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List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54)

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) Contents

This is a list of notable accidents and incidents involving military aircraft grouped by the year in which the accident or incident occurred. Not all of the aircraft were in operation at the time. For more exhaustive lists, see the Aircraft Crash Record Office or the Air Safety Network or the Dutch Scramble Website Brush and Dustpan Database. Combat losses are not included except for a very few cases denoted by singular circumstances.

See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft before 1925
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1925–1934)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1935–1939)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1940–1944)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1945–1949)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–1954)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1955–1959)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1960–1974)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1975–1979)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1980–1989)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1990–1999)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (2000–present)

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) Aircraft terminology

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.

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) 1950

First of only two prototypes of the Fairchild XNQ-1 Navy trainer contender, BuNo 75725, written off in a crash.[1]
5 January
A Boeing B-50A-10-BO Superfortress, 46-021,[2] c/n 15741[3] 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.[4]
26 January
A Douglas C-54D-1-DC Skymaster, 42-72469, c/n 10574,[5] of the Second Strategic Support Squadron, Strategic Air Command. out of Biggs AFB, Texas, departs Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, for Great Falls Air Force Base, Montana, with a crew of 8 and 36 passengers (34 service personnel and 2 civilians).[6][7] Two hours into a planned eight-and-a-half hour flight, at 1709 hrs. it makes its last contact by radio and has been missing since.[7] Despite a massive air and ground search at the time and repeated searches since 1950, as of 19 June 2011 no trace of the aircraft or its occupants has been found, nor has the cause of the aircraft's disappearance been determined.
11 February
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 HE detonator 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.[8]
13 February
A U.S. Air Force Convair B-36B-15-CF Peacemaker, 44-92075, of the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, in transit from Eielson AFB, Alaska to Carswell AFB, Texas, loses three of six engines, suffers icing. To lighten aircraft, crew jettisons Mark 4 nuclear bomb casing over the Pacific Ocean from 8,000 feet (2,400 m). High explosives detonate on contact, large shockwave seen, 17 crew later bail out safely over Princess Royal Island, but five (the first to depart the bomber) are not recovered and are assumed to have come down in water and drowned.[9] Aircraft flies 210 miles (340 km) with no crew, impacting in the Skeena Mountains at 6,000 feet (1,800 m), east of Stewart, British Columbia. Wreckage found in September 1953. See also 1950 British Columbia B-36 crash.
15 February
22 February
On its 102nd flight, the USAF Northrop XF-89 Scorpion, 46-678, crashed on Rosecrans Avenue, Hawthorne, California, 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.
7 March
During a practice dive-bombing attack, Hawker Sea Fury FB.11, VX651, '132', of 736 Naval Air Squadron, loses part of lower engine cowling which strikes wing. Pilot returns to HMS Illustrious but misjudges landing, missing all arrestor wires, hits crash barrier, tearing engine loose, airframe overturns, burns. Pilot okay, but Sea Fury written off.[11]
15 March
Avro Lincoln B Mk.2, RF511, of No.230 Operational Conversion Unit, crashes on Carnedd Llewelyn near Bethesda, Wales, this date.
17 March
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.[12]
22 March
Fuerza Aérea Argentina Avro Lincoln B.Mk. II, B-019, c/n 1495, lost in storm over Tierra del Fuego, eleven killed. Wreckage finally found on a glacier on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego in 1983.[13]
22 March
Two North American F-86A Sabre fighter jets attached to the 81st Fighter Group at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, crash in Emmons, West Virginia, just outside of Charleston. They had landed in Charleston the previous day due to low fuel on a cross-country flight. After fuel was delivered from Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, the pilots, Lt. Col. A. F. Reinhardt, 43, and Capt. George Evans, 28, took off this date in morning marginal weather with low clouds and rain. A few minutes later, both aircraft nose-dived into the side yard of local landowner. Both pilots KWF.[14]
26 March
RAF Short S.25 Sunderland GR.5, SZ513, sank at RAF Seletar after a bomb explosion while being prepared for a sortie, two killed.
JRM-3 Marshall Mars burning near Honolulu, Hawaii
5 April
Martin JRM-3 Mars flying 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.[15][16] 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.
7 April
