Milton, FL Cargo Plane Crash, July 1953
41 NROTC MEN DIE IN CARGO PLANE CRASH.
GRIM NEWS - MIDSHIPMEN LEFT HERE YESTERDAY.
By Travis Walsh
A grim, shocked atmosphere prevailed at the Naval Air Station this morning as word got around about the death of 41 NROTC midshipmen and crew members in the crash of a Marine R4Q cargo plane near Pensacola.
The plane, carrying 40 midshipmen and 6 crew members, left NAS on schedule at 6:15 p.m. yesterday headed for Norfolk via Pensacola. It was one of 20 planes used to airlift 800 middies to Norfolk and an equal number from Norfolk to NAS yesterday and today.
The midshipmen victims had just completed a three-week familiarization course in naval aviation at NAS, Cabaniss Field and NAAS Kingsville.
Word of the crash, which occurred shortly after takeoff from a refueling stop at Whiting Field, was not long reaching Navy officials here. Some of the top officials of the Naval Air Advanced Training Command, which handled the airlift, were up all night.
Made Friends Here.
Although the midshipmen were not at NAS long, they apparently made many friends in Corpus Christi. The Caller-Times received several calls this morning from anxious persons wanting to know the names of the victims.
Plane crashes are always grim events, but the one last night was felt more deeply than most. The victims were not experienced military men, but young college students, many of them in their teens.
Many of them had never been up in an airplane before coming here. Most of them responded quickly to their introduction to aviation and expressed interest in entering flight training after graduation from college.
This is what officials of the naval air training program had hoped for, because in the near future the Navy will have to depend on the NROTC program for a good many of its flight students.
CORPUS CHRISTI-FLORIDA SHIP FALLS IN FLAMES
Milton, Fla. July 18 (AP) -- A Marine cargo plane carried 41 young Naval Midshipmen and crewmen to fiery death when it crashed on a farm and burst into flames after taking off from Whiting Field last midnight.
Charred bodies of the victims were recovered by Navy teams which worked at the grim task throughout the night.
Five other occupants of the 2-engine plane were rushed to Pensacola Naval Air Station hospital, where two were reported in critical condition and three in serious condition.
The plane, transformed into a massive "ball of flames" after plunging into a clump of trees a mile north of the runway, smashed three parked automobiles and plowed into a barn on the farm of RAY ALLEN.
HAROLD STOKES, city editor of the Pensacola News-Journal, said that when he arrived on the scene shortly after the crash he found "scrambled, scorched bodies scattered all over."
Six survivors were picked up by Navy rescue teams, but one of the men died in the Whiting Field hospital about four hours later without regaining consciousness.
The plane was part of a flight of 5 transports which had made a refueling stop at Whiting. They were ferrying NROTC men from Corpus Christi, Texas to Norfolk, Va., for another phase of their 6-week summer training program.
The Navy at Norfolk said two of the survivors were Marine Corps members of the plane's six-man crew, Capt. C. E. McGRATH and Cpl. J. P. TUTTLE. The Navy also said other planes of the type that crashed were being grounded temporarily and other type planes were taking over the airlift.
One plane already had taken off for Norfolk after being refuled. The second had cleared the runway and was gaining altitude when it ran into some unexplained difficulty and plunged to the ground.
Ball Of Flame.
ALEX ALLEN, 15, dashed out of his farm home when he saw "a ball of flame about 150 yards long."
"Then the barn caught on fire and a boy came walking up to me, his clothes were burning all over and he asked me to pull off his shoes and clothes," he said.
"A neighbor and I put a blanket over the boy and carried him to the side of the house. I got some lard and rubbed it all over him. Then another man came up, with his clothes afire."
There were 40 Naval ROTC men and six Marine crewmen aboard the R4Q Fairchild Packet plane -- Marine version of the C119 Flying Boxcar -- which is regularly attached to the 2nd Marine Air Wing based at Cherry Point, N. C.
All the ROTC men were college students, in their sophomore and junior years and from many states.
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.
RICE INSTITUTE LISTS 9 AMONG CRASH VICTIMS.
Pensacola, Fla., July 18 (AP) -- The Navy today released the names of five survivors and 41 killed in the crash of a Marine cargo plane near Milton, Fla., last midnight.
THOMAS F. MAGGARD, Naval ROTC, critical, son of Mrs. Frank Maggard, Kansas City, Mo., student at University of Utah.
DALE E. SCOTT, NROTC, serious, son of Col. C. D. Scott, East Lansing, Mich., student at University of Oklahoma.
JAY B. WEIDLER, JR., NROTC, student, serious, son of Jay B. Weidler, Philadelphia, Pa., student at Rice Institute.
