May 18, 2017

Aiea Loop Trail military plane crash?! Where is the wreck?! :: oahu hawaii



If you’re up for a challenge when you’re in Hawaii, how does a mission to locate a military plane crash from the 1940s sound to you?

Embarking upon the mission of finding the plane crash located off of the Aiea Loop Trail on Oahu is definitely off the beaten path, and DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK!

When you arrive at the trailhead of the Aiea Loop Trail at Keaiwa State Park, you’ll see this plaque:

Aiea Loop Trail plane crash location, Keaiwa Heiau State Park, Oahu, Hawaii


It reads:

“Along this trail are the remains of a B-24J Liberator Bomber. In the early morning of May 5, 1944, 2Lt Kimble and crew departed Hickam Field on a replacement mission en route to the 5th AF. Six miles after take-off, failing to make a turn, they crashed into Pu’u Uau Ridge, Ko’olau Range. All ten aviators perished serving their country.”

This was the first I was learning about remnants of a military plane crash on the trail, so I was interested in seeing it.

I figured that since there was a plaque at the beginning of the trail, that there would also be a marker on the trail so you can see the plane wreck too.

Well, there is no such marker.

As I continued on the trail, wondering if there would be a marker, I did some quick Google searches to try to figure out the plane crash location.

It seemed like there was conflicting information.

One person who found the crash said it was about half way through the 5 mile trail.

Another person who found it said it was 45 minutes from the end of the trail, but I couldn’t figure out if that was 45 minutes of trail running, or 45 minutes of walking.

Here’s another account (with video) of someone who found the site of the plane crash on Aiea Loop Trail:

“Even though I didn’t record it, my friend and I made it all the way down to the bottom, we found two pieces of landing gear, a radial engine, more of the wing you saw in the video, what looked to be a fuel bladder, and a few more parts we couldn’t identify. They were all along the trail down so you can’t miss them (even though they were covered by more soil than some photos I found online that were posted 4 years ago). The wing used to be resting against a tree right off the trail but as you can see, the tree fell making it harder to spot. Be warned, the trail doesn’t get traveled much and it’s very steep, so wear hiking boots and long pants since the last part of the way down is overgrown. Take your time as well, we both made it down by going slow. When you do get to the bottom, travel left along the stream and you’ll see another piece of the plane on your right.”


These accounts seemed to indicate there was a path that veers off from the Aiea Loop Trail.

I tried to keep a lookout for it, but I ended up not being able to find it.

Maybe you’ll have better luck!

It’ll be like a scavenger hunt in Hawaii! 😉


Hiking trails on Oahu can be dangerous and it’s important to take precautions.

Just do a Google search for “Oahu hiking deaths” and you’ll come across a number of stories.

This isn’t meant to scare you, but just a nudge to take seriously the dangers of some hiking trails on Oahu, especially when you go off of the marked trails!

Because of the steep nature of the path to get to the plane crash location, using trekking poles for stability doesn’t seem like such a bad idea!




Back to Aiea Loop Trail
Back to Keaiwa Heiau State Park

More Oahu hikes
Koko Head Hike
Lanikai Pillbox Hike
Kaneohe Hike



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