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.
First of only two prototypes of the Fairchild XNQ-1 Navy trainer contender, BuNo 75725, written off in a crash.
A Boeing B-50A-10-BO Superfortress, 46-021, c/n 15741 of the 3200th Proof Test Group out of Eglin AFB, crash lands in the Choctawhatchee Bay, northwest Florida, killing two of the 11 crew. Nine escape from the downed aircraft following the forced landing. The airframe settles in eight to ten feet of mud at a depth of 38 feet (12 m). Divers recover the body of flight engineer M/Sgt. Claude Dorman, 27, of Kingston, New Hampshire, from the nose of the bomber on Monday, 8 January. The body of S/Sgt. William Thomas Bell, 21, aerial photographer, who lived in Mayo, Florida, is recovered on Tuesday, 9 January, outside the plane from beneath the tail. The Eglin base public information officer identified the surviving crew as 1st Lt. Park R. Bidwell, instructor pilot; 1st Lt. Vere Short, pilot; 1st Lt. James S. Wigg, co-pilot; Maj. William C. McLaughlin, bombardier; and S/Sgt. Clifford J. Gallipo, M/Sgt. Alton Howard, M/Sgt. William J. Almand, T/Sgt. Samuel G. Broke, and Cpl. William F. Fitzpatrick, crewmen.
A Waco G-15A assault glider, 45-5548, of the 44085th (?) ABS, 14th Air Force, piloted by 2d Lt. Robert D. Henley, of Columbia, Missouri, crash lands on Friday the 13th at Lawson Air Force Base, Georgia, on the Fort Benning reservation, resulting in fatalities to all 13 on board. Two G-15As had been released by a Fairchild C-82 towplane and were sloping in for what appeared to be a normal landing when one tipped sideways and smashed into the ground with a "tremendous roar" that spread wreckage over 700 feet of the runway. An enlisted man who witnessed the accident, stated that "bodies spilled out in every direction." Two Air Force officers and eleven paratroop students of Company A, Airborne Battalion, died in the accident. The paratroopers were scheduled to "graduate" on 14 January. "First reports said a sudden, strong wind current caused a wing to rip into the ground. But officers later said they did not know the cause." An observer in the control tower said that it happened so quickly that when he took his eyes from the apparently normal glider for a split-second he missed the crash. "Two gliders were coming in for a normal landing approach," said Cpl. James P. Harr of Detroit. "Everything appeared normal, so I turned to look at the C-82 that had released them. Then I turned back to look at the gliders and saw a pile of debris out there. What I thought was debris turned out to be bodies." The other glider landed safely. The Air Force identified twelve of the victims as: 2d Lt. Robert D. Henley, pilot; Sgt. 1/c Eugene S. Jones, 25, instructor, Clay, West Virginia; Sgt. Frank C. Rathberger, 23, Portland, Oregon; Pvt. Alfonso Romero, 18, Berkeley, California; Pvt. Alvin F. Runnell, 19, Creekside, Pennsylvania; Pvt. Gordon A. Smith, 23, Columbus, Georgia; Pvt. Robert Snell, Jr., 18, Nashville, Tennessee; Pvt. James H. Stacey, 23, St. Helen's, Lee County, Kentucky; Pvt. Rodney R. Toeppel, 18, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; Pvt. Norman H. Vlands, 18, Holly Oak, Delaware; Pvt. Townsend E. Tomlinson, 19, Dover, Delaware; and Pvt. Richard L. Wedeikis, 18, of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The name of the second pilot was withheld. Air Force officials at Smyrna Air Force Base, near Nashville, Tennessee, which has jurisdiction over training flights at Fort Benning, began a full investigation into the cause of the accident. These were the first glider fatalities at Fort Benning since 1946.
Twin-engine Beechcraft D-18 cargo air service aircraft flying from Dayton, Ohio to Albuquerque, New Mexico, crashed four miles (6 km) west of West Mesa Airport with a pilot and two AEC security guards aboard. Plane was making an approach to a landing strip when it encountered a cloud and broke off the approach. While circling around the mesa atop which the airstrip was located, it hit a steep slope in an upright position. Completely demolished by the ensuing impact and fire, killing all three men aboard, the classified cargo of 792 HEdetonator units in 22 boxes was destroyed – salvaged from the wreckage. As there was no evidence of sabotage, and since none of the detonators appeared to be missing, the incident was not reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On its 102nd flight, the USAF Northrop XF-89 Scorpion, 46–678, crashed on Rosecrans Avenue the boundary line of the cities of El Segundo and Manhattan Beach after making a high-speed low pass for Air Force officials at Hawthorne Airport (Northrop Field). Right horizontal stabilizer peeled off, aircraft disintegrated, throwing pilot Charles Tucker clear, parachuted safely, but flight engineer Arthur Turton died in mishap. Aircraft impacted five miles (8 km) from factory, setting alight a Standard Oil below-ground storage tank. Cause was found to be high-frequency, low-amplitude aeroelastic flutter of both the vertical and horizontal stabilizers.
First Northrop YB-49, 42-102367, c/n 1487, is wrecked this date during a high-speed taxi accident at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Outfitted with additional flight performance measuring instruments after the loss of the second YB-49 on 5 June 1948, the first YB-49 (converted from the second YB-35), being operated by an Air Force crew, piloted by Major Russell E. Schleeh, (19 February 1919 – 6 May 2012) engaged in testing the stabilizer response during a high-speed taxi run, experiences a violent nose wheel shimmy. Before the aircraft can be brought under control, the nose gear collapses and the airframe breaks in two, destroying it. Pilot suffers a broken back, and the flight engineer a broken wrist. Reclamation authorized by Northrop, for Air Material Command, 28 June 1950.
First Mikoyan-Gurevich I-330 SI, prototype for the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17, crashes this date. First flown 14 January 1950, piloted by Ivan Ivashchenko, he is killed when the aircraft develops flutter which tears off his horizontal tail, causing a spin and crash. Lack of wing stiffness also resulted in aileron reversal, which was discovered and fixed.
Martin JRM-3 Marsflying boat, BuNo 76822, c/n 9266, "Marshall Mars", destroyed by fire near Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands – force landed in Keehi Lagoon, Oahu, with engine fire. Crew were rescued after which aircraft exploded. Although an order for 20 was placed by the Navy, with the end of the war, this was reduced to the five already in production.
Sole prototype, Nord NC 1080 single-engine naval fighter, F-WFKZ, first flown 29 July 1949, is completely destroyed in a flight accident. Pilot Pierre Gallay dies in the accident. Cause is never determined and the project is abandoned.
Prototype SNCASO 4000, France's first jet bomber design, F-WBBL, rolled out 5 March 1950, suffers undercarriage collapse during taxiing trials causing extensive damage. Complex gear design proves too fragile for aircraft weight. With repairs and strengthened gear, the bomber makes its first and only flight on 15 March 1951 but design is found to be underpowered and unstable and never again takes to the air.
While flying Supermarine Attacker F.1, WA469, to test airbrakes, Supermarine pilot Leslie R. Colquhoun makes a high-speed run over South Marston airfield, experiences a sudden nose-down pitch as the starboard wingtip folds upwards. Using only the rudder – the ailerons had jammed – he makes a wide circuit and touches down at ~200 knots (370 km/h), coming to a stop just short of the end of the runway with a burst tyre. He receives the George Medal for saving the aircraft under daunting circumstances.
First prototype of Arsenal VG 90 turbojet strike fighter design for the Aéronavale, VG-90.01, F-WFOE, first flown 27 September 1949, crashes this date killing the pilot Pierre Decroo.
First of two RAFCierva W.11 Air Horse helicopters, VZ724, G-ALCV, (at the time, the largest helicopter type flown), breaks up in flight and crashes due to fatigue failure of a swashplate carrier driving link in the front rotor hub, killing all three crew: Ministry of Supply chief helicopter test pilot Squadron Leader F. J. "Jeep" Cable, Cierva's Chief Test Pilot Alan Marsh and flight test engineer Joseph K. Unsworth.
The McDonnell XF-88A Voodoo, 46–526, piloted by Gen. Frank K. Everest, is damaged in a belly landing after engine failure at Edwards AFB, California, this date. The XF-88A will eventually be sent to the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory to serve as a spares source in 1955 in support of flight testing of the XF-88B, 46–525, through 1956, after which both airframes are scrapped.
The first production North American AJ-1 Savage, BuNo 122590, c/n 156-38465, crashes and burns at ~2030 hours ET at Huddleston, Virginia, in Bedford County, whilst on a ferry flight from Edwards AFB, California, to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Lt. Cmdr. Willard Sampson, USN, and civilians Holiday Lee Turner of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, and James A. Moore, Jr., an employee of North American Aviation, are KWF. On a hot sticky summer night, with no air conditioning, Larry Lynch, then 12 years old, and his family were sitting on the porch when "they heard a plane approaching from the west. 'It made a strange noise and then there was a loud pop,' said Lynch of Bedford. 'It was also cloudy, so you didn't see all of it until it broke through the clouds pretty low.' The plane was in a dive. Lynch recalls hearing the plane crash moments later about two miles from his family's home on the J. A. Laughlin farm in Huddleston. 'There was a neighbor, and my dad and I got in the truck and went over to the crash site,' recalled Lynch. 'There were probably less than 10 vehicles when we got there.' Hundreds of other cars would follow in the hour before the sheriff's department and fire department arrived. The drivers turned their cars so the headlights shone on the scene. The crash sight was on fire and the stench of gasoline filled the air. Lynch remembers seeing plane and body parts strewn across the field. 'It was a pretty gruesome sight,' he said. 'I was 12 years old and it made a very big impression on me.'" In 2002, a permanent memorial was erected near the crash site at Glenwood Sunoco, 2074 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway in Huddleston, to the three men who died. "The memorial was the brainchild of Jeffrey Clemens, then pastor of New Prospect Church in Bedford. A former Army pastor, he was interested in erecting memorials at the sites of five military plane crashes that killed 13 men in Bedford County from 1943 to 1950. The community came together for the task, raising money and arranging dedication ceremonies. Richard McGann, president of McGann Masonry in Lynchburg built the markers. At the Huddleston crash site, an 868-pound granite marker was dedicated on 10 November 2002.
Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Mervin C. “Butch” Hare of the 803 Naval Fighter Squadron departs from Montreal, Quebec in Hawker Sea Fury FB.11, TF997, but fails to arrive at home base of HMCS Shearwater, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Despite a massive international air search, nothing is found. In February 1968, two foresters discovered the wreckage in a remote area of Maine. The Sea Fury had struck a tree on top of the ridge with its port wing root and struck the ground within about 150 feet. The force of the impact dug a 15 foot diameter crater and the aircraft broke up and scattered, within a 50 yard radius. There had been several small fires. Lt. Hare’s parachute harness pieces were later found near the crater, ending an initial speculation that he had bailed out and perished somewhere else in the Maine woods.
