Topics - Miscellaneous Airplane Crashes

 
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The following miscellaneous airplane crashes are listed by date of crash.

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November 9, 1950 - #461813 - Crash Landing in Japan

On this date a 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron Gunner, Sgt. Henry J. Lavene of St. Louis, MO (b. March 28, 1922/died March 11, 1992/b. Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis), scored the first B-29 victory in the Korean War by destroying an attacking MiG15.  The RB-29 limped back to Japan where five crewmen died in the crash landing.  William F. " Bill" Welch, who flew combat missions in B-29's during the Korean War, remembers this about the incident:

"Plane #461813 was jumped by MiG15s while taking pictures of Yalu River bridges.  It was the first time that MiGs had entered Korea.  Sgt. Harry Lavene shot down one of the MiGs but the plane had both engines on the left side shot out.  The plane made it back to Johnson AFB on two engines but on the final approach the left wing stalled and it went in.  Everyone in the forward compartment was killed except Harry Lavene who had been up front for the expected crash landing."

To add more information about this accident and its fatalities, contact Lynnita in Illinois at 217-253-4620 or 253-5171 or e-mail Lynnita.

Fatalities:


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November 27, 1950 - VP-4 P2V139340 - Yokohama Bay Beach

On 27 November 2000, the Honolulu Advertiser printed an article on a memorial ceremony for the crew of the P2V that crashed on 27 November 1950. According to the article, the aircraft, equipped with 16 rockets, was conducting a rocket run two miles off Yokohama Bay, near Kaena Point, the western-most end of the island. The starboard wing separated from the aircraft, and it rolled and impacted the ocean. The VP-4 crew of five died. No identifiable remains were found, though some remains were buried together in one casket at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 19, 1951.

The crewmembers (no ranks given) were: Jess Linn, pilot; George Irelan, copilot; Frank Zitkovitch, flight engineer; Malcolm Farris, radioman; and Harold Neely, ordnance man. Newspaper accounts of the day indicate structural damage caused the wing to separate, but "many familiar with the crash believe one of the fired rockets malfunctioned, causing the right wing to tear loose."

The 27 Nov 2000 memorial ceremony was held at Yokohama Bay with three dozen friends, relatives and military personnel present. At the end of the ceremony, a VP-4 P-3 flew over and dropped a marker on the exact location of the crash site. Richard Irelan, George Irelan's older brother, presented the Navy with the casket flag that was used in the joint services in Chattanooga. The flag will be displayed at the Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Kane'ohe, the current station for VP-4 ..." Contributed by Don Hinton, Maj, USAF

To add more information about this accident and its fatalities, contact Lynnita in Illinois at 217-253-4620 or 253-5171 or e-mail Lynnita.

Fatalities:

  1. Farris, AL1 Malcolm B. - Malcolm was from Smithfield, Texas.
  2. Irelan, ENS George Hill - Born November 15, 1928.
  3. Linn, LTjg Sylvester H. Jr.
  4. Neely, AOAN Harold Thomas - Born April 30, 1930, Harold was from Denmark, Tennessee.
  5. Zitkovich, AD1 Frank - Born November 9, 1923, Frank was from Hinsdale, Illinois, a son of Stepan and Ana Kelicic Zitkovich.  His siblings were: Anne T. Zitkovich, Steve Joseph Zitkovich (died 2010), Joseph J. Zitkovich (died 1997), Matthew M. Zitkovich (died 2006), Michael Zitkovich, Michael Mathews, Stephanie McCormick, and Rose Zitkovich (died 2009).

Honolulu Advertiser Newspaper Article - Tuesday, November 28, 2000
authored by Will Hoover, Advertiser Staff Writer

P2V Lost at Sea Nov. 27, 1950
Wartime deaths in fiery crash still vivid at 50-year memorial

"It’s usually sunny at Keawa‘ula Beach, but yesterday three dozen friends, relatives and military personnel sat solemn in the rain to pay tribute to five men involved in a nearly forgotten tragedy there 50 years ago to the day.

Former Navy navigator Robert Lynch recalls how fate kept him off the flight that killed his crewmates. While people everywhere remember those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor when America entered World War II, few are familiar with those who fell at the start of the Korean War, sometimes called "the forgotten war."

