Torrington, WY Two National Guard Jets Collide, Sep 1955


Torrington, Wyo. (AP) - Three airmen died Sunday, in the crash of two Wyoming National Guard jet airplanes after colliding in flight Sunday about five miles southwest of Torrington.
Two men crashed to earth in a T-33 after the collision during a formation flight at 10,000 feet.
A third pilot tried to parachute but his smashed body, still strapped in the ejection-seat, was found 150 feet from the wreckage.
Col. E. M. Mathison, administrative assistant to the Wyoming adjutant general, said the pilot of the T-33 was 2nd Lt. LELAND PALMER, 25, of Cheyenne.
The pilot of the F-80 was identified by Mathison as 1st Lt. RALPH VAN HORN, 30, of Fort Collins, Colo., who is survived by his widow and three children. The observer riding in the T-33 with PALMER was 2nd Lt. THOMAS TUCKER, 24, also of Fort Collins. He is survived by his widow and a child. PALMER was married about three months ago.
Their bodies were found in the T-33 wreckage, buried in a marsh, about a mile and a half from the F-80.
The T-33 was flying the lead position in a flight of three jets. Mathison said it appeared that the F-80 which crashed knocked a portion of the wing from the T-33.

Greeley Daily Tribune Colorado 1955-09-19