Third prototype of three Vought XF7U-1 Cutlass twin-tailed fighters, BuNo 122474, suffers engine explosion during flight exhibition at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Vought test pilot Paul Thayer ejects, parachutes into two feet of water, airframe impacts in dense woods on Drum Point island in the Patuxent River. An account in Naval Aviation News states that Thayer had made a couple of high speed passes over the field and was at ~15,000 feet when he had a flameout. Unable to get a relight, he attempts to roll the fighter inverted and unfastens his belt to drop out of the cockpit. Unable to get the jet to roll, he ejects at ~2,000 feet, believed to be the first ejection in which the pilot was not securely belted into the seat. Pilot is returned safely to the admiral's reviewing stand, show announcer inquires "What will you do for an encore Mr. Thayer?" He learns that he suffered fracture to small bone at base of spine – later tells Vought management that he was the only manager who actually "broke his ass for the Company."
A USAFBoeing B-50D-110-BO Superfortress, 49–267, of the 97th Bomb Wing out of Biggs AFB, Texas, carrying a nuclear weapon bomb casing (but no fuel capsule), stalls at 7,000 feet (2,100 m) at about 1454 hrs. EST, crashes between Lebanon and Mason, Ohio, killing four officers and twelve airmen. No radio communication was received before the crash, and although all crew wore parachutes, none bailed out. HE in bomb casing explodes on impact leaving crater 200X25 feet, explosion heard for 25 miles (40 km). One account states that the weather was clear, but Joe Baugher reports that bomber was in a storm system.
During its takeoff run on Runway 21 at Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base, Fairfield, California, a USAF Boeing B-29-85-BW Superfortress, 44-87651, of the 99th Bomb Squadron, 9th Bomb Group, 9th Bomb Wing, carrying a Mark 4 nuclear bomb, suffers a runaway No. 2 propeller. The pilot feathers the propeller as the craft lifts off, but the No. 3 propeller then begins to overspeed, and the pilot is unable to retract the landing gear. The No. 3 propeller is brought under control with a reduction in manifold pressure; however, with the No. 2 propeller feathered, the landing gear down, and the No. 3 engine delivering reduced power, the aircraft is unable to climb. Concerned that the aircraft cannot clear rising terrain ahead, aircraft and mission commander Brig. Gen. Robert F. Travis orders a return to the airfield. The pilot completes a 180-degree turn, but he and the copilot are subsequently unable to correct a descending turn to the left, and the No. 3 propeller begins to run away again; realizing that a crash is imminent, the pilots allow the aircraft to continue turning left to avoid mobile homes in their flight path. The B-29 crashes along the airfield perimeter at a speed of 120 mph (190 km/h) in a wing-low attitude, breaks apart, and catches fire. 25 minutes later, after emergency personnel arrive at the scene, a huge explosion occurs, killing 19 aboard the plane and on the ground, including Travis; the airfield is later renamed Travis Air Force Base in his honor. Numerous nearby mobile homes are severely damaged and many civilians, firefighters, and USAF ground crew are injured- 60 required hospital treatment and 47 suffered superficial injuries according to newspaper reports, but other sources place the total as high as 173. The USAF attributes the explosion to ten or twelve conventional 500-pound HE bombs aboard the B-29 and claims that the nuclear bomb's fuel capsule was aboard a different aircraft, but admits that the bomb casing contained depleted uranium used as ballast, and later orders a public health assessment of the crash site. Investigators attribute the No. 2 propeller problems to improper control assembly adjustment, and hypothesize that the No. 3 propeller suffered a similar fault, but due to the destruction caused by the crash and explosion, neither this hypothesis nor the cause of the landing gear problems can be confirmed. Additionally, investigators fault the pilot for failing to attempt procedures that could have allowed partial control of the runaway propellers, and note that maintenance personnel had been ordered to repair the No. 2 propeller controls several days prior to the crash; however, it is not possible to confirm that repairs were actually performed, as the responsible crewmen perished in the disaster. USAF B-29 operating procedures are changed; aircraft with the same type of propellers as 44-87651 are required to be test-flown after corrective maintenance, and the number of persons permitted aboard an operational flight is reduced to 16, as it is felt that overloading and an inadequate number of safety belts in the accident aircraft contributed to the high loss of life.
RAF Douglas Dakota C.4, KN630, of No. 52 Squadron crashes in dense jungle near Kampong Jenera during a target making and supply dropping mission, 12 dead. Nine Britons, along with three Malaysians on board, are killed when the Dakota crashes into a ravine near Kampung Jendera, in the Sungai Beluar valley in the communist-infested jungles of Gua Musang, Kelantan. The Britons who perished were identified as RAF crew pilot Lt Edward Robert Talbot, 27, from Dorchester; navigator Sgt Geoffrey Carpenter, 23, from West Norwood; and signaller Sgt Thomas O'Toole, 34, from Merthyr Tydfil. The Royal Army Service Corps air despatchers were Corporal Phillip Bryant, 25, from Southend-on-Sea; and Privates Peter Taylor, 20, from Bournemouth; Roy Wilson, 21, from Birkenhead and Oliver Goldsmith, 21, from Neston – all drivers. The passengers were army officer Major John Proctor and land development officer Anker Rentse. The Malaysians were police constable Mohammed Abdul Lalil Jalil, civilian Yaacob Mat and an Orang Asli guide, Saiap Alais Sherda, from the Sakai tribe. RAF records showed the plane, based in Changi, Singapore, had flown to Kota Baru with three crew and four despatchers. In Kota Baru, the aircraft picked up the five passengers and flew east of Kampung Jendera to drop a marker flare at a clearing for eight Lincoln bombers. "The aircraft made a second low-level pass to drop another marker flare when it is believed that it suffered engine trouble due to the adverse weather condition, making it unable to clear a ridge. It then rammed into trees and crashed into a ravine, killing all aboard. The crash happened when the country was struggling with communist insurgents, a period known as the Malayan Emergency (1948–60), when British, Commonwealth and other security forces in Malaya fought the insurgents. The Communist Party of Malaya had demanded Malaya's independence, but Britain responded by mounting a large-scale military and political counter-insurgency operation. Malaya finally won Independence on Aug 31, 1957." On 15 March 2012, the remains of the crew were reburied at the Commonwealth War Grave in Cheras with full military honours in the presence of both British and Malaysian Defence Ministry officials, and members of the Ex-British Army Association of Malaysia.
North American AJ-1 Savage, BuNo 124163, of VC-5, fails to climb out on launch from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, and goes into the water directly off the bow, reportedly off of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Plane Commander was LCDR Dave Purdon, the B/N was LTJG Ed Decker, and the Third Crewman was Chief Edward R. Barrett. Only Decker escapes from the wreckage with minor injuries to be rescued by the plane guard helicopter. Cause was possibly accidental engagement of the flight control gust locks. Newsreel footage of this accident was released through Movietone News.
A Fairchild C-82A-FA Packet, 45-57739, c/n 10109, of the 375th Troop Carrier Wing (Medium), en route from Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and due to land at Greenville AFB, South Carolina, at 2230 hrs., crashes near Pickens, South Carolina, ~40 miles W of the destination, shortly after 2200 hrs. this date. On approach to Greenville, the aircraft strikes Bully Mountain in northern Pickens County, killing three crew and one passenger. KWF are Capt. John Miles Stuckrath, pilot; 1st Lt. Robert P. Schmitt, co-pilot; and S/Sgt. John Davis Bloomer; all were attached to Greenville AFB and were part of a Pittsburgh reserve wing called to active duty on 15 October 1950. The passenger was S/Sgt. Walter O. Lott, of Pensacola, Florida. He was a member of a Maxwell AFB unit. "The plane apparently began to plunge after it sheared off tree tops. It cut a cyclonic gap through the immense trees for about 100 yards and plowed into the 2,500-foot mountain near its peak. The impact of the crash sent one motor hurling 800 feet down one side of the mountain, and the other motor landed 500 feet down the opposite side." A post-crash fire burned two acres of forest land. The aircraft had just been overhauled at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, and had refueled at Maxwell AFB before transiting to its new assignment at Greenville AFB.
First official test flight of the U.S. NavyVought XSSM-N-8 Regulus, FTV-1, (Flight Test Vehicle), '1', from Rogers Dry Lake, Edwards AFB, California, goes badly when, after reaching an altitude of several hundred feet after lift-off, the J33 jet-powered missile rolls violently right and crashes. Had it rolled to the left, it would likely have struck the USNLockheed TV-2 Seastar chaseplane piloted by Chuck Miller with Roy Pearson on board as missile controller. Cause is found to be a broken brass pin in the port elevator pump assembly that allowed the elevator to deploy, the pin having been worn out during months of ground test runs. Brass is subsequently replaced by steel pins, and problem is solved.
An AD-4 Skyraider of VA-115 crashes aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47).
First prototype Douglas XA2D-1 Skyshark, BuNo 122988, c/n 7045, crashes at Edwards AFB, California, on its 15th flight. Taken up by Navy Lt. Cdr. Hugh Wood for dive tests, the first was initiated from 30,000 feet. During the 5 g pullout from the second dive, begun at 20,000 feet, vapor begins trailing from the airframe, soon enveloping it, but stops when the ventral dive brakes are retracted. While turning back for a visual inspection from the ground, the XA2D begins losing altitude rapidly. Pilot attempts to land on the dry lakebed but is unable to flare properly and the dive angle is too steep. With the undercarriage in the down position, the airframe strikes the ground at high speed at a 30-degree angle, shearing off the gear, the prototype then sliding several hundred yards before burning, killing the pilot. Investigation finds that the starboard power section of the coupled Allison XT40A turboprop engine had failed and did not declutch, allowing the Skyshark to fly on the power of the opposite section, nor did the propellers feather. As the wings' lift disappeared, a fatal sink rate was induced. Additional instrumentation and an automatic decoupler are added to the second prototype, but by the time it is ready to fly on 3 April 1952, sixteen months have passed, and with all-jet designs being developed, the A2D program is essentially dead. Total flight time on the lost airframe was barely 20 hours.