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.[17] Cause is never determined and the project is abandoned.
11 April
A USAF Boeing B-29-50-MO Superfortress, 44-86329, of the 830th Bomb Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing (M), on a routine flight crashes into mountain on Manzano Base Nuclear Weapons Storage Area (WSA), three minutes after take-off from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, killing 13 crew. One fully assembled bomb casing (probably a Mark 4 nuclear bomb) on board is completely shattered when triggers explode. A fuel capsule, carried separately, is recovered.[9]
23 April
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.[18]
1 May
Third and final [10]
11 May
Lockheed XP2V-1 Neptune, BuNo. 48238, c/n 26-1002, second P2V prototype, written off this date near Oyster, Virginia, during flight test out of NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, when engine fell off.[19][20]
12 May
After the United States Air Force gives Convair a contract to install an Allison J33-A-29 jet engine with afterburner in place of the Allison J33-A-23 in the Convair XF-92A, 46-0682, test pilot Chuck Yeager attempts ferry flight from Edwards AFB, California to the Convair plant at San Diego but engine fails immediately after take off, forcing an emergency landing on the dry lakebed. Airframe is subsequently trucked to San Diego.[21]
23 May
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.[22]
25 May
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.[23]
13 June
First of two [24]
16 June
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,[25] this date.[26] 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.[27]
The first production AJ-1 Savage over Southern California in 1950, lost near Bedford, Virginia, on 22 June 1950.
22 June 
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.[28] 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.'"[29][30] 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.[29][30]
30 June
6 July
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.[32] 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."[33]
13 July
A USAF Boeing 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.[9] 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.
5 August
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 two runaway propellers and landing gear problems on takeoff at Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base, Fairfield, California. The crew attempts an emergency landing but crashes, causing a huge explosion that kills 19 aboard the plane and on the ground, including mission commander Brig. Gen. Robert F. Travis; the airfield is later renamed Travis Air Force Base in his honor.[9] 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,[34] but other sources place the total as high as 173.[35] 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.[35]
24 August
Two B-26 Invaders of the 729th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 452d Bombardment Group (Light), based at George AFB, California, collide in flight over El Mirage Dry Lake, 10 miles NW of Victorville, California. B-26B, 44-34174, c/n 27453, built as A-26B-45-DL, piloted by Ouris H. Cuerton, and B-26B, 44-34677, c/n 29956, built as A-26B-66-DL, piloted by Lyle N. Leavitt, both crash with crew fatalities during attempted bail-outs.[36][37][38] The 729th/452d had been ordered to active service on 10 August 1950.
25 August
RAF [40]
27 September
An Argentine Air Force Vickers VC.1 Viking, T-8, was burnt out in a hangar fire at El Palomar, Argentina.[41]
27 October
Movietone News.
10 November
A USAF Boeing B-50 Superfortress of the 43d Bomb Wing on a routine weapons ferrying flight between Goose Bay, Labrador and its home base at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, loses two of four engines. To maintain altitude it jettisons empty Mark 4 nuclear bomb casing just before 1600 hrs. at 10,500 feet (3,200 m) above the St. Lawrence River near the town of St. Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, about 90 miles (140 km) northeast of Quebec, Canada. HE in the casing observed detonating upon impact in the middle of the twelve-mile (19 km)-wide river, blast felt for 25 miles (40 km). Official Air Force explanation at the time is that the Superfortress released three conventional 500-pound HE bombs.[9]
11 November
A Fairchild C-82A-FA Packet, 45-57739, c/n 10109, of the 375th Troop Carrier Wing (Medium),[45] 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.[46] 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.[47][48] 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.
22 November
First official test flight of the U.S. Navy Vought 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 USN Lockheed 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.[49]
An AD-4 Skyraider of VA-115 crashes aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47).
12 December
A U.S. Navy Douglas AD-4 Skyraider of Attack Squadron 115 "Arabs", Carrier Air Group 11 (CVG-11), bursts into flame as the engine breaks off upon landing aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea (CV-47). The Skyraider had been hit by enemy flak over Korea.[50]
19 December
First prototype Douglas XA2D-1 Skyshark, BuNo 122988, c/n 7045, crashes at Edwards AFB, California, on its 15th flight.[51] 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 were barely 20 hours.[52]
23 December
U.S. Navy [55]

