The S.B. B-24 Disasters

Author Discusses Chain of Air and Sea Tragedies

Tragedy struck thrice along the Santa Barbara coast, leaving 16 dead in a series of mysterious and unexplained events. In 1943, running low on fuel, an Army Air Corps crew were forced to abandon their B-24 Liberator, which crashed into the sea. The search-and-rescue B-24 sent to find the lost crew disappeared; that plane and its airmen’s remains were found months later on San Miguel Island. In 1954, a Coast Guard vessel tasked with tying up the loose ends of the Coast Guard crash rammed a yacht near the island, killing two. Robert Burtness pieces together the history of this tragedy of errors in The S.B. B-24 Disasters: A Chain of Tragedies Across Air, Land and Sea. Burtness discusses his book Thursday, June 20, at 7 p.m. At the S.B. Maritime Museum (113 Harbor Wy.). Space is limited. For more info, call 962-8404 x115 or visit


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