Cpl. J. P. TUTTLE, USMC, serious, son of Jerome W. Tuttle, Chaumont, N. Y., crew member.
Capt. C. E. GRAFF, USMC, pilot, critical, Morehead City, N. C.
The dead crew members:
Capt. G. L. YODER, co-pilot, husband of Martha L. Yoder, Havelock, N. C.
T-Sgt. J. L. FARLEY, husband of Shirley J. Farley, Fort Macon Village, N. C.
M-Sgt. D. L. SABEL, husband of Anita Sabel, 535-B Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N. C.
Sgt. N. S. LYONS, husband of Shirley M. Lyons, Kokomo, Ind.
The dead passengers, all NROTC students:
ELDRED D. BATES, son of Mrs. Augusta B. Meyer, Norman, Okla., University of Oklahoma.
EDMOND E. FAHRENKAMP, son of E. E. Fahrenkamp, Fort Worth, University of Oklahoma.
CHARLES S. HEDDLESON, son of W. F. Heddleson, Oklahoma City, student at University of Oklahoma.
JOHN P. HUGHES, son of W. T. Hughes, Oklahoma City, student at University of Oklahoma.
JAMES J. KINGEN, son of John H. Kingen, Tarrytown, N. Y., student at University of Oklahoma.
ROY V. LULOW, JR., son of R. V. Lulow, Tulsa, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
EILLY E. MILLS, son of Mrs. Everett Mills, Wayne, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
JAMES L. MUNKRES, son of Ray Munkres, Enid, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
TED G. PHILLIPS, son of Harold Phillips, Oklahoma City, student at University of Oklahoma.
GEORGE H. PRENTISS son of Mrs. Martha K. Prentiss, Muskogee, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
JAMES P. RAIBOURN, son of Claude Raibourn, Sarasota, Fla., student at University of Oklahoma.
ROBERT E. RHYNE, son of Mrs. M. F. Rhyne, Fort Smith, Ark., student at University of Oklahoma.
ROBERT E. RICHARDSON, son of H. E. Richardson, Brookhaven, Miss., student at University of Oklahoma.
JOHN S. RUSHING, son of Mrs. Mabel E. Rushing, Chandler, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
RICHARD W. SCHLEIFF, son of Mrs. W. T. Schleiff, Fort Smith, Ark., student at University of Oklahoma.
GEORGE F. SCHWAEBE, son of George E. Schwaebe, St. Louis, Mo., student at University of Missouri.
DAVID R. SMITH, son of Kathleen Phillips, Blanchard, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
GORDON H. SMITH, son of Hedley F. Smith, Tulsa, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
LEE W. SMITH, son of Laurence M. Smith, Oklahoma City, student at University of Oklahoma.
LLOYD M. SMITH, son of M. F. Smith, Oklahoma City, student at University of Oklahoma.
JAMES C. STAFFORD, JR., son of D. C. Stafford, Oklahoma City, student at University of Oklahoma.
KENNETH R. STARR, son of Eldridge R. Starr, Hobart, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
DARREL E. STRICKLIN, son of O. M. Stricklin, Norman, Okla., student at University of Oklahoma.
JERALD R. RUSSELL, son of J. A. Russell, Orland, Calif., student at Oregon State College.
DENNIS M. SHEETS, son of Mrs. Orville V. Sheets, Portland, Oregon, student at University of Oregon.
ELWOOD A. TRACY, son of Mrs. C. H. Tracy, Klamath Falls, Oregon, student at Oregon State College.
BOWDEN W. WILSON, JR., son of Bowden W. Wilson, Sr., San Antonio, student at Rice Institute.
WILLIAM E. WOHN, son of Francis J. Wohn, Houston, student at Rice Institute.
ALLEN L. WRIGHT, son of Allen P. Wright, Sweetwater, Tenn., student at Georgia Tech.
WILLIAM R. BILES, son of Mrs. W. R. Biles, Springfield, Mo., student at University of Missouri.
ROBERT K. M. DICKSON, son of Robert Charles Dickson, El Paso, student at Rice Institute.
EDWARD L. BAILEY, JR., son of Maggie J. Nicol, Webster, Texas, student at Rice Institute.
FRANK M. CALDWELL, son of Lawrence C. Caldwell, Richmond, Virginia, student at Rice Institute.
EDWARD R. CLAYTON, son of Arthur E. Clayton, Park Ridge, Ill., student at Rice Institute.
GEORGE W. COYLE, JR., son of George W. Coyle, Maplewood, La., student at Rice Institute.
RAYMOND A. DANIEL, son of Mrs. Amy L. Daniel, Houston, student at Rice Institute.
WALLIS C. ELSTON, son of Herbert Elston, Houston, student at Rice Institute.
The Corpus Christi Times Texas 1953-07-18