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) 1951

11 January
Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress bomber, 45-21771, c/n 13671, of the 3512th AMS, 3510th AMG,[56] 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.
21 January
28 January
World War II fighter ace and test pilot Don S. Gentile is KWF Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Shooting Star, 49-905, of the 1053d AMS, 1050th AMG,[56] which crashes at Forestville, Maryland, near Andrews AFB.[58] Second crew also killed.[59] Gentile Air Force Station, Kettering, Ohio, was named in his honor.
14 February
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 [60][61] 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.[62] Raymond was killed instantly. He was reported to have said that he had trouble steering and ejecting from the plane.[62] 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."[62] When he died, he left a widow and four children.
13 March
1st Lt. Henry A. Crescibene suffers forced landing due to mechanical failure 3 miles W of Aldenhoven, Germany, in Republic F-84E-15-RE Thunderjet, 49-2379, of the 307th Fighter-Escort Squadron, 31st Fighter-Escort Group, based at RAF Manston. Aircraft damaged, pilot survives.[63]
14 March
RAF Coastal Command Avro Lancaster GR.3, TX264, 'BS-D', of 120 Squadron RAF Kinloss, off-course in high winds and heavy overcast during a night-time navigation exercise between the Faroes and Rockall, crashes into Beinn Eighe's Triple Buttress at ~0200 hrs., just 15 feet (4.6 m) below the top of the 2,850-foot (870 m) westernmost gully of the buttress known as Coire Mhic Fhercair in the Scottish Highlands, killing all eight crew. Wreck not found until 17 March, crew remains not recovered until August. Due to remoteness of the crashsite the wreckage is still there.[64]
23 March
A [67]
3 April
Sole prototype Hawker P.1081, converted from second prototype Hawker P.1052, VX279, with 5,000 lb (2,300 kg). s.t. Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet, 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.[68]
5 April
First of two pilotless Royal Australian Air Force GAF Pikas, (Project 'C'), A92-1, C-1, "P", crashes at Woomera, Australia, and is subsequently broken up. Second prototype is now on display at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook.[69] Production drones will be built as GAF Jindiviks.
8 April
A Douglas C-47D Skytrain (built as a C-47B-1-DK), 43-48298, c/n 25559,[70] of the 123d Air Base Group, Godman AFB, Kentucky,[71] 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.[72][73]
25 April
Cubana de Aviación Flight 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 Navy Beechcraft 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).
27 April
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. Mustang pilot Lt. Fred Black killed, as well as 13 of 17 B-36 crew.[74][75]
6 May
Convair B-36D-25-CF Peacemaker, 49-2660, of the 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell AFB, Texas, crashes while landing at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, in high winds, 23 of 25 crew killed.[74][76]
18 May
Gloster E.1/44, TX145, following test flight out of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough, suffers damage when starboard undercarriage leg collapses on landing. Probably not repaired as it is struck off charge on 2 August and sent to the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PEE) at Shoeburyness.[77]
A F4U-4 of VF-884 crashes off the bow of USS Boxer (CV-21).
19 May
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.[78]
8 June
Eight USAF Republic F-84E Thunderjets of the 560th Fighter-Day Squadron, 12th Fighter Escort Group, Bergstrom AFB, Texas, crash near Richmond, Indiana. Mission escorting B-36 Peacemaker bombers from Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, to Selfridge AFB, Michigan. Worst mass air crash to date. Eight planes failed due to internal engine icing unknown to happen until this disaster. They were serials 50-1120, -1130, -1133, and -1209, and 51-0479, -0506, and -0679.[79] Three pilots were killed. Classified Top Secret at time of incident out of fear that it was sabotage.
13 June
RAF English Electric Canberra B.1, VN850, bailed to Rolls-Royce for Avon engine tests. Crashed on approach to Hucknall with engine fire, coming down just outside field perimeter, killing Rolls-Royce test pilot R. B. Leach. This was the first loss of a Canberra.[80]
18 June
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 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.[81] Princess Elizabeth, soon to be Queen Elizabeth II, was visiting the base on this day.
23 June
Second Avro CF-100 Mk.1, 19102, 'FB-K',crashes on the day it is handed over to the RCAF.[82]
Cdr. Duncan's crash on USS Midway, 23 June 1951.
23 June
The famous non-fatal Grumman F9F-2 Panther ramp strike accident occurs as Cdr. George Chamberlain Duncan attempts landing on USS Midway in BuNo 125228, during carrier suitability tests in the Atlantic Ocean. Forward fuselage breaks away and rolls down the deck, pilot suffering burns. Footage of this accident has been used in several films including Men of the Fighting Lady, Midway, and The Hunt For Red October.[83]
30 June
The second prototype 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 Wing Convair 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.[84]
13 August
A Boeing Boeing 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.
18 August
Boeing XB-47-BO Stratojet, 46-065, first prototype of two, stalls on landing, suffers major structural damage. No injuries.[85] Another source cites date of 18 August 1950.[86]
21 August
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 [87]), 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.[88][89]
22 August
Bell X-1D, 48-1386, suffers fire/explosion internally while being carried aloft for its first flight, jettisoned from mothership, Boeing B-29-96-BO Superfortress, 45-21800, impacting on Rogers Dry Lakebed, Edwards AFB, California.[90][91][92]
26 August
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.[93][94]
US Navy personnel aboard aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) flee as McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee strikes parked aircraft and explodes; 16 September 1951.
16 September
A damaged angled flight decks for safer airplane recovery.
29 September
A Royal Air Force Boeing 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.[97] Scrapped 3 January 1952.[98]
15 October
Convair B-36D-35-CF Peacemaker, 49-2664, c/n 127, '664', triangle 'J' tail markings, of the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell AFB, Texas, experiences main gear extension failure, pilot Maj. Leslie W. Brockwell bellies it in at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, with just the nose gear extended, doing such a deft job that this is the only B-36 ever crashlanded that was returned to flight.[99]
11 November
An Argentine Air Force Vickers VC.1 Viking T-77 crashed at Morón Air Base.[41]
13 November
A [101]
19 November
A Boeing B-47B-5-BW Stratojet, 50-006, crashes shortly after an afternoon take-off at Edwards Air Force Base, California, killing three crew. The bomber comes down a quarter mile W of the runway and explodes. Officials at the base said the bomber was beginning a routine test flight. Killed are Captain Joseph E. Wolfe, Jr., the pilot, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Major Robert A. Mortland, 30, co-pilot, of Clarion, Pennsylvania, and Sergeant Christy N. Spiro, 32, of Worcester, Massachusetts.[102]
27 November
French Leduc 0.22-01 ramjet-powered prototype interceptor is badly damaged in landing accident and the pilot seriously injured.[103]
3 December
A Boeing B-29A-45-BN Superfortress, 44-61797, of the 3417th AMS, 3415th AMG, Lowry AFB, Colorado, piloted by James W. Shanks,[104] 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.[105]
7 December
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.[106]
21 December
English Electric Canberra B2, USAF 51-17387, ex-RAF WD932, used as pattern aircraft for Martin B-57 Canberra, crashes during flight from Martin plant at Middle River, Maryland, north of Baltimore. It lost a wing during a 4.8g manoeuvre at 10,000 feet (3,000 m) over Centerville, Maryland, on the Delmarva Peninsula due to incorrect fuel handling that led to tail heaviness which caused loss of control during the high g manoeuvring. Both crew members ejected, but one of them was killed when his parachute failed to open.[107]

