B18 bomber crash site on Waternomee

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May 16, 2023
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Andover, MA
Last Monday I hiked up to the B18 bomber crash site on Mt Waternomee. This one had been on my list for a long time, and it turned out to be a perfect day for this solo hike. I parked at the unofficial Walker Brook trailhead on Rte 118 in Woodstock, not too far from Lost River Gorge. The first 1.4 miles along the old service road was pretty gentle with only about 300 feet of elevation gain. The climbing began after crossing Walker Brook. There was 1000 or so ft of elevation gain during the final mile. Just before I reached the crash site, I startled a porcupine who was as big as a racoon. Once he saw me, he scampered up a tree and I got a few pictures of him. The trail was not too difficult to follow thanks to the orange markers.

The crash site was pretty amazing. Looking at the wreckage, it’s hard to believe that five of the seven airmen survived the crash. And the other miracle is that the townspeople mobilized a group of volunteers to look for the plane on a cold January night in 1942 less than one hour after the crash.

Overall, a very enjoyable hike and I only encountered one person who was starting up about the time that I was finishing.
 

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I took a scout troop to the site a few weekends ago and told the story. They also found it amazing and a tangible demonstration of the meaning of Memorial Day.
 

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