Cooper Hill, NJ Navy Transport Plane Crash, Apr 1943



Flemington, N. J., April 1 (AP) -- Seven persons were reported killed last night when a Navy transport plane crashed into a cornfield at Cooper Hill near here and burst into flames.
Reports received by State Police indicated 12 persons were aboard the big plane as it plunged to earth about 9:30 p.m. on the NAT HIGGINS farm. Five of those aboard the craft were said to have parachuted to safety.
CARL KARPOK of Flemington, who was on his way to work at a factory, said he was about 150 yards away when he saw the plane crash.
"I rushed to the scene and pulled one body, which was entangled in its parachute, from the wreck," he said. "Then the plane burst into flames and I was driven away from the wreckage by the intense heat."
RUDY SEXTON, golf professional at the Cooper Hill Country Club, between Ringoes and Flemington, said he and his wife were alone in the clubhouse when they heard the roar of a plane closely overhead.
"We ran outside and saw a flash of flame about a half mile from the golf course. We ran over and found the plane in flames."
SEXTON said one man in Navy uniform was wandering around dazed and all he could say was "how many got out?"
SEXTON said what appeared to be one body was lying on the ground near the plane.
Eyewitnesses at State Police headquarters in Flemington said two of the survivors were naval lieutenants' uniforms, and that the other three appeared to be enlisted men. One of the enlisted men was suffering from a badly bruised nose.
Military police arrived shortly after the crash and were patrolling the area.
At New York, the Third Naval District Public Relations office said a Navy investigator was on the way to the scene.

The Daily Mail Hagerstown Maryland 1943-04-01