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) 1952

12 January
Prototype RAF Vickers Valiant, WB210, catches fire during in-flight engine relight trials, crew bails out but the co-pilot is killed when his ejection seat strikes tail.
15 January
French Leduc 0.16 research ramjet suffers landing gear collapse on its first flight and is damaged.[103]
21 January
Second prototype of Arsenal VG 90 turbojet strike fighter design for the Aéronavale, VG-90.02, first flown June 1951, crashes this date killing pilot Claude Dellys.[108]
24 January
Grumman SA-16A Albatross, 51-001, c/n G-74,[109] of the 580th Air Resupply Squadron (described as a Central Intelligence Agency air unit), on cross-country flight from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, to San Diego, California, suffers failure of port engine over Death Valley, crew of six successfully bails out at ~1830 hrs. with no injuries, walks S some 14 miles to Furnace Creek, California where they are picked up the following day by an SA-16 from the 42d Air Rescue Squadron, March AFB, California. The abandoned SA-16 crashes into Towne Summit mountain ridge of the Panamint Range W of Stovepipe Wells with starboard engine still running. Wreckage is still there.[110]
29 January
Convair B-36D Peacemaker, 44-92080, of the 92nd Bomb Wing, lands short at Fairchild AFB, written off. All crew survive. Aircraft had been built as a B-36B-20-CF, upgraded.[74]
6 February
19 February
A Fairey Firefly of 816 Squadron RAN goes missing, and is believed to have crashed into the sea near Moruya, New South Wales. Lieutenant Brian Wall and Sub Lieutenant Douglas Saunders are both lost.[112]
22 February
Second accident in three days for 816 Squadron RAN occurs when a Fairey Firefly carrying Sub Lieutenant Durrant Small and Observer J. G. Sharp crashes into the sea near Seven Mile Beach, New South Wales. Both Small and Sharp are killed.[112]
3 March
A Royal Air Force Vickers Valetta VW153 crashed on take-off from RAF Butterworth, Malaya.[113]
21 March
10 Navy airmen are killed when a four-engine Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer patrol bomber, bound for NAS Alameda, California,[114] dives into Corpus Christi Bay less than a mile from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. All aboard the plane are killed.[115] 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.[114]
21 March
A USAF North American B-45 Tornado crashes shortly after departure from Reese AFB, Texas, on the return leg of a cross-country training flight to its home base at Langley AFB, Virginia, from Mather AFB, California,[115] killing all four crew. The bomber came down 22 miles (35 km) NW of Paducah, Texas in Cottle County, in a severe dust storm. The wife of a railroad worker, Mrs. I. R. Hull, saw the plane plunge to earth near the small community of Narcisso and notified a funeral home at Paducah. It was several hours before searching parties reached the scene. KWF were pilot 1st Lt. Billy M. Reynolds, 26, Cleveland, Mississippi; Lt. Winfred R. Weller, Denver, Colorado; Cpl. Henry G. Geiger, 19, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Pfc. Thomas F. Penninger, 21, gunner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harlon M. Penninger, Lubbock, Texas.[116]
3 April
A United States Air Force Boeing 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".
4 April
A United States Air Force Douglas C-124A-DL Globemaster II, 50-1260, collides at night in midair with a Douglas VC-47D Skytrain, 45-926, c/n 16929/34187, over Mobile, Alabama, United States; 15 die.[117]
15 April
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.[118] Joe Baugher states that the aircraft failed to climb out due to mis-set elevator trim which kept nose down on takeoff.[119]
9 May
Maj. Neil H. Lathrop attempts low-level aileron roll in second prototype Martin XB-51-MA, 46-686, crashes at end of runway at Edwards AFB, California with fatal result.[120]
9 May
French Leduc 0.16 research ramjet again suffers landing gear collapse on touchdown and is damaged. After several more flights in 1954, it will be retired to the Musée de l'Air.[103]
5 June
Exercise Bluebird: a Royal Netherlands Air Force Republic F-84 Thunderjet collided with the mast of the British Royal Navy motor launch HMML 2582 and crashed onto the deck in flames. The launch sank with the loss of fifteen crew and the pilot of the Thunderjet. The accident occurred in the Marsdiep, Netherlands.[121]
13 June
Republic F-84G-11-RE Thunderjet, 51-10121, of the 127th Pilot Training Group, crashes near Luke AFB, Arizona, after colliding with Douglas B-26B-66-DL Invader, 44-34673, c/n 22952.[37] Fighter pilot killed.[122]
24 June
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.[123]
8 July
Israeli IAF/DF de 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.[124]
10 July
A Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress, 45-21761,[125] c/n 13655,[126] 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.[127]
25 July
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.[103]
29 July
A Royal Air Force Boeing Washington B.1, WW349, hit while parked at Wisley, Surrey by Vickers Valiant, WJ954, in taxi accident.[128] No injuries. Airframe had been intended for transfer to RAAF as third of three.[97]
