Charleston, SC (near) Air Force Cargo Plane Crash, Nov 1978


Charleston, S. C. (UPI) -- The Air Force said six crewmen aboard the four-engine turboprop were killed in the mishap Thursday. A bolt of lightning sent the Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane hurtling to earth during a violent thunderstorm, 25 miles northwest of Charleston, S.C.
Sgt. Rhine Oberlin, a spokesman for Charleston Air Force Base, said the pilot of the C-130 "reported a lightning strike, it was declared an emergency and then it disappeared from radar screens."
He said the plane was on a routine training flight to Charleston from Pope Air Force Base outside Fayetteville, N.C. Part of a torn parachute was found in a tree near the remains of the plane.
Officials at Pope identified those aboard the C-130 as:
Capt. SAMUEL P. ESKEW, 28, the pilot from Greenville, S.C.
Co-Pilot Capt. MARK D. GREER, 27, of Kewadin, Mich.
Navigator 1st Lt. DANIEL K. MORRIS, 31, of El Monte, Calif.
Staff Sgt. BURNIE C. FINCH II, 28, an instructor flight engineer from Kingsvile, Texas.
Staff Sgt. ROBERT H. CANTON, 26, a flight engineer from Corona, Calif.
Loadmaster Airman 1st Class ROBERT H. VAN WINKLE, 22, of Denville, N.J.
The plane was stationed with the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing at Pope.
Charleston and Pope were recently involved in the movement of troops and equipment to and from Jonestown, Guyana, where the Peoples Temple cult members committed mass suicide Nov. 18.

Altoona Mirror Pennsylvania 1978-11-30