Information on aircraft gives the type, and if available, the serial number of the operator in italics, the constructors number, also known as the manufacturer's serial number (c/n), exterior codes in apostrophes, nicknames (if any) in quotation marks, flight callsign in italics, and operating units.
A Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 of 10./JG54 (Leutnant Theo Nibel), downed by a partridge which flew into the radiator near Brussels on 1 January 1945.
Lockheed P-38G-10-LO Lightning, 42-13400, c/n 222-7834, suffers crash landing on Attu Island in the Aleutians, 2,000 miles W of Anchorage, Alaska, whilst on a training mission, pilot 2nd Lt. Robert Nesmith unhurt. Airframe suffers propellers torn off, broken horizontal stabilizer, buckled left nacelle. After simple parts salvage, it is abandoned in place. Recovered June 1999, it is transported by helicopter to the U.S. Coast Guard station at Attu, then flown to Anchorage in an Alaska Air National GuardLockheed C-130 Hercules. Registered as N55929 but not taken up. Restored at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, it is placed on display at McCloud Memorial Park, Elmendorf AFB, in April 2000.
Consolidated B-24L-1-FO Liberator, 44-49180, crashes west of Helendale, California. The crew consisted of 1st Lt. James G. Wright, pilot, 2nd Lt. Norbert J. Vehr, copilot, 2nd Lt. Carl F. Hansen radar instructor, 2nd Lt. John R. Palin radar student, 2nd Lt. Herbert A. Perry, radar student, and T/Sgt. Harvey L. Cook, flight engineer. Perry, Vehr and Cook died during the crash, while the remaining crew members successfully bailed out. Wreckage recovered to Victorville Army Airfield, California, in February 1945 with reclamation complete on 9 February.
During a high-speed taxi run at Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington, in Boeing XF8B-1, BuNo 57984, pilot Bob Lamsen experiences an unexpected undercarriage retraction at 1630 hours, with him unaware of the condition until it is too late, the airframe coming to rest near the middle of the main runway after sliding ~1,000 feet. The fire department and other emergency crews arrive on scene immediately but no fire occurs and no emergency measures are required. Reports of smoke and fire were apparently due to friction with the runway. To aid in the investigation, three cranes attempt to lift the large fighter onto a flatbed truck with the gear still retracted but they are unable to gain sufficient height and the decision is made to manually extend the gear so the airframe may be moved with no further damage.
Luftwaffe experten (ace) Jürgen Harder (13 June 1918 – 17 February 1945), recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, (64 claimed victories), is killed in the crash of a Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14, Werk.Nr. 784 738, near Strausberg, Germany, following engine failure. Technical experts that analysed the wreckage came to the conclusion that the piston of cylinder 12 had penetrated the engine block. Escaping toxic fumes thus intoxicated Harder who then lost control of the aircraft.
Luftwaffe pilot Leutnant Erwin Ziller runs into problems 45 minutes into the third flight of Horten H.IX V2 when he suffers a failure of one of the jet engines, aircraft spins to starboard and crashes just outside the airfield perimeter. The pilot dies in hospital a fortnight later. This second prototype was the only powered Horten IX to fly. The incomplete V3 prototype was shipped to the United States and is now in the collection of the SmithsonianNational Air and Space Museum.
Two Lockheed P-38L Lightnings, of the 433d Base Unit, out of Chico Army Airfield, California, suffer a mid-air collision 28 miles NW of Barstow, California, during a routine training and gunnery practice flight, coming down near Superior Dry Lake. "When the planes collided, one exploded in the air, and the other crashed to the ground." 2d Lt. Earl A. Morgan, Jr. in P-38L-1-LO, 44-23861, and 2d Lt. Walter E. Mogensen in P-38L-5-LO, 44-25637, are both KWF. Morgan's mother, Mrs. Ruth E. Morgan, lives in Camp Rowio, Texas; Mogensen's father, Carl G. Mogensen, lives in Modesto, California. "Col. Robert A. Nagle, oommanding officer, permitted the identity of the two officers to become known last night (19 February) after notification had been given next of kin."
First manned flight test, launched from the Lager Heuberg military training area near Stetten am kalten Markt, of Bachem Ba 349 Natter, 'M23', a vertically launched bomber interceptor, fails when OberleutnantLothar Sieber, 22, a volunteer, is killed as rocket-powered aircraft reaches ~1,650 feet, cockpit canopy detaches, Ba 349 noses over onto back, then falls from ~4,800 feet, killing pilot. No cause for crash determined but it was thought that improperly latched canopy may have knocked Siebert unconscious. Three successful manned flights subsequently flown and a group of the fighters readied for intercept mission, but advancing U.S. 8th Army armoured units overrun launch site before Natters can be used.
At precisely 0151 hrs., Junkers Ju 88G-6, Werknummer 620028, D5+AX, piloted by Hauptman J. Dreher, with a crew of three from night fighter unit 13./Nachtjagdgeschwader 3, becomes the last Axis aircraft to crash on British soil during World War II. Confused by auto headlights, fighter hits tree while attacking the airfield at RAF Elvington, crashing at Sutton upon Derwent, Yorkshire, all four KWF. Two other Ju 88s had crashed in separate incidents at 0137 and 0145 hrs.
Following an afternoon attack by two Arado Ar 234B Blitzs of 6./KG76 on the U.S. Army forces crossing the Rhine at Remagen, Uffw. Pohlmann is killed when his Arado, WNr.140180, is destroyed in a crash-landing at Burg following an engine failure.
Prototype Ryan XFR-1 Fireball, BuNo 48234, piloted by Ryan test pilot Dean Lake, on test flight over Lindbergh Field, San Diego, California, loses skin between the front and rear spars of the starboard wing, interrupted airflow over the wing causes it to disintegrate. Pilot bails out, airframe breaks up, wreckage strikes brand new Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59836, just accepted by the Navy and preparing to depart for the modification center at Litchfield Park, Arizona. Bomber burns, Navy crew of pilot Lt. D. W. Rietz, Lt. J. E. Creed, and Aviation Machinists Mates G. R. Brown and J. H. Randall, evacuate burning PB4Y, only Randall suffering injuries, first, second, and third degree burns and minor lacerations.
Boeing B-17G-50-VE Flying Fortress, 44-8152, c/n 7552, "Miss Ida", of the 748th Bomb Squadron (H), 457th Bomb Group (H), is lost on take off from RAF Glatton. The target this date was the Ordinance Depot at Ingolstadt, Germany . The commanding officer of the 748th, Major Edward B. Dozier, was designated Air Commander. As the lead aircraft containing Major Dozier and Lt. Donald B. Snow, lifts off the runway, the number 2 (port inner) engine catches fire, with the airframe crashing just past the end of the runway, the bomb load explosion heard throughout the airfield creating an eight foot crater. Nine killed but one crew miraculously survives. The mission was delayed and was out of position in the bomber stream because of the accident. The group bombed in trail at 14,000 feet because of heavy clouds at the briefed altitude. Bomb results were unknown.
First prototype Rikugun Ki-93, '1', twin-engine fighter makes only flight from Tachikawa airfield, a successful 20 minute test of its low-speed handling characteristics, piloted by Lt. Moriya of the Koku Shinsa-bu (Air Examination Department) with 2nd Lt. Ikebayashi in the second seat. Unfortunately, pilot undershot the runway and touched down in soft soil, ground-looping airframe and tearing off port undercarriage leg, engine mount, and bending six-blade propeller. Repairs completed in four weeks, but the night before the scheduled second test flight, a B-29 bombing raid on Tachikawa destroyed the hangar housing the airframe.