5 August
Convair B-36D-25-CF Peacemaker, 49-2661, c/n 121,[129] 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.[130] 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.[131] The UB88 Project dive team determined that the bomber actually came down in the Pacific off of Mission Beach.[132]
6 August
A fire breaks out on the hangar deck of the USS Boxer at ~0530 hrs. when a fuel tank of a Grumman F9F Panther[133] 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.[133] Eighteen aircraft, mostly Grumman F9F-2 Panthers, were damaged (by fire and saltwater) or destroyed.[134]
7 August 
A U.S. Navy [133]
8 August 
Whilst on a night ASW patrol flight, a U.S. Navy Martin PBM Mariner, crashes on Shikoku Island, Japan. The entire crew, including five officers and nine enlisted men, are KWF.[133]
29 August
Boulton Paul P.120, VT951, first flown 6 August 1952, crashes this date on Salisbury Plain, Wilts, Great Britain after control failure, tail flutter.[135] 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.
The Northrop F-89 Scorpion disintegrating at Detroit, 1952
30 August
As a pair of Northrop F-89 Scorpions of the 27th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Griffiss AFB, New York, perform a flypast, Northrop F-89C-30-NO, 51-5781,[136] disintegrates in flight during a display at the International Aviation Exposition at Detroit-Wayne Major Airport, Detroit, Michigan, killing the Scorpion pilot, Maj. Donald E. Adams, a Korean war jet ace (6.5 kills), radar operator Capt. Kelly,[137] and one spectator.[138]
1 September
Several tornados sweep across Carswell AFB, Texas destroying Convair B-36B Peacemaker, 44-92051, and damaging 82 others of the 11th Bomb Group, 7th Bomb Wing, including ten at the Convair plant on the other side of the Fort Worth base. Gen. Curtis LeMay is forced to remove the 19th Air Division from the war plan, and the base went on an 84-hour work week until repairs were made. 26 B-36s were returned to Convair for repairs, and the last aircraft deemed repairable was airborne again on 11 May 1953.[139]
6 September
Prototype de Havilland DH 110, WG236, flown by John Derry and flight observer Anthony Richards disintegrates at the Farnborough Air Show during pull out from high speed dive, killing both crew, debris, including engines, falls among crowd killing 29 spectators.[140] 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.[141]
10 September
A contractor-led team launches the first Boeing XF-99 Bomarc propulsion test vehicle from the Air Force Missile Test Center (AFMTC) at Patrick AFB, Florida, but the test fails.[142]
10 September
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.[143] Another source cites crash date of 11 September 1952.[133]
1 October
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.[144]
27 October
An Argentine Air Force Vickers VC.1 Viking T-64 crashed at Morón Air Base.[41]
15 November
A United States Air Force Fairchild C-119C-23-FA Flying Boxcar, 51-2570, c/n 10528, disappears on a flight from Elmendorf AFB to Kodiak Naval Air Station with 20 on board.[145]
17 November
On the first launch attempt of the Martin B-61A Matador, GM-11042, the JATO booster malfunctions and penetrates the rocket which then crashes 400 feet from the launch point.[146]
22 November
A United States Air Force Douglas 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.][147] 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.[145]
24 November
The second Boeing EB-50A Superfortress, 46-003, which spends most of its operational career used for testing, first by Boeing, and later by the Air Research and Development Command, and Air Material Command, primarily at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, is involved in a fatal accident at Aberdeen, Maryland this date. Four crew killed when it crashes in the Bush River near Edgewood, Maryland.[148]
1 December
A USAF Douglas C-47B-50-DK Skytrain, 45-1124, crashes in the San Bernardino Mountains with 13 aboard "during a lashing storm while ferrying personnel from its home base, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska to March Air Force Base near here." Search parties fly out of Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino, California, and search snow-covered 8,000-foot (2,400 m) level near Big Bear Lake, where a sheriff's deputy reported seeing a fire on Monday night. The aircraft was last heard from at 2151 hrs. PST.[149] Wreck found on 22 December at ~11,485-foot (3,501 m) level of Mount San Gorgonio, buried twelve feet in the snow. All 13 killed while flying (KWF). One source gives crash date as 28 November.[150]
14 December
A Royal Air Force Boeing 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.[97]
20 December
A United States Air Force Douglas C-124A Globemaster II, 50-0100, c/n 43238, crashed on takeoff from Larson AFB, Moses Lake, Washington, United States. 115 on board (105 Passengers, 10 Crew); 87 killed (82 Passengers, 5 Crew). This was the highest confirmed death toll of any disaster in aviation history at the time.
29 December 
A U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5 Mariner aircraft of Patrol Squadron 47 (VP-47) crashes in the Sea of Japan whilst on anti-submarine patrol, killing ten members of the crew of fourteen.[133]

