Payette, ID Air Force Transport Plane Crashes, Oct 1958

Monument To The Crash Victims.JPG


Payette, Idaho (UPI) -- An Air Force C-123 transport plane that crashed Thursday night killing 19 persons may have been disabled by a flock of geese, witnesses said today.
The plane, en route from Pope AFB, N. C., to McCord Field, Tacoma, Wash., plummeted to earth at dusk after it knifed through a formation of wild geese.
An explosion and fire followed the crash which occurred on the CLAUDE SMITH ranch about 10 miles east of this farming center on the Idaho-Oregon border.
Air Force officials withheld the casualty list pending identification of the bodies and notification of next of kin.
The plane had made a refuelling stop at Hill AFB, near Ogden, Utah, and had checked in with the Civil Aeronautics Administration tower at Boise, Idaho less than a half hour before it came to grief. The Boise tower said no message was received from the plane indicating and difficulties. The CAA said the plane was on course for Tacoma when it crashed.
One of the eye witnesses, ELDRO GISSELL, who operates a ranch about four miles from the crash scene, said he saw the plane fly through a string of about 200 to 250 geese at an estimated height of about 2,000 feet. The area is on the north-south "flyway for wild geese and other migrant wild fowl."
"The formation of geese broke up and the birds flew in all directions, honking wildly," GISSELL related. "Then I heard the plane's engine stutter and the plane seemed to go into a stall and spin. For a brief moment, the engines roared wide open and the plane seemed to pull up. Then it knifed down toward the ground. A moment later I heard the explosion."
A convoy of 10 trucks from Mountain Home Air Force Base, about 110 miles east of here, arrived at the crash scene early today. Air police immediately took over from Idaho state police the duty of guarding the area.
Officers began the grim task of identifying the badly charred bodies.

The Daily Inter Lake Kalispell Montana 1958-10-10

The Crew:
1stLt. JOHN N. FRISBY, pilot.
Cpt. JAMES C. WILSON, JR., instructor pilot.
SSG JAMES M. HAUVER, co-pilot.
1stLt. THOMAS C. LAMPSA, navigator.
A1C JAMES C. MILLER, loadmaster.
The Passengers:
The Civilians:
MR. STANLEY A. SHEGDA, North American Aviation Tecnical Representative.
MR. JOSEPH PAUL, North American Aviation Mechanic.


My father was part of the crew but was not on the plane

I am fortunate enough to say my father was one of the crew members to still be with us. We are lucky he was not on the plane that day as he had to have Knee surgery. I am so sorry for everyones loss and wish things were different for all as my father does not like to talk about it.... all he says is how he lost a lot of close friends that day. I know there are others out there from this crew that are still alive, if any of you know of them could you please contact me. Would love for my dad to have contact with some as he has since suffered a stroke but seems to be able to recall his years as part of the Thunderbirds. I would also love to get any information I can about the crash as well. I think he would appreciate hearing anything he can. Hugs to all of you that suffered a loss that horrific day.

Tamee Kellerman Tumbleson

Monument location information

Hello everyone my grandfather A1C Richard Lashley was on that plane when it had crashed and I was wondering if anyone had the location of where exactly it is? I am a Technical Sergeant in the Air Force Stationed at Mountain Home AFB and I would like to visit the site. There was a gentleman about 2 years ago collecting information and pictures from my grandmother about this crash in order to write a book to raise money for the upkeep. I would like to put together a volunteer group from my squadron to travel up there and make any repairs necessary in order to preserve this landmark. Any information would be greatly appreciated. My home email address is Thank you!


Stu, I am a Payette county


I am a Payette county historical society board member, and local researcher. I have been asked by the museum board to put together any media info I can find about this crash, to present at the memorial gathering in Aug. May I use this story for that project?

I am looking forward to the event. It seems to be getting bigger by the day.

Thank you,

Payette, Idaho, plane crash of Oct. 9, 1958

My brother, 1st L:t. Thomas Charles Lampsa, was the navigator on the plane that crashed Oct. 9, 1958, near Payette, Idaho. I was 11 years old at the time and can remember so vividly when my parents came to my school to pick me up and tell me the terrible, tragic news. We never got many, if any, answers from the government as to what might have happened. My father had a very difficult time dealing with my brother's death. Ironically he died on Oct. 9, 1973 — 15 years to the day after the crash. My mother lived until nearly age 100; she died on Aug. 9, 2009.

I am planning to attend a gathering of family members of those who died in the crash, to be held on Aug. 5 at the ranch where the plane went down. I work for a newspaper in Minnesota and have written articles and columns about my brother Tommy over the years.

My brother was also on that

My brother was also on that plane that crashed at Payette in 1958 479-586-1721

Plane Crash Idaho

My wifr's brother SSG John H. Bishop a member of the Thunderbird team was also killed in that plane crash, age 23.

Correction to my post

I just foung out from my father in-law that he was NOT on this crash, rather he was on the one in Kerrville, Texas which was four months after this crash.

My father in law lived in Payette and he DID help out with this crash as a volunteer ( he was leaving for training In Feb. 1959) and he does have some information on this if you would still like to connect with him.

I am sorry for my confusion on this. I found this site and believed this crash was the one he was in since he was from Payette.

Dad would give you the information he has if you would like him to contact you just let me know. I will check back on this site soon.

My Father-in-law is a survivor of this crash

I just found your post on this crash. My husband's father is one of the survivors. If you leave your phone number or e mail address on this site I can give it to him and he can contact you. I am sure he would be honored to be get in contact with you and talk. He was severely injured in the crash and received a Medical discharge from the Air Force.

I am so sorry for your loss. I know the Houston, MO area as I have family there.

God bless and hope we can help you connect with my father-in-law.

Payette memorial for 1958 crash site

I visited the crash site and memorial last October 7, 2007. My brother J.C. Miller died in that crash on October 9, 1958. He was only 23 and was so happy flying as a load master. I have a special place in my heart for the good people of Payette. They were so affected by this horrible crash, and in response collected money and donated their time to build the memorial that still stands 50 years later. I wanted to meet and talk with some of the people involved. I did speak to one gentleman who cried telling me about how the local people rushed to the site trying to help anyone who might of survived and being prevented by the flames. It sure changed the lives of our family. We were never informed of the cause of the crash. My parents heard of their son's death on the radio. My brother was so many things. He played high school football and won just about every award, including All American High School Football Player of the year his senior year in Houston, MO. in 1953. He was married with 3 young children. I would love to hear from anyone that have any information about the crash.