List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1945–1949)

This is a list of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft which occurred between 1945 and 1949, grouped by the year in which the accident or incident occurred. Not all of the aircraft were in operation at the time. For more exhaustive lists, see the Aircraft Crash Record Office or the Air Safety Network or the Dutch Scramble Website Brush and Dustpan Database. Combat losses are not included except for a very few cases denoted by singular circumstances.

Aircraft terminology [ edit ]

Information on aircraft gives the type, and if available, the serial number of the operator in italics, the constructors number, also known as the manufacturer's serial number (c/n), exterior codes in apostrophes, nicknames (if any) in quotation marks, flight callsign in italics, and operating units.

1945 [ edit ]

A Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 of 10./JG54 (Leutnant Theo Nibel), downed by a partridge which flew into the radiator near Brussels on 1 January 1945.
1 January
Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9, 'Black 12', of 10./JG. 54, flown by Leutnant Theo Nibel of the Grimbergen force, is downed during Unternehmen Bodenplatte when he strikes a partridge which holes his coolant radiator, makes forced gear-up landing near Brussels.[1]
1 January
Lockheed P-38G-10-LO Lightning, 42-13400, c/n 222-7834,[2] suffers crash landing on Attu Island in the Aleutians, 2,000 miles (3,200 km) west of Anchorage, Alaska, whilst on a training mission, pilot 2nd Lt. Robert Nesmith unhurt. Airframe suffers propellers torn off, broken horizontal stabilizer, buckled left nacelle. After simple parts salvage, it is abandoned in place. Recovered June 1999, it is transported by helicopter to the U.S. Coast Guard station at Attu, then flown to Anchorage in an Alaska Air National Guard Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Registered as N55929 but not taken up.[2] Restored at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, it is placed on display at McCloud Memorial Park, Elmendorf AFB, in April 2000.[3]
2 January
Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, departing from Toussus-le-Noble, France, in a Lockheed Hudson, for a meeting with General Bernard Law Montgomery, in Brussels, is killed along with four others when the aircraft crashes on takeoff. Cause attributed to icing which made the craft tail-heavy.
10 January
Northrop P-61B-1-NO Black Widow, 42-39445, c/n 964,[4] of the 550th Night Fighter Squadron, based at Hollandia, New Guinea, on a supposed proficiency flight (but pilot took along three passengers, including a 20-year-old WAAC nurse), ends badly with aircraft coming down largely intact at the 5,000-foot (1,500 m) level of Mount Cyclops just a few miles from its airfield. All aboard survive with only minor injuries. Airframe recovered in 1989 by helicopter and is undergoing restoration at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.[5]
19 January
RAFGroup Captain J. F. X. McKenna AFC, elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1944, and appointed commandant of the Empire Test Pilots' School of the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment in March of that year, is killed this date during a familiarisation flight on a Mustang Mk IV, KH648,[6] which crashes when the ammunition box cover detaches at high speed and the aircraft sheds a wing, crashing on the perimeter of Old Sarum Airfield (ICAO: EGLS), located 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) north northeast of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.[7]
23 January
An RAF Expeditor was lost in the Adriatic, near Brindisi. The aircraft was one of two carrying a delegation from the House of Commons visiting British forces in Italy; two Members of Parliament, Robert Bernays and John Dermot Campbell, were killed. The wreck was not found and an investigation concluded that the pilot had attempted to push on through a heavy snowstorm rather than diverting.[8]
30 January
Consolidated B-24L-1-FO Liberator, 44-49180, crashes west of Helendale, California. The crew consisted of 1st Lt. James G. Wright, pilot, 2nd Lt. Norbert J. Vehr, copilot, 2nd Lt. Carl F. Hansen radar instructor, 2nd Lt. John R. Palin radar student, 2nd Lt. Herbert A. Perry, radar student, and T/Sgt. Harvey L. Cook, flight engineer. Perry, Vehr and Cook died during the crash, while the remaining crew members successfully bailed out.[9] Wreckage recovered to Victorville Army Airfield, California, in February 1945 with reclamation complete on 9 February.[10]
The Akutan Zero is destroyed during a training accident at Naval Air Station San Diego, California. While Cmdr. Richard G. Crommelin is taxiing the Mitsubishi A6M for a take-off, a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver loses control and rams into it. The Helldiver's propeller slices the A6M to pieces. From the wreckage, Rear Admiral William N. Leonard salvages the manifold pressure gauge, the air-speed indicator, and the folding panel of the port wingtip, which he donates to the National Museum of the United States Navy.[11] The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum has two manufacturer's plates, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum also has small pieces of the A6M.[12] Crommelin, one of the five Alabama brothers who graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy, will be killed in a mid-air collision on a mission over Hokkaido in July 1945. USS Crommelin is named for the brothers.
1 February
An RAF Avro York (MW116) crashed off Lampedusa while attempting to ditch after running out of fuel en route to Malta. Four crew were injured but rescued alive by USS Kendrick; four other crew and all eleven passengers were killed. The passengers were part of a Foreign Office delegation en route to the Yalta Conference including, among others, the private secretary to the permanent secretary of the department as well as a King's Messenger.[13]
9 February [14] or 11 February [15]
A Lockheed P-38L-1-LO Lightning, 44-24838, of the 432d Base Unit, Portland Army Air Base,[14] crashes in the Oregon desert roughly 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Christmas Valley, Oregon, while conducting a gunnery training flight. The pilot, 2nd Lt. Max J. Clark, 25, is KWF. On 14 June 2007, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officially declares the crash scene a historic Federal government site at a Flag Day ceremony. An interpretive plaque is unveiled during this event reflecting this designation and depicting the historical significance of the location.[15]
13 February
A Douglas R4D-6, BuNo 50765, c/n 14848/26293, of Air Transport Squadron 3 of the US Navy crashes into the sea near Alameda, California, while on approach for landing at Naval Air Station Oakland,[16] killing all twenty-one passengers and three crew.[17]
13 February
During a high-speed taxi run at Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington, in Boeing XF8B-1, BuNo 57984, pilot Bob Lamsen experiences an unexpected undercarriage retraction at 1630 hours, with him unaware of the condition until it is too late, the airframe coming to rest near the middle of the main runway after sliding roughly 1,000 feet (300 m). The fire department and other emergency crews arrive on scene immediately but no fire occurs and no emergency measures are required. Reports of smoke and fire were apparently due to friction with the runway. To aid in the investigation, three cranes attempt to lift the large fighter onto a flatbed truck with the gear still retracted but they are unable to gain sufficient height and the decision is made to manually extend the gear so the airframe may be moved with no further damage.[18]
17 February
Luftwaffe experten (ace) Jürgen Harder (13 June 1918 – 17 February 1945), recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, (64 claimed victories), is killed in the crash of a Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14, Werk. Nr. 784 738, near Strausberg, Germany, following engine failure. Technical experts that analysed the wreckage came to the conclusion that the piston of cylinder 12 had penetrated the engine block. Escaping toxic fumes thus intoxicated Harder who then lost control of the aircraft.[19]
18 February
Luftwaffe pilot Leutnant Erwin Ziller runs into problems 45 minutes into the third flight of Horten H.IX V2 when he suffers a failure of one of the jet engines, aircraft spins to starboard and crashes just outside the airfield perimeter. The pilot dies in hospital a fortnight later. This second prototype was the only powered Horten IX to fly. The incomplete V3 prototype was shipped to the United States and is now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.[20]
19 February 
Two Lockheed P-38L Lightnings, of the 433d Base Unit,[21] out of Chico Army Airfield, California,[22] suffer a mid-air collision 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Barstow, California, during a routine training and gunnery practice flight, coming down near Superior Dry Lake. "When the planes collided, one exploded in the air, and the other crashed to the ground."[23] 2d Lt. Earl A. Morgan, Jr. in P-38L-1-LO, 44-23861, and 2d Lt. Walter E. Mogensen in P-38L-5-LO, 44-25637, are both KWF.[24][25] Morgan's mother, Mrs. Ruth E. Morgan, lives in Camp Rowio, Texas; Mogensen's father, Carl G. Mogensen, lives in Modesto, California.[26] "Col. Robert A. Nagle, commanding officer, permitted the identity of the two officers to become known last night (19 February) after notification had been given to next of kin."[23]
26 February
Brigadier General James Roy Andersen (1904–1945), is lost with the Consolidated C-87A-CO Liberator Express, 41-24174,[27] he was travelling on between Kwajalein and Johnston Island while en route to Hawaii. General Andersen graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1926, served at various Army installations, and obtained his wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1936. During 1943–1944 he served on the War Department General Staff. In January 1945, General Andersen was assigned to HQ AAF, Pacific Ocean Area. Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, is subsequently named in his honor. Pilot of the aircraft was F. E. Savage.[28]
1 March
First manned flight test, launched from the Lager Heuberg military training area near Stetten am kalten Markt, of Bachem Ba 349 Natter, 'M23', a vertically launched bomber interceptor, fails when Oberleutnant Lothar Sieber, 22, a volunteer, is killed as rocket-powered aircraft reaches roughly 1,650 feet (500 m), cockpit canopy detaches, Ba 349 noses over onto back, then falls from approximately 4,800 feet (1,500 m), killing pilot. No cause for crash determined but it was thought that improperly latched canopy may have knocked Siebert unconscious. Three successful manned flights subsequently flown and a group of the fighters readied for intercept mission, but advancing U.S. 8th Army armoured units overrun launch site before Natters can be used.[29]
1 March
Two Bell P-59A-1-BE Airacomets of the 29th Fighter Squadron, 412th Fighter Group, at Muroc Army Air Field, California,[30] collide in mid-air over the Mojave Desert near Grey Butte Army Airfield during an anti-aircraft tracking exercise. 2nd Lt. Robert W. Murdock, pilot of 44-22620, and 2nd Lt. Howard L. Wilson, in 44-22626, are killed in the collision.[31]
4 March
At precisely 0151 hrs., Junkers Ju 88G-6, Werknummer 620028, D5+AX, piloted by Hauptman J. Dreher, with a crew of three from night fighter unit 13./Nachtjagdgeschwader 3, becomes the last Axis aircraft to crash on British soil during World War II. Confused by auto headlights, fighter hits tree while attacking the airfield at RAF Elvington, crashing at Sutton upon Derwent, Yorkshire, all four KWF. Two other Ju 88s had crashed in separate incidents at 0137 and 0145 hrs.[32]
14 March
The first prototype of two of the experimental Cornelius XFG-1-CR fuel glider, 44-28059, crashes 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Wilmington, Ohio, during spin testing out of Clinton County Army Air Field, Ohio, killing test pilot Alfred Reitherman of the Spartan Aircraft Company which constructed the design. The fuel glider concept (to be towed behind bombers) is abandoned at the end of the war.[33]
17 March
Following an afternoon attack by two Arado Ar 234B Blitzs of 6./KG76 on the U.S. Army forces crossing the Rhine at Remagen, Uffw. Pohlmann is killed when his Arado, WNr.140180, is destroyed in a crash-landing at Burg following an engine failure.[34]
20 March
Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier is forced to bail out of third Lockheed XP-80 prototype, 44-83021, c.n. 141-1002, named "Gray Ghost", of the 4144th AAF Base Unit, Muroc Army Air Field, California,[33] after catastrophic turbine blade failure slices off tail, pilot coming down on Highway 99 near Rosamond, California, breaking his back and side-lining him for six months.[35]
27 March
RAFConsolidated LB-30 Liberator II, AL504, first Mk. II accepted by the British, converted to VIP transport for the Prime Minister, named "Commando". It had received a single PB4Y-style fin and rudder modification. Lost over the Atlantic Ocean between the Azores and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Prime Minister was not on board.[36] Lost with the crew was Air Marshal Sir Peter Roy Maxwell Drummond, the RAF's Air Member for Training, as well as Rupert Brabner MP, the Under-Secretary of State for Air, and Sir John Abraham, a Deputy Under-Secretary at the Air Ministry.
