Cooperton, OK Military Transport Crash, May 1964


Cooperton, Okla. (AP) -- A C124 military transport plane crashed and burned in a driving rainstorm near this southwestern Oklahoma community Saturday night, killing all aboard. Five bodies had been recovered.
Witnesses said the plane exploded in the air.
The plane was believed to be en route to Dover, Del., from Clovis, N.M., when it encountered bad weather, lost radio contact, and crashed.
MRS. DALE CALLEN of Cooperton said she and her husband heard a roar and looked out a window of their home in time to see the plane falling in flames.
CALLEN called Kiowa County Sheriff LEON MESSICK, who sent three men to the scene and dispatched two ambulances and a fire truck.
"It was so hot they couldn't get close to the plane," MESSICK said.
DON GISH, a funeral home director at nearby Hobart, said wreckage was scattered over nearly a mile.
Witnesses said a heavy thunderstorm accompanied by lightning and hail was raking the area at the time of the crash.
CHRIS JOHNSON, a Cooperton oil company operator, said, "The plane definitely blew up in the air and flaming parts seemed to separate in two separate directions."
The plane went down in an isolated area and rescue teams were hampered by muddy roads and rugged terrain.

Galveston Daily News Texas 1964-05-10