Arts & Entertainment

Park City Library features speakers on 1941 bomber crash into Iron Mountain

A deafening roar, initially mistaken for an earthquake by the city police officer on duty, startled hundreds of Park City residents from their sleep

PARK CITY, UTAH — Parkites Steve Leatham and David Nicholas are returning to the Local Speaker Series to share an extraordinary tale of bravery and resilience. Join them on Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Park City Library as they take you on a journey through the story of seven unsung heroes, during their lecture titled “The Iron Mountain Miracle”.

During World War II, the Douglas B-18, a twin-engine bomber born out of the DC-3 airliner, played a vital role. Yet it remains one of the least-known aircraft of that era. Rewind to the mid-1930s, during the throes of the Great Depression, when an economically prudent Congress decided to fund the production of the B-18. The Army General Staff responded by placing an order for 133 of these aircraft in January 1936.

Fast forward to Nov. 16, 1941, as the clock approached midnight. A deafening roar, initially mistaken for an earthquake by the city police officer on duty, startled hundreds of Park City residents from their sleep.

The cause?

Army B-18 bomber 36-311, one of the original 133, plummeted into the imposing eastern crest 9,000-foot Iron Mountain and erupted into a blazing inferno. The impact reduced the once-mighty aircraft to mere fragments. Army officers who surveyed the crash site declared it “the most devastating plane wreckage we’ve ever witnessed.”

Fortunately, six of the seven airmen onboard managed to parachute to safety. This bewildering tale is not just about a terrifying ordeal but about the extraordinary resilience and courage displayed by these ordinary heroes and their families.

Local Speaker Series: Steve Leatham and David Nicholas

Nov. 7, 4 p.m.

Park City Library

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