington
State and was was well known to hikers in the area.
During the 1970s, the crash site was salvaged by a private citizen with permission from the U. S. Navy for use for a restoration project. One wing was salvaged and half of the other wing. The engine was partially crated but never removed. The salvager did not disturb the graves.
During the early 2000's someone made a complaint to the US Navy that the crew were still buried at the crash site and should be a proper burial.
Cy Laramie went to the Washington State Health Department and found the death certificates of both men which listed the lat / long of the crash site and visited the crash site in 2005.
Recovery of Remains
This site is the focus
of a JPAC MIA investigation
at the end of August 2004. A recovery team deployed in mid July
2005 to preform a complete recovery of the remains of the crew,
along with the crash site of P-38E
Lightning 41-2276 also in Washington
This was the first military joint field activity in the continental United States
McFarland is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 25 site 3910-5 (unknown if burial or memorial marker). Battenfield has no known burial.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - SBD-5 Dauntless 36338
FindAGrave - Matthew R McFarland (Arlington grave)
Thanks to Cy Laramie, Ted Darcy and Phillip Fazzini for additional information
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June 29, 2019