Off Falmouth, MA Air Force Plane Crashes In Atlantic, July 1965



Falmouth, Mass. AP -- Ten men were rescued and 8 bodies recovered today from the 19-man crew of a U. S. Air Force plane down in the North
The Coast Guard said one members of the crew was missing.
The rescued men were taken aboard U. S. and German destroyers in the vicinity of the crash 145 miles east northeast of Nantucket.
The four engine propellor plane ditched in the fog-shrouded sea late Sunday night. It was on duty as an early warning radar plane.
The bodies all were reported aboard the destroyer Barry out of Newport, R. I. Three survivors also were aboard the Barry.
Helicopters Aid.
Helicopters from the U. S. carrier Wasp, on maneuvers in the area along with the German Navy vessels, picked up most of the crewmen and deposited them on board one of the German ships.
At least two men were picked up by small boats.
Names of the survivors and other crewmen were not immediately available.
Heavy Fog.
The rescues were undertaken despite a fog which limited visibility to from 50 to 100 yards. The seas were reported as moderate, yet too rough for a seaplane to land.
The German vessels, operating on maneuvers with the USS Wasp, are the former American destroyers USS Anthony, USS Ringgold and the USS Wadsworth.
The men were put aboard the vessel formerly know as the Anthony and now carrying the name Blotter.
The Coast Guard said its reports indicate only 10 of the 18 crew members have been sighted. Spokesmen at Otis Air Force Base said some reports indicated 15 men had been sighted in the water.
A search area of 80 square miles have been blocked off, the Coast Guard said.
Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard said that an Air Force plane, just a minute earlier, had received six SOS signals on a radio frequency used by transmitters normally kept on emergency.
Until that time there had been only one possible signal from survivors -- and then no further word through the night.
The flares and markers of dye dumped in the ocean waters were spotted with the first rays of morning sunlight.
Rescue planes and ships had searched in thick fog late Sunday night and early this morning. More planes and ships were rushed to the scene at dawn.
The Coast Guard said debris, papers and an oil slick had also been sighted in the area where the plane went down.
Otis Air Force Base said the four-engine EC121 radar picket plane dropped into the Atlantic Ocean Sunday night northeast of Nantucket Island.
Moments before, one of the three pilots had radioed that one engine was aflame, another was feathered and they were forced to ditch.
Full-Scale Search.
A Pan American World Airways jetliner en route to Europe from New York was diverted to the scene and circled overhead, as a full-scale military search and rescue mission was organized.
Little more than an hour after the plane went down, a search plane picked up a signal believed to be from a radio homing device used on emergency rafts.
But an Otis spokesman said, "We received only the one signal and we lost it. A plane went down to search the area where we thought it was, but found nothing."
Seas at the time were light to moderate but because of the fog, visibility was reported as zero.
The propeller-driven craft was a military version of the Lockheed Super-G Constellation. It was one of 38 based at Otis that carry their sweeping radar domes up and down the northern coastline of the North American continent on the alert for possible enemy attack.
Part of the 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing, it operated normally about 200 miles offshore in a protective screen from Norfolk, Va., to Newfoundland.
The Air Force said the $2.5-million craft carried about five tons of radar and that it was the first to have ditched since the round-the-clock surveillance begin at Otis 10 years ago.

Nashua Telegraph New Hampshire 1965-07-12