After 61 Years, WASP Marie Michell Robinson Comes Home

"The Mojave was cold and gray on a recent visit to the crash site of North American Aviation B-25D #41-30114 USAAF that crashed killing all three aircrew on 10/2/44. The pilot was 1st Lt George D. Rosado, copilot WASP Marie Michell Robinson, and crew chief S/Sgt Gordon L. Walker.

Their mission was listed as "day transition" training for copilot Michell-Robinson. Two eyewitnesses flying nearby in Bell P-39's stated that they saw the B-25D stall and then enter a spin from which there was no recovery. #41-30114 was observed to crash and burn some twenty-five miles west of Victorville AAB. Crash trucks were able to drive to the accident site.

There were no survivors.

The wreckage was mostly removed following the completion of the coroner’s grim work. In sixty-one years few people have visited the crash site. I had looked for it with Chris Killian and others on a number of occasions without success. Thanks to Mike Lyons I was finally able to find what remained of #41-30114. Joining me was my son Pat J. Macha, and a friend.

We were not surprised to find that only about 2% of the B-25D remained, but we were very surprised to find the WASP lapel insignia of Marie Michell Robinson lying in the surface sand undisturbed for more than half a century. The examination of the site yielded a gold ring, coins and part of a bracelet.

I had been urged to visit this site because holes had been dug there and concern was expressed that the remaining wreckage was going to be removed. The holes we observed did not seem recent, and hopefully the site will continue to remain unnoticed. Should efforts fail to return all personal effects to next of kin the artifacts will be displayed at Texas Women's University at Denton, Texas.

Marie Michell Robinson was only twenty at the time of her death. With our Nation's flag temporarily placed at the center of the crash site, we paused to honor the crew of B-25D #41-30114. We then departed just ahead of the heavy rains to come.

All artifacts recovered were consistent with seating arrangements of the crew on that fateful day in October 1944. Veterans Affairs are assisting in the return of personal effects associated with 1st Lt Rosado, and S/Sgt Walker."

Courtesy of: Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West. From L.A. Times article 2005.