Minneapolis, MN Jet Crashes Into Houses, June 1956


Washington (INS) -- Sen. Edward J. THYE (R-Minn.) demanded Saturday an immediate Pentagon investigation of two military jet plane crashes in the Minneapolis area.

Minneapolis (INS) -- Six persons, including four children, were killed Saturday when a Navy jet plane crashed in flames and ploughed through six homes near Minneapolis.
Eleven children were hospitalized with injuries.
A man and his wife and two of their three sons were among the dead. The other son was away on a fishing trip.
A girl in a neighboring home was killed as she lay on a couch. A section of the plane's landing gear speared through the house and was found beside the girl's body.
The pilot, Marine Maj. GEORGE E. ARMSTRONG, 33, of the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, died in the plane.
The crash occurred at Weld-Chamberlain Field where last Tuesday an Air Force jet smashed into an auto and killed a woman and her daughter.
Saturday's tragedy came after ARMSTRONG took off in a formation of three Navy F-95 jet fighters.
The control tower said ARMSTRONG immediately radioed for permission to land. There was no explanation.
The plane plunged to the ground near the main gate at the north end of the field.
KENNETH LICHTY, who lives nearby, said:
"I heard an explosion. I didn't see the crash. All I saw was flames. The fire spread. I got my wife and two kids from the house and ran to a field across the street."
His next door neighbor's family was nearly wiped out. Killed were JOHN DONALD GARIES, 36, his wife JANE, 35, and two sons, MARK, 6, and BRYAN, 2.
The surviving son, 11-year-old JOEL, had left to go fishing with companions about an hour before the plane crashed. He said his parents were sleeping and his brothers were watching television.
The body of the sixth victim was identified as a neighbor, DEBORAH DE WOLFE, 5 years old.
Some 20 youngsters were playing in the yards of the residential strip of homes adjacent to Wold-Chamberlain field.
The whistling jet demolished one house and damaged at least five others in its flaming plunge.

Mansfield News Journal Ohio 1956-06-10



thank you very much for your input and complements ...
Glad you are a reader of GenDisasters
Stu Beitler

Wrong Aircraft Cited

I believe the aircraft involved in this crash was a Grumman F9F Panther fighter jet (no such thing as a "Navy F-95 jet fighter.")

They were withdrawn from front-line service in 1956, but remained in Naval Air Reserve and Marine Air Reserve units until 1958, and a few were still used into the 1960s.

Thanks, Stu, for your interesting posts.