Brunswick, MD Military Jet and Airliner Collide, May 1958 - Planes Crash

PLANES CRASH AT BRUNSWICK.

FEAR MANY KILLED BY COLLISION.

CAPITAL AIRLINER AND JET MEET OVER POTOMAC.

A Capital Airlines plane and a military jet aircraft were reported to have collided in midair and crashed on the Maryland side of the Potomac near Point of Rocks shortly before noon today.
State Police reports indicated that there were many dead and emergency ambulance service was rushed to the area.
State Police Corporal GUY BROWN said it was reported that the crew of the jet plane parachuted from the ship at the time of the crash. The men were not located.
The Capital Airlines ship was apparently bound from Pittsburgh to Baltimore.
Emergency help was sped to the area between Brunswick and Point of Rocks. The Brunswick Volunteer Fire Department had three calls for assistance from area of the reported crash.
Capital Airlines in Baltimore and Washington said there was no further information.
In Washington, Capital Airlines said a Viscount passenger plane with 10 persons aboard had been overdue since 10:26 a.m.
The plane was Flight No. 300, last reported over Martinsburg, W. Va., at 10:26.
The flight was bound from Chicago by way of Pittsburgh to Baltimore, where it was to terminate at 11:50 a.m.
State police here said a request had been received for a helicopter to search the area for the missing crew members of the jet aircraft.
Aboard were a crew of three and seven passengers, the airlines said.
The first victim to be identified was a Capt. JULIUS R. McCOY, who was brought to Frederick Memorial Hospital by a farmer living near the crash.
The hospital said Capt. McCOY was burned about the face, head, arms and hands. He told nurses that he was flying a "small plane" with one other passenger.

The Daily Mail Hagerstown Maryland 1958-05-20

Comments

I'm sorry for your loss.

I'm sorry for your loss.

May 20, 1958

Today is 59 years since my father died in this accident. I hope everyone is now able to put aside all feelings of anger and grief from that day. There are no good and bad people in this story only our family of brothers and sisters who are in various ways involved. Today I burn a candle and some incense for my dad, Thomas Henry Morgan, and all the excellent persons that moved on that day and since that day and wishing best to everyone who is still here. courtney morgan

Plane crash between military jet and airliner

It was a day that will forever live in my memory. I was in the 5th grade at Jefferson Elementary School. After hearing about the crash, the janitor, after returning from as close as he could get to the site, came back and said that it was believed that one of the planes had crashed on my house. I became extremely upset and had to be driven home to see for myself. As it turned out, the jet landed in our hayfield, and the motor of the jet had sailed across our house and plummeted seven feet into the ground in the middle of our mountain. My mom was shaking rugs out of the upstairs window when she saw something fly over the house. Eventually, the military brought a huge flatbed truck up our lane to get as close to the motor as they could. As the truck passed our house, we could see that it was in very small pieces. We understand that they had to literally pry the motor from the ground with digging irons. The impact must have been tremendous. A day I will never forget.

Capt. Kendell J. Brady

This tragic accident DID impact so many lives, and as an 8 year old girl at the time, I saw firsthand the loss and sorrow that one family was enduring; the wife and children of Capt. Kendell J. Brady. Capt. Brady and my Father, Harry Lee Moore, Jr. were Air Force Bomber Pilots during WWII. When the war was over, Mr. Brady had asked my Dad to come fly (commercially) with him.
My Dad was a real "homebody" and declined Kendell's offer. I remember these men, (all strangers to me) coming to our house in Louisville, Kentucky after this terrible accident. I knew nothing about any of this at the time; my parents shielded my sister and me from such harsh realities, so having so many strange men come to our house all at once made absolutely no sense to me. It turns out that these men were my Father's and Mr. Brady's crews from their days in the Air Force. My Dad flew the B-29 and I do not know about Capt. Brady.
Over the years, Capt. Brady's widow and children would come to visit my Father ... seems like twice a year ... throughout all the years I lived in that house (which would have been 10 more years) before I went away to college); my parents never moved from that house. At any rate, I can find nothing about Cpt. Kendell J. Brady, save these articles referencing this terrible day. I do not remember his children's names, and neither does my almost 90 year old Mother (whose brain is functioning better than mine); she's frustrated with herself for not being able to recall the names of these two(?) children. Capt. Brady's wife's first name was 'Vance' (unusual) and we do not know her maiden name, but we believe she, too was from Louisville, Kentucky. My Mother was wondering if she were still alive, and I have no leads. Maybe someone reading this thread will have some information about Capt. Kendell J. Brady's family to share with us. Many thanks, Harry's Youngest

Follow up

I seem to stop by here once every few years for some reason. Courtney, I was remiss in thanking you for your last post. Sorry about that. Maybe I wasn't paying attention. Thank you for your comments about the situation my father was in as one of the controllers.