Such an event occurred on Nov. 27, 1950, at Keawa‘ula, also known as Yokohama Bay Beach. Shortly after noon, a Navy Patrol Squadron Four P2V Neptune long-range aircraft stationed at Barber’s Point was about to embark on a routine training mission off O‘ahu’s Ka‘ena Point. Pilot Jess Linn and co-pilot James Clampet were at the controls. Also aboard were flight engineer Frank Zitkovitch, radioman Malcolm Farris and ordnance man Harold Neely.

The crew was ready, the engines were running, and the aircraft, equipped with 16 wing rockets, had been checked out and given the OK. But because of a scheduling mix-up, before the plane took off, Clampet received word that he was to relieve the duty officer.
Junior pilot George Irelan voluntarily took Clampet’s place. Irelan was excited about flying with Linn, an experienced pilot who, along with Adm. Richard Byrd, had charted the Antarctic during Operation Highjump in the 1940s.

No one knows exactly what happened at 1:21 p.m. Newspaper accounts of the day indicated that structural damage caused the aircraft to loose its starboard wing. But many familiar with the crash believe one of the fired rockets malfunctioned, causing the right wing to tear loose. What is known is that on the first target-firing run, the bomber lost its wing, rolled downward clockwise and disintegrated with a tremendous ball of flame as it crashed into the ocean.

None of the crew ever was found. After an extensive week-long search, the men, along with most of the aircraft, remained part of the sea. The few human remains that were found were buried together in one casket in a joint service at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Jan. 19, 1951.

"These things tend to get forgotten except by those directly involved," said Dave Hutton, Navy operations officer for the Patrol Force Commander at Kane‘ohe. "Naval aviation was not as safe a business at that time as it is today."

Yesterday’s tribute was organized by Linn’s cousin and O‘ahu resident Keith Johnson.
Some who hoped to attend, such as Linn’s brother Bob, couldn’t make it for health and personal reasons. "I feel bad about Jess because he was a friend," recalled original co-pilot Clampet, who spoke by phone from his home in Oak Harbor, Wash. "But I feel more guilty, worse, about Irelan, because I was the guy who asked him if he wanted to go. He jumped at the chance. Didn’t even change into his flight suit. Everybody wanted to fly with Jess."

Like Clampet, Robert Lynch, Linn’s usual navigator, remembers being disappointed about the last-minute schedule change that day. "I would have been on that plane had it not been for the scheduling conflict," said Lynch, who spoke at yesterday’s tribute. But on that day, Lynch received his order change earlier than Clampet, and never boarded the plane. While Lynch understands Clampet’s feelings, he agrees that any junior pilot willingly would have flown with Linn.

"A Jess Linn doesn’t come along very often," said Lynch, who explained that Linn was generous about letting co-pilots fly the plane and fire rockets. "He would share the flight time, which was somewhat unusual. He was a good instructor. He gave us a chance."

Irelan’s older brother, Richard, also spoke briefly to those gathered at on the beach. "I remember that day" he started out, and then became too choked up to continue. "It’s very difficult for me to talk about. My brother and I were close." Irelan presented the casket flag that was used in the joint services in Chattanooga to the Navy. That flag will be displayed at the Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Kane‘ohe.

Although the occasion yesterday was wet, the spirits of those present were not dampened. "I thought it was wonderful," said a soaked but smiling Judy Jones, Linn’s niece.

At the end of the ceremony a Navy plane from Patrol Squadron 4, stationed these days at Kane‘ohe, flew over and dropped a marker on the exact location of the crash, about two miles off the beach at Ka‘ena Point."


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December 18, 1950 - P2V-3W BuNo. 124357 - Vancouver Island

Early in the morning of December 18, 1950, P2V-3W BuNo. 124357 departed NAS Whidbey Island, Washington in response to a submarine alert off the coast of Washington. Shortly thereafter radio contact with the aircraft was lost. Search and rescue was initiated for a period of time without success and, consequently, the aircraft and crew were listed as missing. Approximately nine months later a Canadian aircraft, straying off course, found the wreckage on Mount McCreight near Campbell River, Vancouver Island. There were no survivors.