Second of two Northrop XP-61E Black Widows, 42-39557, modified from P-61B with cut-down fuselage and bubble canopy, is written off when over-eager pilot tries P-38 Lightning trick of retracting landing gear on take-off while still on runway, but heavier Widow settles onto runway, hollow steel props shatter, airframe strikes tool shack on side of runway, airframe written-off, pilot survives. First XP-61E, 42-39549, is modified into sole XF-15 photo-reconnaissance prototype, 36 of which will be built as Northrop F-15A Reporter.
On 5 April, a B-24H-15-DT Liberator, 41-28779, of the 564th Bomb Squadron, 389th Bomb Group (Heavy), captured by the Luftwaffe on 20 June 1944 (MACR 6533), and operated as KO+XA by KG 200, departs Wackersleben to avoid the Soviet advance with 29 KG 200 personnel aboard for a flight to Bavaria via Braunschweig. About 25 minutes into the flight, a German flak battery fires on the Liberator, damaging the fuselage, wings and number 4 (starboard outer) engine and cutting the rudder cables. Pilot Oberfeldwebel Rauchfuss manages to maintain control, however. Two passengers, injured by the gunfire, require immediate medical attention (one later dies), and the pilot lands in a meadow near Quedlinburg, but a powerline forces him to apply power to clear it and the bomber breaks its nosewheel strut when it overruns into a freshly ploughed field. The strut is removed and sent to the Junkers Component Factory at Eilsleben for repair. The oil leak on the engine and the rudder cables are also repaired. Returned on 12 April, the strut is reinstalled and an attempt is made to take off on 13 April, after all excess equipment is removed to lighten the plane, but the clearing proves too short, the B-24 bogs down in sodden soil, and the nose strut again breaks. Reluctantly, the crew destroys the airframe by punching holes in the fuel tanks and setting it alight with a flare pistol.
As the Russians close in on Berlin, Hitler's private secretary, Martin Bormann, puts into action Operation Seraglio, a plan to evacuate the key and favoured members of Hitler's entourage from the Berlin bunker. Junkers Ju 352, c/n 100003, 'KT+VC', loaded with Adolf Hitler's personal property departs Berlin at ~0500 hours for Ainring, near Salzburg, piloted by Major Friedrich Gundlfinger. Among 16 passengers were Hitler Valet SS Sgt Wilhelm Ardnt and Hitler's bodyguard Max Fiebes. Plane flying low over the Heidenholz Forest clips treetops, tearing loose one of its three engines. The plane impacts and burns fiercely near Börnersdorf south of Dresden. Of two reported survivors one died of injuries. "A farmer from nearby Bernersdorf [sic], supervising Russian and French forced-labourers, heard screams and hammering from the Junkers, but was able to help only the tailgunner who was able to crawl clear. On hearing of the disaster Hitler was devastated by the loss of Arndt, rather than of his archives. It was from this event that the idea was later born of producing forged documents, published as Hitler's Diaries in 1983."
Deutsche Luft HansaFocke-Wulf Fw 200B-2, D-ASHH, c/n 0009, "Hessen", hastily loaded with baggage of the Berlin Headquarters Staff as part of Operation Seraglio, a plan to evacuate the key and favoured members of Hitler's entourage from the capital, departs from Berlin Tempelhof Airport for Barcelona, Spain via Munich, piloted by Flugkapitän August Karl Künstle, with five crew and 16 passengers. Condor reaches Munich safely, but never appears in Spain. Extensive inquiries in Germany, Switzerland and Spain turn up no clues to fate. In 1954, evidence finally is discovered that the overloaded transport crashed and burned with no survivors near Piesenkofen Kreis Mühlberg, Bavaria. A German source gives 1952 as the year of confirmation of Hessen's demise.
Just before midnight this date, first production Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59359, is being prepared on the ramp at Lindbergh Field, San Diego, California, for a flight to NAS Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, a mechanic attempts to remove the port battery solenoid, located 14 inches below the cockpit floor, but does so without disconnecting the battery. Ratchet wrench accidentally punctures hydraulic line three inches above the battery and fluid ignites, setting entire aircraft alight, mechanic suffering severe burns. Only number four (starboard outer) engine deemed salvageable. Cause was unqualified mechanic attempting task that only a qualified electrician should undertake.
1st Lt. Vincent J. Rudnick, on local training and acrobatics flight out of King's Cliffe, Great Britain, in North American P-51D-5-NA Mustang, 44-13720, coded 'MC-X' and named "Mine 3 Express", of the 20th Fighter Group, loses control at top of a loop at ~1445 hrs. near Stoke Ferry, aircraft goes into irrecoverable spin, pilot bails out, airframe impacting near cottage of Springside. In June 1985, crash site excavated and some wreckage located.
First prototype (of three) Curtiss XF15C-1, BuNo 01213, crashes on a landing approach to Buffalo, New York due to fuel starvation, killing test pilot Charles Cox. Two other prototypes modified with a T-tail to correct problems, but this last Curtiss design for the United States Navy never enters production. Second prototype was scrapped but the third and final airframe is preserved at the New England Air Museum in Connecticut.
Five men were killed when their army plane crashed near Crestview, Florida, Tuesday (this date), the Associated Press reported on 21 June. The plane, en route from Eglin Field, Florida, to Myrtle Beach Army Airfield, South Carolina, came down in a storm, stated officials at Marianna Army Airfield, Florida. "First Lt. Joseph A. McGinnis, 24, the pilot, was from the Marianna base. He was the son of Joseph A. McGinnis of Philadelphia. The others, all stationed at Myrtle Beach were:" First Lt. Lawrence F. Schirmer, 25, Sacramento, California; T-Sgt. William J. Koger, 25, husband of Mary G. Koger of Louisville, Georgia; T-Sgt. William H. Epperson, 25, Evanston, Illinois; and S-Sgt. George L. Simmons, 26, Lakeland, Florida. "McGinnis was an instructor pilot with more than 1,200 hours of flying time and combat experience with the Canadian air force before U. S. entrance in the war, and with the American air corps in North Africa, Sicily and Italy." The Aviation Archeological Investigation and Research site lists Douglas A-26C Invader, 44-35024, of the 137th Base Unit, as crashing on this date, but that serial ties up to an A-26B Invader. Further, the site lists the pilot as Joseph A. McGlens, Jr., and the crash location as Myrtle Beach, in direct contradiction to the Associated Press account.
Circa 29 June
Messerschmitt test pilot Ludwig "Willie" Hofman ("Hoffman" in American source) attempts to ferry captured Messerschmitt Me 262A1a/U4, Werke Nummer 170083, originally coded V-083, named Happy Hunter/Wilma Jeanne II, from Lagerlechfeld, near Augsburg, Germany, to Airfield A-55 near Cherbourg, France on behalf of the USAAF Air Technical Intelligence ("Watson's Whizzers") for loading aboard the HMS Reaper, suffers catastrophic failure of starboard engine at ~9,000 feet altitude and is forced to bail out over Normandy, suffering massive bruising as he deploys parachute at high speed. Aircraft was one of two conversions carrying Rheinmetall BK-5 50 mm anti-tank gun in nose for bomber attack, although it was never used operationally. American sergeant admits a year later that he had failed to inspect this aircraft's engines before the flight. The BK-5 from this airframe is now displayed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio.
