McClellan Air Base, CA Air Force Weather Plane, Apr 1952
TEN ARE KILLED IN PLANE CRASH.
Sacramento, Cal., April 6. -- (UP) -- An air force B-29 weather plane, returning from a 19-hour flight, crashed on a farm three miles short of the McClellan air base runway Saturday night, killing all 10 crew members.
An air force spokesman said the big bomber received routine landing instructions three minutes before it crashed and gave no indication of trouble at that time.
The four-engined plane apparently caught fire in the air and smashed into a pasture at a 45-degree angle. The main sections of the craft remained intact, but the wreckage was a roaring mass of flames by the time crash crews from the air base reached the scene minutes later.
The air force announced the names of the dead as:
Major BRUCE ACEBEDO, pilot, Del Paso Heights, Cal.
Captain GUILFORD A HOPKINS, weather observer, North Sacramento.
Captain L. E. WINSTEAD, navigator, Hardy, Ark.
Second Lieutenant AUGUST I. LAM, navigator, San Francisco.
Master Sergeant EDWIN M. FULIZ, radio operator, Milroy, Pa.
Technical Sergeant GEORGE R. SHOOK, flight engineer, North Highlands, Cal.
Staff Sergeant ELBERT E. KING, drop sound operator, Del Paso Heights, Cal.
Staff Sergeant HAYDEN C. SCHULZ, flight mechanic, North Sacramento.
Staff Sergeant CARLTON J. FOSE, Appleton, Wis.
Captain ROBERT L. KIZER, copilot, Sacramento.
Captain KIZER, whose home station is Travis Air Base, Cal., was getting flight time while serving on temporary duty at McClellan field. The B-29 was attached to the Fiftieth strategic reconnaissance squadron.
An eyewitness to the crash, EVERETT FURMAN, JR., confirmed the plane was afire before it struck the ground.
"I saw flames in the sky, and when I stopped my car I saw the plane come down at a 45-degree angle," FURMAN said. "If smashed into a pasture about half a mile from me."
GEORGE SHULER, a civilian member of the McClellan fire department, said he and fellow firemen saw the flames from the base and were en route to the scene before an alarm was sounded.
"When we arrived we found the plane mostly intact," he said. "It looked like it had just nosed down and started to burn. Some pieces of debris and bomb bay doors were scattered around the area but the main bulk of the plane was in one piece."
SHULER said the fire fighters were hampered by jammed traffic and crowds of spectators who were attracted to the scene by the flames.
An air force board of inquiry was slated to investigate the cause of the crash.
Billings Gazette Montana 1952-04-07