|LT Koonce was piloting #617 with COL Overing in the right seat. Loaded with practice bombs and a crew of 12, LT Koonce began his take off roll on runway 07. They were the lead aircraft on a practice bombing mission and were first down the runway. 35 other B24s waited their turn. About 3/4 of the way down the runway #617 encountered an slight rise in the runway, and the left landing gear collapsed. The aircraft had insufficient speed to get airborne and settle down on the runway, the ground looped and came to a stop off the runway. The aircraft was very badly damaged. A small fire broke out, but was quickly extinguished. There was only one major injury among the crew. (NARA via Roland Andrews)|
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