First prototype Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250, completed 26 February 1945, suffers failure of port tailplane at low altitude, killing test pilot Alexandr Deyev, when his parachute fails to open in time. Post-crash analysis revealed that he had exceeded the airframe's G limit while maneuvering.
On the first flight of the prototype Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui, Japanese derivative of the Me 163B, aircraft reaches 1,300 feet in a steep climb, then the rocket motor cut out, airframe crashing at Yokosuka Naval Aeronautical Engineering Arsenal. Cause believed either hydrogen peroxide shifting to rear of partially empty tank, or air leak in fuel line causing blockage. Pilot Lt. Cdr. Toyohiko Inuzuka dies in hospital the next day. A redesign of the fuel system follows, but no additional flights made before Japanese capitulation in August.
Consolidated B-24H-20-FO Liberator, 42-94956, c/n 1721, of the 2135th Base Unit, Tyndall Field, Florida, piloted by Paul R. Snyder, crashes due to bad weather 12 miles NW of Southport, Florida, with fatal results for the crew. Amongst the dead are gunner Cpl. Eddie L. Keefe, 19, of Orangeburg, South Carolina, "the only son of O. L. Keefe and Alice Youmans Keefe, of this city." He is also survived by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Youmans, of Luray, South Carolina. Keefe "graduated from Orangeburg high school in 1943 and attended one term at Clemson college.[sic] He entered service 22 May 1944. He was a member of Tabernacle Baptist church.[sic] The message of Corporal Keefe's death was received by his parents Saturday morning."
A Boeing B-29A-45-BN Superfortress, 44-61721, c/n 11198, of the 236th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Combat Crew Training School), Pyote Field, Texas, piloted by Lieutenant Edward J. Szycher, of Bayonne, New Jersey, goes missing after the crew bails out at 9,500 feet over northern Minnesota, 180 miles NNW of St. Paul, Minnesota, after the bomber became filled with gasoline fumes that threatened to asphyxiate the crew. All ten crew descend safely, although one lands in Napolean Lake in Itasca County, and has to swim ashore. Airframe has never been discovered.
Lockheed YP-80A Shooting Star, 44-83029, c/n 080-1008, of the 1st Fighter Group, as of April 1945, crashes near Brandenburg, Kentucky, killing pilot Major Ira Boyd Jones, 25, of Lancaster, South Carolina. The plane left Wright Field, Ohio, shortly after 1400 hours, on a routine test flight to an unspecified army air field in Texas, said Brig. Gen. Joseph T. Morris, commanding general of Wright Field. "Eight-year-old Chester and Martha Smedley, 14, of near Brandenburg, said they saw a 'big explosion' in the sky. Their father, Sheriff Alex Smedley of Meade county [sic], added that the explosion blew the wings loose from the fuselage, landing 200 or 300 feet apart. Maj. Jones' body, the sheriff said, was found about a quarter of a mile from the wreckage." Maj. Jones, a fighter pilot with 11 months service in the China-Burma-India theatre, was attached to the fighter test branch at Wright Field. He was the son of Mrs. Mary C. Jones, of Lancaster, South Carolina, and was a graduate of the University of South Carolina. This airframe was one the test P-80s shipped to Foggia, Italy, in December 1944, for tests by Wright Field personnel under combat conditions.
Four USAAF crewmen are killed as two Douglas A-26 Invaders collide and crash in a field three miles NE of Bennettsville, South Carolina. "The planes were flying formation with 10 others en route to the Florence army air base when the accident occurred, Police Chief John L. Watson reported." A-26B-10-DL, 41-39130, piloted by 2d Lt. William D. Napier, of Sultana, California, and A-26B-20-DT, 43-22432, flown by 1st Lt. Julian A. Benson, of 728 Wynewood Road, Philadelphia, both of the 127th Base Unit, Florence Army Airfield, are also described as coming down five miles NE of Bennettsville. Also killed are Sgt. James Collins, Jr., son of James J. Collins, Sr., of 827 6th Avenue, N., Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Sgt. Robert L. MacNeil, son of Mrs. Margaret MacNeil, 111 Smith Street, Roxbury, Massachusetts. Lt. Benson is survived by his widow, Mrs. Hope L. Benson. Lt. Napier is survived by his widow, Vera E. Napier. It is unclear from news accounts which enlisted man was in which plane. "The accident was the second mid-air collision in South Carolina within a month. An Eastern Airlines Transport and an army plane crashed 80 miles from Columbia on July 12, killing three persons." 
First production Martin JRM-1 Mars flying boat, BuNo 76819, "christened "Hawaii Mars"", finished in overall dark blue, crashes on test flight in the Chesapeake Bay near Rock Hall, Maryland, after porpoising during landing – never delivered to the United States Navy. "Launched only two weeks ago, the Hawaii Mars was on a routine test flight over the bay when, a crewman said, the upper section of the plane's vertical fin broke away at an altitude of 6,000 feet. 'The ship began to flutter immediately and went out of control,' the crew member added, asking that his name not be used. 'The pilot cried out 'prepare to abandon ship.' But pilot William E. Coney, a navy flyer on loan to the Martin firm, regained partial control of the giant craft and some ten minutes later ordered 'stand by for crash.' The plane struck the water about 500 yards off shore. The impact of the 125-mile-an-hour blow ripped open the metal hull, and the plane sank until only part of its tail and left wing remained visible. Two crew members trapped in the flight deck were rescued by companions who ignored the danger of a gasoline explosion. Small boats that sped to the crash scene took the ten to shore. R. S. Noble, flight test engineer, was taken to South Baltimore hospital with cuts, bruises and possible internal injuries. A navy announcement in Washington said the plane would be taken to the Martin plant." Noble was the only injury amongst the ten man crew. "Witnesses said the plane, apparently having trouble with one of her four engines, came down 500 yards off shore, parts of it remaining above water."
A Boeing TB-17G Flying Fortress, built as a B-17G-70-BO, 43-37700, of the 325th Combat Crew Training Squadron,Avon Park Army Airfield, Florida, crashes six miles S of Ridgeland, South Carolina, after the number 2 (port inner) engine catches fire at 10,000 feet during a flight from Stewart Field, New York, to its home base in Florida. Pilot Lieutenant Dewey O. Jones orders the crew to abandon ship. An announcement released by the Hunter Field, Georgia, public relations office states that five parachuted safely, three were killed, and that two other men were missing. Listed as fatalities are Flight Officer Alfred Ponessa, of Newburgh, New York, a passenger, Sergeant Leo B. Bucharia, of Long Island, New York, and Technical Sergeant Edwin S. Salas, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, both members of the crew. The missing were listed as Lieutenant William Cherry and Corporal Sidney Podhoretz (addresses not available). The names of the other four survivors were not given.
While operating off the coast of Cuba, light cruiser USS Little Rock loses Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk seaplane, BuNo 35555, during an aircraft launch and recovery operation. The aircraft noses over while taxiing towards the recovery sled, throwing pilot Ens. W. R. Merryman clear of the cockpit, and capsizes. Pilot rescued by the ship's whaleboat. Airframe sinks.
