Mojave, CA Jet Plane Crash, Nov 1957

Flaming Jet Rains Debris on Mojave.

Mother, Children Periled in Home; Marine Pilot Killed

By a Times Correspondent

MOJAVE, Nov. 23.---Wreckage from an exploding jet plane rained down like shrapnel here this morning, one piece plummeting into a bedroom occupied by a mother and four small children.

The plane, an F-9F Cougar, blew up on its landing approach to the Marine Corps Air Station on the edge of town. The bulk of it crashed in flames on the west side of the airstrip.

The pilot, killed instantly, was identified later as Marine Capt. Marvin B. Stevens, 27, assistant operations officer of Mojave Marine Air Base and the bachelor son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stevens, Watsonville.

Tears Through Roof

A chunk of the plane tore through the roof of a three-room Southern Pacific section house occupied by Martin Tostado. Tostado's wife was dressing their four children, Louie, 4; Rosie, 3; Hector, 2; and Anna, 3 months.

Anna, lying on the bed, was covered with debris from an 8-foot hole in the roof. A doctor who examined the baby said she apparently was not hurt.

Narrowly Misses Boy.

Another part of the plane---a large geared wheel---narrowly missed Pat Thomas, 12, a newspaper carrier, as he returned to his yard from his morning route.

More wreckage fell in the street two blocks from the Mojave business section.

Townspeople who saw the crash said there were a number of planes in the air and that several had executed low altitude wingovers shortly before the one exploded.

The Marine Corps said the jet was "on routine maneuvers" over the desert.

Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA 24 Nov 1957