To add more information about this accident and its fatalities, contact Lynnita in Illinois at 217-253-4620 or 253-5171 or e-mail Lynnita.

Fatalities:

  1. Anderson, Roy T. (pilot)
  2. Berquist, ALC Milton E. (1st Radioman)
  3. Christiana, ATAN James F. (crewman) - Born September 14, 1929, James Christiana was from New York.  He is buried in Kattellville Cemetery, Kattellville, New York.
  4. Hancock, AF3 Verl Louis (photographer) - Born August 23, 1926 in Downey, Bannock County, Idaho, Verl is buried in Grove City Cemetery, Blackfoot, Idaho.
  5. Hogaboom, Midshipman George Beverly (navigator) - Born August 11, 1929, George grew up in Central America.  While in flight school, he roomed with Neil Armstrong.  George is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  6. Lynn, AO1 Edward G. (1st Ordnanceman)
  7. Morris, ENS James Forrest (co-pilot) - Born April 10, 1928, James was from Texas.  He is buried in Forreston Cemetery, Forreston, Texas.
  8. Pinne, LT Lalonde Martin (pilot) - Born March 4, 1917, Lalonde was from Montana.  He was survived by a widow, Elizabeth Ann (McCollam - 1920-1998), and is buried in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA.
  9. Sinclair, Frederick J. USNR (radarman)
  10. Stockton, AT2 Robert C. (2nd radioman)
  11. Whitehead, ADC Walter W. (plane captain)

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F-94B Fighter Jet - Sandwich, Massachusetts, July 12, 1951

 At 3:30 p.m. on July 12, 1951, an Air Force F-94B fighter jet (50-873A) was in flight over Cape Cod when the engine flamed out.  The plane crashed near Peters Pond in Sandwich, about a mile south of the Mid-Cape Highway.  Another source put the crash site near Spectacle Pond, “about 1 mile from Quaker Meeting House Road in the direction of West Barnstable, and near Mill Road, between Spectacle Pond and the Mid-Cape Highway.  The crash ignited several large brush fires.  The jet belonged to the 33rd Fighter-Interceptor wing at Otis AFB. 

The pilot, 1st Lt. Victor Clapp, 28, of Beverly, Massachusetts, was killed when he ejected but his chute failed to open.   He was survived by his wife, Dorothy, and two children.   

The radar observer, 2nd Lt. Aaron M. Jones Jr., 27, of Newtonville, MA, ejected safely.  Jones landed in a wooded area south of the Mid-Cape Highway and made his way to the Rof-Mar Lodge.


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F-86 Sabre Jet - Sandwich, Massachusetts, August 11, 1951

On August 11, 1951, Captain Frank C. Newell, 28, of Linden, New Jersey, was killed when his F-86 Sabre Jet crashed at Scorton Neck in Sandwich. Newell was a veteran of WWII and Korea, and flew 182 combat missions during his career. He was survived by his wife and one child.


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Unknown Date - Yokota AFB, #1

According to William Terreault of Florida, there was a flight to disperse propaganda leaflets in Korea.  Everyone except the tailgunner was killed and a wing of the aircraft struck the bowling alley at the foul line.  In doing so, the tail section snapped off and the tail gunner in that portion rode it through a parking area and into the clothing warehouse.  The rest of the plane cartwheeled.  Major Beale, an operations officer from the 6161st ABW had been aboard and was killed.


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Airplane Crash Near K-13 - 4 January 1954

On 4 January 1954, a US Navy P2V-5 Neptune (BuNo 127752) of VP-2 departed NAS Iwakuni in Japan and headed toward the west coast of Korea. The flight continued north across the Korean DMZ, then along the North Korean coast to the coast of China before turning south. After reporting engine difficulties, the aircraft head towards the K-13 base at Suwan. The engine difficulties might have been a result of a hostile attack on the Neptune. The aircraft reached the vicinity of K-13 before crashing, possibly the result of an additional attack by a US Navy AD-4B Skyraider on night patrol. The crew of Jesse Beasley, Fredric Prael, Rex Claussen, Gordon Spicklemier, Lloyd Rensink, Bruce Berger, James Hand, Robert Archbold, Stanley Mulford and Paul Morelli were all killed.
 

 
 

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