Denton, MD Bomber Falls Into House, Mar 1960
JET BOMBER FALLS NEAR SCHOOLHOUSE.
Denton, Md. (AP) -- An Air Force jet bomber, narrowly missing a crowded schoolhouse, crashed into a small home Monday and exploded, killing a woman and her two young grand-daughters.
The plane and the one-story home were destroyed. The pilot, who had ejected himself from the disabled, twin-engine B-57 survived.
There were 200 children in a wing of the school house, only 100 feet away, which was damaged by the explosion. Twelve were injured slightly.
The dead were identified as JESSIE BROWN, 50;
LAVERNE BROWN, 6, and KAREN BROWN, 4. All were Negroes.
In Baltimore, the Martin Co. said the plane was one of two on a test flight to determine if recent modifications were acceptable to the Air Force.
"It looked like an atomic bomb explosion," said Irvin Crossan, 42, a Denton contractor.
"It was a big, black mushroom pile of smoke and then a red flash came up. And then I saw the pilot and some pieces of equipment fly through the air."
The pilot was Air Force Capt. WILLIAM F. SMITH, 32, of Los Angeles, stationed at Warner-Robins Air Force Base, Ga. He was in serious condition in a hospital at nearby Easton, suffering from shock, a fractured pelvis and a compound fracture of the right leg. He declined to talk to newsmen.
The plane took off about half an hour before the crash from Martin's airport near Baltimore.
An Air Force officer said Monday night: "We have no indication at this time of the cause."
Denton is a town of 1,600 on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, only a few miles from the Delaware line.
Blytheville Courier News Arkansas 1960-03-22