A piece of U.S. history buried in the waters of Huntington Lake

July 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
This year marks the 70th anniversary of a WWII bomber that left Fresno and crashed in Huntington Lake.

The remains have been seen in Huntington Lake since 1943 the crash site fascinates many even seven decades later.

A piece of history rests at the bottom of Huntington Lake, the remains of a bomber that went down in 1943. Nine people were on board. Two parachuted to safety.

George Gruner wrote about the accident in a book called "Into the Night." It focuses on the Valley's role in the country's WWII efforts.

It details the event when the bomber took off from Hammer Airfield in Fresno looking for another bomber that went missing.

Hammer Airfield is no longer around. It is the Fresno Yosemite International Airport now. And WWII Veterans are becoming rarer. That is why Gruner says the bomber at the bottom of the lake, is that much more important to history.

"For generations that have come along, that were not even around during world war two, they can remember the sacrifice of those crewmembers and others wherever they died." Gruner said.

Milton Genes a WWII Veteran has a special affinity for the bomber he served as a B-24 Gunner.

"B-24s and B-17s were primarily responsible for crippling Germany to the point where the ground forces kept winning battles," said Genes.

Over the years, school projects have focused on the bomber. Stories were told, some true, some myth, and there have been efforts to pull out the pieces, yet most of the war plane stays under water.

"I think the interest is maintained by the fact that it's there is not too many WWII airplanes around," Guner said.

That is why he says the plane belongs in the lake, as a relic of history to fascinate people for years to come.

The Billy Creek Museum in Huntington Lake is holding an event in honor of the 70th anniversary of the bomber's crash. The event is on July 27 it starts at 3 p.m. at the Lakeshore Resort at Huntington Lake. The ceremony also honors the Valley's Veterans.


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