Flying over Milton, Florida, a B-29e Superfortress suffered a mechanical failure and crashed into swampland. Eleven of the twelve crew members safely parachuted out, including the co-pilot, whom the pilot freed from the bomb hatch. The pilot, Robert A. Lane, could not escape and went down with the plane.
First of only two Nakajima Kikka twin-jet fighters, completed on 25 June, first flown 7 August for eleven minutes by Lt. Cdr. Sasumu Tanaoka out of Kisarazu Naval Air Base, crashes on second flight this date. Second unflown Kikka is shipped to the United States after the Japanese capitulation.
During Operation Dodge, the RAF airlift of troops home from Italian deployment, Avro Lancaster, ME834, coded 'K-OG', of 115 Squadron, based at RAF Graveley, struck HK798, coded 'K-OH', of the same squadron, and PB754, coded 'TL-A', of Graveley-based 35 Squadron when it swerves off runway while taking off from Bari, Italy.
Last U.S. air combat casualty of World War II occurs during mission 230 A-8, when two Consolidated B-32 Dominators of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, launch from Yontan Airfield, Okinawa, for a photo reconnaissance run over Tokyo, Japan. Both bombers are attacked by several Japanese fighters of both the 302nd Air Group at Atsugi and the Yokosuka Air Group that make 10 gunnery passes. Japanese acesSadamu Komachi and Saburo Sakai are part of this attack. B-32 piloted by 1st Lt. John R. Anderson, is hit at 20,000 feet, cannon fire knocks out number two (port inner) engine, and three crew are injured, including Sgt. Anthony J. Marchione, 19, of the 20th Reconnaissance Squadron, who takes 20 mm hit to the chest, dying 30 minutes later. Tail gunner Sgt. John Houston destroys one attacker. Lead bomber, Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108532, "Hobo Queen II", piloted by 1st Lt. James Klein, is not seriously damaged but second Consolidated B-32-35-CF Dominator, 42-108578, loses engine, has upper turret knocked out of action, and loses partial rudder control. Both bombers land at Yontan Airfield just past ~1800 hrs. after surviving the last air combat of the Pacific war. The following day, propellers are removed from Japanese aircraft as part of surrender agreement. Marchione is buried on Okinawa on 19 August, his body being returned to his Pottstown, Pennsylvania home on 18 March 1949. He is interred in St. Aloysius Old Cemetery with full military honors. B-32, 42-108578, will be scrapped at Kingman, Arizona after the war.
Pilot 1st Lt. James K. Holt ferries captured Messerschmitt Me 262A, 500098, "Cookie VII", FE-4011, from Newark Army Air Base, New Jersey to Freeman Field, Indiana, with a refuelling stop at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at ~ 1600 hrs, as one of two Messerschmitts being sent for testing after arriving in the U.S. aboard the HMS Reaper. Upon landing at Pittsburgh, he experiences complete brake failure, overruns the runway, goes down steep incline, hits opposite side of ditch, tearing engines and undercarriage off of the jet and breaking the fuselage in half. Pilot is unhurt but airframe is a total loss.
Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108532, "Hobo Queen II", is damaged when the nose wheel accidentally retracts on the ground at Yontan Airfield, Okinawa. Two days later, a hoist lifting the B-32 drops it twice. Since the war has ended, it is not repaired but is disassembled at the airfield.
On first flight of Northrop XP-79B, 43-52437, out of Muroc Army Air Base, California, aircraft behaves normally for ~15 minutes, then at an altitude of ~7,000 feet begins a slow roll from which it fails to recover. Pilot Harry Crosby bails out at 2,000 feet but is struck by revolving aircraft and his chute does not deploy. Largely magnesium airframe is totally consumed by fire after impact on desert floor.
Pilot 1st Lt. Robert J. Anspach attempts to ferry captured Focke Wulf Fw 190F, FE-113, coded '10', from Newark Army Air Base, New Jersey, where it had been offloaded from the HMS Reaper, to Freeman Field, Indiana for testing. While letting down for refuelling stop at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a faulty electrical horizontal trim adjustment switch goes to full-up position, cannot be manually overridden. Pilot spots small dirt strip, the Hollidaysburg Airport, S of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and makes emergency landing. Upon applying brakes, right one fails immediately, fighter pivots left, landing gear collapses, propeller rips away. Pilot uninjured, but Fw 190 is hauled to Middletown Air Depot, Pennsylvania, and scrapped. Prop ends up on wall of local flying club. The press never gets wind of the accident, nor of the 19 August Messerschmitt Me 262 crash landing at Pittsburgh.
Hurricane destroys three wooden blimp hangars at NAS Richmond, Florida, southwest of Miami, with 140 mph winds. Roofs collapse, ruptured fuel tanks are ignited by shorted electrical lines, fire consumes twenty-five blimps (eleven deflated), 31 non-Navy U.S. government aircraft, 125 privately owned aircraft, and 212 Navy aircraft. Thirty-eight Navy personnel injured, civilian fire chief killed. Air operations are reduced to a minimum following this storm, and NAS Richmond is closed two months later.
On first day of planned two-day exhibition of captured German aircraft at Freeman Field, Indiana, pilot Lt. William V. Haynes, 20, completes his flying routine in one of the eight remaining Focke Wulf Fw 190s at the base, (this being the same Fw 190D-9, Werke Nummer 211016, coded FE-119, that he had ferried from Newark, New Jersey to Freeman on 13 September), when, as he prepares to land, at ~300 feet AGL, the aircraft pitches up and rolls over, bellying into the ground nose up. Aircraft destroyed, pilot killed. Although investigation cites "pilot error" (it was thought he may have attempted a wing-over at too low an altitude for recovery), this may well have been another example of the faulty electrical horizontal trim switch problem that caused the loss of the Fw 190 at Hollidaysburg Airport, Pennsylvania on 12 September. Recent excavations at the former Freeman Field have uncovered various aircraft components that were apparently buried to dispose of them when the base was being shut down in 1947–1948.
Captured Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 V14, which on 6 September 1945 became the first helicopter to fly across the English Channel when it was moved from Cherbourg to RAF Beaulieu, crashes on third test flight at RAF Beaulieu, when a driveshaft failed. The accident was thought to be due to a failure to correctly tension the steel cables which secured the engine, despite warnings from Luftwaffe helicopter pilot Helmut Gerstenhauer.
Ensign J. C. West takes off from the USS Wake Island in a Ryan FR-1 Fireball, of VF-41, a combination prop-jet design, and soon experiences problems with the Wright R-1820-72W Cyclone radial piston engine. Before the reciprocating powerplant fails completely, he starts the General Electric I-16 jet engine and returns to the ship, thus making the first ever landing by jet power alone on a carrier. The escort carrier was operating off of San Diego, California, for pilot qualifications in the FR-1.
Second of two prototypes of the Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster, 43-50225, on routine flight out of Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., suffers in short order, a landing gear extension problem, failure of the port engine, and as coolant temperatures rose, failure of starboard engine. Maj. Hayduck bails out at 1,200 feet, Lt. Col. Haney at 800 feet, and pilot Lt. Col. (later Major General) Fred J. Ascani, after crawling aft to jettison pusher propellers, at 400 feet – all three survive. Aircraft impacts at Oxen Hill, Maryland. Secret jettisonable props caused a problem for authorities in explaining what witnesses on ground thought was the aircraft exploding. Possible fuel management problem speculated, but no proof.
