- - - - -
The Baldwin Historical Society brings you another trivia question that delves into our area's colorful past. Pat Lombardi and Patty Woehler, co-presidents of the society, generously write the questions and provide the pictures.
Here is this week's question, er ... questions:
One of the most enduring mysteries in this area—the legendary "Mitchell Ghost Bomber" at the bottom of the Monongahela River ...
The plane took off from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, stopped at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and then flew to Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan before heading to Olmstead Air Force Base in Harrisburg.
When flying over western Pennsylvania, the pilot, Maj. William Dotson of San Antonio, saw that his fuel was low and headed for Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.
Realizing that he could not make it, Dotson choose to ditch the plane in the river to avoid hitting anyone.
In this crash, everyone survived the impact. Dotson and four others climbed onto the wings of the plane as it floated downstream, while the other passenger went missing.
Later, near Becks Run Road, when the plane sank, two crew members were lost.
The Air Force, Coast Guard, Pittsburgh River Patrol and Baldwin firefighters participated in the search and rescue. Most of the men were saved, but the bodies of the two drowned men weren't recovered until a few weeks later.
Recovery efforts were hampered because the water was running high and fast.
After 14 days, the Air Force abandoned the search for the actual plane. The recovery group speculates that it slipped into a gravel pit after the Coast Guard snagged and lost it.
What kind of plane went down in the Mon' that day, and what was the date?
Leave your guesses in the comments section below. We will reveal the answers on Monday.Read other Baldwin-Whitehall Trivia Time questions here.
And find out more about the Baldwin Historical Society, which is always looking for new members to collect and research the history of the area, HERE!