The only thing worse is being one of those who lost someone in the accident itself. So I regret that you've been deprived of a father as well. And your family had to go through years of litigation when clearly the government (either MD or the federal govt) should have done better to provide some sort of compensation in this tragedy.

In the end, the rules allowed uncontrolled jets to fly random courses in the same vicinity as airliners, the WWII vintage radar systems were inadequate to detect low flying craft, and Captain McCoy made a terrible mistake while flying.

You're right that many lives changed course that day.

As for my dad, he decided that he no longer wanted to be a controller and switched to developing software for Air Traffic Control until he passed away in 1971 at age 45, when I was 9.

Occasionally I re-read my father's testimony from the case. I can't really remember his voice, but I learn a little about him and that event every time I read it. But no matter how many times I read it, I am unable to change the ending.

Thanks again, and take care. Jim Laymon

I was there on May 20,1958

I was there on May 20, 1958 at the crash site of the collision of the Capital Airlines Viscount passenger plane and the Maryland Air National Guard T-33 jet.

I was an eighteen year old senior at Frederick High School and in class that day. An announcement came over the P.A. System for me to report to the principals office. A Maryland State Police Trooper was there and told me to come with him. He said there had been a plane crash and my father had sent him to bring me to the scene. My dad, Woodrow W. Corbin, was a State Police officer and my recollection is that he was the Frederick Barrack Commander at that time. Likely he was initially the senior law enforcement official at the crash site.

The Trooper drove me to the farm near Jefferson where the debris was scattered over a large area. Once inside the perimeter the police had established, he left me and said my dad would find me later. I wandered the scene alone. It was horrific. Aircraft parts, large and small, sections of seats, and bodies and body parts are the memories which I have largely repressed. I do not state the details here out of respect for the victims and their survivors. However, many specific images remain with me and have surfaced when, later in life, ( in the military ) or at the scenes of fatal auto accidents I witnessed trauma.

My father found me and I joined him in his police car as he drove around directing and coordinating the many emergency personnel who arrived and were primarily recovering victims bodies for transport to a temporary morgue they had established, as I recall in Brunswick.

We drove to the side of a large wooded hill where, my Dad indicated the engine of the T-33 had impacted and from which smoke was rising. I was in the USAF after ROTC at the University of Maryland and flew in a T-33 as the passenger during summer training. I recall instructions on the ejection seat and being told to repeatedly practice in a mock up seat the steps to eject because it had to be almost a reflex action in an emergency. I recall thinking that the passenger on that May day likely had little or no instruction and did not survive while the trained pilot did and survived.

Hours later, a Trooper transported me to our home on Frederick Avenue. Late that night, my father came home and I remember him taking off his uniform on on our back porch before entering the house and heading immediately to the shower because he spent hours at the morgue helping fingerprint burned bodies and smelled of burned flesh. Such is the trauma police endure often in their career.

A few years ago I told my Stepmother of this memory after some crash news story. She asked me if I knew why he likely sent for me that day. Her response: "He wanted to toughen you up".

I was there on May 20, 1958

I was there on May 20, 1958 at the crash site of the collision of the Capital Airlines Viscount passenger plane and the Maryland Air National Guard T-33 jet.

I was an eighteen year old senior at Frederick High School and in class that day. An announcement came over the P.A. System for me to report to the principals office. A Maryland State Police Trooper was there and told me to come with him. He said there had been a plane crash and my father had sent him to bring me to the scene. My dad, Woodrow W. Corbin, was a State Police officer and my recollection is that he was the Frederick Barrack Commander at that time. Likely he was initially the senior law enforcement official at the crash site.

