Shaw Air Force Base, SC Jet Crashes, Oct 1971


Sumter -- Two Air Force officers were killed Thursday when their twin-engined jet aircraft crashed while attempting to land at Shaw Air Force Base.
An AIr Force spokesman said MAJ. ROBERT B. PENNY and MAJ. JOHN H. HUGHES were killed when their B-57 aircraft crashed at approximately 4:15 p.m.
According to an eyewitness account, the aircraft seemed to lose power at an altitude of approximately 500 feet.
Sgt. JOHNNIE MONAHAN, of Florence, who witnessed the crash, said the aircraft was coming in at what seemed to be a normal rate of speed and power.
"Everything seemed to be okay," MONAHAN said. "Then, about a half a mile from the runway they seemed to lose power."
MONAHAN said the aircraft went into a spiral and crashed, with flames higher than 200 feet jetting into the air.
"Everything happened so fast, I don't think they even had a chance," he said.
The plane left Shaw AFB early Thursday morning on a training mission to Barksdale AFB, La., and was returning to Shaw when the crash occurred just south of U.S. 76.
A spokesman at Shaw said PENNY lived at 201 Palmetto Dr., on the base and HUGHES lived at 240 Wildwood Dr., in Sumter.

Florence Morning News South Carolina 1971-10-15