5 April
Prototype Ryan XFR-1 Fireball, BuNo 48234, piloted by Ryan test pilot Dean Lake, on test flight over Lindbergh Field, San Diego, California, loses skin between the front and rear spars of the starboard wing, interrupted airflow over the wing causes it to disintegrate. Pilot bails out, airframe breaks up, wreckage strikes brand new Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59836, just accepted by the Navy and preparing to depart for the modification center at Litchfield Park, Arizona. Bomber burns, Navy crew of pilot Lt. D. W. Rietz, Lt. J. E. Creed, and Aviation Machinists Mates G. R. Brown and J. H. Randall, evacuate burning PB4Y, only Randall suffering injuries, first, second, and third degree burns and minor lacerations.[37]
5 April
Boeing B-17G-50-VE Flying Fortress, 44-8152, c/n 7552, "Miss Ida", of the 748th Bomb Squadron (H), 457th Bomb Group (H), is lost on take off from RAF Glatton.[38] The target this date was the Ordnance Depot at Ingolstadt, Germany. The commanding officer of the 748th, Major Edward B. Dozier, was designated Air Commander. As the lead aircraft containing Major Dozier and Lt. Donald B. Snow, lifts off the runway, the number 2 (port inner) engine catches fire, with the airframe crashing just past the end of the runway, the bomb load explosion heard throughout the airfield creating an eight-foot (2.4 m) crater. Nine killed but one crew miraculously survives. The mission was delayed and was out of position in the bomber stream because of the accident. The group bombed in trail at 14,000 feet (4,300 m) because of heavy clouds at the briefed altitude. Bomb results were unknown.[39]
8 April
First prototype Rikugun Ki-93, '1', twin-engine fighter makes only flight from Tachikawa airfield, a successful 20 minute test of its low-speed handling characteristics, piloted by Lt. Moriya of the Koku Shinsa-bu (Air Examination Department) with 2nd Lt. Ikebayashi in the second seat. Unfortunately, pilot undershot the runway and touched down in soft soil, ground-looping airframe and tearing off port undercarriage leg, engine mount, and bending six-blade propeller. Repairs completed in four weeks, but the night before the scheduled second test flight, a B-29 bombing raid on Tachikawa destroyed the hangar housing the airframe.[40]
8 April
United States NavyConsolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59442, Zebra 442, of VPB-108, based at Tinian, Northern Marianas Islands, is lost on aircrew search mission over the Pacific Ocean, crew becomes disoriented, ditches at 1800 hrs. Spotted by two PB4Ys on 11 April, crew is rescued from rafts by submarine USS Queenfish on 12 April.[41]
11 April
Second of two Northrop XP-61E Black Widows, 42-39557, modified from P-61B with cut-down fuselage and bubble canopy, is written off when over-eager pilot tries P-38 Lightning trick of retracting landing gear on take-off while still on runway, but heavier Widow settles onto runway, hollow steel props shatter, airframe strikes tool shack on side of runway, airframe written-off, pilot survives. First XP-61E, 42-39549, is modified into sole XF-15 photo-reconnaissance prototype, 36 of which will be built as Northrop F-15A Reporter.[42]
13 April
On 5 April, a B-24H-15-DT Liberator, 41-28779, of the 564th Bomb Squadron, 389th Bomb Group (Heavy), captured by the Luftwaffe on 20 June 1944 (MACR 6533),[43] and operated as KO+XA by KG 200, departs Wackersleben to avoid the Soviet advance with 29 KG 200 personnel aboard for a flight to Bavaria via Braunschweig. About 25 minutes into the flight, a German flak battery fires on the Liberator, damaging the fuselage, wings and number 4 (starboard outer) engine and cutting the rudder cables. Pilot Oberfeldwebel Rauchfuss manages to maintain control, however. Two passengers, injured by the gunfire, require immediate medical attention (one later dies), and the pilot lands in a meadow near Quedlinburg, but a powerline forces him to apply power to clear it and the bomber breaks its nosewheel strut when it overruns into a freshly ploughed field. The strut is removed and sent to the Junkers Component Factory at Eilsleben for repair. The oil leak on the engine and the rudder cables are also repaired. Returned on 12 April, the strut is reinstalled and an attempt is made to take off on 13 April, after all excess equipment is removed to lighten the plane, but the clearing proves too short, the B-24 bogs down in sodden soil, and the nose strut again breaks. Reluctantly, the crew destroys the airframe by punching holes in the fuel tanks and setting it alight with a flare pistol.[44]
18 April
Luftwaffe experten (ace), (176 victories), Oberst Johannes Steinhoff, of the jet experten Jagdverband 44, suffers tire blow-out on take-off from Flughafen München Riem when his Messerschmitt Me 262 hits a bomb crater. He lifts off, but without sufficient flying speed, he crashes, suffering severe burns, spending two years in hospital.[45]
19 April
During an Eighth Air Force raid on a rail marshaling yard at Aussig, Czechoslovakia, Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me 262s shoot down five Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses. The fifth, Boeing B-17G-5-BO Flying Fortress, 42-31188, named "Dead Man's Hand", of the 709th Bomb Squadron, 447th Bomb Group,[46] piloted by Lt. Robert F. Glazener, on its 111th combat mission, becomes the last heavy bomber of the 8th Air Force lost to enemy fighters in the European theatre. Seven of eight crew escape the falling bomber, although no chutes were reported being seen (by this point, the two waist gunners were not being carried.)[47]
21 April
As the Russians close in on Berlin, Hitler's private secretary, Martin Bormann, puts into action Operation Seraglio, a plan to evacuate the key and favoured members of Hitler's entourage from the Berlin bunker. Junkers Ju 352, c/n 100003, 'KT+VC', loaded with Adolf Hitler's personal property departs Berlin at ~0500 hours for Ainring, near Salzburg, piloted by Major Friedrich Gundlfinger. Among 16 passengers were Hitler Valet SS Sgt Wilhelm Ardnt and Hitler's bodyguard Max Fiebes. Plane flying low over the Heidenholz Forest clips treetops, tearing loose one of its three engines. The plane impacts and burns fiercely near Börnersdorf south of Dresden. Of two reported survivors one died of injuries.[48] "A farmer from nearby Bernersdorf [sic], supervising Russian and French forced-labourers, heard screams and hammering from the Junkers, but was able to help only the tailgunner who was able to crawl clear. On hearing of the disaster Hitler was devastated by the loss of Arndt, rather than of his archives. It was from this event that the idea was later born of producing forged documents, published as Hitler's Diaries in 1983."[49]
21 April
Deutsche Luft HansaFocke-Wulf Fw 200B-2, D-ASHH, c/n 0009,[50] "Hessen", hastily loaded with baggage of the Berlin Headquarters Staff as part of Operation Seraglio, a plan to evacuate the key and favoured members of Hitler's entourage from the capital, departs from Berlin Tempelhof Airport for Barcelona, Spain via Munich, piloted by Flugkapitän August Karl Künstle, with five crew and 16 passengers. Condor reaches Munich safely, but never appears in Spain. Extensive inquiries in Germany, Switzerland and Spain turn up no clues to fate. In 1954, evidence finally is discovered that the overloaded transport crashed and burned with no survivors near Piesenkofen Kreis Mühlberg, Bavaria.[51] A German source gives 1952 as the year of confirmation of Hessen's demise.[52]
21 April
Consolidated B-24J-1-FO Liberator, 42-95592, "Black Cat", of the 784th Bomb Squadron, 466th Bomb Group, based at RAF Attlebridge (USAAF Station 120), returning from a mission to bomb a rail bridge at Salzburg, Austria, aborted due to bad weather over the target, receives a flak burst in the port wing near Regensburg, becoming the last heavy bomber of the 8th Air Force lost over Germany during World War II.[53] It was the only loss of this mission. Only the bombardier and the tail gunner escape from the aircraft to become prisoners of war, all ten other crew were killed. (MACR 14182)[54]
23 April
A United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Boeing B-17G-90-BO Flying Fortress 43-38856, coded 'GD-M', of the 534th Bombardment Squadron, 381st Bombardment Group (Heavy), crashes on the east facing slope of North Barrule in the Isle of Man killing 31 US service personnel (including ground crew) en route from RAF Ridgewell (USAAF Station 167) to RAF Nutts Corner, Belfast, for memorial service for President Roosevelt.[55]
26 April
During a training exercise, a Boeing B-17G-90-BO Flying Fortress, 43-38859, collided in mid-air with another Fortress, B-17G-75-VE, 44-8687. #859 crash-landed and was repaired. #687 was destroyed, with only two crew escaping and surviving the incident.[56][57]
28 April
Douglas A-26C-25-DT Invader, 43-22644, assigned to the 611 Base Unit at Wright Field, Ohio,[58] crashes into the Choctawhatchee Bay, 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Fort Walton, Florida, after being struck by a test Speedee (Highball) bouncing bomb which tears off tail unit, bomber instantly nosing over into the water. It had taken off from Eglin Field, Florida, on a low level bombing exercise at AAF water range Number 60, immediately south of Lake Lorraine.[59] All 3 occupants killed[60] Footage (camera located at approximately 69 Meigs Drive, Shalimar, Florida):
29 April
A North American AT-6D-NT trainer, 42-84963, c.n. 88-16744,[61] of the 2002d Base Unit, piloted by West Point Cadet Robert B. Clark, crashes into Bramley Mountain 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of the Town of Bovina, Delaware County, New York, (in the Catskill Mountains) due to weather.[58] The Binghamton Press of 1 May 1945 reports that "the young flier was on a routine night cross-country training flight." He was flying to Stewart Field in Newburgh, New York, and apparently was lost when he crashed.[62]
30 April
Just before midnight this date, first production Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59359, is being prepared on the ramp at Lindbergh Field, San Diego, California, for a flight to NAS Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, a mechanic attempts to remove the port battery solenoid, located 14 inches (36 cm) below the cockpit floor, but does so without disconnecting the battery. Ratchet wrench accidentally punctures hydraulic line three inches above the battery and fluid ignites, setting entire aircraft alight, mechanic suffering severe burns. Only number four (starboard outer) engine deemed salvageable. Cause was unqualified mechanic attempting task that only a qualified electrician should undertake.[63]
6 May
1st Lt. Vincent J. Rudnick, on local training and acrobatics flight out of King's Cliffe, Great Britain, in North American P-51D-5-NA Mustang, 44-13720,[30] coded 'MC-X' and named "Mine 3 Express", of the 20th Fighter Group, loses control at top of a loop at approximately 1445 hrs. near Stoke Ferry, aircraft goes into irrecoverable spin, pilot bails out, airframe impacting near cottage of Springside. In June 1985, crash site excavated and some wreckage located.[64]
8 May
First prototype (of three) Curtiss XF15C-1, BuNo 01213, crashes on a landing approach to Buffalo, New York, due to fuel starvation, killing test pilot Charles Cox. Two other prototypes modified with a T-tail to correct problems, but this last Curtiss design for the United States Navy never enters production. Second prototype was scrapped but the third and final airframe is preserved at the New England Air Museum in Connecticut.
10 May
Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Lewiston-based Howard GH-2 Nightingale ambulance, BuNo 32360, overloaded for runway length, crashes on takeoff from Rangeley, Maine airstrip, killing Lt. Eugene B. Slocum, AMM3C Louis F. Ceurvorst, Pfc. James V. Haney of the United States Marine Corps and one more unidentified.[65][66]
12 May 
Martin B-26, 42-96037, crashes near Fontenelle, France, after taking off from Dijon, France, for a Local Test Hop. Aircraft was based with the 432d Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group, at Dijon. Crew of eight died in crash: Pilot 1st Lt. Richard C. Morton, Co-Pilot 1st Lt. William J. Cashen, Sgt. Dezz F. Ray, Sgt William C. Wood, Sgt. Reuben J. Tkachuk, PFC Mathew Reynolds, Sgt. George A. Beckett, Sgt. Denver Thompson.[citation needed]
12 May 
Two Hawker Tempest, RAF 3rd Squadron, crash in Denmark. These two pilots were killed when their Tempests collided north of Rotenburg during Wing formation practice. Flight Sergeant Campbell was killed in SN166 and Flight Lieutenant Robertson baled out of EJ588 (JF-N) too low. This would seem to be the incident on which Clostermann's account of a triple collision, in 'The Big Show', is based; there are no other candidates. However, only 2 Tempests were lost on this date and the accident records do not mention Clostermann.
15 May
The crash of North American AT-6A-NT Texan, 41-17011, of the 2143d Base Unit, Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, kills Lt. James W. Alexander. Witnesses said that they saw the plane lose a wing after they heard an explosion. The trainer comes down in a field described as three miles (4.8 km) west of Cedar Lake, Indiana,[67] and as two miles (3.2 km) west of Lowell, Indiana.[68][69] Cedar Lake is seven miles (11 km) north of Lowell.
17 May
Former Our Gang actor Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins (Robert E. Hutchins) is killed in a mid-air collision while trying to land a North American AT-6D Texan, serial number 42-86536, of the 3026th Base Unit, when it strikes North American AT-6C Texan, 42-49068, of the same unit, at Merced Army Air Field in Merced, California, during a training exercise. The other pilot, Edward F. Hamel, survives.[70]
27 May
The third prototype Curtiss XP-55 Ascender, 42-78847, is destroyed in a crash during an air show at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, killing pilot Capt. William C. Glasgow and two civilians on the ground. Pilot attempted a slow roll after a low pass in formation with a P-38 and a North American P-51 Mustang on each wing, impacted at end of runway and plowed through line of cars on Alternate State Route 4. Dick Bong was flying the Lightning and Don Gentile was the Mustang pilot.[71] Bong will die in a P-80 crash on 6 August. Gentile will be killed in a Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star air crash on 28 January 1951.
28 May
A Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver, BuNo 19866, suffers from a stalled engine during a target run and crashes into Lower Otay Reservoir near San Diego, California. Navy pilot E. D. Frazar, of Richmond, Texas, and United States Army gunner Joseph Metz, of Youngstown, Ohio, survive, swim ashore, and hitchhike back to Ream Field. The plane is raised from the reservoir on 20 August 2010.[72] The dive bomber will be transported to Pensacola, Florida, for restoration by the National Museum of Naval Aviation.
31 May 
North American B-25H-5 Mitchell, reported as 43-4643, of the 420th AAF Base Unit, March Field, California, crashes 27 miles (43 km) southeast of Victorville, California, killing three crew.[68] This serial appears to be incorrect, however, as Joe Baugher lists that particular airframe as having survived the war to be sold to Paul Mantz, 19 February 1946, for use as camera platform, registered NX1203.[73] "At least three men were killed Friday night when a B-25 out of March field [sic] crashed on a hillside in the Lucerne valley, according to a report received by Coroner R. E. Williams from officers at the Victorville Army Air field. [sic] Details of the bomber crash were not immediately learned, the coroner said. First reports given to Coroner Williams indicated that only one body had been found at the time."[74] "March field [sic] authorities yesterday (2 June) announced the names of three Army men killed when their two-engine bomber crashed Thursday night in Lucerne valley while on a combat training flight. The three killed were: Second Lt. August P. Marks, 21; mother, Mrs. Veronica Marks, Detroit. Flight Officer Charles F. Cizek, 20; father Charles J. Cizek, Berwyn, Ill. Sgt. Orville B. Barton, 28; mother Mrs. Florence Barton, Tieton, Wash."[75]
4 June
Aichi E13A "Jake" floatplane, c/n 41116, of 634 Kōkūtai-Teisatsu, 302 Hikōtai, crashed into the sea during night time search mission. Salvaged from waters off Kaseda city, Kagoshima prefecture on 22 August 1992, it is displayed in unrestored condition at the Kasedo Peace Museum, Kyūshū, Japan.[76]
6 June
The Boeing B-29-40-BW Superfortress[30] that led the first B-29 raid on Tokyo on 24 November 1944, 42-24592, named Dauntless Dotty, of the 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force, departs Kwajalein at 0306 hrs. for the second leg of a ferry flight back to the United States, commanded by Capt. William A. Kelley, of Tifton, Georgia. Forty seconds after takeoff, the aircraft strikes the Pacific Ocean and sinks, killing 10 of 13 on board instantly. Co-pilot 1st Lt. John Neville, of Bradley, Illinois, tailgunner S/Sgt. Glenn F. Gregory, of Waldron, Illinois, and left gunner S/Sgt. Charles McMurray (also spelt McMurry in one source), of Memphis, Tennessee, are thrown from the wreckage and are recovered by a rescue boat after some 45 minutes in the water.[77] A search for the lost airframe by the National Underwater and Marine Agency Australia has been proposed.[78]
13 June
A USAAF Consolidated B-24H-25-FO Liberator, 42-95095,[79] of the 66th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group, returning home to the United States from Prestwick Airfield crashes at Shieldaig, in the remote Fairy Lochs in Wester Ross, Scotland, killing its entire crew of nine from 66th Bombardment Squadron; also on board were six crewmen from Air Transport Command. Pilot was Jack B. Ketcham.[80] A memorial has been erected at the site.
