Captain Darden was the pilot of U.S. Army Air Corps B-24H Liberator #42-7674. On the morning of December 6, 1943 he was dispatched along with seven other planes out of Hammer Field, in Fresno, California to search for another B-24 that was missing from a training flight from the evening before. As his bomber flew over the Sierra Nevada range, it developed engine troubles and Captain Darden ordered his crew to bail out. But only two crewmembers parachuted out of the crippled plane in time before it crashed into Huntington Lake, high in the Sierra Nation Forest, east-southeast of Oakhurst. Four other Army fliers also perished. Some speculation was that Captain Darden mistook the long, thin, snow covered lake as a meadow and attempted a crash landing. The bomber was not found until August, 1955, when the lake was drained for dam repairs, and at which time the remains of the five crew who perished were removed. The other B-24 they were searching for, was not discovered until July, 1960, in a lake nearly 100 miles to the southeast of where Captain Darden's crew was lost. That crashsite would later in history become known as the Hester Lake B-24 incident.
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Died in the crash of B-24H Liberator #42-7674 into Huntington Lake, Sierra Nevadas, Calif. Wreck not found until Aug. 1955.Served with 461st Bomb Group, 765th Bomb Squadron -
Tim Cook Added: Dec. 1, 2012