First prototype Douglas XSB2D-1, BuNo 03551, suffers an engine fire 1000 feet over Sunnyvale, California. The aircraft crashes into an orchard and is severely damaged, but the crew of two are uninjured.
A Dornier Do 335A-12 Pfeil (Arrow), AM223, ex-DP+UB, a twin piston engined "push-pull" aircraft, out of RAE Farnborough, suffers a rear-engine fire whilst in flight which severs the control runs and crashes into Cove School, Cove, Hampshire, killing 2 people, according to one source, and injuring six persons on the ground, with the pilot, Group Captain A. F. Hards DSO, KWF according another.
First prototype Short Shetland I, DX166, the largest British-built flying boat, burns out at its mooring from fire in galley before flight testing can be completed.
First of three Mikoyan-Gurevich I-300 prototypes (I for Istrebitel, or interceptor), F-1, a twin-engined tricycle-geared jet-powered design first flown 24 April 1946, develops uncontrollable pitch during high-speed run and dives into ground, killing pilot Alexei Grinchik. Replacement test pilot Mark Gallai subsequently has two close calls in I-300, with tailplane and elevator suffering distortion, probably the same condition that killed Grinchik.
Eccentric, iconoclastic millionaire and aviator Howard Hughes is gravely injured when he mishandles a propeller pitch control failure and crashes his controversial Hughes XF-11 reconnaissance plane, 44-70155, during its maiden flight. Aircraft impacts homes in the Beverly Hills neighborhood near the Los Angeles Country Club golf course where Hughes was attempting an emergency landing.
Eight USAAF crew, 16 U.S. Coast Guardsmen, returning from duty in Greenland, and one civilian are killed when B-17G-105-BO Flying Fortress, 43-39136, c/n 10114, they are flying in crashes into Mount Tom, Massachusetts, at ~2220 hrs. while attempting to land at Westover Field, Massachusetts. A monument to the victims was dedicated on the crash site on 6 July 1996.
Unarmed second prototype of the Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250, with strengthened tailplane after crash of first prototype on 5 July 1945, continues flight testing until this date when an engine fire forces an emergency landing and it is damaged beyond repair.
The crash of an Stinson L-5E Sentinel, 44-17844, during a routine flight out of Eglin Field, Florida, kills Capt. Russell H. Rothman, originally of Chicago, Illinois, when the liaison aircraft crashes 17 miles NW of Valparaiso, Florida. Rothman, who entered the service 16 September 1941 and had flown 800 hours in C-46 Commando and C-47 Skytrain transports in the European Theatre of Operations, had only recently been appointed to a regular commission in the Regular Army. He held the Unit Citation, the Air Medal with three clusters, the European and Middle East Theatre of Operations Ribbon, the American Defense Ribbon and the World War II Victory Medal. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Eleanor E. Rothman, of 26 Shalimar Court, Shalimar, Florida, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred H. Rothman of Chicago.
First Swedish pilot to use an ejection seat to escape a crippled aircraft, Lt. Bengt Johansson (who later changes it to Järkenstedt), saves himself this date when the Saab J 21A-1, of 2 Divisionen, F9 Wing, out of Säve, collides with FFVS J 22 of another F9 Divisionen while engaged in naval gunnery attack practice. While climbing out from a gunnery pass, the J 21 is struck by the pursuing J 22, shearing off one of the J 21's twin tails. With control lost, Johansson jettisons canopy and ejects, other pilot also bails out of crippled J 22, both parachute into the sea where they are rescued by a Swedish navy destroyer. At the time the Swedish press describes the incident as a "first", the 13 January 1942 ejection by German Helmut Schenk from a Heinkel He 280 being little known at this point.
Me 262A, Wrknr. 111711, the first of the type to come into Allied hands, lost near Xenia, Ohio, 20 August 1946.
A captured Messerschmitt Me 262A, Wrknr. 111711, FE-0107, 711, crashed Tuesday afternoon ~two miles S of Xenia, Ohio near Route 68, test pilot Walter J. McAuley, Jr., of the Flight Performance Section, Flight Test Division, Wright Field, Ohio, successfully parachuting to safety. This brand new airframe had been surrendered on 31 March 1945 by Messerschmitt test pilot Hans Fay who defected during a functional check flight rather than fly it to an operational unit, landing at Rhein-Main, Frankfurt, the first Me 262 to fall into Allied hands.
First prototype Bell XP-83, 44-84990, bailed back to Bell Aircraft Company by the USAAF as a ramjet testbed, and modified with an engineer's station in the fuselage in lieu of the rear fuel tank and pylon for test ramjet under starboard wing, suffers fire in ramjet on flight out of Niagara Falls Airport, New York. Flames spread to wing, forcing Bell test pilot "Slick" Goodlin and engineer Charles Fay to bail out, twin-jet fighter impacting at ~1020 hrs. on farm in Amhurst, New York, ~13 miles from Niagara Airport, creating ~25 foot crater.
First prototype of the Avia S-92.1 Turbina, a Czechoslovakian version of the Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a, (essentially standard Me 262s built from already extant parts) crash lands on its sixth test flight out of a former Luftwaffe base north east of Prague. During high-speed runs at 13,125 feet (4000 meters), the port engine flames out, pilot Antonin Kraus is unable to get a relight, and he opts for a wheels-up landing in a field. The aircraft breaks in two on landing, and although Kraus is uninjured, it is a total write-off. For reasons of propaganda, the second prototype, S-92.2, is alleged to be the first true prototype, the first one having been an experimental ship, and the first two-seater, the Avia CS-92.3, is declared the first series production aircraft.
The prototype Tupolev Tu-70 passenger variant of the Tupolev Tu-4 "Bull" bomber, completed September 1946 and first flown 27 November, crash lands on its fourth flight with an engine fire caused by a design defect in its supercharger control system. Although the design met all of its design goals, it was not accepted for production as all factories were already committed to building designs of higher priority and Aeroflot had no requirement for the type. It was scrapped in 1954 after military evaluation and testing by the NII VVS (Russian: Научно-Исследовательский Институт Военно-Воздушник Сил Naoochno-Issledovatel'skiy Institoot Voyenno-Vozdooshnykh Seel – Air Force Scientific Test Institute).
A U.S. NavyMartin PBM-5 Mariner flying boat supporting Operation Highjump crashes during a blizzard in Antarctica. Three crew members are killed and six others were stranded 13 days before being rescued. The three who died, Ensign Maxwell A. Lopez, ARM1 Wendell K. Henderson, and ARM1 Frederick W. Williams, were buried at the crash site and their remains have not been recovered.
The USS Cusk becomes the world's first submarine to launch a guided missile when it fires an Republic-Ford JB-2, which then crashes after flying only 6,000 yards, due to an apparent control malfunction.
Prototype Convair XB-36 Peacemaker, 42-13570, on test flight out of Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas, with two test pilots, seven Convair flight test crew, three US Army Air Force observers, and two employees of Curtiss-Wright to run electronic tests on troubling propeller vibrations on board, suffers explosion of hydraulic retracting strut as the starboard main gear comes up. Huge 9 foot, 2 inch main tire swings back down as dead weight, smashes rear of number 4 engine nacelle, rupturing fuel and hydraulic lines. Twelve on board bail out, suffering various injuries from gusting wind conditions, but after six hours of flight to burn off fuel, pilots Beryl A. Erickson and Gus S. Green successfully land the bomber at Fort Worth with no additional damage, although they have no hydraulics. Repaired, with a redesigned strut, the prototype returns to flight testing two months later.