14 June
"VICKSBURG, Miss, June 15 (AP) - Seventeen naval personnel, including two Waves, were killed and a Navy lieutenant was seriously injured yesterday (14 June) when a big transport plane exploded and crashed in a wooded area 16 miles northeast of here."[81] This account misstates the casualties' branch of service. The Aviation Archeology database lists USAAF Curtiss C-46D-15-CU Commando, 44-77948,[82] of the 811th Base Unit, Lawson Field, Georgia, piloted by William A. Ross, as crashing due to weather six miles (9.7 km) southeast of Oak Ridge, Mississippi, this date.[83] "Jackson, Miss., June 15 (U.P.). - Army officials today investigated the crash of a plane near Oak Ridge, Miss., in which 17 persons, two of them women, were killed."[84] The Biloxi Daily Herald reports on 16 June that the sole survivor is Sgt. R. L. Bullock, of Somerset, New Jersey, an engineer on a B-17 stationed at Laredo, Texas, who was thrown clear when the plane crashed and exploded. He managed "to grab some weeds and pull himself away" but not before suffering severe burns. He was taken to Mercy Hospital at Vicksburg. Bullock stated that after refuelling at Shreveport, Louisiana, and bound for Lawson Field, the flight encountered heavy overcast and storms. The C-46 flight engineer warned those aboard to adjust their safety belts just before the transport encountered two "air pockets", the first of which dropped the plane a thousand feet. "The pilot did everything he could to bring the ship out", recalled Bullock. "He never did lose control but the downward plunge was too rapid." The Daily Herald reported that the two female victims were a Wac and a Wave.[85] "The earliest lightning-related accident for which a detailed description is available involved a U.S. Air Force [sic] Curtiss C-46D transport plane en route from Dallas to Jackson, Mississippi, U.S., on June 14, 1945. While at 3,000 ft., one wing was struck by lightning. Unable to maintain altitude, the aircraft crashed into a wooded area."[86]
15 June 
"LONDON, June 15 (UP) - Twenty-seven members of the royal air force [sic] were killed early today when a Liberator crashed into the side of a hill on the Dorset coast at Swanage."[87] RY-3, JT985, of No. 232 Squadron lost.[88]
19 June
Five men were killed when their army plane crashed near Crestview, Florida, Tuesday (this date), the Associated Press reported on 21 June. The plane, en route from Eglin Field, Florida, to Myrtle Beach Army Airfield, South Carolina, came down in a storm, stated officials at Marianna Army Airfield, Florida. "First Lt. Joseph A. McGinnis, 24, the pilot, was from the Marianna base. He was the son of Joseph A. McGinnis of Philadelphia. The others, all stationed at Myrtle Beach were:" First Lt. Lawrence F. Schirmer, 25, Sacramento, California; T-Sgt. William J. Koger, 25, husband of Mary G. Koger of Louisville, Georgia; T-Sgt. William H. Epperson, 25, Evanston, Illinois; and S-Sgt. George L. Simmons, 26, Lakeland, Florida. "McGinnis was an instructor pilot with more than 1,200 hours of flying time and combat experience with the Canadian air force before U. S. entrance in the war, and with the American air corps in North Africa, Sicily and Italy."[89] The Aviation Archeological Investigation and Research site lists Douglas A-26C Invader, 44-35024, of the 137th Base Unit, as crashing on this date, but that serial ties up to an A-26B Invader.[90] Further, the site lists the pilot as Joseph A. McGlens, Jr., and the crash location as Myrtle Beach,[91] in direct contradiction to the Associated Press account.
Circa 29 June
Messerschmitt test pilot Ludwig "Willie" Hofman ("Hoffman" in American source) attempts to ferry captured Messerschmitt Me 262A1a/U4, Werke Nummer 170083, originally coded V-083, named Happy Hunter/Wilma Jeanne II, from Lagerlechfeld, near Augsburg, Germany, to Airfield A-55 near Cherbourg, France on behalf of the USAAF Air Technical Intelligence ("Watson's Whizzers") for loading aboard HMS Reaper, suffers catastrophic failure of starboard engine at roughly 9,000 feet (2,700 m) altitude and is forced to bail out over Normandy, suffering massive bruising as he deploys parachute at high speed. Aircraft was one of two conversions carrying Rheinmetall BK-5 50 mm anti-tank gun in nose for bomber attack, although it was never used operationally. American sergeant admits a year later that he had failed to inspect this aircraft's engines before the flight.[92][93] The BK-5 from this airframe is now displayed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio.
1 July
Boeing B-29-50-MO Superfortress, 44-86334,[94] of the 237th CCTS, 237th AAF Base Unit, Kirtland Field, New Mexico, flown by Second Lt. Ward W. Copenhaver, crashes six miles (9.7 km) south of Benton, Kentucky,[95] during a cross-country flight, in an electrical storm. Nine crew killed, one survivor. "MAYFIELD, Ky., July 1. (AP) - Four Army Air Force officers and five enlisted men were killed and one man escaped almost uninjured when a B-29 bomber crashed northeast of here early today in a severe electrical storm."[96]
2 July
"LAS VEGAS, Nev., July 2 (UP) - Eleven personnel from Las Vegas Army air field were killed and two seriously injured Saturday when a heavy bomber crashed and burned as it attempted to land at the field, public relations officers announced tonight."[97]
2 July 
"A Navy pilot was killed yesterday [2 July] when his plane crashed during a routine bombing run at a target range, 10 miles east of the Twentynine Palms Naval Auxiliary Air station, according to coroner R. E. Williams. The coroner was notified that the pilot was flying a Corsair in a run at a target and the plane failed to come out of the dive. It hit the ground and exploded. Inentity [sic] of the flyer was withheld pending notification of next of kin."[98]
5 July
First prototype Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250, completed 26 February 1945, suffers failure of port tailplane at low altitude, killing test pilot Alexandr Deyev, when his parachute fails to open in time. Post-crash analysis revealed that he had exceeded the airframe's G limit while maneuvering.[99]
7 July
On the first flight of the prototype Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui, Japanese derivative of the Me 163B, aircraft reaches 1,300 feet (400 m) in a steep climb, then the rocket motor cut out, airframe crashing at Yokosuka Naval Aeronautical Engineering Arsenal. Cause believed either hydrogen peroxide shifting to rear of partially empty tank, or air leak in fuel line causing blockage. Pilot Lt. Cdr. Toyohiko Inuzuka dies in hospital the next day. A redesign of the fuel system follows, but no additional flights made before Japanese capitulation in August.[100]
12 July
A United States Army Air Forces Douglas A-26C-35-DT Invader, 44-35553, on a training flight has mid-air collision with Eastern Airlines Flight 45 from Washington, D.C. to Columbia, South Carolina, a Douglas DC-3-201C, NC25647, at roughly 3,100 feet (940 m), 11.9 miles (19.2 km) west northwest of Florence, South Carolina, at 1436 hrs. A-26 vertical fin strikes port wing of airliner, displaces engine of DC-3 which cuts into fuselage; A-26 tail sheared off, two crew parachute, one KWF. DC-3 pilot belly lands in cornfield, one passenger of 24 total on board killed.[101]
13 July
Consolidated B-24H-20-FO Liberator, 42-94956, c/n 1721,[79] of the 2135th Base Unit, Tyndall Field, Florida, piloted by Paul R. Snyder, crashes due to bad weather 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Southport, Florida, with fatal results for the crew.[102] Amongst the dead are gunner Cpl. Eddie L. Keefe, 19, of Orangeburg, South Carolina, "the only son of O. L. Keefe and Alice Youmans Keefe, of this city." He is also survived by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Youmans, of Luray, South Carolina. Keefe "graduated from Orangeburg high school in 1943 and attended one term at Clemson college. [sic] He entered service 22 May 1944. He was a member of Tabernacle Baptist church. [sic] The message of Corporal Keefe's death was received by his parents Saturday morning."[103]
14 July 
North American TB-25C Mitchell, (built as B-25C-1), 41-13105, assigned to the 409th Fighter Squadron, 372d Fighter Group, Esler Army Air Field[95] near Pineville, Louisiana, crashes and burns one mile NW of Weldon, Texas,[104] in a heavy rainstorm, killing nine crew.[105]
14 July 
Boeing B-29-50-MO Superfortress, 44-86329,[94] of the 237th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Combat Crew Training School),[95] suffers engine failure on takeoff from Kirtland Field, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and crashes, killing 13 and injuring one.[106]
15 July
A Boeing B-29A-45-BN Superfortress, 44-61721, c/n 11198,[10] of the 236th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Combat Crew Training School), Pyote Field, Texas,[102] piloted by Lieutenant Edward J. Szycher, of Bayonne, New Jersey, goes missing after the crew bails out at 9,500 feet (2,900 m) over northern Minnesota, 180 miles (290 km) north northwest of St. Paul, Minnesota, after the bomber became filled with gasoline fumes that threatened to asphyxiate the crew. All ten crew descend safely, although one lands in Napoleon Lake in Itasca County, and has to swim ashore.[107] Airframe has never been discovered.
16 July 
"WASHINGTON, July 17 (AP) - The Cuban embassy said today three officers of the Cuban army en route to Washington were killed in an airplane crash near Charleston, S.C., yesterday."[108] "In July the 16th of 1945 the Lieutenants Zorilla and Henderson flying a C-45 number 212 and carrying as a passenger Major Rivero, an aid to the Chief of the Army suffered an accident while on an approach to the Charleston Airfield in South Carolina, United States while returning from a flight of two aircraft to Washington DC. In the other aircraft piloted by Lieutenant Fernandez 'El Callao' was on board the Chief of the Cuban Army General Genovevo Pérez Dámera."[109] Crash near Ridgeville, South Carolina; Captain Roberto Henderson Benzanilla; Major Nicolas Rivero Garcia; Lt. Ricardo Zorrilla Armenteros; Genovevo Perez Damera.[110]
16 July 
Consolidated TBY-2 Seawolf, BuNo 30303, suffers collapse of port main gear at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, sustaining major damage.[111]
16 July
A U.S. Navy Curtiss SB2C Helldiver crashes ~three miles W of Seven Oaks, California, killing its two crew and setting off a wildfire that burns "five or six square miles of slope" in the San Bernardino Mountains near the Santa Ana River. The Eleventh Naval District confirms the two deaths on the night of 17 July, but withholds identification pending notification of next of kin.[112] Heavy rains in August will foul the water systems in the upper San Bernardino Valley as ash, cinders and silt from this firezone wash downstream.[113]
18 July
Consolidated TBY-2 Seawolf, BuNo 30414, overshoots runway while landing at Convair Field, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Two KWF.[114]
24 July
Major Paul A. Conger bails out of Bell TP-63A Kingcobra, 42-69054, built as a P-63A-6-BE,[115] of the 234th CCTS, Clovis AAF, New Mexico, after wing failure, craft impacting 3 miles W of Clovis.[95] "Major Paul Conger, 27-year-old Army pilot and grandson of Joe Majors, retired Santa Fe employe [sic] in San Bernardino, miraculously escaped death last week in New Mexico when his plane crashed after a wing ripped off during a flight. The young flyer, veteran of 160 missions during 28 months service in the European theater, parachuted to safety, although he was seriously injured, according to word received by Mr. Majors from Major Conger's wife. Major Conger has been serving as an instructor at Clovis Army Air field, N. M. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Conger, former San Bernardino residents and now of Piedmont, the young major was credited with destroying 186 enemy planes during his service in the European theater. [Conger is credited with 11.5 kills with the 56th Fighter Group. - Ed.[116]] His wife reported that the accident which resulted in serious burns and bruises for Major Conger occurred last week when he was diving his plane from an altitude of 10,000 feet. At 1,500 feet, a wing came off and tore through the canopy. Despite his serious injuries, Major Conger somehow got his parachute open and landed safely. He was rushed to a hospital where he is believed recovering."[117]
28 July
A US Army Air Forces North American B-25D-20 Mitchell bomber, 41-30577, named "Old John Feather Merchant", crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in fog at 0949 hrs., killing 3 on aircraft plus 11 on ground and causing over US$1 million in damage.[118]
28 July
A Ford CG-4A-FO glider,[119] 45-16072,[120] of the 809th Base Unit, Camp Atterbury, Indiana,[102] crashes at Paducah-McCracken County Airport, Paducah, Kentucky, killing the two crew. "Airport officials said that the plane towing the glider was forced down in a rain storm and that the pilot, seeing that the glider could not clear a clump of trees, cut it loose from the plane." KWF are pilot Major George S. Branson, 33, of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Sergeant Maurice J. Aucoin, 21, of Houston, Texas. "Next of kin have been notified, and an investigation by a board of officers has been called to determine the cause of the crash."[121]
31 July
Eight crew and International News Service correspondent John Cashman, 27, are killed when their Consolidated B-24 Liberator explodes on take-off from Okinawa.[122] Cashman, who lost his left arm to an ammunition explosion while on Navy sea duty in the Atlantic in May 1942, was honorably discharged in December 1942. He later became a sports writer and then a correspondent for the INS, being sent to Guam in February 1945 and then covering the invasion of Borneo. Cashman was en route from Borneo to Guam to cover the experiences of XXI Bomber Command crews over Japan when he was killed. A military funeral was held for Cashman on Okinawa, attended by high naval officers, on 1 August 1945.[123][124]
1 August
A USAAF Canadian Vickers OA-10A Catalina, 44-34096, en route from Hunter Field, Georgia, to Mather Field, California, crashes in the Cibola National Forest, 25 miles SW of Grants, New Mexico, after apparent engine failure, killing the seven crew, Lt. Wilson Parker, Lt. William Bartlett, Lt. James Garland, Sgt. Irwin Marcus, Sgt. Robert Crook, Sgt. Harold Post and Sgt. John Jackson. The airframe was so heavily damaged that no determination of the cause could be made.[125][126]
2 August
