Jacksonville, FL (off shore) Jet Crash On Carrier, May 1959


Jacksonville, Fla. (AP) - Fire at sea followed the crash of a Navy jet plane aboard the aircraft carrier Essex on Thursday.
The pilot of the plane was killed, and an airman on the carrier deck burned to death.
Three men were critically injured and 18 hospitalized with minor burns or injuries.
It took nearly an hour to put out the flames that spread when the plane cartwheeled across the deck.
Six planes were destroyed or damaged. The carrier had considerable damage to its rear elevator, upper deck compartments and electrical wiring and equipment.
LT. JAMES C. STEELE, pilot of the jet, was waved off after a low approach but his right wing dipped, caught a parked aircraft and his plane then cartwheeled across the deck, followed by explosions and fire, the Navy reported.
STEELE and his plane went into the water and were lost. His widow is the former Wilma Moore of Harrodsburg, Ky., and his mother is Vera C. Steele of East Longmeadow, Mass.
CHARLES E. PORTER, the airman who burned to death, lived in Jacksonville with his wife, Ruth.

The Index-Journal Greenwood South Carolina 1959-05-29