A Douglas C-53 transport plane carrying 19 U.S. Air Force paratroopers crashed in Peru in August 1942. Sixteen died. Thee lived. The plane had been heading for Providence, Rhode Island but sent off course. The paratroopers were returning from a night jumping training mission. They were based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and were likely to join the D-Day invasion forces. As dusk settled that evening the quiet of Peru was suddenly broken by the troubled sound of an airplane, low and lost in fog. And then, with a blast that shook the hills. it crashed. Alerted by the shocking sound residents nearby set out in search of the plane using what ever means they could to locate it. For time there were additional explosions. it was as if a gun fight was in progress.

Search parties, hastily assembled. located the plane off to the left of the road the CCC had built from curtin Road to the top of Garnet Mountain and near its summit. The scene was chaos, the plane. an Army Air Force two engine transport, was in ruins, burning. With equipment and personal effects cattered everywhere. On crashing it had cut a swath through the forest 60 feet by 60 yards. One soldier. Sgt. Robert Lee of Columbus, Ohio, badly burned but still on his feet was doing what he could to bring his fellows out of the burning plane. He had managed to save two of his comrades both of whom were badly hurt.

There’s new signage guiding entrance to the Peru State Forest! Flash Hike Memorial Day

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