Tucson AZ Bomber Crash, Dec 1947
TWELVE DIE AS BOMBER GOES DOWN.
Tucson, Ariz. -- (AP) -- Twelve of the 20 crew members of a Jamaica-bound B-29 died in the flaming wreckage of the four-engined bomber a few minutes after taking off from Davis-Monthan Field last night, Maj. D. D. Burke, press relations officer, announced today.
The casualty list is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin and an Army board of inquiry will today begin to probe the cause of the crash.
The base reported the ship had just taken off from the field and was being watched from the tower. It was within sight of the tower when it crashed in flames.
The announcement said two planes of the 49th Squadron of the 2nd Bomber Group at Davis-Monthan took off shortly after 7 p.m., heavily laden with fuel and bound on a non-stop flight to Vernam Field, Jamaica.
One of the ships was slowly gaining altitude when it is believed to have banked in and to return to the field and crashed into the desert approximately five miles southwest of the base and in an uninhabited section of suburban Tucson. It caught fire almost instantly.
Seconds later crash wagons and fire trucks had been dispatched from the base tower and rolled across the roadless, cactus studded desert toward the 50-foot flames.
Arizona Highway Patrolman Walter Sheets said:
"I saw eight men leaving the crash area, dazed and shaken. Miraculously, all were walking and did not appear to be badly hurt althoughone of them was obviously suffering from burns. I didn't bother asking them the cause of the crash, being more anxious to get them to the hospital."
Unofficial reports said one engine, possibly two, failed a few minutes after the takeoff.
Kingsport Times Tennessee 1947-12-17
CRASH DEAD AND SURVIVORS NAMED.
Tucson, Ariz., Dec. 17. (INS) -- The army today revealed the names of eight survivors and 12 men killed in the flaming crash of a B-29 bomber near the Davis-Monthan airfield at Tucson.
First Lt. JOHN P. PRIECKO, 1079 Marelda Avenue, Donora, Pa., the bomber commander.
Capt. BOONELL P. COACHMAN, Donaldsville, Ga.
First Lt. CEDRIC A. TOOKER, 2300 East 124th Street, Willowbrook, Calif.
Second Lt. WALTER WIGLEY, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Capt. HAROLD ROSENWEIG, 139-33 229th Street, Laurelton, L. I., N. Y.
Second Lt. GORDON B. ODLORNE, R. R. 4, Wetumtha, Ala.
First Lt. THOMAS A. FERIAZO, 10201 103rd Avenue, Ozone Park, N.Y.
Sgt. JOHN A. WOUDALL, 365 East Warren, Elmira, N.Y.
T/Sgt. JOHN A. HAYS, 823 West 11th Street, Safford, Ariz.
S/Sgt. ERNEST L. FRAZIER, 906 S. Nelson Avenue, Pampa, Texas.
M/Sgt. GEORGE C. SMITH, 279 North Pasadena Avenue, Pasadena, Calif.
Of the eight survivors only Sgt. THOMAS E. LEONARD, 2912 Topax Road, Baltimore, was reported in critical condition.
The other seven survivors, most of whom suffered minor injuries, were:
Sgt. JOSEPH E. MACIS, 4332 South Fairfield Avenue, Chicago.
S/Sgt. WILLARD C. LAMBERT, 413 Louisiana Avenue, Opeloussa, La.
Cpl. PAUL M. MUENCH, 716 South McKinley Avenue, Freeport, Ill.
Pfc. WILLIAM D. PRETICE, 35 Bodwell Street, Hartford, Conn.
S/Sgt. BRIAN J. MARCORELLE, 41 Central Street, Ipswich, Mass.
M/Sgt. WALTER L. TOMPOR, 4421 Garvin, Detroit, Mich.
S/Sgt. HAROLD E. ANDREWS, 330 W. Pennsylvania Street, Muncie, Pa.
The plane crashed last night a few minutes after it had taken off from the Davis-Monthan field on a routine flight to Varam Field, Jamaica. Army air corps investigators were assigned to investigate the cause of the crash.
Long Beach Independent California 1947-12-18