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) 1953

5 January
A Royal Air Force Boeing Washington B.1, WF553, of 15 Squadron, RAF Coningsby, crashes whilst attempting a Ground Controlled Approach at Coningsby in bad weather, impacting near Horncastle. Both pilots, the flight engineer, radio operator and nav/radar are killed, whilst the nav/plotter survives with serious injuries.[97]
8 January
A Royal Air Force Boeing Washington B.1, WF502, of 90 Squadron, RAF Marham, crashes at Llanarmon,[128] North Wales whilst on a simulated night radar bombing exercise. Dives into ground at high speed, all ten crew killed.[97]
12 January
"An Eglin (AFB) North American F-86 Sabre crash landed on Range 51 injuring the pilot."[151] Aircraft was North American F-86F-30-NA, 52-4306, of the 3200th Flight Test Squadron, 3200th Proof Test Group, piloted by Robert G. Loomis; suffered engine failure.[152]
13 January
Strategic Air Command Boeing B-50D-125-BO Superfortress, 49-386, c/n 16162,[129] 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.[153][154][155]
15 January
Two RAF aircraft, Vickers Valetta, VX562, and an Avro Lancaster, TX270, collide over the Mediterranean Sea with 26 killed.
31 January
A USAF [156]
31 January
A [57]
7 February
"Operation Styleshow", simulated combat mission by 18 [160]
9 March
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.[161]
12 March
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.
18 March
President Dwight Eisenhower personally went to the Rapid City base and re-named it Ellsworth Air Force Base, to honor the general
21 April
T396 the last [162]
24 April
USAF Strategic Air Command experimental project MX-1018, Project Tom-Tom, an attempt to extend fighter escort for bombers on long-range missions by coupling a pair of Republic F-84s onto bomber wingtips, suffers setback when EF-84D, 48-641, loses control, rolls upside down, hits wing of Boeing ETB-29A-60-BN Superfortress, 44-62093, sending both aircraft down to crash in Peconic Bay, New York, killing all aboard both aircraft. The program is immediately cancelled.[163]
11 May
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.[164] Engine falls off of wing, nine of twelve crew parachute to safety but three are killed,[165] including test pilot Alexey Perelet.[166]
12 May
Bell X-2, 46-675, exploded in belly of Boeing EB-50D Superfortress mothership during captive LOX topping-off test and was dropped into Lake Ontario. Bell test pilot Jean "Skip" Ziegler's body dropped with airframe and Bell flight engineer Frank Wolko is also apparently carried over the side in the explosion. Neither body recovered. The EB-50D, 48-096, limps into Niagara Falls Airport, New York – never flies again.[167]
15 May
An errant United States Air Force Republic F-84E-30-RE Thunderjet, 51-628, of the 22d Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 36th Fighter-Bomber Group, collides with two USAF C-119 Flying Boxcars of the 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, flying in formation near Weinheim, Germany, sending all three planes down in flames. Fairchild C-119C Flying Boxcar, 51-8235, was struck by the fighter, which then hit struck C-119C, 51-8241, three Flying Boxcar crew killed, three injured. F-84 pilot James W. Chilton parachutes to safety.
9 June
An Argentine Air Force Vickers VC.1 Viking T-6 crashed at Praderes, Buenos Aires, Argentina.[41]
11 June
The second [169]
13 June
An McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee, BuNo 123333, suffers an engine fire while parked on the deck of the USS Lake Champlain CVA-39 off the coast of Korea, but is doused quickly.[170]
17 June
An [171]
18 June
A United States Air Force Douglas C-124A Globemaster II, 51-0137, c/n 43471, crashes at Kodaira, Japan after engine failure on take-off at Tachikawa Air Force Base, Tokyo, Japan. 129 die, making this the deadliest recorded disaster in aviation history at the time.[172]
21 June
Two crew of the [173]
15 July
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.[174]
17 July
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.[175] 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.[176]
6 August
Israeli Air Force de Havilland Mosquito FB.6 2113, (another source states that was an NF.30[177]) disappeared in flight over the Mediterranean, Two crew missing,[178] Uriel Ashel and Oded Shatil. Crashed into the sea at night.[177]
6 August
The first attempted launch of a Northrop B-62 Snark at Cape Canaveral, Florida, fails [179] when, after 15 seconds of flight, the drag chute deploys prematurely and the missile crashes.[180][181]
Recovery of a Grumman AF pilot from USS Block Island (CVE-106).
12 August
A US Navy Grumman AF-2 Guardian, 'SL', from Anti-submarine Squadron VS-22 crashes into the ocean immediately after launch from the escort carrier USS Block Island (CVE-106). The pilot, Ensign E.H. Barry, is recovered by a Piasecki HUP plane-guard helicopter.[182]
26 August
U.S. Coast Guard Boeing PB-1G Flying Fortress, BuNo 77253, ex-44-85827, loses brakes while landing at NAS Sand Point, near Seattle, Washington, overruns runway, crushes nose as it ends up in Lake Washington. Retrieved and sold for salvage.[183][184]
30 August
Second prototype SNCASO SO.9000 Trident I -002 makes first and last flight, crashing and being a total write-off.[185]
25 September
The last Boeing B-29 Superfortress to be delivered, Boeing-Wichita-built B-29-100-BW, 45-21872, in September 1945,[186] converted to a WB-29, was destroyed in a crash this date near Eielson AFB, Alaska, while assigned to the 58th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), Weather.[187]
1 October
A USAF North American TB-25J, 44-86779A, built as a B-25J-30/32-NC,[188] (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.[189] 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.[190] 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.[191] 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 [194]
1 October
"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."[195]
14 October
Second of two Bell X-5 swing-wing testbeds, 50-1839, gets into irrecoverable spin condition at Edwards AFB, California during aggravated stall test,[196] crashes in desert, killing test pilot Maj. Raymond Popson on his first flight in the type.[197] On the same date, the nose gear of the XF-92 collapses, ending use by NACA.[198]
17 October
Pilot of an Republic F-84F-1-RE Thunderstreak, 51-1354, is killed in an accident at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.[199]
20 October
Northrop YF-89D Scorpion, 49-2463, crashes at Edwards AFB, California, killing Northrop test pilot Walter P. Jones and Northrop radar operator Jack Collingsworth.[200]
22 October
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.[201]
2 November
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.[202]
8 November
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.[203]
17 November
USAF Fairchild 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.[204]-
23 November
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 presummed the Scorpion crashed into Lake Superior, though now confirmed traces of the craft or Moncla and Wilson have been found.
24 November
A USAF North American F-86D Sabre crashes near Marianna, Florida this date. The pilot ejects but is killed when his chute fails to deploy, his fighter coming down ~10 miles N of Graham Air Base. Col. Lewis H. Norley, commanding officer of the base, said that due to "unknown circumstances" the chute failed to function. Rescue planes from Maxwell Field at Montgomery, Alabama, and Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, Florida, discovered the pilot's body. Norley said that the pilot's identity will not be released until notification of the next of kin.[205]
30 November
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."[206]
11 December
A [159]
17 December
A USAF Boeing B-29MR Superfortress, 44-87741, built as a B-29-90-BW, making an emergency landing at Andersen AFB, Guam, failed to reach the runway and crashed 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.[208]
18 December
Hill Air Force Base, put down on much shorter runway, overrun threshold, bounce across deep ditch, 10-foot-wide (3.0 m) canal, crosses highway, comes to rest in pieces, followed by immediate fire. One fatality on crew, two others injured.
22 December
Pilot on a routine training mission from Eglin Air Force Base survives a crash landing in an Republic F-84 Thunderjet at Lee, Florida.[209]
22 December 
"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."[210] 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.[211]