The Trooper drove me to the farm near Jefferson where the debris was scattered over a large area. Once inside the perimeter the police had established, he left me and said my dad would find me later. I wandered the scene alone. It was horrific. Aircraft parts, large and small, sections of seats, and bodies and body parts are the memories which I have largely repressed. I do not state the details here out of respect for the victims and their survivors. However, many specific images remain with me and have surfaced when, later in life, ( in the military ) or at the scenes of fatal auto accidents I witnessed trauma.

My father found me and I joined him in his police car as he drove around directing and coordinating the many emergency personnel who arrived and were primarily recovering victims bodies for transport to a temporary morgue they had established, as I recall in Brunswick.

We drove to the side of a large wooded hill where, my Dad indicated the engine of the T-33 had impacted and from which smoke was rising. I was in the USAF after ROTC at the University of Maryland and flew in a T-33 as the passenger during summer training. I recall instructions on the ejection seat and being told to repeatedly practice in a mock up seat the steps to eject because it had to be almost a reflex action in an emergency. I recall thinking that the passenger on that May day likely had little or no instruction and did not survive while the trained pilot did and survived.

Hours later, a Trooper transported me to our home on Frederick Avenue. Late that night, my father came home and I remember him taking off his uniform on on our back porch before entering the house and heading immediately to the shower because he spent hours at the morgue helping fingerprint burned bodies and smelled of burned flesh. Such is the trauma police endure often in their career.

A few years ago I told my Stepmother of this memory after some crash news story. She asked me if I knew why he likely sent for me that day. Her response: "He wanted to toughen you up".

Air Traffic Controllers

In reply to the previous comment, I have seen nothing on the court testimony that suggests that any of the controllers had been released from a mental hospital. And if they had, they most likely would not have been certified to work the boards, as they say.

I believe Charles Floyd had a breakdown much later as a result of the crash and all the pressure of the lawsuits. The second controller was my father, who was a pilot in the US Navy and had no history of mental illness. I don't recall the name of the third controller, who was much less involved.

The accident report and all evidence accompanying it is very clear that the two planes collided because the T-33 pilot did not exercise his responsibility to see and be seen, and at the same time, the small, low flying T-33 would not have shown up on the vintage radar used at that time. He was not visible to the controllers and was using a different radio frequency. In fact it was only after the lawsuits had worked their way through the courts for years, only to fail, that anyone even thought of blaming the air traffic control system and its operators. It was the only way to get money from the government at that point.

Capital 300

I too just picked up this thread again. I hope your still out there. I haven't been on since I posted 3 years ago. Thank you so much James. You seem very kind and hurt by this crash as well. I know your Dad was a good man who happened to be in impossible position. Suffering takes many forms and your family has suffered much and I'm sorry to know that. My sisters tend to blame Capt. McCoy. This may not have been his first crash. Charles Floyd, probably another good man, must have had to ask himself whether or not he was doing excellent work at the time; apparently too heavy a burden for him to bear. We were told at the time that the air traffic controllers were being unfairly blamed because a settlement of some kind was obviously in order and your father and Charles Floyd were vulnerable. It must have really distressed your Dad. Later on our family was asked to participate in getting FAA rules changed to not allow certain activity below 10000 feet. I'm not sure what became of that maybe something worthwhile. Many lives were set in a new direction that day. On rainy days I still feel sorry for myself. Best to you. courtney morgan

Both of my parents were

Both of my parents were kiled in this crash.I am the youngest of four children, age 4 at the time. I was always told that the fault was with the air traffic controller. I was told he had been recently released from a "mental" hospital before returning to his air traffic controll duties. I would really like to know if this was the case.I remember going to the airport to pick up my parents that fateful day, Unbelievibly I rememember to this day hearing the news of the crash over the car radio, hearing my parents name as casuality's. How things were different then. I was raised along with my brother's and sister by my grandparents. At least we were not split up.I have always wondered how different my life would have been had I been raised by my parents. I loved my grandparents and know they did everything they could to give us a "normal" life, but no parent should have to bury their children and have to give up their grandparent status to become parents again. But as in life we have no choice but to deal with what we are given no matter how unfair. Hopefully it makes us stronger.