Wichita, KS B-47 Strato-jet Explosion & Crash, Mar 1956
3 Die In Jet Plane Blast
Wichita, Kan. (UP) – A B-47 Stratojet exploded over East Wichita Wednesday as thousands watched. It crashed four miles northeast of the city, killing its crew of three.
The office of information services at McConnell Air Force Base said the explosion occurred after takeoff, probably at about 2,000 feet altitude.
Wreckage was strewn along the countryside for several miles as the wings sheared off and the fuselage tumbled to earth.
McConnell identified the pilot and instructor as Capt. William C. CRAGGS of Wichita, He is survived by his widow and two sons.
The students were: Lt. Col. William H. DAMES, 39, of Oconomowoc, Wis. His wife and two sons are reported to be living in Milwaukee.
1st Lt. John C. LEYSATH, 24, off North, South Carolina.
The six-jet USAF plane was watched in its death plunge by the pilot of a Navy Neptune bomber, Lt. Maurice BOYACK of the Hutchinson, Kan., Naval Air Station.
BOYACK said the explosion occurred in a climbing turn. He flew his bomber to a point where he could see the wings rip off the B-47. He said it appeared there was a fire in the mid-section, followed by the explosion.
Fire fighters battled the blaze at the crash scene for more than an hour. The plane crashed within 1,000 feet of two large suburban houses.
Anderson Herald, Anderson, IN 29 Mar 1956