Lockheed YP-80A Shooting Star, 44-83029, c/n 080-1008, of the 1st Fighter Group, as of April 1945,[127] crashes near Brandenburg, Kentucky, killing pilot Major Ira Boyd Jones, 25, of Lancaster, South Carolina. The plane left Wright Field, Ohio, shortly after 1400 hours, on a routine test flight to an unspecified army air field in Texas, said Brig. Gen. Joseph T. Morris, commanding general of Wright Field. "Eight-year-old Chester and Martha Smedley, 14, of near Brandenburg, said they saw a 'big explosion' in the sky. Their father, Sheriff Alex Smedley of Meade county [sic], added that the explosion blew the wings loose from the fuselage, landing 200 or 300 feet apart. Maj. Jones' body, the sheriff said, was found about a quarter of a mile from the wreckage."[128] Maj. Jones, a fighter pilot with 11 months service in the China-Burma-India theatre, was attached to the fighter test branch at Wright Field. He was the son of Mrs. Mary C. Jones, of Lancaster, South Carolina, and was a graduate of the University of South Carolina.[129] This airframe was one the test P-80s shipped to Foggia, Italy, in December 1944, for tests by Wright Field personnel under combat conditions.[130]
3 August
Four USAAF crewmen are killed as two Douglas A-26 Invaders collide and crash in a field three miles NE of Bennettsville, South Carolina. "The planes were flying formation with 10 others en route to the Florence army air base when the accident occurred, Police Chief John L. Watson reported."[131] A-26B-10-DL, 41-39130, piloted by 2d Lt. William D. Napier, of Sultana, California, and A-26B-20-DT, 43-22432, flown by 1st Lt. Julian A. Benson, of 728 Wynewood Road, Philadelphia, both of the 127th Base Unit, Florence Army Airfield,[132] are also described as coming down five miles NE of Bennettsville.[133][134] Also killed are Sgt. James Collins, Jr., son of James J. Collins, Sr., of 827 6th Avenue, N., Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Sgt. Robert L. MacNeil, son of Mrs. Margaret MacNeil, 111 Smith Street, Roxbury, Massachusetts. Lt. Benson is survived by his widow, Mrs. Hope L. Benson. Lt. Napier is survived by his widow, Vera E. Napier. It is unclear from news accounts which enlisted man was in which plane. "The accident was the second mid-air collision in South Carolina within a month. An Eastern Airlines Transport and an army plane crashed 80 miles from Columbia on July 12, killing three persons." [135]
5 August
First production Martin JRM-1 Mars flying boat, BuNo 76819, "christened "Hawaii Mars"", finished in overall dark blue,[136] crashes on test flight in the Chesapeake Bay near Rock Hall, Maryland,[137] after porpoising during landing – never delivered to the United States Navy.[138][139] "Launched only two weeks ago, the Hawaii Mars was on a routine test flight over the bay when, a crewman said, the upper section of the plane's vertical fin broke away at an altitude of 6,000 feet. 'The ship began to flutter immediately and went out of control,' the crew member added, asking that his name not be used. 'The pilot cried out 'prepare to abandon ship.' But pilot William E. Coney, a navy flyer on loan to the Martin firm, regained partial control of the giant craft and some ten minutes later ordered 'stand by for crash.' The plane struck the water about 500 yards off shore. The impact of the 125-mile-an-hour blow ripped open the metal hull, and the plane sank until only part of its tail and left wing remained visible. Two crew members trapped in the flight deck were rescued by companions who ignored the danger of a gasoline explosion. Small boats that sped to the crash scene took the ten to shore. R. S. Noble, flight test engineer, was taken to South Baltimore hospital with cuts, bruises and possible internal injuries. A navy announcement in Washington said the plane would be taken to the Martin plant." Noble was the only injury amongst the ten man crew.[140] "Witnesses said the plane, apparently having trouble with one of her four engines, came down 500 yards off shore, parts of it remaining above water."[137]
5 August
A Boeing TB-17G Flying Fortress, built as a B-17G-70-BO, 43-37700,[141] of the 325th Combat Crew Training Squadron,[132] Avon Park Army Airfield, Florida, crashes six miles S of Ridgeland, South Carolina, after the number 2 (port inner) engine catches fire at 10,000 feet during a flight from Stewart Field, New York, to its home base in Florida. Pilot Lieutenant Dewey O. Jones orders the crew to abandon ship. An announcement released by the Hunter Field, Georgia, public relations office states that five parachuted safely, three were killed, and that two other men were missing. Listed as fatalities are Flight Officer Alfred Ponessa, of Newburgh, New York, a passenger, Sergeant Leo B. Bucharia, of Long Island, New York, and Technical Sergeant Edwin S. Salas, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, both members of the crew. The missing were listed as Lieutenant William Cherry and Corporal Sidney Podhoretz (addresses not available). The names of the other four survivors were not given.[142]
6 August
All-time highest-scoring American flying ace (40 credited kills) Richard Bong is killed trying to bail out of a Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star jet fighter, 44-85048, after a fuel pump failure during a test flight at Burbank Airport, Burbank, California, USA. News of Bong's death is overshadowed by the dropping of the first nuclear weapon on Hiroshima the same day. The never completed Richard I. Bong Air Force Base in Wisconsin was named for him.
8 August
While operating off the coast of Cuba, light cruiser USS Little Rock loses Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk seaplane, BuNo 35555, during an aircraft launch and recovery operation. The aircraft noses over while taxiing towards the recovery sled, throwing pilot Ens. W. R. Merryman clear of the cockpit, and capsizes. Pilot rescued by the ship's whaleboat. Airframe sinks.[143]
8 August
Flying over Milton, Florida, B-29-70-BW Superfortress, 44-69973,[144] of the 326th CCTS, MacDill Field, Florida,[145] suffers a mechanical failure and crashes into swampland seven miles east of town according to one source,[144] or seven miles west according to another.[145] Eleven of the twelve crew members safely parachute out, including the co-pilot, whom the pilot frees from the bomb hatch. The pilot, Robert A. Lane, cannot escape and goes down with the plane.[146]
9 August 
"Crashing into a power line five miles west of Corona at 5:22 p. m. yesterday (9 August) a Navy Corsair plane on routine flight from Los Alamitos fell into a river bed and burned, instantly killing the pilot. The identity of the pilot was withheld by naval authorities pending notification of first of kin. There was a short curtailment of electric power in the district served by the line. Navy authorities were investigating the crash last night."[147]
11 August 
"LISBON, Aug. 11 (UP) - A B-17 Flying Fortress en route to the United States from London via the Azores with 20 men crashed at sea 320 miles off Cape Finisterre today."[148]
11 August
North American TB-25J Mitchell, 44-31401, c/n 108-37376, built as B-25J-30/32-NC and converted, of the 3036th AAF Base Unit, Yuma Army Airfield, Arizona, piloted by Robert L. Laird,[145] crashes into a mountain 25 miles SSW of Yucca Army Airfield, Arizona, this date, while on training flight from Yuma AAF. Crew of 5 killed.[149] "YUMA, Ariz., Aug.15 (UP) - Twin brothers were among five Army men killed in the crash of their B-25 plane into Powell peak near Topock, Ariz., Saturday, officials of the Yuma Army airf ield [sic] revealed today. The 20-year-old twin brothers were Second Lts. William G. Winter and John R. Winter, sons of William L. Winter, of Towanda, Pa. The twins were radar observers."[150]
11 August
First of only two Nakajima Kikka twin-jet fighters, completed on 25 June, first flown 7 August for eleven minutes by Lt. Cdr. Sasumu Tanaoka out of Kisarazu Naval Air Base, crashes on second flight this date. Second unflown Kikka is shipped to the United States after the Japanese capitulation.[151]
17 August
During Operation Dodge, the RAF airlift of troops home from Italian deployment, Avro Lancaster, ME834, coded 'KO-G', of 115 Squadron, based at RAF Graveley, struck HK798, coded 'KO-H', of the same squadron, and PB754, coded 'TL-A', of Graveley-based 35 Squadron when it swerves off runway while taking off from Bari, Italy.[152]
17 August
Two Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers collide over Weatherford, Texas, during a night bomber training exercise. Eighteen crew members are killed, two manage to escape from the falling wreckage and parachute to safety. An Associated Press account stated that some crew that bailed out had their chutes set alight by fiery wreckage and subsequently fell to their deaths. Residents of the town were panicked by the collision high overhead. "The explosion shook Weatherford. The skies were full of pieces of burning planes. The glare was seen 20 miles away. Some had a first impression that the town had been hit by a Jap balloon bomb."[153] Boeing B-29A-10-BN Superfortress, 42-93895, of the 234th Combat Crew Training Squadron, Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico, and Boeing B-29B-40-MO Superfortress, 44-86276, (the last Block 40-MO airframe)[154] of the 231st Combat Crew Training Squadron, Alamagordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, involved.[155]
18 August
Last U.S. air combat casualty of World War II occurs during mission 230 A-8, when two Consolidated B-32 Dominators of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, launch from Yontan Airfield, Okinawa, for a photo reconnaissance run over Tokyo, Japan. Both bombers are attacked by several Japanese fighters of both the 302nd Air Group at Atsugi and the Yokosuka Air Group that make 10 gunnery passes. Japanese aces Sadamu Komachi and Saburō Sakai are part of this attack. B-32 piloted by 1st Lt. John R. Anderson, is hit at 20,000 feet, cannon fire knocks out number two (port inner) engine, and three crew are injured, including Sgt. Anthony J. Marchione, 19, of the 20th Reconnaissance Squadron, who takes 20 mm hit to the chest, dying 30 minutes later. Tail gunner Sgt. John Houston destroys one attacker. Lead bomber, Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108532, "Hobo Queen II", piloted by 1st Lt. James Klein, is not seriously damaged but second Consolidated B-32-35-CF Dominator, 42-108578, loses engine, has upper turret knocked out of action, and loses partial rudder control. Both bombers land at Yontan Airfield just past ~1800 hrs. after surviving the last air combat of the Pacific war. The following day, propellers are removed from Japanese aircraft as part of surrender agreement. Marchione is buried on Okinawa on 19 August, his body being returned to his Pottstown, Pennsylvania home on 18 March 1949. He is interred in St. Aloysius Old Cemetery with full military honors.[156] B-32, 42-108578, will be scrapped at Kingman, Arizona after the war.[157]
19 August
Pilot 1st Lt. James K. Holt ferries captured Messerschmitt Me 262A, 500098, "Cookie VII", FE-4011, from Newark Army Air Base, New Jersey to Freeman Field, Indiana, with a refuelling stop at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at ~ 1600 hrs, as one of two Messerschmitts being sent for testing after arriving in the U.S. aboard HMS Reaper. Upon landing at Pittsburgh, he experiences complete brake failure, overruns the runway, goes down steep incline, hits opposite side of ditch, tearing engines and undercarriage off of the jet and breaking the fuselage in half. Pilot is unhurt but airframe is a total loss.[158]
22 August 
"SAN DIEGO, Aug. 22 (AP) - A Navy patrol bomber exploded in midair today and crashed into the sea 20 miles southwest of here. Names of the crew of 10 were withheld. A Navy submarine tender, witness of the crash, launched a boat but found no survivors."[159] Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59885, of VPB-197, operating from NAAS Camp Kearney, California, was the airframe destroyed.[160]
24 August
Second (of two prototypes) McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom, BuNo 48236, is damaged in a belly landing.[161]
28 August
Consolidated Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108528, of the 386th BS, 312th BG, crashed east of Amaro-O-Shima in the Ryukyu Islands after engine failure. 11 of 13 aboard survived. One of the last operational missions of World War II. Also, this date, Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108544, written off when it lost an engine on takeoff from Yontan Airfield, Okinawa. Skidded off runway, exploded, and burned. 13 KIA.[162]
29 August
The temperamental Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone powerplant, prone to overheating and fires, leads to loss of Boeing B-29-40-MO Superfortress, 44-86274, of the 421st AAF Base Unit, Muroc Army Airfield, California, flown by Julius H. Massen, when an engine burns; crew of eleven bails out, 20 miles SE of Muroc according to the Aviation Archeology database.[163] "MUROC, Aug. 29 (AP) - A crewless B-29 plane headed for the Pacific ocean today after its 11-man crew bailed out when one of the huge ship's engines caught fire, Muroc Army air field officers said. All members of the crew were reported to have landed safely near Lancaster."[164]
2 September 
"The Navy and the Marine Corps last night (7 September) disclosed that a Marine lieutenant flying a Hellcat pursuit plane has been missing in the Mojave desert [sic] since Sunday. Daily searches by Army, Navy and Marine planes have yielded no trace of the missing ship or its pilot, First Lt. Herbert L. Libbey of Tomaston, [sic] Maine. Lieutenant Libbey left Las Vegas, Nev., at 4:15 p.m. Sunday en route to the Marine Corps air base at Mojave. He was last seen flying over Searles lake [sic], near Trona. -The country between Searles lake and Mojave is sparsely inhabited and includes large tracts not reached by roads or trails. Persons with any clues to the whereabouts of the plane or pilot have been asked to telephone Mojave 140 collect; or Franklin 7321 at San Diego. The military search for Lieutenant Libbey has been carried out over a constantly-widening territory, much of it far off of the supposed line of flight. The Navy public information office of the eleventh naval district at San Diego indicated that points as far distant as the Inyo and Colorado deserts and various desert mountain ranges were being searched. No ground hunt has been made."[165] Lt. Libbey had flown F6Fs with VMF-124 from USS Essex[166] F6F-5, BuNo 71033, of VMF-255, wreck found 13 June 1957.[167] 1st Lt. Herbert Lee Libbey lost his life when he crashed 20 miles N of Wildrose Ranger Station in the Panamint mountains.[168]
7 September 
"SAN DIEGO, Sept. 7, (UP) - A stunting naval fighter plane today struck a power line, crashed through a garage and slashed off a corner of a house in the east San Diego district, police reported. The pilot was killed instantly."[169]
9 September
Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108532, "Hobo Queen II", is damaged when the nose wheel accidentally retracts on the ground at Yontan Airfield, Okinawa. Two days later, a hoist lifting the B-32 drops it twice. Since the war has ended, it is not repaired but is disassembled at the airfield.[170]
12 September