Boeing B-50D-80-BO Superfortress, 48-0070, c/n 15879, of the Headquarters Squadron, 3077th Evaluation Group, Edwards AFB, California, piloted by Capt. William Alexander Bailey, Jr., and Maj. Gordon L. Payne, strikes a ridge in the Shadow Mountain range N of El Mirage Dry Lake, near Victorville, California, ~25 miles SE of Edwards AFB, while flying in overcast on approach to Edwards. All aboard are KWF. "In addition to Bailey and Payne, there were four Sergeants, and two civilians onboard. The sergeants were, Robert E. Mathusa, James H. Willingham, Lilburn N. Cate, and Carl A. Milhoan. The civilians were, C. A. White, and W. J. Christian. Both civilians worked for the Ryan Aircraft Co., and were classified as test engineers."
Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress bomber, 45-21771, c/n 13671, of the 3512th AMS, 3510th AMG, returning to Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, after a seven-hour training flight, crashed 10 miles SW of Seguin, Texas. At 8,000 feet the pilot, Captain Norman A. Bivens, cut off the automatic pilot and began descending through an overcast, flying on instruments. Bivens reported losing all flight instruments and the aircraft became uncontrollable. Six of the crew members were killed, while five others parachuted to safety.
Lockheed P2V-4 Neptune, BuNo 124227 , of VP-22, deployed to WestPac during the Korean War on 1 November 1950 and based at Naha Air Base, Okinawa, is lost this date due to starboard engine failure during takeoff. The P2V crashed and sank in 20 fathoms of water one mile off the end of the runway. There were 11 survivors and two crewmen were listed as missing (their bodies were later recovered). Crew: Pilot LCDR William R. McDowell (seriously injured), LT J. T. White (seriously injured), LT (jg) K. R. Kiddoo (minor injury), ENS W. E. Todd (minor injury), LCDR J. G. Thompson (seriously injured), ADC F. L. Gabbard (minor injury), AD2 J. H. Raby (missing), ALC W. M. Benson, Jr. (minor injury), AL3 B. G. Carter (missing), AT3 E. W. Ammons (minor injury), AT1 M. M. Iverson (minor injury), AO G. W. Wilt (minor injury), and AA C. D. Cowan (minor injury).
Major Raymond S. Wetmore, World War II ace (21.25 kills), and commander of the 59th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is killed this date in the crash of North American F-86A-5-NA Sabre, 48-0149, c/n 151-43517  at age 27. After a cross-country flight from Los Angeles, California, to Otis AFB, he was on his final approach when his plane suddenly shot up skyward, and then turned towards the ground where it crashed. Raymond was killed instantly. He was reported to have said that he had trouble steering and ejecting from the plane. He was also reported to have said to the tower that, "I'm going to go up and bring it down in Wakeby Lake, so I don't hit any houses." When he died, he left a widow and four children.
Sole prototype Hawker P.1081, converted from second prototype Hawker P.1052, VX279, with 5,000 lb (2,300 kg). s.t. Rolls-RoyceNeneturbojet, first flown 19 June 1950, crashes this date at high speed on the South Downs, killing pilot Squadron Leader T. S. "Wimpy" Wade, DFC, AFC, Hawker's chief test pilot. He attempts ejection but his non-Martin-Baker seat fails. Cause was never fully established, but aircraft may have gone out of control during dive and exceeded limitations, witnesses reported hearing sonic boom as it came down. Australian interest in building type under license disappears, both they and the Royal Air Force acquiring F-86s to fill requirement for a high-speed fighter. Program abandoned.
A Douglas C-47D Skytrain (built as a C-47B-1-DK), 43-48298, c/n 25559, of the 123d Air Base Group, Godman AFB, Kentucky, with nine officers and 12 enlisted men on board to attend the funeral of a brother pilot who died in a crash Thursday, crashes ~eight miles NE of Kanawha Airport, Charleston, West Virginia, when it clips the top of a hill at ~1156 hrs. Nineteen are killed and two suffer serious burns. Wreckage of the plane was scattered over an area 250 feet wide by 100 feet long. A section of earth was gouged out on the side of the hill where the plane struck. It then apparently vaulted over the top of the hill and struck 50 feet on the other side, where it sheared off trees. Several Air Force veterans said if the plane had been 30 feet higher it would have cleared the hill top. At the time of the crash it was misting rain and the ceiling was almost at tree-top level. Pilot was Lt. Col. James K. McLaughlin of Charleston, deputy commanding officer of the 123d Fighter-Bomber Wing, of which the men are members. The two injured men were taken to Staats Hospital, where attendants said they had a 50–50 chance of surviving. They were identified as Capt. Harry K. Blackhurst of Charleston and Maj. Isaac E. Bonifas of Portland, Indiana. The airmen were to comprise an honor guard for the funeral at St. Albans yesterday of Maj. Woodford W. (Jock) Sutherland, 34. Sutherland, who was also stationed at Godman Air Force Base, was killed in a ground crash when his F-51 collided with another fighter at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Cubana de AviaciónFlight 493, Douglas DC-4, registration CU-T188, (ex-C-54A-15-DC, 42-72263) c/n 10368, en route from Miami, Florida, United States, to Havana, Cuba, has a mid-air collision with US NavyBeechcraft SNB-1 Kansan, BuNo 39939, which was on an instrument training flight in the vicinity of Naval Air Station Key West at the same time. All 43 aboard the airliner and four on the SNB were killed. Flight 493 departed Miami at 1109 hrs. and was cleared to climb to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) on a direct heading to Key West. Approximately ten minutes later, the SNB-1 took off from NAS Key West for simulated instrument training. Although the flight was not cleared to a specific altitude or heading, standard instrument training procedures were in place. At 1149 hrs. Flight 493, heading south, and the SNB-1, heading west, collided over NAS Key West at an estimated altitude of 4,000 feet (1,200 m).
Convair B-36D-25-CF Peacemaker, 49-2658, of the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell AFB, Texas, collides with F-51D-25-NT Mustang, 44-84973, of the 185th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Oklahoma Air National Guard, out of Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City, during gunner training NE of Perkins, Oklahoma, 55 Miles NE of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at ~1325–1330 hours. Mustang pilot Lt. Fred Black killed, as well as 13 of 17 B-36 crew. Killed in the Peacemaker was pilot Capt. Harold Leslie Barry, 31, who was the pilot of a B-36 that crashed in British Columbia in February 1950. Five men were lost in that accident. All the survivors of the mid-air escaped from the aft compartment behind the bomb-bay. They were Tech. Sgt. Ellis E. Maxon, 31, of 104 Lockwood, Fort Worth, Texas, scanner; 1st. Lt. Elroy A. Melberg, 32, of 516 Yount, Fort Worth, flight engineer; Master Sgt. W.M. Blair, 31, of 4117 Surrey, Fort Worth, crew chief; and Tech. Sgt. Dick Thrasher of 4421 Sandage, Fort Worth, gunnery instructor. Thrasher had also survived bail out from the British Columbia crash.
A F4U-4 of VF-884 crashes off the bow of USS Boxer (CV-21).
A U.S. Navy Vought F4U-4 Corsair, assigned to Fighter Squadron 884 "Bitter Birds" crashes after experiencing an engine failure on takeoff from the aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21) on 19 May 1951 off Korea. The pilot, Lt.(jg) Oliver D. Droege, of Kansas City, Missouri (USA), was rescued by a helicopter.
RAFBristol Brigand B.1, VS857, delivered 13 May 1949, 'OB-K', of 45 Squadron, based at RAF Station Tengah, crashes at ~1130 hrs., this date in the Kranji River, Singapore, killing the navigator/bomb aimer, although the pilot, Allan Martin, and radar operator, Peter A. Weston, survive.The Straits Times, Singapore, reported that despite the efforts of a working party, the crewman's body still had not been recovered by nightfall of 18 June, the twisted wreckage being located in the tidal portion of the river where low-water periods are brief, complicating the salvage and recovery. Deployed to fight Communist insurgents during the Malayan Emergency, as it was politically referred to, the humid climate created operating problems for Brigands, not the least of which was a tendency to throw a propeller blade due to corrosion, the resultant imbalance shearing the engine from the wing, rendering the plane uncontrollable. VS857 lost its starboard engine in this manner. "Gas was spewing out and the aircraft was gyrotating, Alan could get no control at all except for the first couple of seconds, his words will never leave me, the plane was changing attitude all the way down, at first the engine bulkhead was acting like a dive brake just on one side, after that the controls gave up and she was in a dive, we hit the ground first at a slight angle, a bit of luck, (This all was surmised at the inquiry) the nose came away Alan was slung out for about 50/70 ft.into the water, it bounced on and over and `then` hit the water," recalled Weston. The wings and the fuselage demated on impact.
An infamous day in the history of RAF Biggin Hill when three Gloster Meteors and their pilots are killed in accidents, all three crashing in an area of about 100 yards. The first, a Mk.8, WB110, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Gordon McDonald of 41 Squadron, crashed shortly after take off, corkscrewing as pieces of structure fell from the aircraft. The aircraft hit a bungalow killing the pilot. The jet wash of his flight leader was named as a possible cause. Within seconds of this accident two Mk.4 Meteors of 600 Sqn., Royal Auxiliary Air Force, piloted by Sergeant Kenneth Clarkson and Squadron Leader Phillip Sandeman, both circling over the wreckage and preparing to land, collided at 2,000 feet (610 m) above the scene. Although Sandeman managed to bail out he was killed when his parachute failed to open. Clarkson was killed in his aircraft. A week after this incident, another Meteor overshot the runway, narrowly missing passing cars. After these incidents, several residents stated they would be "selling up" and there were calls for traffic lights to be sited on the Bromley road for use during take-offs and landings.Princess Elizabeth, soon to be Queen Elizabeth II, was visiting the station on this day.
The second prototype Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor, 46–681, had an engine failure during takeoff from Edwards AFB, California. Republic Aviation test pilot Carl Bellinger escaped from the aircraft just as the tail melted off; total flight time was a mere ninety seconds. By the time fire apparatus arrived, driving seven miles (11 km) across the dry lake bed, the tail section had been reduced to ashes.
A 7th Bomb WingConvair B-36 Peacemaker crew on a training mission out of Carswell AFB, Texas, to the Eglin AFB bombing range in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida panhandle to drop an unarmed obsolete Mark 4 nuclear gravity bomb on a water target. Due to past mechanical problems, the bombardier was briefed to open the bomb bay doors at the Initial Point (IP). Although the bomber's bombing navigation radar was still in the navigation mode, the bomb dropped unexpectedly when the bay doors were opened, and the 5,000 lb (2,300 kg). of high explosives in the weapon burst in the air over a non-designated target area. An intensive investigation concluded that a corroded D-2 switch, a hand-held bomb release switch, was found to be in the "closed" position and the bomb was dropped through equipment malfunction.
A BoeingBoeing B-50D-110-BO Superfortress, 49-0268, on test flight out of Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington after modifications, suffers problems immediately after take off, fails to gain altitude, comes down two miles (3 km) N of field, clipping roof of a brewery with the starboard wing, cartwheels into wooden Lester Apartments, wreckage and structure burns for hours. Six on bomber (three Air Force crew, three Boeing employees) and five on ground die.
