Langley Field, VA Fighter Jet Crash, Feb 1957


Minetto Pilot, City Airman Die Instantly

Hancock Jet Burns Near Virginia Field

A Syracusan and a Minetto man, both lieutenants in the New York Air National Guard of the 107th Fighter Group at Hancock Field, met instant death tonight when their F-94B Starfire jet fighter crashed a mile short of the Langley Field, Va., air force base runway and burst into flames.
They were:
Lt. EDWARD BACCHI of Grant Village, Syracuse, radar observer on the ill-fated ship.
Lt. MARTIN BULLARD, 32, of Minetto, its pilot.
These identifications of the two men killed were given The Post-Standard by Lt. Col. LAWRENCE J. DISSETTE, commanding officer of the 107th Fighter Group here, through public relations officers at the base.
The fatal crash occurred in an extremely strong wind that had led the two lieutenants to announce by radio that they planned to land at Langley with two accompanying planes, and would not complete immediately a flight to a National Guard meeting at Gulfport, Miss.
A bridegroom of four months, BACCHI has been attached here as radar observer, although he is assigned to the 222nd Instructor Squadron, Headquarters, First Air Force, Mitchell Air Force Base, New York.
His recent bride, AGATHA, was at the home of her mother, MRS. JOSEPH BOTTINI, 511 E. Dominick St., Rome, on a visit during her husband's flight south when word of the tragedy came.
The men were flying from Hancock field to participate in target practice upon moving objects aloft during the National Guard gunnery meet at the Mississippi base.
Lt. BULLARD, whose home address is P. O. Box 46, Minetto, outside Oswego, leaves his wife, MRS. LOUISE BULLARD, two young sons and a daughter, and his parents MR. And MRS. FRED BULLARD also of Minetto.
Pilots of the planes that landed safely at Langley Field in the high winds that forced them down there were identified as Capt. JOHN THEISEN and Capt. NORMAN GRAVES, both of Sherrill, N. Y.
Identities of radar men in their planes were not announced.
Three In Flight.
The plane was one of three Starfire jets which left Hancock field at 5:18 p. m. on the flight to Mississippi.
Associated Press dispatches from Langley Field said that the crash occurred at 7:26 p. m. at a point just west of the runway.
The accompanying two planes landed safely.
The other two planes landed safely. All three aircraft were assigned to the 138th fighter interceptor squadron of the New York Air National Guard in Syracuse.

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