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SHARKHUNTERS International
2016 "Hitler in Argentina"
     Expedition
Day 14   Friday     12 February

On this day we drove a very long way out of Puente del Este beyond the point the paved road ended and onward along a dirt road......it was either a dirt road or a place where they intended to plant corn someday.  Our goal was the Rocha Lagoon.

 

Back in the days of glamorous - and expensive - air travel when men wore suits and ladies wore dresses and white gloves to fly, this was the world's largest flying boat of the era.  This is the Latécoére 631 and her registration was F-BANT as we see here.  Six Wright R-2600-A5B Cyclone engines powered this huge bird and once the war ended, they resumed regular passenger flights between Rio di Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Montevideo.  Her maiden flight was 19 March 1945..........even before the war ended.  But on Wednesday 31 October 1945 at about 1550 hours, this plane had an emergency.
 

 

     

One of the propeller blades of the Nr. 3 engine (the one on the port wing nearest the fuselage) separated and went into the Nr. 2 engine (the one next to it - the center engine portside) causing the propeller on the Nr. 2 engine to also fly apart.  One of the propeller blades sliced into the fuselage, tearing a hole about three meters in size - and killing two people.  A small fire aboard was quickly extinguished.  They made an emergency landing in the Rocha Lagoon to effect emergency repairs then moved on to a place where permanent repairs could be effected as seen here.  Note that the cowlings on the Nr. 2 and Nr. 3 engines have been removed.

What makes this incident so unique and interesting is the fact that we cannot find any record of the departure airport or the intended destination airport or a passenger roster or even the names of those killed.

Where was she going?  Who was aboard?  What cargo, if any, was aboard?  We do not know and probably never will know, but.......

 

     

 

We had a long, dusty and hard ride to the Rocha Lagoon and an equally long and hard ride back.  This was to be our last day in real civilization, so I decided we deserved a treat in the tradition of one last meal for the condemned man.

This is Papa Charlie's restaurant and as you see, it is right on the beach.  The spaghetti was great as was the scenery.....note the Atlantic Ocean in the photo.  Right behind the camera and across the boulevard is that new Trump Tower going up.

It is time to rest now because tomorrow we leave "M & M" Land here and head into the wilderness - and that is no joke!


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