Boeing XB-47-BO Stratojet, 46-065, first prototype of two, stalls on landing, suffers major structural damage. No injuries. Another source cites date of 18 August 1950.
A Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Shooting Star, 49-917, of the 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 52d Fighter-Interceptor Group, crashes on take off from McGuire Air Force Base into a scrub pine forest at adjacent Fort Dix, New Jersey, killing the two crew and spraying burning fuel over a group of 54 U.S. Army soldiers assigned to B battery of the Ninth division's 26th Field Artillery Battalion, wrapping up an army communications exercise, killing 11 and injuring 20. The trainer, unable to gain altitude, clips trees at the edge of a clearing and impacts 50 feet (15 m) from an army six-by-six troop carrier vehicle upon which some soldiers had already boarded. Others were lined up in formation close by. Eight died almost instantly and three succumbed later in hospital. All Army fatalities were 22 or younger, all hailed from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and all had been in the army for less than five months. Also killed were pilot Capt. William H. Raub, (also reported as William H. Rauh ), 31, of Seattle, and his passenger, Maj. Theodore Deakyne, 30, of Levittown, New York. "It was an unfortunate tragedy – a remarkable coincidence of circumstances which brought the plane to the spot where the men were on the verge of moving out. Thirty seconds later might have made a lot of difference," Lt. Bertram Brinley, Fort Dix public information officer, said.
Handley Page HP.88, VX330, a two-fifths scale flying testbed for the Handley Page HP.80 Victor bomber to prove crescent wing design, breaks up in flight when the rear fuselage separates during a manoeuvre. During a high-speed, low-level pass over Stansted's main runway, it suffered a failure of its slab-type tailplane's servo-control system, producing severe oscillations that subjected the airframe to excessive G-forces, causing the ship to break up, killing pilot D. J. P. Broomfield.
A Royal Air ForceBoeing Washington B.1, WF555, of 57 Squadron, RAF Waddington, experiences runaway propeller on number 3 (starboard inner) engine which hits number 4 (starboard outer) causing severe damage. Three crew in rear fuselage ordered to bail out before bomber makes successful wheels-up landing at a disused airfield near Amiens, France – no casualties, but airframe written off. Scrapped 3 January 1952.
French Leduc 0.22-01 ramjet-powered prototype interceptor is badly damaged in landing accident and the pilot seriously injured.
A Boeing B-29A-45-BN Superfortress, 44-61797, of the 3417th AMS, 3415th AMG, Lowry AFB, Colorado, piloted by James W. Shanks, trying to reach Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado, with one motor not working crashed into a row of residential homes, killing eight airmen. At least one civilian and five airmen were injured. Five houses were damaged—four of them demolished.
The 6555th Guided Missile Squadron at Cape Canaveral, Florida, launches Martin B-61 Matador, GM-547. Lift-off and flight were normal, but the missile did not respond properly to guidance signals, and it finally went out of control and fell into the Atlantic 15 minutes and 20 seconds after launch. The flight covered a distance of 105 miles.
10 Navy airmen are killed when a four-engine Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer patrol bomber, bound for NAS Alameda, California, dives into Corpus Christi Bay less than a mile from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. All aboard the plane are killed. KWF are: four officers, Lt. William Ervin Dozier, Ltjg Bertram Magna Roeder, Delangton Ernest Ruttledge, and Rodney Gwynn Williams; two Naval Air Cadets, Richard Wilfred Augrain, and Robert Benedict Nye; and four enlisted crew, Aviation Machinists Mate Airman Richard Charles Chase, Aviation Machinists Mate Third Class John Leonard Daffenberg, Airman Donald Jarrell Givens, and Airman Apprentice Robert Herman Steinbaugh.
A United States Air ForceBoeing B-29A-65-BN Superfortress, 44-62164, crashes at night. Suspected reason – Fuel line issues. The crew bailed out over a farmer's field 8 miles (13 km) N/5.5 miles W of Onaga, Kansas, United States. The captain died in the crash and one airman perished when his parachute failed to open. In addition, several cattle were killed. The surviving crew was fired at by the farmer, who believed them to be invading "ruskies".
While making a maximum gross weight takeoff at ~ 0345 hrs., a Convair B-36B-10-CF Peacemaker, 44-92050, c/n 47, failed to become safely airborne and crashed off the end of a runway at Fairchild AFB. The aircraft was airborne briefly for ~ a quarter mile, when one starboard engine began backfiring and caught fire, followed by the shutdown of all six engines. The aircraft then skidded on its nose for another quarter mile, struck a ditch, and exploded. A "large heavy object (of highly classified nature)" tore through the front of the plane on impact, causing severe injuries to many crewmen. Later, amid several smaller explosions, a huge single explosion shook the ground. Seventeen men were aboard the plane; 15 were killed and two survived with major injuries.Joe Baugher states that the aircraft failed to climb out due to mis-set elevator trim which kept nose down on takeoff.
On the eighth test flight of the first Convair YB-60-1-CF, 49-2676, a flutter condition resulted in the trim tab disintegrating and the rudder suffering severe torsional wrinkles while flying at 263 mph (423 km/h) at 35,000 feet (11,000 m). Replaced by rudder built for second prototype which never received one and never flew. As the Boeing B-52 project was succeeding, the Convair B-60 program was canceled and the two airframes were salvaged in 1954 for parts.
IsraeliIAF/DFde Havilland Mosquito T.3, 2119, as Capt. Daniel Shapira demonstrates a take-off to Lt. Ze'ev Tavor it goes badly, airframe ending up in the weeds. Despite this, both pilots eventually become test pilots. This was the first Israeli loss of the type.
A Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress, 45-21761, c/n 13655, converted to F-13A, crashes on the runway at Fairchild AFB, Washington, with ROTC cadets on board. There were no casualties, although the aircraft was a total loss and the hulk was later used by the fire department for practice fires.
French Leduc 0.22-01 ramjet-powered prototype interceptor, repaired following 27 November 1951 landing accident, strikes its SNCASE Languedoc launch aircraft, F-BCUT, on release and is forced to make a belly-landing. Limited range of design causes project to be dropped and second prototype not completed.
Convair B-36D-25-CF Peacemaker, 49-2661, c/n 121, on bailment to Convair, San Diego, California, crashes into San Diego Bay at 1430 PDT, while on a normal shakedown flight following completion of "San-San" project modification. The number 5 engine catches fire in flight and then falls off the wing. The aircraft is destroyed by impact and explosion. Four of the eight crewmembers, all Convair flight test employees, receive minor injuries, two are uninjured, and two are lost, first flight engineer W. W. Hoffman, by drowning, while the pilot, David H. Franks, 40, stays with the plane to manoeuvre it out to sea and away from occupied land. His body is never found. Coast Guard planes rescue four and Navy ships pick up two. The rescued, none seriously injured, are R. W. Adkins, co-pilot; Kenneth Rogers, flight engineer, W. F. Ashmore, Roy E. Sommers, D. R. Maxion and W. E. Wilson, all of San Diego. The UB88 Project dive team determined that the bomber actually came down in the Pacific off of Mission Beach.
A fire breaks out on the hangar deck of the USS Boxer at ~0530 hrs. when a fuel tank of a Grumman F9F Panther catches fire while the ship is conducting combat operations in the Sea of Japan. The blaze is extinguished after a four to five hour fight. The final total of casualties was determined to be: 8 dead, 1 missing, 1 critically injured, 1 seriously burned and some 70 overcome by smoke. Of the 63 who had gone over the side, all were rescued and returned to the Boxer by helicopters and ships of Task Force 77. Eighteen aircraft, mostly Grumman F9F-2 Panthers, were damaged (by fire and saltwater) or destroyed.
A U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5S Mariner, BuNo 84774, 'SE-7', of VP-892, crashes on the west slope of Bataan Mountain, in Luzon's Mariveles Mountains near the entrance to Manila Bay, the Philippines. Thirteen bodies were recovered from the wreckage, with no survivors. SE-7 had departed Naval Station Sangley Point, Philippines, on a patrol in extremely bad weather. Reported losing one engine and was attempting to return to base on single engine. KWF were LT Thomas Leslie Rhodes Jr., PPC, LTJG Robert Fred Bahlman, ENS Lee Marvin Moore, AD1 Charles Chauncey, AD3 William E. Bailey, AL1 John Stanley Dedman, AL3 Forrest B. Nance, AL3 William F. O'Hare, AL3 James Alfred Smith Jr., AO2 Tommy T Simmons, AN Edward Joseph Gimburek, AN Sidney Paul Krasnesky, Aviation Photographer's Mate Donald Elwin Spence.
Whilst on a night ASW patrol flight, a U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5S Mariner, BuNo 87842, 'SE-2', of VP-892, out of MCAS Iwakuni (on temporary assignment out of Naval Station Sangley Point, the Philippines), crashes into a mountain on Shikoku Island, Japan. The entire crew, including five officers and nine enlisted men, are KWF. Lost are: LT Howard L. "Sam" Cornish (PPC), LT (jg) Steven Arthur Dobbins, LT (jg) Donald E. Richardson, ENS Wayne Grogan, LT Ebbie Wells (Squadron Maintenance Officer), ADC Lee Ladd, AD2 George J. Brambinck, AD3 John Edward Meriwether, AL2 William Morrison Grayson, AL3 Joseph Arnold Hall Jr., AO 3 Davis Mawney, AN Roscoe Bence, AN L. Lowell and AN George A., Murray Jr. "It was vectored into a mountain by radar ground control. Investigation revealed that a U.S. Air Force ground controller, unfamiliar with the extremely slow climb performance of a loaded Mariner, had assumed SE-2 had reached an altitude to clear the hills."
Boulton Paul P.120, VT951, first flown 6 August 1952, crashes this date on Salisbury Plain, Wilts, Great Britain after control failure, tail flutter. Pilot A.E. "Ben" Gunn ejects safely. Airframe had accumulated only ~eleven hours flying time. This is the first recorded loss of a delta-wing-design airframe.
Prototypede Havilland DH 110, WG236, flown by John Derry and flight observer Anthony Richards disintegrates at theFarnborough Air Show during pull out from high speed dive, killing both crew, debris, including engines, falls among crowd killing 29 spectators. Another source cites 28 dead. It was eventually established that disintegration had followed structural failure of the wing (possibly weakened earlier), almost certainly resulting from violent tail flutter.