A U.S. Navy pilot and two school boys are killed when a Vought F4U Corsair fighter crashes onto a school playground in Burlington, Iowa, during an airshow at the Municipal Airport. The fighter, one of 35 aircraft from Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri, performing a mock formation raid in front of 3,500 spectators to signal the start of National Naval Reserve week, went into a series of barrel rolls, then appeared to go out of control before it crashed onto the playground at the Perkins School where 14 youngsters were playing ball. At least five others were injured, and several homes were struck by debris from the crash.
The crash of a Beechcraft C-45F Expeditor, 44-87142, of the 4000th AAF Base Unit, two miles S of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, kills three officers and two enlisted men of the 4140th Base Unit, Wright Field, Ohio, who had departed that base at 1805 hrs. on a flight to Selfridge Field, Michigan, to make advance preparations for air shows throughout the country. The twin-prop, twin-tailed aircraft came down in an open area during a driving rainstorm at ~2105 hrs. and broke into six major pieces. One crew attempted to parachute but was unsuccessful. The plane impacted within 500 yards of St. Mary's academy girls' school on the outskirts of Windsor.
A captured, modified V-2 rocket, launched from White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, at 2030 hrs. CST, fails to reach its maximum altitude, and comes down ~three minutes later, impacting in Tepeyac cemetery, ~six miles S of Juarez, Mexico. Unburnt fuel explodes, with the blast being felt in both Juarez and El Paso, Texas. Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, commander at White Sands, confirmed by telephone the launch of the rocket, but refused any further comment.
Martin XB-48, 45-59585, makes first flight, a 37-minute, 73-mile hop from Martin's Baltimore, Maryland plant to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, but blows all four tires on its fore-and-aft mounted undercarriage on landing when pilot O. E. "Pat" Tibbs, Director of Flight for Martin, applies heavy pressure to specially designed, but very slow to respond, insensitive air-braking lever. Tibbs and co-pilot E. R. "Dutch" Gelvin are uninjured.
First prototype Gloster E.1/44, SM809, final assembly completed July 1947 at Bentham Experimental Department, taken by road to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down, never makes it. En route, vehicle carrying it apparently jack-knives while descending hill, crashes into stone wall, airframe damaged beyond repair. It was news of this accident that alerted the British public to the existence of a new Gloster fighter design.
RAFBristol Brigand TF.1, RH742, assigned to the A&AEE, piloted by F/L T. Morren, failed to pull out of firing pass during exercise in the Lyme Bay area off the Dorset coast, entered slow roll and lost speed while inverted, into spiral dive into sea, killing both crew. It was thought that one of the dive brakes may have failed. This was the first fatal accident in the type.
A pilot assigned to Eglin Field, Florida, is KWF during an attempted emergency landing in a Lockheed P-80 at that base on Tuesday afternoon. Capt. Lawson L. Lipscomb of Houston, Texas, radioed that he was having difficulty with the jet and was returning to the Eglin main base where emergency preparations had been made on the runways, but the fighter came down just west of the airfield.
First (of four) Saab J 21R jet conversions from Saab J 21A-1, 21119, first flown 10 March 1947 after modification, is destroyed this date in a mid-air explosion.
Second prototype Westland Wyvern TF Mk. 1, (N.11/44), TS375, powered by Rolls-Royce Eagle, crashes during attempted forced landing at RAE Farnborough after its propeller stopped, killing Westland test pilot Squadron Leader Peter J. Garner, late of the RAF. Aircraft was to rendezvous for air-to-air photography for Flight's renowned photographer John Yoxall, but before photo shoot can take place, a bearing fails and both contra-props stop, pilot unable to round-off properly from steep dive due to immense drag of eight stopped blades, drops heavily into the intended field, breaks into pieces, pilot unconscious, airframe burns almost completely.
Only accident of the Martin XB-48 test programme occurs when pilot E. R. "Dutch" Gelvin tries to abort takeoff in first prototype, 45-59585, from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, when fire warning light comes on as engines reach full power. He retards throttle and applies brakes but bomber does not slow. As he runs out of runway and as the brake pressure bleeds off, he has a choice of running into the Chesapeake Bay or heading for the mudflats – he opts for the latter. He turns off the runway, tries to retract the undercarriage, runs across a ditch, a road, another ditch, left outrigger gear collapses and jet slides to stop leaning to port, just 50 feet short of a Navy doctor's home. Damage is minimal, limited to gear doors, outrigger, and flaps. Cause was the emergency fuel system, designed to maintain engine power at 94 percent, regardless of throttle position. This will be eliminated in second prototype.
Lt. Roger L. Miller, flying a Marine Corps Vought F4U Corsair, crashes into the sea during dive bombing practice. His body was not recovered. He was the father of Roger L. Miller Jr. and his second son was born the following day. His name was Stephen. He was the husband of Genevieve (Slattery) Miller.
Eglin AFB, Florida, suffers second accident in two days when Douglas A-26 Invader from Biggs AFB, El Paso, Texas, goes down in the Gulf of Mexico S of Destin, Florida. Two of three crew survive by parachuting from stricken bomber, TDY here for firing exercises over the Gulf. First Lieutenant John Kubo and T/Sgt. Joseph A. Riley (ages, hometowns not given) are rescued by Eglin crash boats. KWF is T/Sgt. John E. Brizendine, officially listed as missing.
Second Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak, BuNo 37971, NACA 141, crashes on takeoff on 20th flight for NACA (46th total take-off) at Edwards AFB, California, due to compressor disintegration that cut control runs in fuselage, killing NACA pilot Howard C. Lilly. Lilly is the first NACA pilot to die while on duty, and the first pilot who had flown at supersonic speed to be killed.
In the early evening, ex-RAFHandley Page Halifax C.MK 8, registered G-AIZO, ex-PP293, and operated by Bond Air Services Ltd. carrying a cargo of apricots from Valencia, Spain, crashes at Studham, Bedfordshire while on a Standard Beam Approach (SBA) to RAF Bovingdon in bad weather. After a steep turn to port and losing height rapidly, the Halifax sideslips towards the ground until, seeming to recover and flying straight and level and with engines at full power, the aircraft strikes the ground flat and disintegrates, breaking into its component sections. Miraculously, the crew escape alive. After initial suspicions that the cargo may have shifted in flight, the subsequent AAIB report blames loss of control by the pilot while the aircraft was too close to the ground for recovery.
The second Supermarine E.10/44, TS413, is lost while undergoing trials with a 270 gallon ventral fuel tank, A&AEE pilot Lt. T. J. A. Joyce-King, Royal Navy, killed. Loss was thought to be probably caused by rudder lock-over, sometimes experienced in a sideslip while carrying the large ventral tank. This was cured by adding a long dorsal fin on all production Attackers.
A USAFDouglas C-47A-30-DK Skytrain, 43-48256 crashes near Wiesbaden, Germany, killing three crew. This was the first accident during the Berlin Airlift. KWF were 1st Lt. George B. Smith, 1st Lt. Leland V. Williams, and Karl v. Hagen of the Department of the Army. (One source incorrectly lists this crash as involving a C-54 Skymaster.)