On first flight of Northrop XP-79B, 43-52437, out of Muroc Army Air Base, California, aircraft behaves normally for ~15 minutes, then at an altitude of ~7,000 feet begins a slow roll from which it fails to recover. Pilot Harry Crosby bails out at 2,000 feet but is struck by revolving aircraft and his chute does not deploy. Largely magnesium airframe is totally consumed by fire after impact on desert floor.[171]
12 September
Pilot 1st Lt. Robert J. Anspach attempts to ferry captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190F, FE-113, coded '10', from Newark Army Air Base, New Jersey, where it had been offloaded from HMS Reaper, to Freeman Field, Indiana, for testing. While letting down for refuelling stop at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a faulty electrical horizontal trim adjustment switch goes to full-up position, cannot be manually overridden. Pilot spots small dirt strip, the Hollidaysburg Airport, S of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and makes emergency landing. Upon applying brakes, right one fails immediately, fighter pivots left, landing gear collapses, propeller rips away. Pilot uninjured, but Fw 190 is hauled to Middletown Air Depot, Pennsylvania, and scrapped. Prop ends up on wall of local flying club. The press never gets wind of the accident, nor of the 19 August Messerschmitt Me 262 crash landing at Pittsburgh.[172]
14 September
Hurricane destroys three wooden blimp hangars at NAS Richmond, Florida, southwest of Miami, with 140 mph (230 km/h) winds. Roofs collapse, ruptured fuel tanks are ignited by shorted electrical lines, fire consumes twenty-five blimps (eleven deflated), 31 non-Navy U.S. government aircraft, 125 privately owned aircraft, and 212 Navy aircraft. Thirty-eight Navy personnel injured, civilian fire chief killed.[173] Air operations are reduced to a minimum following this storm, and NAS Richmond is closed two months later.[174]
15 September
USAAF Douglas C-47B-45-DK Skytrain, 45-1011, c/n 17014/34277, of the 561st Base Unit, Ft. Dix AAF, New Jersey, piloted by James E. Wuest, crashes on take-off one mile W of Kansas City, Missouri,[175] killing 23 of 24 aboard.[176] "KANSAS CITY, Sept. 15 (AP) - Only one of 21 homeward-bound European war veterans, passengers aboard a military air transport plane which crashed early today remained alive tonight - and his condition was critical. A crew of three died in the craft which crashed and burned only a few seconds after it took off from Fairfax airport. Three of the veterans were alive when rescue parties reached the charred wreckage on the north bank of the Missouri river. Of these, Sgt. Bernard C. Tucker, Etna, California, and Cpl. Fred Ebert, Pasadena, died later at a local hospital. Sgt. Ora DeLong, whose papers indicated he had relatives at Fort Scott, Kan., Winfield, Kan., and San Bernardino, California, remained alive this afternoon but his condition was described as critical. The big Douglas C-47 plane had just left the runway at the local airport after refueling to continue its flight westward from Newark, N. J. Witnesses said one engine sputtered as the craft left the field. The ship made it across the Missouri river, immediately north of the field lost altitude rapidly and topped a tree on the bank of the river. One wing caught the embankment of the Burlington railroad tracks and the ship caught fire, falling in flames north of the track."[177]
17 September 
"First Lt. Kenneth Robert Frost was killed early yesterday afternoon (17 September) when his P-38 fighter plane crashed approximately 40 miles north of the Army Air field at Daggett. Lt. Frost, attached to the 444th Army Air force bombardment unit, [sic] was the son of Percy O. and Louise Frost of Los Angeles. A qualified board of officers will be appointed to investigate the cause of the crash, Army officers said."[178] Lost was P-38L-1-LO, 44-24492, listed as of the 444th Combat Crew Training Squadron with crash site ~25 miles NE of Yermo according to the Aviation Archeology database,[175] or of the 444th AAF Base Unit with crash site at a range 30 miles NE of Daggett as listed by Joe Baugher.[179]
18 September
A USAAF Lockheed C-69-5-LO Constellation, 42-94551,[180] belly lands at Topeka Army Air Field, Kansas, after suffering engine problems.[181]
18 September 
Consolidated TB-24J Liberator, built as B-24J-1-NT 42-78549, of the 425th AAF Base Unit, Gowen Field, Idaho, piloted by William P. Bordemer, suffers engine failure and crashes 38 miles (61 km) north of Deeth, Nevada.[175] "ELKO, Nev., Sept. 18 (AP) - One crewman and possibly three parachuted to safety from a Boise-based B-24 bomber which crashed today 30 miles north of Deeth, Nev., a search plane reported tonight. Lew Gourley, piloting a Piper cub, [sic] who first discovered the bomber's wreckage, said he saw one flier hanging unconscious in the harness of one 'chute and that two other 'chutes had been sighted. 'The man who was still in the 'chute harness in the morning has apparently come to,' Gourley said after a second flight to the scene. 'He was extricated from the 'chute and sat up and waved to us.'"[182]
22 September
On first day of planned two-day exhibition of captured German aircraft at Freeman Field, Indiana, pilot Lt. William V. Haynes, 20, completes his flying routine in one of the eight remaining Focke-Wulf Fw 190s at the base, (this being the same Fw 190D-9, Werke Nummer 211016, coded FE-119,[183] that he had ferried from Newark, New Jersey, to Freeman on 13 September),[184] when, as he prepares to land, at ~300 feet AGL, the aircraft pitches up and rolls over, bellying into the ground nose up. Aircraft destroyed, pilot killed. Although investigation cites "pilot error" (it was thought he may have attempted a wing-over at too low an altitude for recovery), this may well have been another example of the faulty electrical horizontal trim switch problem that caused the loss of the Fw 190 at Hollidaysburg Airport, Pennsylvania on 12 September.[185] Recent excavations at the former Freeman Field have uncovered various aircraft components that were apparently buried to dispose of them when the base was being shut down in 1947–1948.
29 September
SilverplateBoeing B-29B-35-MO Superfortress, 44-27303, named "Jabit III", of the 509th Composite Group, Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, on cross-country training mission, strikes several objects on landing at Chicago Municipal Airport, Illinois, never flies again. Assigned to the 4200th Base Unit at the airport pending disposition decision, it is salvaged there in April 1946.
2 October
A U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5E Mariner flying boat, BuNo 59336,[186] of VPB-205, carrying Rear Admiral William Sample, commander of Carrier Division 22, Suwannee Captain Charles C. McDonald, and seven others disappears near Wakayama, Japan while on a familiarization flight. Declared dead on 4 October, the wreckage and their bodies will not be discovered until 19 November 1948.[187]
3 October
Captured Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 V14, which on 6 September 1945 became the first helicopter to fly across the English Channel when it was moved from Cherbourg to RAF Beaulieu, crashes on third test flight at RAF Beaulieu, when a driveshaft failed. The accident was thought to be due to a failure to correctly tension the steel cables which secured the engine, despite warnings from Luftwaffe helicopter pilot Helmut Gerstenhauer.[188]
12 October
USAAF Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando, 44-78591, was on approach to Nanyuan Airport, China, en route from Hankou when it struck a radio antenna and crashed near Beijing, killing all 59 passengers and crew on board. The crash is the worst-ever involving the C-46.
1 November
First prototype McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom, BuNo 48235 crashes as a result of aileron failure[161] killing McDonnell's chief test pilot Woodward Burke.[189][190]
3 November 
Consolidated LB-30/Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express, AL-640,[191] assigned to the 1504th AAF Base Unit, Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base, piloted by Norman C. Fisher, runs out of fuel 500 miles NE of Honolulu while en route to Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base, California, and ditches in the Pacific at 0740 hrs. more than four hours after it departed Hawaii, at approximately 149-50W/25-25N.[192] It went down about 50 miles from regular patrol routes. Eighteen lives are lost with eight survivors. Surface vessels rescued those saved from life rafts. Twenty-one passengers and six crew were aboard, including two women, one a civilian and one a WAC. One of the women was rescued. Bodies of seven were recovered. Seven ships, including aircraft carriers, were involved in the search.[193] On 11 January 1946, headquarters of the commanding general of the Pacific division in Honolulu announces the conviction of John R. Patrick, 27, of Tulare, California, on a charge of involuntary manslaughter after being accused of failing to "determine positively" whether the plane had been refueled before takeoff. Public relations officers said that the general court-martial that tried Patrick also convicted him of destruction of government property through "wrongful neglect". Patrick, a civilian, was one of the eight survivors. His defense, according to the public relations office, was that he did take precautions. He was sentenced to six months confinement and fined $2,000.[194]
6 November
Ensign J. C. West takes off from USS Wake Island in a Ryan FR-1 Fireball, of VF-41, a combination prop-jet design, and soon experiences problems with the Wright R-1820-72W Cyclone radial piston engine. Before the reciprocating powerplant fails completely, he starts the General Electric I-16 jet engine and returns to the ship, thus making the first ever landing by jet power alone on a carrier.[195] The escort carrier was operating off of San Diego, California, for pilot qualifications in the FR-1.
9 November
Disregarding advice from Eric "Winkle" Brown of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), to treat the rudder of the Heinkel He 162 with suspicion due to a number of in-flight failures, RAF pilot, Flt. Lt. R. A. Marks, starts a low-level roll in He 162A-2, Wrk. Nr. 120072, 'AM61',[196] during the Farnborough Air Show, one of the fin and rudder assemblies breaks off, the aircraft crashes in Aldershot before the ejection seat could be employed, killing Marks.
11 November
A Short Stirling C.5 operated by No. 158 Squadron RAF was departing for the United Kingdom when it crashed on take off from RAF Castel Benito in Libya after the wing caught fire, 21 soldiers and five crew were killed, one person survived.[197]
17 November
A USAAF Republic P-47N-15-RE Thunderbolt,[154] 44-88938,[198] crashes between two houses on Windsor Parkway in Hempstead, New York shortly after take-off from Mitchel Field, setting both structures on fire. Morning accident kills pilot, 1st Lt. Daniel D. A. Duncan, 24, of New Iberia, Louisiana.[199]
26 November 
"TACOMA, Wash., Nov. 26 (UP) - Coast Guard aircraft and small Navy boats tonight began a search of the ocean off Florence, Ore., for six crewmen who parachuted during a gale from a C-46 transport plane enroute from California to McChord field, Wash."[200]
27 November
Douglas C-47B-1-DL Skytrain, 43-16261, c/n 20727,[141] of Air Transport Command, piloted by 1st Lt. William H. Myers, disappears during flight from Singapore to Butterworth, British Malaya. Wreckage found on mountain slope in the forest reserve area of Bukit Bubu, near Beruas, Perak, Malaysia. Crew remains recovered in August 2015. Also killed were Flight Officer Judson Baskett and PFC Donald Jones.[201]
5 December
Flight 19, a training flight of 5 Grumman TBM Avengertorpedo bombers, manned by 14 US Navy and Marine personnel from Ft Lauderdale Naval Air Station, Florida, USA, vanishes over the Bermuda Triangle under mysterious circumstances. Avengers were four TBM-1Cs, BuNo 45714, 'FT3', BuNo 46094, 'FT36', BuNo 46325, 'FT81', BuNo 73209, 'FT117', and TBM-3, BuNo 23307, 'FT28'. A US Navy Martin PBM-5 Mariner, BuNo 59225, carrying 13 sailors departs NAS Banana River, Florida, to search for the missing planes, also disappears after a large mid-air explosion is seen near its last reported position.[202]
13 December 
Captured Dornier Do 335A-12 Pfiel, coded 121, werke nummer 240121, taken to England, is written off this date.[203]
16 December
Second of two prototypes of the Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster, 43-50225, on routine flight out of Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., suffers in short order, a landing gear extension problem, failure of the port engine, and as coolant temperatures rose, failure of starboard engine. Maj. Hayduck bails out at 1,200 feet, Lt. Col. Haney at 800 feet, and pilot Lt. Col. (later Major General) Fred J. Ascani, after crawling aft to jettison pusher propellers, at 400 feet – all three survive. Aircraft impacts at Oxen Hill, Maryland. Secret jettisonable props caused a problem for authorities in explaining what witnesses on ground thought was the aircraft exploding. Possible fuel management problem speculated, but no proof.[204]

1946 [ edit ]

1 January
Budd RB-1 Conestoga, NC45347, c/n 003, ex-BuNo 39294, one of twelve purchased from the War Assets Administration by National Skyway Freight Corp., former AVG members, for $28,642 each at a time when new C-47s go for ~$100,000, belly-lands this date on a golf course at Bluefield, Virginia during an attempted forced landing after running low on fuel.[205] The new company, immediately sold four RB-1 aircraft to other buyers, which paid for the entire WAA contract.[206]
10 January
First prototype Douglas XSB2D-1, BuNo 03551, suffers an engine fire 1000 feet over Sunnyvale, California. The aircraft crashes into an orchard and is severely damaged, but the crew of two are uninjured.[207]
18 January
A Dornier Do 335A-12 Pfeil (Arrow), AM223, ex-DP+UB, wrk nr 240112, a twin piston engined "push-pull" aircraft, out of RAE Farnborough, suffers a rear-engine fire whilst in flight which severs the control runs and crashes into Cove School, Cove, Hampshire, killing 2 people, according to one source,[208] and injuring six persons on the ground, with the pilot, Group Captain A. F. Hards DSO, KWF according another.[209]
28 January
First prototype Short Shetland I, DX166, the largest British-built flying boat, burns out at its mooring from fire in galley before flight testing can be completed.[210]
1 March
Two Silverplate Boeing B-29 Superfortresses written off in taxi accident at Kirtland Army Air Field, New Mexico. Pilot of Boeing B-29-60-MO Superfortress, 44-86473, of the 509th Composite Group, assigned to Roswell AAF, New Mexico, attempts to taxi without energizing the hydraulic brake system, cannot stop bomber which collides with Boeing B-29-36-MO, 44-27296, "Some Punkins", also of the 509th. "Some Punkins" stricken in August 1946 and destroyed in fire-fighting training. 44-86473 dropped from inventory, April 1946, after salvage.