Six Grumman F9F-4 Panthers from VMF-115, part of a 21-plane flight returning from a mission, and diverting from K-3 to K-2, crash into Unman-san, a South Korean mountain, in foggy conditions, following lead aircraft navigational instrument failure. All six pilots killed. Lost are Maj. Raymond E. De Mers in BuNo 125168, 2d Lt. Richard L. Roth in BuNo 125170, 2d Lt. Carl R. La Fleur in BuNo 125173, Maj. Donald F. Givens in BuNo 125178, 1st Lt. Alvin R. Bourgeois in either BuNo 125181 or 125182, and 2d Lt. John W. Hill, Jr. in BuNo 125223. Another source cites crash date of 11 September 1952.
Three Air Force crew and two civilians aboard a Beechcraft C-45F Expeditor on a routine flight from Bedford, Massachusetts, to Griffiss AFB, near Rome, New York, take to the silk and bail out at 2,500 feet at ~8:50 p.m. EST near Stittville after the aircraft's port engine loses power over central New York state ~50 miles from its destination. The lightened plane then flies onward on automatic pilot for more than an hour before crashing into Lake Ontario off of Oswego. A team of researchers from the Rochester area seeking historic shipwrecks in the lake's eastern end discover the "nearly intact" airframe in deep water on 27 June 2014 using side-scan sonar. The nose and twin fins are separated from the aircraft, but the rest is there. Pilot was Lt. Col. Charles Callahan, 32, of Monticello, Mississippi. All on board were attached to the Air Development Center at Griffiss AFB. The others on board were 1st Lt. Sam Sharf, of New York City; Lt. Col. G. S. Lam, of Newport News, Virginia; William Bethke, a civilian technician who lives near Rome; and Joseph M. Eannario, who lives in Rome.
U.S. Navy Grumman TBM-3S2 Avenger, BuNo 53439, of Air Anti Submarine Squadron-23, NAS San Diego, California, on night radar bombing training flight strikes Pacific Ocean surface at 110 knots (200 km/h) ~2 1/2 miles W of Point Loma. Both crew survive the accidental ditching, with pilot Lt. Ross C. Genz, USNR, rescued after four hours in a life raft by a civilian ship, but radarman AN Harold B. Tenney, USN, apparently drowns after evacuating the bomber and is never seen again. Wreckage discovered in 1992 during underwater survey.
Boeing WB-29 Superfortress, 44-69770, "Typhoon Goon II", (built as B-29-60-BW), of the 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Guam, is lost during a low-level penetration of Typhoon Wilma, a Category 5 storm, ~300 miles E of Leyte, Philippines, 10 crew killed. Lost are: Maj. Sterling L. Harrell, Capt. Donald M. Baird, Capt. Frank J. Pollack, 1st Lt. William D. Burchell, 1st Lt. Clifton R. Knickmeyer, M/Sgt. Edward H. Fontaine, A1C. Alton B. Brewton, A1C. William Colgan, A1C. Anthony J. Fasullo, and A3C. Rodney E. Verrill. No wreckage is found.
A United States Air ForceDouglas C-124A Globemaster II, 51-0107, c/n 43441, on approach to Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska, United States crashes into a remote glacier. The wreckage was found several days later on the South side of Mount Gannett. There were no survivors killing all 52 aboard. [41 Army and Air Force passengers and 11 crewmen.] 4th worst accident involving a Douglas C-124 This includes crashes as a result of criminal acts (shoot down, sabotage etc.) and does also include ground fatalities. 4th loss of a Douglas C-124. This is the 4th Douglas C-124 plane that was damaged beyond repair as result of an accident, a criminal act or a non-operational occurrence (hangar fire, hurricanes etc.) Debris from the crash was again found in June 2012. Bodies of 17 of the victims of this crash have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
A Royal Air ForceBoeing Washington B.1, WF570, of 35 Squadron, RAF Marham, flies into ground five miles (8 km) ENE of Marham whilst attempting a radio compass let down in bad weather. Both pilots, the nav/plotter and the radio operato are killed, whilst the flight engineer and one of the air gunners suffer serious injuries.
A U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5 Mariner aircraft of Patrol Squadron 47 (VP-47), based at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, crashes in the Sea of Japan 50 miles E of Kosong, North Korea, whilst on anti-submarine patrol, killing ten members of the crew of fourteen. The Navy in Tokyo announces on 29 December that two bodies had been recovered, and that four injured crew were rescued by the destroyer USS Renshaw.
Strategic Air CommandBoeing B-50D-125-BO Superfortress, 49–386, c/n 16162, of the 93d Bombardment Wing, Castle AFB, California, one of a flight of four on a routine navigational flight, spins down out of clouds at 1340 hrs. PT and crashes 13 miles (21 km) W of Gridley, California, killing all 12 on board. Witnesses said that the bomber appeared to lose power. "When we first saw the plane it was coming out of the clouds in a steep spin at about 2,000 feet," said John Cowan, manager of Grey Lodge Waterfowl refuge. "The pilot gave it full power several times, but he couldn’t pull it out." Just before they hit the ground, the plane appeared to level out some, but it was too late. "They hit the ground with a tremendous thudding sound." Cowan, a flier himself, and a pilot of Navy planes during the war, could offer no explanation for the crash. "We could hear the pilot hit his engines before he dropped out of the clouds," Cowan said. A special investigations team was dispatched early today (14 January) from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Salvage, and additional recovery of bodies, waited on the arrival of a 92-foot (28 m) crane sent from McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento. Gridley residents said the doomed plane "barely cleared treetops" while passing over the town seconds before the crash, but regained altitude momentarily. Eyewitnesses to the actual crash said the bomber came out of the clouds at 2,000 feet (610 m) in a spin. Many heard the pilot gunning his engines during the fall, and the plane appeared to level out slightly just before the impact half buried it in the mud of an open grain field on the Terrill Sartain property, two miles (3 km) W of the Butte-Colusa county line. Shortly before the crash the flight of four bombers were seen in formation over Oroville. Killed were T/Sgt. Curtis F. Duffy, 27, husband of Ruth A. Duffy, Atwater, California; T/Sgt. Bobby G. Theuret, 29, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry D. Theuret, Box 413, Costa Mesa, California, and husband of Barbara L. Theuret, Atwater; M/Sgt. William H. Clarke, 32, husband, of Audrey W. Clark, Merced, California; M/Sgt. Wallace N. Schwart, 28, Maywood, Illinois. Those missing and presumed dead include Lt. Col. Gerald W. Fallon, 34, husband of Elaine K. Fallon, Merced; Maj. William P. McMillan, 37, husband of Greta A. McMillan, Atwater; Capt. William S. Raker, 27, husband of Lorraine G. Raker, Atwater; M/Sgt. Joe L. Bradshaw, 37, husband of Jessamine Bradshaw, Atwater; A.J. William B. Crutchfield, 27, husband of Della Ann Crutchfield, Atwater; A1C Charles W. Hesse, 21, Sauk Center, Minnesota; Capt. Edward Y. Williams, 33, Spokane, Washington; and 1st Lt. George D. Griffitts, 23, Hico, Texas.
A Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune, BuNo 127751, c/n 426-5085, of VP-22 goes missing out of Naha Air Base, Okinawa. Subsequent search reveals the wreckage 45–50 miles from the base with 11 victims on a mountainside at the northeast end of Okinawa. Aircraft struck 1,200–1,300 foot cliff at the 1,000 foot level. Crew killed: Pilot: LT (jg) D. E. Russell, LT (jg) J. L. Kreeting, USN (co-pilot), ENS C. D. Oliver, USNR A (navigator), AD1 R. J. Helms (plane captain), AOAN N. J. Nellis (ordanceman), AOAN J. H. Franks (ordanceman), AL2 L. Baltzar (radioman), AL2 A. G. Sanderson (2nd radioman), ATAN G. A. Knochel (2nd radarman), AT2 J. D. Norris (radar observer), and AD3 K. E. Johnson (2nd mechanic).
"Operation Styleshow", simulated combat mission by 18 Convair B-36 Peacemakers of the 7th Bomb Wing, staging through Goose AFB, Labrador, from Carswell AFB, Texas, to RAF Fairford, ends badly for B-36H-25-CF, 51-5719, of the 492th Bomb Squadron, 7th BW. Weather had deteriorated when the flight arrived in the morning over Fairford. Undermanned and inexperienced GCA personnel led to delays while other B-36s landed. After two missed GCA approaches and extended holding, 5719 faced fuel exhaustion. Pilot Lt. Col. Herman F. Gerick, rather than risk the lives of his crew or those on the ground, orders bail out 22 miles NE of Fairford and aims bomber at open country. All crew parachute safely – sole injury is one breaks a leg upon landing. Unmanned B-36 flies 30 miles before breaking up and impacting at Nethermore Woods, Lacock, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, England. Gerick, the co-pilot George Morford, and crew members Royal Freeman, Edwin House and Doug Minor will all be KWF in the crash of B-36D 44-92071 on 11 December 1953. Other crew were William Minelli and Bill Plumb. No coverage was reported in the local Wiltshire Times, the sole mention being a letter published 14 February, berating the U.S. Air Force crew for abandoning the airframe to its fate, and inquiring, "I wonder whether any of our British boys would have done such a thing? Somehow, I don't think so."
USMC Grumman F9F-4 Panther, BuNo 125199, 'WP 10', of VMF-223, piloted by Capt. William H. Bezzell, USMC, suffers apparent tailhook failure while coming aboard USS Bennington, operating off of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base during post-refit shakedown training, bounces into the air, sails through the nylon Davis safety net airborne, hits deck again and dives into the forward elevator well, landing on top of nose of another F9F-4 of the same unit on the lowered elevator. Quick reactions by hangar crew in flooding the area with foam and closing doors to the hangar bay averts disaster and no post-crash fire occurs. Pilot uninjured, and injuries to most of 40 crew involved are minor, but Airman Ricketts, who was underneath the Panther on the elevator, is seriously injured and is eventually discharged when his condition does not improve.
A RAF Avro Lincoln, RF531, 'C', of Central Gunnery School, is shot down 20 mi (32 km) NE of Lüneburg, Germany by a Soviet MiG-15 as it flies to Berlin on a training flight, resulting in the deaths of the seven crew members.
Official US Air Force accident incident photo of the 18 March 1953 RB-36H crash. The picture shows the detached remains of the fin and upper part of the rudder of the RB-36.
