Fairchild Air Force Base, WA Bomber Crash, Apr 1952


Spokane, Wash., April 15 (UP) -- An intercontinental B-36 bomber crashed and exploded into a death trap for 15 of its 17-man crew early Tuesday while taking off for a training flight from its base near here.
Two enlisted men somehow escaped from the flaming wreckage and were hospitalized with severe burns and shock. The Air Force identified them as:
Airman 2/C JAMES BREEDLOVE, Donora, Pa.
M/Sgt. WALTER L. CAMPBELL, Chetek, Wis.
CAMPBELL'S condition was listed as "critical" and BREEDLOVE"S as "non-critical."
Officers said they werenot in condition to immediately give an account of the accident.
A Civil Aeronautics administration tower operator, who declined to identify himself, said he saw the plane crash on a farm while trying to take off from Fairchild Air Force Base shortly after 3:45 a.m.
"I noticed the plane as it was taking off ..." he said.
"It glided along for a short distance, then crashed and exploded. Immediately after it hit there was a series of bright flashes, apparently caused by wing tanks exploding. One flash was brighter than the others, and it may have been a magnesium flare."
The tower operator said the two airmen jumped from the side of the plane before it disintegrated into a molten mass of metal.
"I don't know how anyone got out of that crash," said State Patrol Sgt. Harold Bolak. "All I could make out of the burning wreckage was the motors. The rest was just so much twisted metal."
Sgt. Bolak radioed from the scene that the fire blocked any attempts to rescue the 15 trapped crewmen. "The fire was burning more than two hours after the crash," he said. "Wreckage was scattered over a 1,000 square-foot area."
The $3.5 million plane was attached to the 57th Air division of the 92nd Bomb Wing at Fairchild. It was the second B-36 to crash here. The other crash occurred on Jan. 29 but the crew escaped.

Valley Morning Star Harlingen Texas 1952-04-16

The public information office tonight identified the crewmen killed in the crash.
They were:
Capt. CECIL ALLDREDGE, aircraft commander, of Taft, Calif.
Capt. EARL G. SODERBECK, of Edina, Minn.
First Lt. MELVIN H. EMLEY, of Saratoga, Calif.
Capt. JOHN Q. BOYD, of Jackson, Ga.
Capt. JOHN E. DALY, of Spokane, Wash.
First Lt. HERBERT D. MERMAN, of Ogden, Utah.
Second Lt. JOHN J. KNAUB, of Maryville, Pa.
Capt. ARTHUR HULSHIZER, of Cedar Rapids, Ia.
Capt. ALBERT E. NELSON, of Filion, Mich.
S/Sgt. EARL K. DAVIS, of Spokane, Wash.
S/Sgt. JOHN C. GAFFORD, of Indian Mound, Tenn.
T/Sgt. FRANCIS J. BROZOWSKI, of Spokane, Wash.
A/1C CHARLES E. SYKORA, JR., Ellwood, Ind.

Independent Long Beach California 1952-04-16