7 March
SilverplateBoeing B-29-30-MO Superfortress, 42-65387, from Kirtland Army Air Field, New Mexico, on practice mission to Los Lunas bombing range, releases 10,150 pound Fat Man shape, and then disintegrates for unknown reasons and spins in from 32,000 feet. Ten crew die, wreckage strewn up to 16 miles from main portion. B-29 that drops the weapon in Operation Crossroads test Able on 1 July 1946, is named "Dave's Dream" for bombardier Dave Semple, killed in this accident.[211]
17 March
A Republic of China Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain, crashes[212] into hills near Nanjing, China, in bad weather, killing all 20 on board, including Lt. Gen. Dai Li (also: Tai Li), head of Chiang Kai-shek's Military Intelligence Service.[213] A CIA site offers this view: "Dai Li was dead, but many refused to believe it. Some blamed the crash on communist sabotage, others on a bomb planted by OSS. The most common rumor was that Dai Li had faked his own death. But Dai Li was dead, and it was bad weather that did it, not the OSS. He was buried on a hillside outside Nanjing, not far from Sun Yat-sen’s mausoleum. In 1949, his remains were destroyed by the communists. A hero to some, a demon to others, Dai Li with his genius for organization had created the largest spying machine of its time, but reviews of its effectiveness are mixed."[214] However, another view offered by Jay Robert Nash in his volume, "Spies: A Narrative Encyclopedia of Dirty Trick and Double Dealing From Biblical Times To Today", states that "Tai Li was killed when his plane exploded in mid-flight, undoubtedly from a bomb planted by one of K'ang Sheng's agents."[215]
19 March
Col. George Vernon Holloman, (1902–1946), a native of Rich Square, North Carolina, aviation instrument inventor and early experimenter with guided missiles, is killed in Boeing B-17G-95-DL, 44-83779, accident at Hokusekiko, Formosa,[216] while en route from China to the Philippines due to bad weather. Holloman had received the DFC for conducting the first instrument-only landing of an aircraft. Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico, renamed Holloman AFB, 13 January 1948.[217] Pilot was James E. Parker.[218]
19 March
The wreckage of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress en route from Hickam Field, Hawaii, to Hamilton Field, California, unheard from after an 0200 hrs. radio contact, is discovered by a private pilot on top of a 3,820-foot ridge 15 miles SE of Livermore, California, and 25 miles NE of San Jose. Seven crew killed. Capt. J. M. Clark, of the 1503d Army Air Forces Base Unit, Hamilton Field, flying a C-54 over the Livermore area, reported spotting the crash site at 1715 hrs., and identified the ship by its serial number. A ground crew from Merced Army Air Field was pushing towards the wreckage. He stated that the B-29 pilot, apparently forced down with engine trouble after losing his way near the end of the flight, had missed the top of the ridge by only ten feet. The tail and scattered wreckage was on top of the ridge, with the remainder of the plane scattered down the slope on the opposite side. Pacific Division Air Transport Command said that the B-29 was one of a group that were being ferried to the mainland from an advance base in the Pacific. An ATC officer said that the bombers are brought there (Honolulu) for a "routine check" before being turned over to new crews to be shuttled to the continental U.S.[219] B-29-45-BA, 44-83960, of the 1521st Army Air Force Base Unit, Hickam Field,[94] piloted by Fred S. Andes.[218]
19 March
USAAF Douglas C-47B-50-DK Skytrain, 45-1085, c/n 34355/17088,[220] of the 3d MATW, Topeka Army Air Field, Kansas, piloted by Richard K. Young,[218] en route from Stockton Army Air Field to Denver, Colorado, crashes in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains, N of Lake Tahoe, killing all three crew and 23 passengers, all personnel of the Army and Navy. The C-47 crashed in mid-morning with some witnesses stating that it exploded in the air. The fuselage landed near Hobart Mills, California, seven miles N of Truckee. Capt. Harold Simer, commanding officer of the Reno Army Air Base, Nevada, who reached the scene not long after game warden Bill La Mar first arrived around 1530 hrs., said that the starboard wing of the plane had not been found, perhaps having dropped away first. He said that the plane had spiralled down crazily, striking a tree which sheared off the port wing, and the fuselage had hit the mountain slope and nosed over, breaking open. There were no signs of life when La Mar arrived, either in the fuselage or of bodies outside the wreckage. All were in Army of Navy uniform and were, for the most part, intact. There was no fire. Snow in the hollow was over an average man's head in depth. Hobart Mills, a ghost town with only a caretaker and his wife, was the nearest point to which a vehicle could come to the crash site, about a mile distant. "Rescuers at once sent for caterpillar tractors and snow plows, and Capt. Simer said that night lights were also on the way so that the task of making a road among the big pines could go on in the dark. Clair Heater, caretaker at Hobart Mills, and three California highway maintenance workers from Sierraville, D. W. Roberts, Floyd V. Reed, and Tom Dewyre, all said they saw the plane apparently explode in the air and break into pieces."[219]
31 March
U.S. Navy Douglas R4D-6 Skytrain, BuNo 39100, c/n 32796/16048,[221] assigned to the USMC, Marine Air Wing 2 (MAW-2), Marine Air Group 25 (MAG-25) to squadron VMJ-253;[222] goes missing on routine flight between Noumea, New Caledonia, and Guadalcanal, the Navy reports on 1 April.[223] The flight is discovered wrecked on a mountain near Touho, New Caledonia, which it struck in bad weather.[224]
2 April
U.S. Navy Ryan FR-1 Fireball, BuNo 39699, crashes in the Pacific ~40 miles off San Diego at 1410 hrs. with probable loss of pilot Ens. R. F. Krieger, of Coronado, the Eleventh Naval District announced. Plane hit gunnery sleeve and crashed near Los Coronados Island.[221][225][226]
4 April 
"WASHINGTON, April 5 (AP) - Nine Navy men were killed in the Caribbean area yesterday when a bomb dropped in practice accidentally hit an observation tower, the Navy said today. The tower was located at the edge of an airfield on Culebra island, 16 miles off Puerto Rico.[227]
5 April 
A Fleet Air Arm Vickers Wellington, HE274, crashes into a residential area in Rabat, Malta during a training exercise, killing all 4 crew members and 16 civilians on the ground.[228][229][230]
6 April 
"LOS ANGELES, April 6 (AP) - Two Navy fliers were killed tonight when their two-engine dive bomber crashed in rain and heavy fog in the Palos Verdes hills. The bodies were burned."[231]
6 April
The loss of a 100-piece Marine Corps art collection, which was slated to become part of the permanent war record, in a plane crash in New Mexico this date, was announced in San Francisco on 18 April. The exhibit, composed of battle drawings by Corps artists, was being flown to Philadelphia for exhibition, along with other outstanding war pictures. The plane crash killed eleven occupants and destroyed all cargo.[232]
8 April
A Beechcraft C-45F Expeditor, 44-87062, of the United States Army Air Forces 33d Army Air Field Base Unit, piloted by Woodrow W. Davis,[233] crashes into Mount Diablo, California, killing both crew members.[234] An Army search plane spots the wreckage late Monday of the flight that departed Oakland Airport at 1105 hrs. for Los Angeles. "Lt. Stephen W. Cummings reported there was no sign of life, and that only the tail of the plane was visible in a ravine on the northwest slope of Mt. Diablo, 3,849-foot peak 10 miles east of Oakland. The Army said only two officers were aboard when the ship took off in 'very soupy weather.'"[235]
15 April
 :Consolidated TBY-2 Seawolf, BuNo 30314, ground loops during cross-wind landing at NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C., sustaining minor damage.[111]
24 April 
Air Transport Command announces that six are killed when Douglas C-47-DL Skytrain, 41-18530,[236] crashes in the Tarawa atoll lagoon.[237]
24 April 
"WEST GREENWICH, R. I., April 24 (UP) - Two Navy fighter planes collided in the air today and one of them crashed in flames on a home, killing a mother and her 2-year-old son. Both pilots escaped injury. Trapped in the blazing bungalow were Mrs. Eva Parenteau, 30, and her son, Raymond."[238] Mrs. Parenteau’s other two children, Phillip, 9, and Joseph, 8, were playing in a nearby yard at the time and weren’t injured. The pilot of F4U-4 Corsair, BuNo 81416, bailed out after colliding with F4U-4, BuNo 81312, and his plane struck the home. The other fighter landed back at NAS Quonset Point. Both aircraft were from VBF-82, and were on a training flight.[239][240]
25 April 
"HAYWARD, April 25 (UP) - Three Navy men were dead today in the crash of a twin-engine Navy transport in Redwood canyon, seven miles from Castro valley. Deputies from the Hayward sheriff's office found the charred bodies of the three men in the burning wreckage. Their names were withheld pending notification of next to kin. No other passengers were believed on board the plane."[241]
5 May 
"SPOKANE, Wash., May 5 (UP) - Airfield officials at Billings, Mont., said tonight at [sic] Sgt. H. D. Avery of Youngstown, Ohio, had parachuted from an overdue C-45 Army plane in trouble over Wilsall, Mont., but that the whereabouts of the plane and six other passengers was unknown. Air search attempts were hampered by bad weather. Avery said that he jumped on orders from Major D. L. Van Fleet, pilot of the plane, when the craft developed motor trouble over Wilsall. He said that none of the other passengers parachuted and the plane continued on its course."[242] The wreckage still had not been located as of 10 May.[243] Beechcraft C-45F, 43-35681, of Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio, piloted by Maj. Dorence L. Van Fleet, is downed 37 miles NNE of Livingston.[244] The C-45 struck Lobo Peak in the Crazy Mountains in a snow storm, killing all six on board. The wreckage burned and the bodies were badly charred. The survivor's correct name was Frank Avry.[245]
10 May
On a mission out of NAS Pensacola, Florida, Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59437 of VB-4 suffers midair collision with PB4Y-2 BuNo 59721, also of VB-4, while in formation over Munson, Florida, during joint training with an F6F Hellcat. As the fighter dove at the patrol bombers, they manoeuvered into a turn and the plane flying wing collided with the leader, knocking out one of the leader's engines. The lead plane went into an immediate spin and crashed. The second PB4Y flew straight and level for a short time before it too spun in and crashed. The wreckage came down ~eight miles N of Munson. The F6F notified nearby Whiting Field of the accident and landed safely itself. Fourteen were killed on 59721 and 13 on 59437. One body in an unopened parachute also found.[246][247][160]
16 May
A B-17G-95-VE Flying Fortress, 44-85510,[248] of the 234th AAFBU, Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico,[244] crashes into White's Hill near Fairfax, California, while en route to Hamilton Field in Marin County, California, after running out of fuel. Two crew members are killed.[249] A United Press account reported that "Seven Army men rescued from the twisted fuselage of a B-17 Flying Fortress fought for life tonight after the plane crashed into the rugged foothills of Mt. Tamalpais. Two others were killed. Two men, believed to have been the pilot and co-pilot, were thrown clear of the wreckage. Only semi-conscious, they walked and crawled four miles to a private residence. Hamilton field officials said all seven men's injuries were listed as critical and that they were being moved to Letterman General hospital, San Francisco, for treatment. Army salvage crews and hospital corpsmen cut their way through the metal fuselage to four men trapped in the pilot's compartment. The radio operator, semi-conscious and moaning for more than seven hours, was freed from the body of the plane at 9:30 a.m. He was the last man out."[250] The pilot was listed as Warder H. Skaggs.[244]
17 May 
"CALCUTTA, May 22 (UP) - An American C-47 transport plane with 10 persons aboard and carrying 36 American war dead for reinterment has been missing between Akyab and Calcutta since May 17, it was revealed today."[251] Douglas C-47B-1-DK, 43-48308,[244] c/n 25569/14124, with three crew and eight passengers struck a wooded hillside in Birmanipara, Tripura state, in a heavy storm, while carrying the remains of allied prisoners of war (POW) from Rangoon to Calcutta-Barrackpore. The wreckage was discovered on 16 December 2011 by 34 Battalion of the Indian paramilitary Assam Rifles.[252] The site was found after a four-month search operation.[253]
20 May
In an accident very similar to the B-25 Mitchell that struck the Empire State Building in 1945, a USAAF Beech C-45F Expeditor, 44-47570, of the 4108th AAF Base Unit, Air Material Command,[254] on a navigation training flight from Lake Charles Army Air Field, Louisiana,[255] crashes in fog at ~2010 hrs. into the 58th floor of the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building at 40 Wall Street, Manhattan, New York City, whilst attempting to land at Newark Army Airfield, New Jersey. Five crew KWF, no injuries on the ground.[256] The War Department identified the dead as: Maj. Mansel R. Campbell, pilot, Pontiac, Michigan; Capt. Tom L. Hall, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; 1st Lt. Robert L. Stevenson, Bronx, New York; 1st. Lt. Angelo A. Ross, Whitehall, New York; and 1st Lt. Mary E. Bond, W.A.C., Newtown, Pennsylvania. The flight, which had stopped over at Smyrna, Tennessee, had last been in radio contact with the Newark tower at 1908 hrs.[257]
20 May
Grumman J4F-2 Widgeon amphibian out of NAS Brunswick, Maine, makes forced landing on Sebago Lake due to engine trouble and suffers moderate damage. Crew uninjured.[65][66]
23 May 
WILMINGTON, MA On the morning of May 23, 1946, two U. S. Navy F6F-5N Hellcat aircraft took off from the Squantum Naval Air Station for a tactical training flight.  One of the aircraft, (Bu. No. 70927), was piloted by Ensign Stephen J. Pilcher, (22). The other was piloted by his long-time friend, Ensign J. Thomas Holmes, (22).  Both men were from Wilmington, Massachusetts.  On this particular morning Ensign Pilcher hadn’t been scheduled to fly, and was filling in for another pilot. The pilots proceeded to the area of their home town of Wilmington where they engaged in mock combat flight tactics over the town.  While doing so, hundreds of town residents stopped what they were doing to watch the aircraft go through their maneuvers. At about noon, according to the U. S. Navy accident report, Ensign Pilcher’s aircraft was seen to enter a dive from approximately 1,800 feet and pull out while near the ground.  He then attempted to regain altitude and the plane went into a slow roll to the right before it nosed over and dove to the ground.  The aircraft exploded on impact killing Ensign Pilcher instantly. Ensign Pilcher’s plane came down in a wooded area in Wilmington’s Nee Park section, between Cedar and Harris Streets. There had been no mid-air collision between the two aircraft.   After the accident Ensign Holmes returned to Squantum.    

Source:  U. S. Navy accident report dated May 23, 1946

25 May
"HONOLULU, May 26 (UP) - Headquarters of Pacific division, Army Air forces air transport command, announced today that a C-54 Skymaster is missing between Kwajalein and Guam with five crew members. There were no passengers. Listed as part of the freight load was 8,600 pounds of mail."[258] C-54G-1-DO, 45-489,[176] of the 1521st AAFBU, piloted by Louis L. Jernigan, listed as missing near 149.5E-12.45N approximately.[244]
26 May 
"JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 26 (AP) - At least four persons were killed when a Navy C-47 transport plane made a forced landing near Flagler Beach, the Florida state highway patrol reported tonight. The plane's four other passengers were injured, one critically, the patrol reported. The injured men were taken to a hospital at Daytona Beach. The plane was en route from the Jacksonville naval air station to Miami. W. H. Courtney of Daytona Beach, who said he was at Flagler Beach when the plane went down, reported the craft burst into flames while still in the air and that a "sheet of flame" went up from the wreckage when it struck."[259] R4D-5, BuNo 17144, c/n 12334, involved.