Brig GenRichard E. Ellsworth, commander of the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, is killed in the crash of Convair RB-36H-25-CF Peacemaker, 51-13721, he was co-piloting on a 25-hour journey as part of a simulated combat mission flying from Lajes, Azores back to Rapid City Air Force Base, South Dakota. As part of the exercise, the bomber was observing radio silence and had switched off their radar guidance, flying via celestial navigation. They had planned to fly low over the ocean, steadily increasing to higher altitudes before reaching the mountainous countryside of Newfoundland. Late into the night, the aircraft struck bad weather and went off course, reaching Newfoundland 90 minutes earlier than planned. At 0410 hrs. at a hill near Burgoyne's Cove, inland from Nut Cove, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, with sleet, fog, freezing drizzle, and visibility estimated at less than 1⁄8-mile (0.20 km), the plane struck an 896-foot (273 m) hill at 800 feet (240 m) with a ground speed of 202 knots (374 km/h). The aircraft's propellers severed the tops of pine trees while the plane's left wing hit the ground, tore off, and spilled fuel. The rest of the plane impacted some thousand feet further. The impact and subsequent fire from the plane's fuel tanks scorched an 8-foot-deep (2.4 m) trench in the countryside. Loggers on a nearby hill spotted the fireball and alerted rescuers, but all 23 on board were killed on impact. Much of the wreckage remains at the crash site. That same night, a Boeing SB-29-70-BW Superfortress, 44-69982, search and rescue plane of the 52d Air Rescue Squadron, 6th Air Rescue Group, based at Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland, was sent out to assist in search efforts. It disappeared shortly before landing, crashing into St. Georges Bay, a few miles from the runway, killing 11. Wreckage never found. In the aftermath of the B-36 crash, an accident investigation board recommended new procedures to scan more frequently for approaching high terrain and to climb to safer altitudes before approaching within 200 miles (320 km) of a water-land boundary. President Dwight Eisenhower personally went to the Rapid City base and re-named it Ellsworth Air Force Base, to honor the general
First prototype of the Tupolev Tu-95 Bear, Tu-95/1, first flown 12 November 1952, crashes this date NE of Noginsk, Russia, during its 17th flight and burns due to an engine fire in the starboard inner turboprop. Engine falls off of wing, nine of twelve crew parachute to safety but three are killed, including test pilot Alexey Perelet.
Two crew of the 3200th Fighter Test Squadron, Air Proving Ground Command, Eglin AFB, Florida, are killed in a Lockheed F-94C-1-LO Starfire, 50-969, when it crashes at Fairfax Field, Kansas City, Kansas. Fighter had departed the airfield on a routine training mission for a flight to Scott AFB, Illinois, when the pilot attempted to return shortly after the 1330 hrs. CST take-off. Fighter struck a dike short of the runway, hitting ~10 feet (3.0 m) below the top, and caromed onto the runway. Radar operator was killed on impact and the pilot died later of injuries.
First of two Convair XP5Y-1s (and only one to fly), BuNo 121455, is lost on 42nd flight during high-speed testing by pilot Don Germeraad over the Pacific near San Diego, California. While operating at 115 percent of design limits under Navy contract, the elevator torque tube breaks, aircraft commences cycle of rollercoaster climbs and dives which continues for 25 minutes until control obviously being lost, all eleven on board go over the side and are rescued. Flying boat crashes into the ocean and sinks ~six miles off Point Loma, wreckage never recovered. A chase plane awaiting a Convair F2Y Sea Dart filmed the final minutes of the hair-raising flight, but it was classified secret and has probably never been released. Airframe had over 102 hours of flight time. When first flown on 18 April 1950, it was the first turboprop-powered flying boat to fly.
US Marine Corps Fairchild R4Q-2 Packet, BuNo 131663, c/n 10830, crashes in a wooded area N of Milton, Florida, shortly after take off from NAS Whiting Field, Florida, where it had made a refueling stop. Five of six crew, and 39 of 40 passengers are killed. The transport was one of 20 being used to take Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps midshipmen, college students, in their sophomore and junior years and from many states, from NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, to Chambers Field, NAS Norfolk, Virginia. All 46 passengers were ROTC members. "As part of their reserve work they are required to take six weeks summer training at naval installations in Corpus Christi and Norfolk. Altogether, 1,600 ROTC men are taking part in this summer's program, half of them at Corpus Christi and half at Norfolk. At the end of three weeks, the 800 at Norfolk and 800 at Corpus Christi swap bases for the final three weeks. The group which had stopped at Whiting was half of the 800 being flown to Norfolk. Rear Adm. J. P. Whitney, chief of Naval Air Basic Training, appointed a special board to investigate the crash." Most of the dead were students at the University of Oklahoma and Rice University, with one victim from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
First prototype Short SB.6 Seamew, XA209, flown by Shorts chief test pilot, New Zealand-born, ex-RNZAF, RAF, and ETPS-trained Squadron Leader Walter J. "Wally" Runciman, suffers heavy landing on its first flight, this date; damage takes three weeks to repair, but it is finished in time for the Farnborough air show.
A USAF North American TB-25J, 44-86779A, built as a B-25J-30/32-NC, (Joe Baugher states that it was modified and redesignated to TB-25N status, but the official accident report refers to it as a TB-25J) attached to Andrews AFB, Maryland, crashes in fog and heavy overcast into the forested pinnacle of historic Pine Mountain, striking Dowdell's Knob at ~2130 hrs., near Warm Springs in western Georgia, killing five of six on board, said spokesmen at Lawson AFB. The bomber struck the 1,395-foot peak at the 1,340 foot level. It had departed from Eglin AFB, Florida, at 1930 hrs. for Andrews AFB. Two Eglin airmen were among those KWF. The sole survivor, Richard Kendall Schmidt, 19, of Rumson, New Jersey, a Navy fireman assigned to the crash crew at NAS Whiting Field, Florida, who had hitch-hiked a ride on the aircraft, was found by two farmers who heard the crash and hiked to the spot from their mountainside homes "and found the sailor shouting for help as he lay in the midst of scattered wreckage and mutilated bodies. They said [that] they found a second man alive but base officials said [that] he died before he could be given medical attention." First on the scene was Lee Wadsworth, of Manchester, Georgia, who, while visiting his father-in-law, Homer G. Swan, in Pine Mountain Valley, had heard and seen the Mitchell in level flight at very low altitude AGL on an easterly course moments before impact at ~2130 hrs. Immediately following the crash, Wadsworth, Swan, and Wadsworth's brother-in-law, Billy Colquitt, drove a truck to the knob, arriving there at 2145 hrs. After a short search, they smelled gasoline and heard the cries for help from Schmidt. They proceeded to render aid for two and a half hours until the first medical help arrived, in the person of Dr. Bates from Pine Mountain Valley. Schmidt was loaded into Dr. Bates' automobile and was driven east towards Columbus to meet the military ambulance dispatched from Martin Army hospital at Fort Benning. The semi-conscious man had died of his injuries some 35 minutes after the first responders got to him. The Air Police, and Sheriff and Coroner for Harris County arrived at ~0030 hrs., 2 October. Tom Baxley, one of the farmers, said that the bodies of the dead, most of them torn by the collision, were flung about among the pine trees, and bits of the plane were hurled over a wide area. Schmidt was hospitalized with a possible hip fracture and cuts. Among the fatalities were two airmen assigned to Eglin AFB who had also hitch-hiked a ride and were on their way home on leave. The impact location is on the site of the proposed $40,000,000 Hall of History to mark a scenic point frequented by the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Killed were Capt. Stephen A. Clisham, pilot; Capt. Virgil G. Harris, co-pilot; T/Sgt. Othelier B. Hoke, flight engineer; and passengers A3C Robert W. Davidson, and A2C Benny J. Shepard. Shepard, riding in the waist section aft the bomb bay, as was Schmidt, survived the initial impact and was thrown from the wreckage, but died of his severe injuries before assistance arrived.
This accident was added to the Wikipedia article on 12 June 2012. Exactly one month later, it was discovered by board members of the Pine Mountain Trail Association at the F. D. Roosevelt State Park, who had been seeking details of the 1953 accident. Based on information in this article, they were able to locate survivor Richard Schmidt within a day, and on the Veterans' Day weekend, 10 November 2012, he and Monica Clisham Coffey, the daughter of the B-25's pilot, unveiled a plaque and a memorial rock at Dowdell Knob to those who died in the crash, and in Schmidt's honor. Schmidt was also reunited with 84-year-old Robert Lee Wadsworth of nearby Manchester, and 88-year-old Billy Colquitt, "the minister who accompanied Wadsworth up the mountain and prayed with Airman 2nd Class Benny J. Shepard as he drew his dying breaths."
"An Air Force Sabre jet plane, its electric firing device out of order, sprayed this western Pennsylvania town (Farrell, Pennsylvania) with machine gun bullets for several terror-filled seconds. The whining .50 caliber slugs riddled 12 autos, setting two afire and tore into nearly 30 buildings and homes yesterday (1 October). No one was hurt although several persons had narrow escapes. 'Something happened to one of its machine guns,' Police Chief John J. Stosito said after a conference with Maj. A. F. Martin Jr. of the Vienna Air Force Base near Warren, Ohio. The plane was on a routine flight from the base. Name of the pilot was withheld. Witnesses said [that] the craft was several thousand feet up as it zoomed over the city. Martin, who came here to conduct an investigation, said [that] there is "only about one chance in a million" of such a thing happening and added [that] the Air Force would pay all damages."
Second of two Bell X-5 swing-wing testbeds, 50-1839, gets into irrecoverable spin condition at Edwards AFB, California during aggravated stall test, crashes in desert, killing test pilot Maj. Raymond Popson on his first flight in the type. On the same date, the nose gear of the XF-92 collapses, ending use by NACA.
The 85th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Scott AFB, Illinois, suffers its first fatal North American F-86D Sabre loss when Maj. Yancy Williams crashes after takeoff from Runway 14 in F-86D-20-NA, 51-3029. Williams attempts to turn to the northwest, overshoots the approach to Runway 36, and then attempts a landing in a cornfield west of the base. He almost made it, but the Sabre strikes an electric transformer pole and explodes. The accident investigation shows that the Sabre had a hydraulic elevator control lock due to a misconnecting of hydraulic lines. Williams had been the squadron Material Officer.
First prototype Convair YF-102 Delta Dagger, 52-7994, suffers engine failure during test flight, lands wheels up, severely injuring the pilot, airframe written off.
Eight U.S. Marine Corps pilots avoid disaster when their fighters run low on fuel during a flight from Puerto Rico to a Marine Corps base near Miami, Florida. Three pilots, Capt. William H. Johnson, of Miami, Lt. Thomas D. White, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Lt. Forest G. Dawson, of Tucson, Arizona, are forced to ditch in the ocean due to fuel exhaustion but are rescued by nearby ships in a short time. Five other planes are forced down at Homestead AFB, Florida, S of Miami, where one, flown by Capt. Donald Edwards, of Opa-locka, Florida, overshoots the field, ending up in a canal.
