Historic Markers Across Florida

Site of the B-24 Crash During W.W. II

Marker ID:  
Location: Eau Gallie Blvd. (County Road 518) 0.2 miles west of U.S. 1, Melbourne, FL
County: Brevard
Coordinates: N 28° 7.728    W 080° 38.023
  28.1288    -80.63371666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


On the night of March 26, 1944, three B-24 aircraft were flying loose formation from Chatham field in Savannah, Georgia on a training flight. Somewhere over the Atlantic ocean, two of the planes went down without even giving a distress signal. The third B-24 developed engine trouble, losing power in three engines. As the fourth engine began to fail, the crew tried to land at Melbourne Naval Air Station (Melbourne International Airport). The aircraft crashed just west of the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks, north of the Eau Gallie River, narrowly missing a government housing development called Sunset Terrace.

The only survivor of that crash was Basil R. Huntress who spent three months in the hospital at the Melbourne Naval Air Station. In 1995 he returned to the Eau Gallie area to revisit the site of this extraordinary experience. An investigation determined that the plane had been sabotaged.