About the "SoNoran Beauty"

by Col. Carl Ellison

The Beech aircraft factory in Wichita Kansas built SNB-2, construction number 4737 in 1943, and the US Navy registered it as Serial Number 39265. It had a very modest service record in WWII and beyond. It never flew in a war theater, instead serving state side as a navigation trainer at numerous Navy and Marine Corps Air Stations.

Its first duty station was in Florida, and by December 1943, it had its first accident. On a touch and go landing at NAS Miami, the gear retracted on the rollout, and the plane ground to a halt, damaging both engines, props, and cowls. The investigation cause was indeterminate, but the investigators suspected that one of the pilots raised the gear while still rolling, causing the gear to retract when it skipped over a bump in the runway.