3 June 
"SAN DIEGO, June 3 (AP) - Two Navy pilots were believed killed today when their Fireball pursuit planes collided five miles off the coast near San Clemente, 60 miles north of here. The Navy in reporting the crash said the accident occurred when the wing of one of the planes broke off and the other craft rammed the damaged plane. The two planes fell into the sea. The bodies were not recovered."[260] FR-1s BuNo 38696 and 39677 were involved.[261]
3 June 
"HONOLULU, T. H., June 3 (UP) - The Navy announced today that a B-17 Flying Fortress with 10 men aboard has disappeared between Kwajalein and Guam during an aerial search for a C-54 transport which has been missing with five aboard in the same area since May 25."[262]
3 June 
"MANILA, June 3 (AP) - Philippine army headquarters reported today that eight persons were killed and six seriously injured in the crash of one of its C-47 transport planes, one mile north of Legaspi, southern Luzon."[263]
20 June
A Vought F4U Corsair of Marine VMF-223 crash lands at MCAS El Toro, California, when, upon landing, the pilot apparently reaches for the flaps lever and pulls the landing gear, whereupon the undercarriage retracts.[264]
4 July
Pacific Theatre ace Lt. Col. John C. "Pappy" Herbst (18 credited victories) is mortally injured at the age of 36 in front of 30,000 people at the San Diego County Fair when his Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star, 44-85083,[265] of the 445th Fighter Squadron, 412th Fighter Group, March Field, California,[266] crashes after failing to pull up in a dive just west of the Del Mar Fairgrounds while flying with an early jet demonstration team. Herbst crashed in a dry riverbed near the Del Mar Racetrack after his aircraft stalled during an encore of their routine finale in which the pair of P-80s did a loop while configured to land. Herbst had married his second wife less than 24 hours before. Herbst's wingman, Major Robin Olds narrowly avoided the same fate while flying in formation.[267]
7 July
Eccentric, iconoclastic millionaire and aviator Howard Hughes is gravely injured when he mishandles a propeller pitch control failure and crashes his controversial Hughes XF-11 reconnaissance plane, 44-70155, during its maiden flight. Aircraft impacts homes in the Beverly Hills neighborhood near the Los Angeles Country Club golf course where Hughes was attempting an emergency landing.
8 July
First of two Vought XF4U-5 Corsairs, created by mating Vought F4U-4 Corsair BuNo 97296 with a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-32W radial engine, first flown 3 July 1946, lost during routine test flight when pilot Bill Horan attempts dead-stick landing at Stratford, Connecticut. Airframe destroyed, pilot killed.[268]
9 July
Eight USAAF crew, 16 U.S. Coast Guardsmen, returning from duty in Greenland, and one civilian are killed when B-17G-105-BO Flying Fortress, 43-39136, c/n 10114, they are flying in crashes into Mount Tom, Massachusetts, at ~2220 hrs. while attempting to land at Westover Field, Massachusetts.[269][270] A monument to the victims was dedicated on the crash site on 6 July 1996.[271]
11 July
First of three Mikoyan-Gurevich I-300 prototypes (I for Istrebitel, or interceptor), F-1, a twin-engined tricycle-geared jet-powered design first flown 24 April 1946, develops uncontrollable pitch during high-speed run and dives into ground, killing pilot Alexei Grinchik. Replacement test pilot Mark Gallai subsequently has two close calls in I-300, with tailplane and elevator suffering distortion, probably the same condition that killed Grinchik.[272][273]
12 July
Unarmed second prototype of the Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250, with strengthened tailplane after crash of first prototype on 5 July 1945, continues flight testing until this date when an engine fire forces an emergency landing and it is damaged beyond repair.[99]
26 July
The crash of a Stinson L-5E Sentinel, 44-17844, during a routine flight out of Eglin Field, Florida, kills Capt. Russell H. Rothman, originally of Chicago, Illinois, when the liaison aircraft crashes 17 miles NW of Valparaiso, Florida.[274] Rothman, who entered the service 16 September 1941 and had flown 800 hours in C-46 Commando and C-47 Skytrain transports in the European Theatre of Operations, had only recently been appointed to a regular commission in the Regular Army. He held the Unit Citation, the Air Medal with three clusters, the European and Middle East Theatre of Operations Ribbon, the American Defense Ribbon and the World War II Victory Medal. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Eleanor E. Rothman, of 26 Shalimar Court, Shalimar, Florida, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred H. Rothman of Chicago.[275]
29 July
First Swedish pilot to use an ejection seat to escape a crippled aircraft, Lt. Bengt Johansson (who later changes it to Järkenstedt), saves himself this date when the Saab J 21A-1, of 2 Divisionen, F9 Wing, out of Säve, collides with FFVS J 22 of another F9 Divisionen while engaged in naval gunnery attack practice. While climbing out from a gunnery pass, the J 21 is struck by the pursuing J 22, shearing off one of the J 21's twin tails. With control lost, Johansson jettisons canopy and ejects, other pilot also bails out of crippled J 22, both parachute into the sea where they are rescued by a Swedish navy destroyer. At the time the Swedish press describes the incident as a "first", the 13 January 1942 ejection by German Helmut Schenk from a Heinkel He 280 being little known at this point.[276]
5 August
Second (of only 14 built) Douglas C-74 Globemaster, 42-65403, c/n 13914, crashes at Torrance, California when it loses a wing during an overload dive test. All four crew bail out successfully.[277]
16 August
Captain Elmer Lee Belcher Jr. from Roanoke Alabama crashed to his death near Salinas Ecuador (Julio Moreno). He was stationed at France Field Canal Zone with the 20th Fighter Squadron of the Sixth Air Force. Flying a P-47D serial # 44-40191. He was flying by instruments in bad weather when he crashed.[278]
Me 262A, Wrknr. 111711, the first of the type to come into Allied hands, lost near Xenia, Ohio, 20 August 1946.
20 August
A captured Messerschmitt Me 262A, Wrknr. 111711, FE-0107, 711, crashed Tuesday afternoon ~two miles S of Xenia, Ohio, near Route 68, test pilot Walter J. McAuley, Jr., of the Flight Performance Section, Flight Test Division, Wright Field, Ohio, successfully parachuting to safety.[279] This brand new airframe had been surrendered on 31 March 1945 by Messerschmitt test pilot Hans Fay who defected during a functional check flight rather than fly it to an operational unit, landing at Rhein-Main, Frankfurt, the first Me 262 to fall into Allied hands.[280]
4 September
First prototype Bell XP-83, 44-84990, bailed back to Bell Aircraft Company by the USAAF as a ramjet testbed, and modified with an engineer's station in the fuselage in lieu of the rear fuel tank and pylon for test ramjet under starboard wing, suffers fire in ramjet on flight out of Niagara Falls Airport, New York. Flames spread to wing, forcing Bell test pilot "Slick" Goodlin and engineer Charles Fay to bail out, twin-jet fighter impacting at ~1020 hrs. on farm in Amhurst, New York, ~13 miles from Niagara Airport, creating ~25 foot crater.[281]
6 September
First prototype of the Avia S-92.1 Turbina, a Czechoslovakian version of the Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a, (essentially standard Me 262s built from already extant parts) crash lands on its sixth test flight out of a former Luftwaffe base north east of Prague. During high-speed runs at 13,125 feet (4000 meters), the port engine flames out, pilot Antonin Kraus is unable to get a relight, and he opts for a wheels-up landing in a field. The aircraft breaks in two on landing, and although Kraus is uninjured, it is a total write-off. For reasons of propaganda, the second prototype, S-92.2, is alleged to be the first true prototype, the first one having been an experimental ship, and the first two-seater, the Avia CS-92.3, is declared the first series production aircraft.[282]
13 September
Major General Paul Bernard Wurtsmith (9 August 1906 – 13 September 1946), of Strategic Air Command, is killed when his North American TB-25J-27-NC Mitchell, 44-30227, of the 326th Base Unit, MacDill Field, Florida,[283] crashes at ~1130 hrs. into Cold Mountain near Asheville, North Carolina. In February 1953, the United States Air Force named Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda Township, Michigan, in his honor.
27 September
Geoffrey de Havilland, Jr., is killed when de Havilland DH 108, TG306, second prototype, breaks up in flight, coming down in the Thames near Egypt Bay.
29 September
Blue Angels pilot Lt. (JG) Ros "Robby" Robinson is killed in Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat, BuNo 95986, Blue Angels No. 4, at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, when he fails to pull out of a dive during a Cuban Eight manoeuvre – wingtip broke off his fighter.[284]
1 October
RAFBristol Brigand TF.1, RH744, failed to develop sufficient power on takeoff from RAE Farnborough, overran into soft ground and flipped over, without injuries to crew. This was the first Brigand written off.[285]
The prototype Tupolev Tu-70 passenger variant of the Tupolev Tu-4 "Bull" bomber, completed September 1946 and first flown 27 November, crash lands on its fourth flight with an engine fire caused by a design defect in its supercharger control system. Although the design met all of its design goals, it was not accepted for production as all factories were already committed to building designs of higher priority and Aeroflot had no requirement for the type. It was scrapped in 1954 after military evaluation and testing by the NII VVS (Russian: Научно-Исследовательский Институт Военно-Воздушник Сил Naoochno-Issledovatel'skiy Institoot Voyenno-Vozdooshnykh Seel – Air Force Scientific Test Institute).[citation needed]
12 November 
"SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 13, (AP) - Seven persons were injured last night when a United States army Douglas plane crashed in the Andes near Uspallain on a flight from Panama to Santiago. Two among the crew of five and four passengers were uninjured."[286]
30 November
An Argentine Air Force Vickers VC.1 Viking T-1 crashed at El Palomar, Argentina.[287]
10 December
A Curtiss R5C-1 Commando military transport plane, BuNo 39528, c/n 26715/CU355, (ex-USAAF 42-3582), of VMR-152, crashed into Mount Rainier's South Tahoma Glacier near the 9,500 foot level,[288] killing 32 U.S. Marines.[289] Wreckage not found until 22 July 1947.[290][291] "Capt. A. O. Rule, commanding officer of Sand Point naval air station, said that the transport flew directly into the side of a sheer 3,000 foot cliff, exploded and threw parts and personnel over a wide area. 'In view of the nature of the glacier at the foot of this mountainside,' he said, 'little hope is entertained for the recovery of the bodies.'"[288] "The ice and deep crevasses of Tahoma glacier high on Mount Rainier may have claimed forever the bodies of 32 Marines who died when their transport plane flew into the mountain last Dec. 10, it was indicated today (27 July) by the Navy and by searchers back from a second climb on the glacier. The climbers said they recovered additional evidence of the identity of the plane and saw much more wreckage that could not be reached, but failed to locate a single body."[292]
10 December 
Testing of the sole prototype CAC CA-15, A62-1001, unofficially known as the Kangaroo, first flown 4 March 1946, comes to an abrupt halt when Flt Lt J. A. L. Archer suffers a hydraulic failure (later found to be a leaking ground test gauge) on approach to Point Cook on this date, which leaves him no choice but to orbit and burn off fuel. The main gear was only halfway down and unable to be retracted or lowered any further but the tail wheel was down and locked. On landing, the tail wheel strikes the airstrip first causing the aircraft to porpoise and finally, the airscoop digs in. The aircraft settles back on the fuselage and skids to a stop, heavily damaged. After repairs at CAC, the aircraft returns to ARDU in 1948, but as jets are already entering service, no further development occurs and the airframe is scrapped in 1950.
30 December 
A U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5 Mariner flying boat, BuNo 59098,[293] supporting Operation Highjump, departs from seaplane tender USS Pine Island on a prolonged reconnaissance flight,[294] crashes during a blizzard in Antarctica. Three crew members are killed and six others were stranded 13 days before being rescued. The three who died, Ensign Maxwell A. Lopez, ARM1 Wendell K. Henderson, and ARM1 Frederick W. Williams,[295] were buried at the crash site and their remains have not been recovered.

1947 [ edit ]

15 January
An RCAF Beechcraft with five Air Force personnel and one civilian aboard develops engine trouble and crashes about halfway between Watson Lake and Whitehorse in the Yukon. All are killed.[296]
20 January 
"Rotan, Tex., Jan 20, (AP) - Two persons were killed and three injured in the crash of an army B-29 nine miles southwest of Rotan today. Six survivors parachuted from the craft, which was being ferried from Smoky Hil army air field, Salina, Kas., to Pyote, Tex., army air field. Three of these received only minor injuries. Lt. E. R. Henningsen, of Salina, pilot of the plane, who received minor cuts on his leg, identified the dead as Lt. Leonard J. Davenport of Ithaca, N. Y., and Tech. Sgt. Basil L. Joseph of Salina. Lt. Paul Taylor, the navigator, and Sgt. James W. Felkel also were injured."[297]
20 January
A Douglas R5D Skymaster, operated by the Naval Air Transport Service, crashes while making a ground control approach to fog-bound Oakland Airport, California, when it strikes an embankment and disintegrates as it slides down the runway after the undercarriage was sheared off. Despite this, 20 of 21 aboard survive, although with injuries. A WAVE medical corpsman is the only fatality.[298]
26 January 
"MANILA, Jan. 29 (Wednesday). (AP) - The 13th air force announced today that Lt. Calvin G. Fuller, Macon, Ga., and Cpl. Winfield H. Mobley, Hazelhurst, [sic] Ga., were killed Sunday in the crash of their training plane one mile north of the army's air base on Palawan."[299]
27 January
United States Army Air ForcesSilverplateBoeing B-29-36-MO Superfortress, 44-65385, of the 428th Base Unit, Kirtland Army Air Field, New Mexico, for Los Alamos bomb development testing, crashed immediately after take-off from Kirtland on routine maintenance test flight. No specific cause is documented – a fire in one engine and the pilot's failure to compensate for loss of power is believed to have caused the accident. Twelve crew KWF.
