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The Santa Barbara B-24 Disasters: A Chain of Tragedies Across Air, Land & Sea
by Robert A. Burtness, 2012. Paperback, 128 pages.
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 in the Santa Barbara backcountry near Camuesa in Los Padres National Forest, 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. Then, the Air Force investigators of that accident, coming to the island in a Coast Guard cutter, hit a yacht, killing two more people. Author and Santa Barbara resident Robert A. Burtness takes you inside these somber stories with recorded first-hand accounts and vintage images.