USAFFairchild C-119F-KM Flying Boxcar, 51-8163, crashed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, during a joint airborne operation. One of 12 C-119s on a troop drop, it lost an engine, dropped out of formation, hit and killed ten troopers in their chutes that had been dropped from other aircraft, that in addition to four crew members and one medical officer that went down with the plane.-
USAF pilot 1st Lt. Felix Moncla and radar operator 2nd Lt. Robert L. Wilson take of in a F-89C Scorpion from Kinross Air Force Base, Kincheloe, Michigan investigating an unusual target on radar operators. Wilson had problems tracking the object on the Scorpion's radar, so ground radar operators gave Moncla directions towards the object as he flew. Flying at some 500 miles per hour, Moncla eventually closed in on the object at about 8000 feet in altitude. Ground radar showed both the unidentified craft and the Scorpion suddenly disappearing from screen after intersecting. It is presumed the Scorpion crashed into Lake Superior, though no confirmed traces of the craft or Moncla and Wilson have been found.
The first aircraft accident since arrival of the 463d Troop Carrier Wing at Ardmore Air Force Base, Oklahoma, occurred early Saturday morning, this date. Captain Francis N. Satterlee, Public Information Officer, and three passengers received various minor injuries as Beechcraft AT-11, 42-36830, went out of control as it became airborne, crashing 75 yards off the runway. "Captain Satterlee, pilot, was the most seriously injured of those aboard, receiving a compound fracture of the left leg below the knee plus lacerations of the right leg, right arm and face. The passengers included Lt. James R. Quiggle of the base legal department; A2/c Carl L. Taylor, crew chief of the aircraft, Headquarters Squadron, 463rd Air Base Group and Pvt. James R. Carver, U. S. Army, stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. The aircraft was headed for Fort Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma. Pvt. Carver, on leave at Ardmore, his hometown, was hoping to catch a military aircraft flight from Lawton to McChord Air Force Base, a short distance north of Ft. Lewis. Lt. Quiggle, Airman Taylor and Pvt. Carver received minor injuries not requiring hospitalization and received first aid at the base hospital. It was not in full operation at the time and Satterlee, with serious injuries, was transported to the Ardmore Sanitarium and Hospital where he stayed until he returned to duty."
A USAF C-119 Flying Boxcar crashes in flames while on approach to Orly Airport, Paris, France, killing all six crew. "French officials said the plane appeared to explode in air moments after it had been given a clearance for its approach to the field. They said [that] six bodies had been recovered from the wreckage. Air Force sources said the plane was manned by a ferry crew from Dover Field, Del. The bodies of five men were pulled from the charred wreckage. A sixth crewmen was found dead in a clump of trees after he had tried unsuccessfully to bail out from about 700 feet. His partially-opened parachute was tangled in branches 40 yards from the crash site."
A USAFConvair B-36D Peacemaker, 44-92071, upgraded from a B-36B-5-CF, crashed into the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, Texas, at 14:37 MST (2137 GMT), during conditions of light snow and low ceilings. The crash report  points to pilot error as the primary cause, but confusing instructions from GCA might also have contributed. All eight of the crew were killed: Lt. Col. Herman Gerick, Aircraft Commander; Major George C. Morford, Pilot; Major Douglas P. Miner, Navigator; 1st Lt. Cary B. Fant, Flight Engineer; M Sgt Royal Freeman, Radio Operator; A/1c Edwin D. Howe, Gunner; A/2c Frank Silvestri, Gunner; 1st Lt James M. Harvey, Jr., 492nd Bomb Squadron Staff Flight Engineer. Also killed was a passenger 1st Sgt Dewey Taliaferro. Lt. Col. Herman Gerick, Major Douglas P. Miner and A/2c Frank Silvestri had parachuted to safety in the 7 February 1953 missed-approaches crash of B-36H-25-CF, 51-5719, in the Nethermore Woods of Wiltshire County, England, UK.
A U.S. NavyConsolidated PB4Y-2S Privateer, BuNo 59716, of VW-3, COMFAIRGUAM, NAS Agana, Guam, makes a low-level (200–300 feet) penetration into the eye of Super Typhoon Doris, but while radioing a report at 2245 hours Zulu, the transmission is interrupted and attempts to reach the operator fail. A nine day search turns up no trace of the aircraft or its nine crew: Pilot J. W. Newhall, 39; Co-pilot S. B. Marsden, 29; Lt. Cmdr. D. Zimmerman Jr., 35; Ltjg. F. Troescher Jr., 26; AL1 F. R. Barnett, 26; AD1 J. N. Clark, 32; AD3 E. L. Myer, 20; AL2 N. J. Stephens, 23; and AO3 A. J. Stott, 23.
A USAFBoeing B-29MR Superfortress, 44-87741, built as a B-29-90-BW, making an emergency landing at Andersen AFB, Guam, fails to reach the runway and crashes into an officers housing area at the base, demolishing ten homes and damaging three more. Nine of sixteen crew were killed, as were seven on the ground – an officer, his wife, and five children. This aircraft had been searching for the PB4Y-2S lost on 16 December in Typhoon Doris when it suffered an engine failure.
"WELLINGTON, N.Z. Dec. (AAP.-Reuter's).- A Mustang aircraft of number two Territorial Squadron, Wellington, crashed at Tongaporutu about 40 miles north of New Plymouth this afternoon. Another is missing. An unidentified body from the first plane was found by the burnt out wreckage. The aircraft, together with two other Mustangs of number two squadron, left Ohakea this afternoon for Whenuapai where they were due at 4:20 p.m. According to the pilots of the two aircraft which arrived at Whenuapai, a single file formation was formed, which is customary in bad weather. Contact with the crashed plane and the one still missing was lost at Waitara, a few miles from New Plymouth. At midnight tonight a ground party led by police, will begin a search for the second Mustang and R.N.Z A.F. planes from the air force stations at Ohakea and Whenuapai will begin an air search at first light tomorrow." P-51D-25-NT, NZ2404, ex-45-11493, c.n. 124-48246, received from storage by No.2 (Wellington) TAF Squadron 11 July 1952. Crashed at Tongaporutu in northern Taranaki after the pilot became disorientated in cloud and lost control. Squadron Leader Maxwell Stevens killed. P-51D-25-NT, NZ2411, ex-45-11501, c.n. 124-48254, received from storage by No.2 (Wellington) TAF Squadron 11 July 1952. Crashed at Tongaporutu in northern Taranaki after the pilot became disorientated in cloud and lost control. Flying Officer Richard Westrupp killed.
A RAFBoeing Washington B.1, WF495, of 149 Squadron, disappears during the night en route from Prestwick to Laagens in the Azores. Aircraft is believed to have come down in Morecambe Bay but after an intensive search lasting several days no trace is ever found. Aircraft was on return flight back to USAF. Last message from pilot mentioned icing and it is thought this condition led to loss of control. Seven crew lost. Another source gives date as 27 January.
McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee loses partial power while in landing pattern for the USS Oriskany (CV-34), dropping below glide path. Unable to boost the jet back on slope, the Banshee suffers ramp strike, fuselage breaks in two, fuel tanks erupt in orange fireball, aft end of plane falls into the sea, forward fuselage and cockpit rolls down deck, pilot miraculously surviving unhurt.
McDonnell XF3H-1 Demon, BuNo 125444, suffers explosion of Westinghouse XJ40-WE-6 engine, pilot B. North ejects at 15,000 feet. Airframe impacts on land. Second prototype is grounded permanently shortly thereafter as being unsafe to fly, and scrapped, with little additional data expected to be produced by its operation.
RAF de Havilland Mosquito TT.35, TH992, 'N-for-Norman', built at Hatfield as a B.35, and modified as a target-tug, of No. 2 APS at Sylt, on mission over the North Sea, loses starboard engine. While attempting to return to base the port engine overheats, pilot puts it down on the first available land, a beach on the island of Anrum, N of Heligoland, shearing off starboard engine and breaking fuselage into three pieces, but no post-crash fire. Pilot and Target Towing Operator (TTO) survive with minor injuries. Airframe believed to have been burnt where it came to rest.
While conducting training in the Pacific out of San Diego. California, Grumman AF-2W Guardian, BuNo 129265, of VS-21, 'BS' tail code, hits the island of USS Point Cruz prior to crashing into the sea. CDR. Rodney G. Orr and AT-3 Hershall Elliot escape from the airframe before it sinks and are recovered.
USAF Capt. Berry H. Young, 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, lands his Convair B-36H Peacemaker safely at Carswell AFB, Texas, with all three reciprocating engines on the starboard wing inoperative, the outboard jets completely disabled, and the landing flaps inoperative. These problems are further compounded when two engines windmill, without cockpit control, and the landing gear has to be lowered by emergency procedures. This incident becomes known as the "Miracle Landing". In acknowledgement of this feat, the entire crew is awarded the Carswell Crew of the Month Award, and later receives a personal commendation from General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander-In-Chief, Strategic Air Command.
Third prototype SAAB J 32 Lansen, 32–3, first flown April 1954 and tasked with armament testing, crashes after just 35 flight hours when it flies into the ground at high speed, killing Bengt Fryklund, an experienced pilot who had graduated at the top of his intake at the Empire Test Pilot School. Cause was difficult to determine as airframe was destroyed.
Cape Canaveral, Florida Missile Test Range, supports the first attempted recovery of a winged missile that flew a programmed pattern and then returned to the Cape for refurbishing and reuse. A Northrop N-69A Snark missile, GM-3394, was successfully guided for landing on the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip, but the missile's rear skid was not locked and the vehicle crashed and exploded upon contact.
First prototype Handley Page Victor bomber, WB771, is lost when the tailplane detaches while making a low-level pass over the runway at Cranfield, causing the aircraft to crash with the loss of the crew. Attached to the fin using three bolts, the tailplane was subject to considerably more stress than had been anticipated and the three bolts failed due to metal fatigue.
Second prototype Avro Vulcan, VX777, suffers substantial damage when it swings off runway upon landing at Farnborough. It will not fly for six months.
As the first pre-production Douglas A2D-1 Skyshark, BuNo 125480, piloted by George Jansen, is flown on a test flight out of Edwards AFB, California, the temperamental gearbox transferring the Allison XT-40A power to counter-rotating propellers fails, and even though the powerplant continues to partially function, the props automatically feather. Unable to spot a reasonable landing spot, the pilot ejects, suffering back injuries that leave him a plaster cast for several months. The Skyshark program is cancelled one month later, with only six of ten pre-production A2D-1s completed ever being flown.
The pilot of an Republic F-84G Thunderjet dies at Eglin AFB following an ejection as the aircraft rolled to a stop after landing at Eglin Auxiliary Field 6. The Thunderjet was on a routine training mission.
