Pease Air Force Base – July 21, 1965

Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire – July 21, 1965

 

RB-47E Stratojet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 3: a.m. on the morning of July 21, 1965, an Air Force B-47 jet bomber was approaching Pease Air Force Base after an 11-hour training flight when it was discovered that the landing gear would not come down.  The aircraft then circled the base for the next five hours while the crew attempted to fix the problem, but they were unable to do so.  With fuel running low, there was no choice but to attempt a belly landing.  The runway was covered with foam and the pilot made a pass over the runway at 50 feet to check conditions.  He then brought the aircraft in and touched down without landing gear.  The crew deployed drogue chutes to slow the aircraft, and it skidded along the tarmac for 250 yards before coming to rest.  There was no fire and none of the four crewmen aboard were injured.

     The crew were identified as:

     Lt. Col. James B. Price, of Waco, Texas.

     Captain Yale R. Davis Jr., of Salina, Kansas.

     Captain Ronald E. Newton, of Hastings, Nebraska.

     Lieutenant Charles S. Franco, Brooklyn, New York.   

     Source:

     New London Day, “Crippled AF Jet In Safe Belly-Landing”, July, 22, 1965 – with photo of aircraft on runway.

Pease Air Force Base – November 5, 1964

Pease Air Force Base – November 5, 1964

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

     On November 5, 1964, five U.S. Air Force KC-97 tanker planes were scheduled to take off from Pease Air Force Base as part of an airborne refueling training mission.  The first three took off successfully, however the forth aircraft crashed and exploded on take off, scattering debris across the Pease golf course, and nearby Route 101.  All five crewmen aboard were killed.

     They were identified as:

     (Pilot) Capt. Robert Louis Thompson, 33, of Vernon, Connecticut.

     (C0-Pilot) Capt. Michael Peter Valavon, 27, of Jersey City, New Jersey.

     (Navigator) 1st Lt. Larry C. Dennis, 25, of Richmond, Virginia.

     (Boom Operator) S/Sgt. Gerald William Schulz, 32, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

     (Flight Engineer) S/Sgt. Richard Earl Towle, 36, of Kittery, Maine.   

     The men were assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Squadron. 

     Two civilians, a mother and her daughter, were slightly burned when the accident occurred.  They had been sitting in a car on Route 101 watching the aircraft take off. 

     Sources:

     (Spokane, Washington) The Spokesman-Review, “5 U.S. Airmen Crash Victims”, November 6, 1964

     Unknown newspaper, “Five Killed In AF Tanker Crash, November 6, 1964

    

Pease Air Force Base – April 15, 1958

Pease Air Force Base – April 15, 1958

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    

RB-47E Stratojet U.S. Air Force Photo

RB-47E Stratojet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the night of April 15, 1958, a U.S. Air Force B-47E Stratojet, (#52-562), crashed on take off from Pease AFB in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  The aircraft had risen to about 700 feet before it suddenly plunged into a swamp near the end of the runway and burst into flames.  The smoke from the fire could be see for fifteen miles.

     One witness to the accident later told a reporter, “I could see the plane spilling fuel, then it just lit up, as though on fire, before it crashed.”

    

     All four crewmen aboard were killed in the crash.  They were identified as:

     (Aircraft Commander) Captain Richard D. Burns, 27, of Royal Oak, Michigan.  He’s buried in Gilgal Cemetery in Heltonville, Indiana.  To see a photograph of  Capt. Burns, go to www.findagrave.com, Memorial #63005578.  

     (Pilot) 1st Lt. Edward S. Starley, 25, of Delta, Utah. He’s buried in Delta City Cemetery in Delta, UT.  He was survived by his wife Helen.  (For more info see www.findagrave.com, Memorial #42217304.

     (Navigator) 1st Lt. Edward S. McKinney, 25, of Casper, Wyoming.  He’s buried in Highland Cemetery in Casper, WY.  (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #58413512.)

     (Crew Chief) S/Sgt. Jennings V. Ware, 23, of Webster, West Virginia.  He’s buried in Cool Spring Cemetery in Webster County, W.V.  To see more info go to www.findagrave.com, Memorial #93245519.

     All four men were assigned to the 830th Bomb Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing, stationed at Walker Air Force Base in New Mexico.  

     Sources:

     Nashua Telegraph, “Four Killed In Pease Jet Crash”, April 16, 1958

     www.findagrave.com  

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