On first flight test of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45–524, (the second of two prototypes), McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch successfully detaches from trapeze carried on Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", but when he tries to hook up after free flight, the small fighter, buffeted in turbulence from the bomber, swings violently forward, smashes canopy against the trapeze, knocking the pilot's helmet off. Schoch successfully belly lands on dry lakebed at Muroc Air Force Base, California, suffering little damage.
Two separate accidents kill 13 U.S. airmen, this date. Nine are killed aboard an Army Douglas C-117A-1-DK Skytrain, 45-2554, c/n 18557/34212, 45–2554, near Newton, New Jersey, after a mid-air collision with an Army North American B-25J-30-NC Mitchell, 44-86870. The bomber suffers damage to a wingtip but lands safely. In a separate accident, two C-47 Skytrains engaged in the Berlin Airlift collide in mid-air near Ravolzhausen, killing two crew on each airlifter. Killed in the C-47s were Maj. Edwin C. Diltz, Capt. William R. Howard, Capt. Joel M. DeVolentine, and 1st Lt. William T. Lucas. Capt. Howard was piloting C-47A-80-DL, 43-15116, while Capt. DeVolentine was flying C-47A-90-DL, 43-16036, c/n 20502.
The only SilverplateBoeing B-29 Superfortress to be part of the strike package on both atomic missions over Japan, Boeing B-29-40-MO Superfortress, 44-27353, "The Great Artiste", of the 509th Composite Group, deployed to Goose Bay Air Base, Labrador for polar navigation training, aborts routine training flight due to an engine problem, makes downwind landing, touches down halfway down runway, overruns onto unfinished extension, groundloops to avoid tractor. Structural damage at wing joint so severe that Superfortress never flies again. Despite historic significance, airframe is scrapped at Goose Bay in September 1949.
First prototype USAFNorth American XB-45 Tornado, 45-59479, in a dive test at Muroc Air Force Base, California, to test design load factor, suffers engine explosion, tearing off cowling panels that shear several feet from the horizontal stabilizer, aircraft pitches up, and both wings tear off under negative g load. Crew has no ejection seats, and George Krebs and Nick Piccard are killed.
On fifth flight of the second prototype McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45–524, McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch unhooks from trapeze carried on Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", and for the first time retracts the small fighter's nose hook in flight. But when he extends it to reconnect with the mothership, buffeting over the open nose hook well (previously flown taped closed) causes the Goblin to be too unstable for reconnection. The hook is broken in the attempts, and Schoch belly lands on the dry lake at Muroc Air Force Base for the second time. This was the last flight of the second prototype.
Boeing RB-29A Superfortress, 44-61999, "Overexposed", of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 91st Reconnaissance Group, 311th Air Division, Strategic Air Command, USAF, crashes on Shelf Moor, Bleaklow, in between Manchester and Sheffield, Derbyshire, while descending through cloud. All 13 crew KWF. It is doubtful they ever saw the ground. The time was estimated from one of the crew members wrist watch. The plane, piloted by Captain L. P. Tanner, was on a short flight, carrying mail and the payroll for American service personnel based at USAF Burtonwood. The flight was from Scampton near Lincoln to Burtonwood near Warrington, a flight of less than an hour. Low cloud hung over much of England, which meant the flight had to be flown on instruments. The crew descended after having flown for the time the crew believed it should have taken them to cross the hill. Unfortunately the aircraft had not quite passed the hills and struck the ground near Higher Shelf Stones, being destroyed by fire.
A Boeing DB-17G Flying Fortress, 44-83678 returning to Eglin AFB, Florida from Fort Wayne, Indiana, crashes in woods SE of Auxiliary Field 2, Pierce Field, crashing and burning NE of the runway at Eglin main base early Friday. All five on board are KWF, including Lt. Col. Frederick W. Eley, 43, of Shalimar, Florida, staff judge advocate at Eglin for nearly three years – he was returning from his grandmother's funeral in Portland, Indiana; Maj. Bydie J. Nettles, 29, who lived in Shalimar, Florida but was originally from Pensacola, Florida, group adjutant for the 3203rd Maintenance and Supply section; Capt. Robert LeMar, 31, Ben's Lake, Eglin AFB, test pilot with the 3203rd; crew chief M/Sgt. Carl LeMieux, 31, of Milton, Florida; and Sgt. William E. Bazer, 36, assistant engineer, Destin, Florida. Bazer's wife was the Eglin base librarian.
Second prototype Republic XR-12 Rainbow, 44-91003, crashes at 1300 hrs. while returning to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The number 2 (port inner) engine exploded as the aircraft was returning from a photographic suitability test flight. The pilot was unable to maintain control due to violent buffeting, and he ordered the crew to bail out. Five of the seven crew escaped safely, including pilot Lynn Hendrix, rescued by Eglin crash boats and helicopters. Airframe impacts two miles S of the base, in the Choctawhatchee Bay. Sgt. Vernon B. Palmer, 20, and M/Sgt. Victor C. Riberdy, 30, who lived at Auxiliary Field 5, but was from Hartford, Connecticut, are KWF.
Crash of a Lockheed F-80A-10-LO Shooting Star, 44-85438, c/n 080-1461, kills Col. Robert Lewis Coffey, Jr., USAF Reserve, while on take-off from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, at 1640 hrs. during cross-country proficiency flight. Coffey, a World War II ace (six victories) during 97 missions in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and deputy group commander of the 365th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, who had been shot down and evaded capture, had resigned his regular commission to enter politics. He was elected to the 81st United States Congress (D-Pa.) and was on an Air Force training flight while the House was in recess when he died at age 30. He and fellow Hell Hawks pilot William D. Ritchie had departed Kirtland after refuelling for March AFB, California, but due to apparent engine failure on take-off, the fighter never rose above 25 feet, skidded off end of runway, cartwheeled across an arroyo, and broke apart but did not burn. Coffey was killed instantly. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The House of Representatives recesses for one day in his honor.
First prototype (of two) of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45–523, makes its only flight, piloted by McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch. After launching from trapeze suspended below Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", pilot is unable to hook up for retrieval and belly lands on dry lakebed at Muroc Air Force Base, California. After only six total flights by the Goblin, totalling ~2½ hours of flight time, the U.S. Air Force abandons the test program. Both prototypes are preserved in museum collections.
A USAFFairchild C-82A Packet, 48–572, c/n 10207, of the 1227th Air Base Group, Goose Bay, Labrador, veers off runway during takeoff at primitive Arctic Isachsen airstrip, Isachsen weather station, Ellef Ringnes Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, at 1745 hrs. Zulu. Despite crew attempts to keep the aircraft from drifting to the left, the port landing gear catches a snow bank, increasing veer, then port propeller strikes snow pack at 90 mph and 2800 rpm, ripping engine from mount and making aircraft uncontrollable. Three crew uninjured but aircraft written off, abandoned on site. Hull used for a shelter for a time. Wreckage still on site. The C-82 had delivered an engine and parts to repair a stranded Douglas C-54D-5-DC Skymaster, 42-72614, with a failed number 2 engine. The position of the Skymaster had required a downwind takeoff run.