Sole Cessna XL-19B Bird Dog, 52-1804, c/n 22780A, modified with Boeing XT-50-BO-1 210 shp turboprop engine, crashes 2 miles (3.2 km) W of Sedgwick, Kansas.
A USAF North American EF-86D-5-NA Sabre, 50–516, crashes and burns on take-off from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida killing the pilot. After briefly becoming airborne, it settled back onto the runway's end, continues off the overrun area and comes to rest in a marshy stream bed ~1,000 feet (300 m) to the north.
Sole Folland Midge prototype, G-39-1, crashes into trees at Chilbolton, England, killing the Swiss pilot. Cause was believed to have been inadvertent application of full nose-down trim.
Fourth of 13 North American X-10s, GM-19310, c/n 4, on Navaho X-10 flight number 10, a structural test flight, successfully makes extreme manoeuvres at Mach 1.84. However automated landing system attempts to make landing flare 6 m below the runway level at Edwards AFB, California. Vehicle impacts at high speed and is destroyed. However the flight sets a speed record for a turbojet-powered aircraft.
The sole prototype Tupolev Tu-75 military transport, derived from the Tupolev Tu-70 airliner, itself a derivative of the Tupolev Tu-4 "Bull" bomber, first flown 21 January 1950, crashes after several years of use by MAP (Ministerstvo Aviatsionnoy Promyshlennosti – Ministry of Aviation Industry).
USAFNorth American F-100A-1-NA Super Sabre, 52-5764, c/n 192–9, crashes at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at 1100 hrs., killing North American test-pilot Lt. George Welch, a veteran of the Japanese Navy attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. During terminal velocity dive test from 45,000 feet (14,000 m), aircraft yaws to starboard, then begins roll. Airframe breaks up under 8 G strain, pilot falls clear, chute opens, but he sustains fatal injuries, dying shortly after reaching the ground.
A United States Navy Lockheed P2V Neptune undergoing test cycles by the Air Force Operational Test Center at Eglin AFB suffers a structural failure on landing at Auxiliary Field Number 8 which causes the starboard engine to break loose and burn in a Tuesday morning accident. The crew of two escape injury.
Royal Navy Lt. B. D. Mcfarlane has extraordinary escape when his Westland Wyvern TF1, VZ783, 'X', of 813 Squadron, suffers power failure on take-off from HMS Albion in the Mediterranean Sea due to unforeseen tendency of the turboprop engine to suffer fuel starvation in high-G catapult launch. Aircraft goes into water off the bow, is cut in half by the ship, pilot ejects underwater using Martin-Baker Mk.2Bejection seat, survives with slight injuries.
First flying prototype Grumman XF9F-9 Tiger, BuNo 138604, suffers flame-out, the pilot, Lt. Cdr. W. H. Livingston, was able to put it down on the edge of a wood near the Grumman company runway at Bethpage, Long Island, New York, escaping with minor injuries. Airframe written-off. Production models will be redesignated F11F.
An Boeing RB-47E-30-BW Stratojet, 52–770, of the 90th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing based at Forbes AFB, Kansas, goes out of control at ~10,000 feet and plunges vertically to the ground SW of Olathe, Kansas, killing three of four crew. The pilot, Capt. Norman Palmer, 32, of Rochester, Indiana, ejected and survived, although with injuries. He suffered fractures of the right arm and shoulder after parachuting from low altitude. "A witness, Dr. Jack Flickinger of Baldwin, Kansas, said the burning craft went into a vertical dive at 1,000 to 2,000 feet and plunged straight into the ground." He said that a hole 40 feet deep was blasted on impact with wreckage thrown 500 yards in all directions. Dead were Capt. Hassel O. Green, 32, instructor-pilot, of Newsite, Mississippi; Capt. George H. Miller, 33, co-pilot, of Burbank, California; and Capt. Arthur F. Bouton, Jr., 31, observer, of Little Rock, Arkansas. Lt. Allen Oppegard, Air Information Services officer at the Naval Air Station Olathe, said the pilot told medical personnel from the base that the plane went out of control at about 10,000 feet but that he did not know why. The pilot said he did not recall how he got out of the aircraft.
Convair XF2Y-1 135762 disintegrates over San Diego Bay, 4 November 1954.
Convair YF2Y-1 Sea Dart, BuNo 135762, disintegrated in mid-air over San Diego Bay, California, during a demonstration for Navy officials and the press, killing Convair test pilot, Charles E. Richbourg. Pilot inadvertently exceeded airframe limitations.
A USAF Convair T-29A-CO, 50–189, on a routine training flight departs Tucson Municipal Airport, Arizona, after refueling for return leg to Ellington AFB, Texas. Shortly after departure, the pilot radios that he has mechanical problems and requests emergency return to Tucson. Aircraft strikes power lines on final approach and crashes into a perimeter fence short of the runway. All crew are KWF.
North American F-100A-5-NA Super Sabre, 52-5771, c/n 192–16, crashes in Nevada, after control is lost during a gunnery test sortie. Pilot Maj. Frank N. Emory, of Mount Vernon, Washington, ejects, receiving only minor injuries. The Air Force grounds the new fighter on 10 November after this, the fifth loss of the type in just a few months. At this point, the USAF had about 70 of the aircraft. Instability problems are found to be largely due to insufficient tail area which is then increased and the design modified. The F-100 grounding order is lifted in early February 1955.
Fairey FD.2, WG774, a single-engined transonic research aircraft, the last British design to hold the World Air Speed Record, suffers engine failure on 14th flight when internal pressure build-up collapses the fuselage collector tank at 30,000 feet (9,100 m), 30 miles (48 km) from Boscombe Down. Fairey pilot Peter Twiss, stretches glide, dead-sticks into airfield, drops undercarriage at last moment but only nose gear deploys, jet bellies in, sustaining damage that sidelines it for eight months. Twiss, only shaken up, receives the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. FD.2 test program does not resume until August 1955.
A North American B-25J converted to navigation trainer, on an "unauthorized flight" from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, crashes 400 yd (370 m) off shore into the Mississippi Sound, exploding near the Biloxi lighthouse. The Air Force "said Saturday it appeared that only one man was aboard. The identity of the man was not known. There was no indication whether he was a member of the air force or a civilian. An air force spokesman said the body was recovered during the morning by salvage crews going through the wreckage in two feet of water about 400 yards off a resort beach. The plane exploded and the wreckage was scattered over a half mile area near the Biloxi lighthouse."
^Hansen, Chuck, "The Swords of Armageddon, Version 2: Volume VII-The Development of U.S. Nuclear Weapons", Letter dated 13 April 1950 to William T. Borden, Executive Secretary, JCAE, from Capt. James S. Russell, USN, Acting Director of Military Application, USAEC; "The Atomic Airline", unpublished memoir by Clark Carr, pp. 177–187.
^ abcGibson, James N.: Nuclear Weapons of the United States – An Illustrated History. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1996, LCCN96-67282, ISBN 978-0-7643-0063-9, page 61.
^ abBrown, Capt. Eric "Winkle", "Pushing the Envelope", Jets Monthly, Kelsey Publishing Group, Westerham, Kent, UK, March 2011, page 49.
^Smith, Dave, "Hit The Deck", Flypast, Stamford, Lincs., UK, No. 328, November 2008, pages 42–43.
^Rivas, Santiago, and Cicalesi, Juan Carlos, "Argentina's Strategic Bombers: Avro Lancaster and Lincoln in FAA Service", International Air Power Review, Volume 24, AIRTime Publishing, Westport, Connecticut, 2008, page 131, ISSN 1473-9917.
^ abEdwards, Laurie, "Remembering Those Who Served: Witness recalls Huddleston crash that killed three.", Laker Weekly – powered by the Roanoke Times, Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, Friday 6 November 2009.
^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, page 244.
^Horan, Robert D., "19 Area airmen killed as C-47 crashes near Kanawha Airport – Two officers hurt as plane hits hill, bursts into flame – member of former State Air Guard Unit were enroute here to attend funeral of Maj. Sutherland; Second craft turned back by weather", Charleston Gazette, Charleston, West Virginia, 9 April 1951.
^Trest, Warren A., "Air Commando One: Heinie Aderholt And America's Secret Air Wars", Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., London, 2000, Library of Congress card number 99-053643, ISBN 978-1-56098-807-6, page 53.
^Hansen, Chuck, "The Swords of Armageddon, Version 2: Volume VII-The Development of U.S. Nuclear Weapons", Letter dated 9 June 1997 to Chuck Hansen from Scott Deaver with attachment, Report of AF Aircraft Accident dated 15 April 1952, page VII-239.
^"Report of Special Investigation of Major Aircraft Accident Involving B-36D, SN 49-2661, at San Diego Bay, San Diego, California, on 5 August 1952", Office of The Inspector General USAF, Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino, California, 19 September 1952.
^Associated Press, "Civilian Pilot Hailed as B-36 Crash Hero: Bomber Turned Away From Crowded Beach Area Before Explosion Near San Diego", Los Angeles Times, August 7, 1952.
^Associated Press, "Electric Firing Device Goes Out Of Order – Sabre Jet Sprays Bullets Over Town In Pennsylvania", Lubbock Evening Journal, Lubbock, Texas, Friday 2 October 1953, Volume 30, Number 19, page 1.
^Dorr, Robert F., "Convair F-106 Delta Dart: The Ultimate Interceptor", Wings of Fame, Volume 12, AIRTime Publishing, Westport, Connecticut, 1998, ISBN 978-1-880588-23-9, page 39.
^United Press, "Eight Marine Pilots Escape Death When Fuel Runs Out", West Florida Daily Globe combined with The Okaloosa News-Journal, Crestview, Florida, Monday 9 November 1953, Volume 40, Number 189, page 1.
^Haas, Michael E, Colonel, USAF, Retired, "Apollo's Warriors: US Air Force Special Operations during the Cold War", University Press of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2002, ISBN 1-4102-0009-4, page 117.
^London, UK: "Washington Diary", Aeroplane Monthly, p. 646
^Special, "British Pilot Dies in Crash Of F-100 Jet", Playground News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Thursday 11 November 1954, Volume 9, Number 41, pages 1, 10.
^Cruz, Gonzalo Avila, and Hebrero, Patricio "Pato', "Spain's Big 'Boats – Dornier Do 24 Flying-Boats In Spanish Service, Part Two", Air Enthusiast, Stamford, Lincs, UK, Number 123, May–June 2006, page 10.
^Associated Press, "GROUND F-100 JET FIGHTERS AFTER CRASHES", Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, Thursday 11 November 1954, Volume CXIII, Number 270, Part 1, Page 14.