Starks, LA Navy Planes Crash, Aug 1966


Starks - A search for a missing A4 Navy jet attack plane will be resumed in an area north of here today.
Accident investigation teams from Los Alamitos, Calif., and New Orleans Naval Air Stations reached the scene of the crash Sunday and determined the wreckage of only one plane had been found.
Lt. Cmdr. W. T. Barron said helicopters and light planes from England Air Force Base in Alexandria would sweep the area north and west of here today.
Barron said the Navy was requesting the Army to furnish ground search parties so the entire area could be combed for the missing sub-sonic plane.
The bodies of the pilots of the planes were found by ground and air search parties Saturday.
The two pilots on a two-week training program were on a cross-country flight when the accident occurred Friday afternoon.
Lt. Cmdr. EDWARD H. WOOD of Lemon Grove, Calif., and Lt. JOSEPH MELDMAN of Sepulveda, Calif., were attached to Naval Air Reserve Squadron VA 776 stationed at Los Alamitos.
WOOD was a native of Baton Rouge.
The investigating team said they were disappointed when they reached the scene of the one plane crash because there was so little left of the aircraft it would be difficult to make any definite determination on the cause of the crash.
The team, headed by Lt. Cmdr. E. L. Ballew, said the plane exploded on impact and scattered the debris on a large area.
The wreckage was discovered Saturday afternoon almost 24 hours after the two planes dropped out of a four-plane formation en route from New Orleans to El Paso, Tex.

Lake Charles American-Press Louisiana 1966-08-08