East of Cape Cod, MA Plane Crashes Into Atlantic Ocean, Nov 1966


Otis Air Force Base, Mass. (AP) -- An Air Force Constellation with 19 men aboard is missing today and presumed to have crashed in the Atlantic some 125 miles east of Cape Cod.
The four engine EC121H, a radar patrol plane out of Otis Air Force Base, vanished from radar screens early today while on a routine air defense mission.
Crash Reported.
Air Force officials said there was no indication the plane was in trouble when contact was lost. First word of a possible crash came by radio from a small fishing vessel.
A massive surface and air search was organized immediately after the fishing vessel reported seeing a plane hurtle through the fog into the rough seas.
Air Force rescue planes from Labrador and Bermuda and other Atlantic bases swarmed over the area, seeking the lost craft. Coast Guard cutters, fishing vessels and merchant ships joined in the hunt.
The searchers reported an oil slick and unidentified debris in the area where the plane was said to have crashed.
Identity of the 19 men aboard the Constellation was withheld by the Air Force pending notification of next of kin.
A Coast Guard spokesman at Boston said the plane left Otis AFB at 12:35 a.m., EST, and was last heard from by radio at 1:22 a.m., EST.
Shortly after that, ground radar contact was lost, the Coast Guard said. There was no report of any conversations or indications of difficulty.
At 1:30 a.m., the spokesman said, a fishing vessel identified as the Stephen R, reported seeing an aircraft plunge into the water.
"Since that time," the Coast Guard said, "other fishing vessels have entered the area and picked up floating debris.
"The debris, however, has not been positively identified," the spokesman said.
Two planes were dispatched from Otis AFB to join the search for the plane, which belonged to the 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing, 961st AEW&C Squadron.
The Coast Guard cutter Acushnet out of Portland, Maine, was on patrol in the area and sped to the scene. The cutter Yakutat, out of New Bedford, also was sent.

Nashua Telegraph New Hampshire 1966-11-11



Otis Air Force Base, Mass. (AP) -- The Air Force has given up its search for a radar picket plane that crashed in the Atlantic Friday and has declared the 19 crew members dead.
A badly burned flight jacket and miscellaneous debris were found in the search area about 125 miles southeast of Nantucket Island near Cape Cod.
Nine Air Force officers arrived at Otis during the weekend to begin an investigation into the crash of the big Constellation. Another Constellation on radar picket patrol from Otis crashed in the Atlantic 15 months ago, killing 16 of the 19 crewmen.
Col. JAMES P. LYLE, commander of the 551st Early Warning and Control Wing, said Saturday night there would be no further search by the Coast Guard or the Air Force pending further developments and salvage operations.

Nashua Telegraph New Hampshire 1966-11-14