Midland, TX Air Force Plane And Private Plane Collision, Oct 1956
SEVEN DIE IN COLLISION OF AIRCRAFT.
Midland, Tex. (UP) -- A T-35 jet plane from Webb Air Force base carrying two Air Force officers collided in flight with a Cessna 170 carrying five members of one family over Midland. Wreckage of the planes plummeted to a residential section, burning one house and damaging several others. All seven persons in the planes died, but no one was hurt on the ground.
"That small plane looked as if it were flying almost in the same direction as the jet," L. B. Martin, Dallas, Tex., truck driver said. "There was a loud explosion, then pieces of both planes and bodies were falling everywhere."
The Air Force victims of the air collision were identified as Capt. ROY A. ROBERTS, 29, of Belleville, Illinois, whose wife and daughter live at Big Spring; and 1st Lt. LOWELL D. HALE, 25, of Decatur, Illinois. HALE'S wife and daughter also live in Big Spring.
Those killed in the private plane were WINFRED R. CLEMENT, 27, his wife ELIZABETH, 25, their daughter, CATHY, about 13-months-old, all of Bowie, Tex.; and MRS. CLEMENTS' parents, MR. ROY E. HOWARD, 63, and ETHEL HOWARD, 57, of Vashti, Tex.
The jet wreckage crashed into the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Saunders, who weren't home at the time.
"If it hadn't been for my sister I probably would have been in that house and been killed myself," Mrs. Saunders said. She said her sister and insisted that they go shopping.
The engine of the civilian plane crashed into the kitchen of Mrs. Billy Crowe. Only minutes earlier she had taken her children -- Janice, 1 and Debra, 3 -- into the living room.
Wreckage and bodies were strewn all over the middle class residential area. The body of one woman crashed through the roof of another home and lodged in the bathtub. A child was found crumbled in a flower bed.
Webb Air Force Base said one of the airmen in the T33 had ejected himself, but his chute failed to open. The body of the other airman was found in the burned Saunders home.
Daily Inter Lake Kalispell Montana 1956-10-25