SilverplateBoeing B-29-35-MO Superfortress, 44-27299,. of the 97th Bomb Group, Biggs AFB, Texas, suffers fire in number 4 (starboard outer) engine shortly after take-off for routine navigation and radar training mission. Unable to extinguish blaze, crew bails out but navigator's parachute does not open and he is killed – believed that he had struck his head on nosegear operating assembly while departing bomber. B-29 makes two-mile circle, then comes down 35 miles NE of El Paso, Texas, exploding on impact.
Sole Sukhoi Su-15 (Aircraft P) twin-engined jet all-weather interceptor develops severe vibration during 39th test flight, breaks up in mid-air forcing pilot S. N. Anokhin to eject. Project abandoned, second prototype never finished.
Sole prototype reconnaissance Gloster Meteor FR Mk. 5, VT347, breaks up in the air during its first flight, killing pilot Rodney Dryland. This version is not proceeded with.
A Fairchild C-82A-15-FA Packet,44-23014, c/n 10058, crashes into a parking lot in Area B of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. While conducting routine drop testing in Area C of the base, the C-82 attempted an emergency landing in Area B. With its electrical system down and the right engine on fire, the plane landed ~three-quarters down the runway, running off the end of the runway across a grassy area, plowing through a steel fence, and ran over a number of cars in the main parking lot near Highway 4 before flipping onto its back. Firecrews were on the scene immediately. The only person killed was MSgt Lubitz, Flight Test Division, who jumped from the plane just before it hit the fence. The other four crew were only slightly injured and no one on the ground was hurt.
Second of three Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 jet-powered flying-boat fighter prototypes, TG267, design specification E.6/44, crashes into the sea during practice for an air show, killing the pilot. Design not placed in production.
First Convair B-36 Peacemaker loss occurs when B-36B 44-92079, of the 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, crashes into Lake Worth during a night "maximum effort" mission takeoff from Carswell AFB, Texas, killing five of 13 crew. Cause attributed to two propellers going into reverse pitch. Wreckage removed from lake and scrapped.
First Avro 707 delta-wing research aircraft, VX784, first flown 6 September 1949 (one source says 4 September), crashes near Blackbushe on test flight out of Boscombe Down, killing Avro test pilot Flt. Lt. Eric Esler. Cause never established.
The first (of only two) prototypes of the Kellett XR-10 helicopter, 45-22793, crashes due to a control system failure, killing Kellett's chief test pilot, Dave Driskill. The project was abandoned shortly thereafter.
Douglas C-47A-90-DL Skytrain, 43-16062, c/n 20528, of the 6th Rescue Squadron, Air Rescue Service, MATS, based at Goose Bay, Labrador, fails to gain sufficient airspeed on takeoff from primitive Isachsen airstrip, abandoned Isachsen weather station, Ellef Ringnes Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, at 1800 hrs. Zulu, lifting off twice before landing gear/skis contacted rising terrain and collapsed. Cause was icing and overload conditions. Four crew and six passengers suffer only minor injuries. Airframe abandoned in place. It is still there.
A Lockheed P-38L Lightning, NX26297 flown by a Bolivian Air Force pilot, collides in midair with Eastern Airlines Flight 537, a Douglas DC-4 airliner, N88727, on its final approach to National Airport. All 55 people on board the Douglas DC-4 die; the P-38 pilot survived with injuries. Bridaux was considered one of Bolivia's most experienced pilots. Among the dead were Congressman George J. Bates and former Congressman Michael J. Kennedy. DC-4 wreckage comes down on Virginia shoreline of the Potomac River, north of Mount Vernon. It was (at the time) the worst plane crash in the history of civil aviation. The P-38 pilot was accused of causing the accident, later tried and cleared of the charges, which now is believed to have been an ATC error.
Fairey Gannet, VR546, crashes on take-off from Fairey's flight test airfield at White Waltham, Berkshire, following violent porpoising at unstick speed. Repairs take three months and test flying does not resume until March 1950.
^Zichek, Jared A., "The Boeing XF8B-1 Fighter: Last of the Line", Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, Pennsylvania, 2007, Library of Congress Control Number 2006929193, ISBN 0-7643-2587-6, pages 24–25.
^Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
^Merlin, Peter W., and Moore, Tony, "X-Plane Crashes: Exploring Experimental, Rocket Plane, and Spycraft Incidents, Accidents and Crash Sites", Specialty Press, North Branch, Minnesota, 2008, Library of Congress card number 2008032059, ISBN 978-1-58007-121-5, page 141.
^"A Japanese rara avis...The Giken Fighter", Air International, Bromley, Kent, UK, May 1977, Volume 12, Number 5, pp.254–255 .
^Grivno, Steve, "Last Flight of 'Zebra 442' ", Air Enthusiast, Stamford, Lincs., UK, Number 125, September–October 2006, pp.46–55.
^Pape, Garry R., and Harrison, Ronald C., "Dark Lady, Pt. II – The Further Adventures of Northrop's Flying Spider Ship...From P-61B Through P-61E", Airpower, Granada Hills, California, November 1976, Volume 6, Number 6, pp.10–24.
^Stamford, Lincs., UK, FlyPast, "Flying-Boats of the RAF: From 'Shrimp' to Shetland ", November 1994, No. 160, pp.28–29.
^Richard H. Campbell (2005). The Silverplate Bombers: A History and Registry of the Enola Gay and Other B-29s Configured to Carry Atomic Bombs. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 48, 59. ISBN978-0-7864-2139-8.
^Mueller, Robert, "Air Force Bases Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982", United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1989, ISBN 978-0-912799-53-7, p. 245.
^Olds, Robin, with Olds, Christina, and Rasimus, Ed, "Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds", St. Martin's Press, New York, 2010, LCCN2009-45740, ISBN 978-0-312-56023-2, pages 170–172.
^Bowman, Martin W., "Vought F4U Corsair", The Crowood Press Ltd., Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK, 2002, ISBN 978-1-86126-492-3, p. 117.
^ abFrancillon, René J., "From Torpedo and Scout Bombers to Attack Aircraft", Air International, Stamford, Lincs, UK, October 1995, Volume 49, Number 4, p. 237.
^Polmar, Norman, and Norris, Robert S., "The U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: A History of Weapons and Delivery Systems Since 1945", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2009, ISBN 978-1-55750-681-8, LCCN2008-54725, p. 185.
^Associated Press, "11 Killed in Vermont Crash of Army Bomber: Superfortress Explodes After Hitting Peak – Desperate Signals Seen By Villagers Shortly Before Explosion Heard", The State, Columbia, South Carolina, Monday 16 June 1947, No. 20,446, p. 1.
^Campbell, John M., "American Bomber Aircraft Vol. II: Boeing B-29 Superfortress", Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, Pennsylvania, 1997, Library of Congress Card Number 97-66913, ISBN 0-7643-0272-8, pages 220–221.
^Mueller, Robert, "Air Force Bases Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982", United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1989, ISBN 978-0-912799-53-7, p. 123.
^Polmar, Norman, and Norris, Robert S., "The U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: The History of Weapons and Delivery Systems Since 1945", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2009, LCCN2008-54725, ISBN 978-1-55750-681-8, p. 234.
^"Warbird Report", Air Classics, Canoga Park, California, April 1975, Volume 11, Number 4, p. 17.
^Cornelisse, Diane G., Chief, ASC History Office, "Against the Wind: 90 Years of Flight Test in the Miami Valley,", History Office, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Material Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, 1994, pages vii, 21.