Upper Marlboro, MD Naval Reservist Plane Crash, Jan 1967
NINE NAVY RESERVISTS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH.
Upper Marlboro, Md. (AP) - A Navy patrol plane crashed into a field near here Sunday, killing nine Navy reservists on a weekend training mission.
The SP2E Neptune patrol plane was manned by four officers and five enlisted men - eight of them from the Washington-Baltimore area. They were assigned to a unit at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington and had taken off from there a few minutes before the crash in light rain.
The crash scene was less than 15 miles from Washington.
One witness, Karen Knick, 11, said she "saw this big ball of fire in the air coming down. It crashed, and flames went all over the place."
Another witness, Kenneth Hooh, 50, said the pilot seemed to be trying to pull out of a dive.
Navy Cmdr. Jack McDonell, the crew's flight training officer, said destruction was so complete not even the plane's tail could be made out. "It must have been a fantastic explosion," he said.
Investigators worked in the wreckage trying to find evidence of what caused the crash. McDonell said the crew gave no indication of trouble.
The plane carried no bombs or armament, said officials.
The reservists, assigned to a unit at nearby Andrews AFB, had taken off from there a few minutes before the crash in light rain.
The plane had two conventional and two turbojet engines and could fly at up to 400 miles an hour. Planes of that type are used for long range submarine patrol.
The Navy identified the victims as:
Cmdr. CHARLES W. LURCOTT, 37, Alexandria, Va., the pilot.
Lt. Cmdr. FRANK E. WARNER, 44, Hyattsville, Md., the co-pilot.
Lt. SAYLOR L. LEVITZ, Bowie, Md.
Lt. WILLIAM CASPARI III, 31, Baltimore.
PO 1 C. JAMES F. VITAK, 36, Baltimore.
PO 2 C. ANDREW J. TODD, 35, Kearneysville, W. Va.
PO 3 FREDERICK F. VREELAND, JR., 26, Silver Spring, Md.
PO 3 C. S. A. WERTZ, 23, Pikesville, Md.
PO 3 C. GUY W. FETHERSTON, 35, Forest Knolls, Md.
The Daily Times Salisbury Maryland 1967-01-09