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) 1954

26 January
A RAF Boeing 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.[212] Aircraft was on return flight back to USAF.[128] 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.[97]
1 February
USAF [213]
2 March
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.[214]
9 March
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.[215] Second prototype is grounded permanently shortly thereafter as being unsafe to fly,[216] and scrapped, with little additional data expected to be produced by its operation.[217]
16 March
RAF [218]
17 March
Test pilot Joe Lynch is killed in the crash of the first North American TF-86F Sabre, 52-5016, when he performed a slow-roll on take-off at Edwards AFB, California.[219]
18 March
McDonnell F3H-1N Demon, BuNo 133490, suffers engine fire during test flight out of Naval Air Test Center Patuxent River, Maryland.[220] Airframe tumbles, and crashes at sea. LCDR N. J. Smith III ejects at 14,000 ft, 480 kts.[215]
19 March
A USAF Fairchild C-119F-FA Flying Boxcar, 51-7993, c/n 10732,[157] of the 774th Troop Carrier Squadron, Ardmore Air Force Base, Oklahoma, en route from Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to Mitchel Air Force Base, Long Island, New York, crashes into a rain-swept cornfield 19 miles S of Annapolis, Maryland, killing all 18 on board. It had departed Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., after refueling at 2212 hrs. A watch found in the wreckage had stopped at 2229 hrs. A spokesman at Bolling said that there were twelve passengers and six crewmen aboard. There were 11 Air Force personnel, five U.S. Navy, and one Marine on board.[221] Witnesses reported that the aircraft was on fire before the crash and appeared to have exploded. The plane grazed the edge of a wooded area just off Maryland Route 2 before it impacted. Twisted wreckage and bodies were strewn over a ten-acre area. A heavy rain aided firemen in preventing the fire from getting out of hand. A detachment of sailors and Marines from the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis stood guard over the area as a group of investigators from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, examined the wreckage for clues to the cause of the tragedy.[222]
27 March
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.[223]
30 March
A Fairchild C-119F-FA Flying Boxcar, 51-2679, c/n 10668,[224] careens into a US Army mess hall and explodes after crash-landing in a parade field at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, United States, killing five aboard the plane and two inside the building.
8 April
A Royal Canadian Air Force Noorduyn Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.
26 April
Northrop N-69 Snark, GM-11111, launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida, crashes 3,000 yards from launcher, just after the booster rockets separate, due to loss of electrical power.[225]
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.[226]
17 May
Royal Navy Supermarine Attacker FB.1, WA533, of 736 Squadron is damaged upon landing aboard HMS Illustrious when port main gear collapses. Airframe is repaired, but sees no more operational flying.[227]
3 June
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.[228][229]
1 July
Second of 13 North American X-10s, GM-19308, c/n 2, on Navaho X-10 flight number 7, crashes and burns after 8 minutes of flight out of Edwards AFB, California, when a fire develops on board.[230]
14 July
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.[231][232]
27 July
Second prototype Avro Vulcan, VX777, suffers substantial damage when it swings off runway upon landing at Farnborough. It will not fly for six months.[233]
5 August
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.[234]
21 August
Col. Einar Axel Malmstrom, vice wing commander at Great Falls Air Force Base, Montana, is killed in the crash of a Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Shooting Star trainer, 52-9630, c/n 7815,[235] near the base. Local citizens then urge the renaming of the facility in his honor. The base was renamed on 15 June 1956.
24 August
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.[236]
26 August
Top Korean War USAF ace Capt. Joseph C. McConnell (16 victories) is killed in crash of fifth production North American F-86H Sabre, 52-1981, at Edwards AFB, California.[237]
31 August
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.
22 September
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.[238]
27 September
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.
28 September
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.[230]
30 September
XA271 a No. 2 Air Navigation School dives into the ground near Calne, Wiltshire, England following structural failure of outer wings.
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).[239]
12 October
USAF North American F-100A-1-NA Super Sabre, 52-5764, c/n 192-9,[240] 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.[241] 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.[242]
12 October
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.[243]
13 October
19 October
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.[246]
21 October
XA546 a Royal Air Force Gloster Javelin FAW.1 on a pre-delivery test flight crashes into the Bristol Channel.
29 October
An [247]
Convair XF2Y-1 135762 disintegrates over San Diego Bay, 4 November 1954.
4 November
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.[248]
4 November
A USAF Convair T-29A-CO, 50-189,[249] 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.[250]
8 November
Royal Air Force Air Commodore Geoffrey D. Stephenson, former commandant of the Royal Air Force Central Fighter Establishment, is killed in the crash of a USAF North American F-100A-10-NA Super Sabre, 53-1534,[251] c/n 192-29,[252] near Auxiliary Field 2 of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Commodore Stephenson, on a tour of the U.S., is flying at 13,000 feet (4,000 m) as he joins formation with another F-100 when his fighter drops into a steep spiral, impacting at ~1414 hrs. in a pine forest on the Eglin Reservation, one mile (1.6 km) NE of the runway of Pierce Field, Auxiliary Fld. 2.[253]
9 November
Spanish Air Force Dornier Do 24T-3, HR.5-1, burnt out.[254]
17 November
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.[255]
17 November
Lt. Col. John Brooke England (1923–1954) is killed in a crash near Toul-Rosieres Air Base, France when he banks away from a barracks area while landing his North American F-86F Sabre in a dense fog. His engine flamed out. He was on a rotational tour from Alexandria AFB, Louisiana, with the 389th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, which he commanded. He was a leading and much-decorated North American P-51 Mustang ace during World War II. Col. England flew 108 missions and scored 19 aerial victories-including 4 on one mission. England also served as a combat pilot in the Korean War. Alexandria Air Force Base is renamed England Air Force Base in his honor on 23 June 1955.[256]
19 November
A North American B-25N Mitchell, 44-29043,[257] built as a B-25J-15-NC, and 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.[2] 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."[258]
19 November
Two North American F-86 Sabres are lost in separate incidents near Niagara Falls, New York, during a Friday night practice mission, killing one pilot, with the other ejecting. "The dead pilot was Maj. William M. Coleman, 36, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The pilot who escaped was Lt. Col. Rufus Woody, jr., 32."[259][260] Maj. Coleman's F-86D, reported as 52-9686[261] (but that serial ties up to a T-33A-1-LO) comes down 14 miles NE of Niagara Falls. Lt. Col. Woody's F-86D-40-NA, 52-3639, c/n 190-35,[235] impacts at Amherst, New York.[261]
22 December
Capt. Richard J. Harer, test pilot with the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California, belly lands a Lockheed F-94C Starfire on Rogers Dry Lake following engine problems, becomes trapped in the cockpit as the aircraft burns. Capt. Milburn "Mel" Apt, flying chase in another fighter, lands beside the failing F-94 and succeeds in pulling Harer from the burning jet, saving his life. Harer suffers a broken back, third degree burns and compound fractures of both legs that result in their amputation.[262][263] Apt was awarded the Soldier's Medal for saving Harer’s life.[264]

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) See also

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) Notes

  1. ^ PAGE 1. (1947-02-10). Retrieved on 2010-11-25.
  2. ^ "USAAF/USAF Accidents for Florida". Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  3. ^ "1946-1948 USAAF Serial Numbers". Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
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  237. ^ Dorr, Robert F., "Classics Compared: F-86 Sabre & F/A-22 Raptor", AIR International, Stamford, Lincs, UK, February 2003, Volume 64, Number 2, page 39.
  238. ^ Special, "Jet Crash Kills Pilot Wednesday On Eglin Flight", Playground News, Thursday 23 September 1954, Volume 9, Number 62, page 1.
  239. ^ Gordon, Yefim; Rigamant, Vladimir (2005). OKB Tupolev: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85780-214-6.
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  241. ^ P-38 Lightning Aces of the Pacific and CBI Osprey Aircraft of the Aces no 14 by John Stanaway page 25 (1997)(1st Edition) Osprey Publishing Reed International Books ISBN 978-1-85532-633-0
  242. ^ Mizrahi, Joseph V., "F-One HUNdred Super Sabre-First of The Century Series", Wings, Granada Hills, California, June 1991, Volume 21, Number 3, pages 24-33.
  243. ^ Special, "Two Pilots Walk Away From Crash", Playground News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Thursday, 14 October 1954, Volume 9, Number 65, page 11.
  244. ^ Mason, Francis K., "The British Fighter since 1912", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1992, LCCN 92-63026, ISBN 978-1-55750-082-3, page 333.
  245. ^ WestlandWyvern. Retrieved on 2010-11-25.
  246. ^ Allen, Francis J., "Grumman's Reluctant Tiger", Wings, Granada Hills, California, June 1984, Volume 14, Number 3, page 35.
  247. ^ Associated Press, "Identify Victims Of B-47 Crash", Salina Journal, Salina, Kansas, Sunday 31 October 1954.
  248. ^ Jackson, Robert, "Combat Aircraft Prototypes since 1945", Arco/Prentice Hall Press, New York, 1986, LCCN 85-18725, ISBN 978-0-671-61953-4, page 161.
  249. ^ - USAAF/USAF Accidents for Arizona
  250. ^ Ellington Field a Short History 1917-1963
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  253. ^ 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.
  254. ^ 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.
  255. ^ Jackson, Robert, "Combat Aircraft Prototypes since 1945", Arco/Prentice Hall Press, New York, 1986, LCCN 85-18725, ISBN 978-0-671-61953-4, page 104.
  256. ^ "Alexandria and Pineville Salute England AFB, Louisiana", BP Industries, Inc., Midland, Texas, 1973, page 7.
  257. ^ - USAAF/USAF Accidents for Mississippi
  258. ^ United Press, "B-25 Crashes, Killing One - Dead Man Unknown; Flight From Air Base Was Not Authorized", The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Saturday 20 November 1954, Volume 73, page 2.
  259. ^ United Press, "One Dies in Collision" [sic], The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Saturday 20 November 1954, Volume 73, page 2.
  260. ^ The Milwaukee Journal - Google News Archive Search
  261. ^ a b - - USAAF/USAF Accidents for New York
  262. ^ | Life Magazine, June, 1956
  263. ^ First to Mach 3
  264. ^ The Last Flight of the X-2

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) References

  • Martin, Bernard. The Viking, Valetta and Varsity. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1975. ISBN 978-0-85130-038-2.

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54) External links

| Douglas_C-47_Skytrain | Douglas_DC-3 | Douglas_DC-6 | Douglas_DC-4 | Los_Angeles_International_Airport | DC-8F-54F | Vietnam_War | Vulcan_(aircraft) | McDonnell_Douglas_DC-9 | Douglas_C-54_Skymaster | Pan_American_World_Airways | Military_Air_Transport_Service | Lockheed_Constellation | Fairchild_C-123_Provider | Pittsburgh_International_Airport | Boeing_B-47_Stratojet | Tupolev_Tu-114 | Berlin_Tegel_Airport | Avro_York

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