28 January
Two Vought F4U Corsairs collide in flight 12 miles S of Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida, killing one pilot and injuring the other when he bails out. Dead is Lt. (j. g.) Jacob E. Lieb, USNR, 28, Newhall, Iowa. Ens. Donald Loranger, USNR, 22, of Hanford, California, suffers a broken leg in his bail out.[300]
28 January 
"ROSWELL, N. M., Jan 28. (AP) - Capt. Shester H. Bohart, B-29 Superfortress pilot at Roswell army airfield, said he thought the shooting was all over. Now he's not so sure. Taxiing toward the runway, Bohart noticed a tire going flat. Inside the tire mechanics found an Indian arrowhead."[301]
Second prototype Curtiss XBTC-2, BuNo 31402, of only two built, crashes at NATC Patuxent River, Maryland, during testing of full-span Duplex wingflaps and dual rotation propellers.[302]
18 February
The USS Cusk becomes the world's first submarine to launch a guided missile when it fires a Republic-Ford JB-2, which then crashes after flying only 6,000 yards, due to an apparent control malfunction.[303]
Kee Bird down on the ice, taken February 1947
21 February
United States Army Air ForcesBoeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress, 45-21768, "Kee Bird", modified to F-13 reconnaissance role, of the 46th/72d Reconnaissance Squadrons, on mission out of Ladd Field, Alaska, runs out of fuel due to a navigational error and is forced to land in a remote area of northern Greenland. The aircrew is rescued unharmed 3 days later, but the plane is abandoned in place. The accident achieves continuing notability for the exceptionally fortuitous rescue and later for a well-publicized and ultimately disastrous 1994 recovery attempt.
7 March
Five airmen baled out of a C-45 Expeditor at the height of a thunderstorm when the plane ran out of fuel. The plane crashed near Youngstown, Florida. According to public relations officials' report, weather conditions forced the pilot to deviate from his original flight plan of a proposed navigation training mission to Nashville, Tennessee. Four of the airmen were rescued. However, it took several days to locate the body of Maj. David A. Smiley of Tyndall Field.[304]
26 March
Prototype Convair XB-36 Peacemaker, 42-13570, on test flight out of Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas, with two test pilots, seven Convair flight test crew, three US Army Air Force observers, and two employees of Curtiss-Wright to run electronic tests on troubling propeller vibrations on board, suffers explosion of hydraulic retracting strut as the starboard main gear comes up. Huge 9 foot, 2 inch main tire swings back down as dead weight, smashes rear of number 4 engine nacelle, rupturing fuel and hydraulic lines. Twelve on board bail out, suffering various injuries from gusting wind conditions, but after six hours of flight to burn off fuel, pilots Beryl A. Erickson and Gus S. Green successfully land the bomber at Fort Worth with no additional damage, although they have no hydraulics. Repaired, with a redesigned strut, the prototype returns to flight testing two months later.[305]
9 April 
Douglas C-47D Skytrain, 43-49258,[306] c/n 15074/26519, (built as C-47B-10-DK), assigned to the 43d Bomb Group, Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona,[307] crash lands shortly after take-off from Kelly Field, Texas, injuring many on board. "San Antonio, Tex., April 9 (AP) - Twenty-one soldiers were injured seriously tonight when a C-47 transport plane crash-landed near Kelly field here. In the plane were Negro baseball players, members of an army team en route to Davis Monthon [sic] field at Tucson, Ariz. It was not known tonight if all passengers were members of the team. Maj. Robert Loomis, operations officer at Kelly field, said as far as he knew no one was killed in the crash. The plane had taken off from Kelly field a short time before the crash. Witnesses said the plane encountered difficulties in the take-off. It rose slowly from the runway, cleared residences adjacent to the base, and settled down in a cotton field."[308] The Aviation Archeology site lists the pilot as Sumpson L. Rawle, and both this site and Joe Baugher state that there were fatalities.[306][307]
19 April
A Boeing B-29A-85-BW Superfortress, 44-87638,[309] of the 30th Bomb Squadron, 19th Bomb Group, 20th Air Force,[310] crashes and explodes one mile off shore at Kwajalein Island after take-off. Sixteen KWF, no bodies are recovered. One of the dead is Capt. Quitman B. Jackson, 24, of Columbia, South Carolina, a 1944 graduate of West Point. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Charlotte R. Jackson, and their child, Susan, of Kansas City, Missouri, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Q. B. Jackson, of 1523 Lady Street, Columbia, South Carolina[311]
8 May
A North American P-51D-30-NA Mustang, 44-74652, of the 77th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, based at Shaw Field, South Carolina, crashes at ~noon near Cassatt, South Carolina in Kershaw County. Col. W. M. Turner, executive officer at Shaw Field, said that ambulances and firefighting equipment went to the scene but that his information was that the pilot, Max J. Christensen,[312] was not injured. He said that he was awaiting a full report on the crash.[313]
15 May
A V-2 rocket launched from the White Sands Missile Range LC-33, New Mexico, at ~1611 hrs. goes 40 degrees off-course due to a defective fin and crashes six miles E of Alamogordo, New Mexico.[314]
18 May
A U.S. Navy pilot and two school boys are killed when a Vought F4U Corsair fighter crashes onto a school playground in Burlington, Iowa, during an airshow at the Municipal Airport. The fighter, one of 35 aircraft from Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri, performing a mock formation raid in front of 3,500 spectators to signal the start of National Naval Reserve week, went into a series of barrel rolls, then appeared to go out of control before it crashed onto the playground at the Perkins School where 14 youngsters were playing ball. At least five others were injured, and several homes were struck by debris from the crash.[315]
19 May
The crash of a Beechcraft C-45F Expeditor, 44-87142, of the 4000th AAF Base Unit,[309] two miles S of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, kills three officers and two enlisted men of the 4140th Base Unit, Wright Field, Ohio, who had departed that base at 1805 hrs. on a flight to Selfridge Field, Michigan, to make advance preparations for air shows throughout the country. The twin-prop, twin-tailed aircraft came down in an open area during a driving rainstorm at ~2105 hrs. and broke into six major pieces. One crew attempted to parachute but was unsuccessful. The plane impacted within 500 yards of St. Mary's academy girls' school on the outskirts of Windsor.[316]
22 May
The third prototype of three Boeing XC-97 Stratofreighters, 43-27472, c/n 8483, on a flight out of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, comes down in a wheat stubble field 5 miles E of Dayton, Ohio[141] and bursts into flames, killing 5 of 7 on board.[317]
29 May
A captured, modified V-2 rocket, the Hermes B-1, launched from White Sands Proving Grounds LC-33, New Mexico, at 2030 hrs. CST, fails to reach its maximum altitude, and comes down ~three minutes later, impacting in Tepeyac cemetery, ~six miles S of Juarez, Mexico. Unburnt fuel explodes, with the blast being felt in both Juarez and El Paso, Texas. Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, commander at White Sands, confirmed by telephone the launch of the rocket, but refused any further comment.[318]
29 May
An Army Douglas C-54D-5-DC Skymaster courier plane, 42-72553, c/n 10658,[319] of the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron, 317th Troop Carrier Group, 5th Air Force,[312] with 33 passengers and eight crew on board crashes into a mountain SW of Tokyo, Japan. An Army announcement said that it had not been determined whether or not there were any survivors.[320] A revised count reported that there were 40 aboard the C-54, 28 enlisted, eight officers, and four civilians, all killed in the crash. They were reported to be burned beyond recognition. The flight, inbound from Korea, had apparently exploded as it approached Tachikawa Airfield for a landing.[321]
29 May
A Boeing F-13A Superfortress, 45-21848, c/n 13742,[322] of the 46th Reconnaissance Squadron, crashes shortly after take off from Ladd Field, Alaska, coming down 3 miles E of Fairbanks, Alaska.[312] Three crew were reported missing while nine others were injured.[320][321]
30 May
Twelve members of the Colombian National Army Aviation are injured in the crash landing of their transport at Bogotá, Colombia, after it collided in mid-air with a buzzard.[321] Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Fuerza Aérea Colombiana FAC-661, is destroyed by fire after landing.[323]
4 June
A U.S. Marine Corps Vought F4U-4 Corsair crashes in the surf at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina during a VFW airshow, and pilot Lt. Gene Dial, of MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, walks some 15 feet to shore unhurt. The pilot, with four and a half years of service, said that he crashed once before during a carrier take-off.[324]
14 June
A Boeing B-29A-70-BN Superfortress, 44-62228, of the 64th Bombardment Squadron, 43rd Bombardment Group,[325] off-course in stormy weather, slammed into the granite face of Hawks Mountain a few hundred feet below its 2,300 foot crest, near Springfield, Vermont just before midnight, killing all eleven crew. The bomber, based at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona, had refueled at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was bound for Bedford, Massachusetts when it apparently became lost. Local residents reported hearing it circle over Springfield and nearby Perkinsville shortly before impact and seeing it blinking its lights at an altitude of 1,000 feet or less.[326][327]
18 June
World War II ace Pierce W. "Mac" McKennon (12 aerial victories and 9.83 ground victories) is killed in a training accident[328] with a student pilot in AT-6D-NT, 44-81417, of the 2532d AAF Base Unit, Randolph Field, Texas, when the trainer crashes 2 mile W of Marion, Texas.[329]
22 June
Martin XB-48, 45-59585, makes first flight, a 37-minute, 73-mile hop from Martin's Baltimore, Maryland plant to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, but blows all four tires on its fore-and-aft mounted undercarriage on landing when pilot O. E. "Pat" Tibbs, Director of Flight for Martin, applies heavy pressure to specially designed, but very slow to respond, insensitive air-braking lever. Tibbs and co-pilot E. R. "Dutch" Gelvin are uninjured.[330]
Post July
First prototype Gloster E.1/44, SM809, final assembly completed July 1947 at Bentham Experimental Department, taken by road to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down, never makes it. En route, vehicle carrying it apparently jack-knives while descending hill, crashes into stone wall, airframe damaged beyond repair. It was news of this accident that alerted the British public to the existence of a new Gloster fighter design.[331]
1 July 
Army Air ForceP-84 Thunderjet, flown by Maj Wilbur J. Webb on a routine acceptance test from the Republic Aviation Corporation plant at Farmingdale, Long Island. Maj. Webb was flying at approximately 9000 ft cruising at approximately 600 mph, the planes maximum speed. When the Major radioed in that his "Flame was out", pilot jargon to let control know that he had a dead engine. Maj. Webb was able to safely ditch the plane near a Long Island, NY lighthouse nestled between Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington Bay, where he was promptly rescued. [332][333]
3 July 
USAFDouglas C-54G-1-DO Skymaster, 45–519, c/n 35972/DO366,[334] en route from Bermuda to Morrison Field, Florida, crashed in the Atlantic, 294 mi NE of Florida after a loss of control caused by turbulence from a storm, killing the six crew.[335] Morrison Field had been placed in reserve status on 1 July 1947, with most equipment and personnel transferred to Brookley Army Airfield, Alabama, by 1 August 1947.
18 July 
"CARRIZOZO, N. M., July 18 (AP) - An Army pilot attempting a P-80 jet plane takeoff from a highway was killed and four other persons were injured today when his ship crashed into a service station and exploded. White hot flames erupting from the plane's 700-gallon fuel tanks destroyed station, aircraft and three automobiles. The flier's body was charred. 'We were lucky that more weren't killed,' said Sheriff Nick Vega, who was slightly burned in helping to rescue the injured. The gasoline station was as the north edge of this southern New Mexico town. There are no houses close by. At March field, California, Army air base the pilot was identified as Capt. Floyd G. Soule, 28, adjutant of the 73rd Fighter Squadron. His widow, Hilda, and three children reside at 3272 Oakwood Place, Riverside."[336] P-80A-5-LO, 44-85349,[337] listed in 1947 with USAF 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group.[338] The fighter had made a forced landing here on Wednesday 16 July when it suffered fuel exhaustion in a storm while en route to San Antonio, Texas.
19 July
RAFBristol Brigand TF.1, RH742, assigned to the A&AEE, piloted by F/L T. Morren, failed to pull out of firing pass during exercise in the Lyme Bay area off the Dorset coast, entered slow roll and lost speed while inverted, into spiral dive into sea, killing both crew. It was thought that one of the dive brakes may have failed. This was the first fatal accident in the type.[339]
21 July 
"BUENOS AIRES, July 21, (AP) - Seventeen persons were killed today in the crash of an Argentine army four-engine transport plane as it took off, plunged into a crowd and burst into flames during army maneuvers at El Palomar airfield. Three of the victims, a government communique said, were civilian spectators. The other dead were military personnel and war department employes [sic]."[340] Douglas C-54A-1-DO Skymaster, Fuerza Aérea Argentina T-44, c/n 7463, (ex-USAAF 42-107444[341]) could not gain altitude on takeoff. It ran through a crowd of spectators, crossed a railroad and caught fire. The airplane was to join a flight of some 200 other aircraft over the capital in celebration of the birthday of José de San Martín.[342]
25 July
First (of two) North American XP-82 Twin Mustangs, 44-83886, c/n 120-43742, of the 611 AAF Base Unit, crash lands at Eglin Field, Florida.[343]
26 July
USMC 1st Lt. Leonard Smith, 25, of South Gate, California, is killed in the crash of a U.S. Navy Corsair while landing at the Seal Beach ammunition depot, officers at NAS Los Alamitos reported. There was no explosion.[344]
29 July
Nine crew are killed and two injured in a failed take-off attempt by B-29-45-MO Superfortress, 44-86307,[345] from Eglin Field, Florida, at 0813 hrs., the bomber coming down ~300 yards N of the main base near Valparaiso, Florida and burning. Killed were instructor pilot Capt. Gordon W. Barrett, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a West Point graduate who was awarded the DFC while flying Boeing B-29 Superfortresses in World War II; pilot 1st Lt. Huddie C. Bagley of Braufield, Texas; co-pilot Capt. Robert M. Seldomridge of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; navigator 1st Lt. Joseph A. Anderson, Shalimar, Florida; navigator 1st Lt. Milton Rose, Fort Walton, Florida; engineer Master Sgt. Michele Aulicino, Mary Esther, Florida; scanner Staff Sgt. Hugh T. Mulholland of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; scanner Cpl. Ashley W. Odom, McBee, South Carolina; and scanner Pfc. Donald D. Crawford from Fort Worth, Texas. Injured were scanner S/Sgt. Jeremiah W. Conlon of Worthington, Kentucky, admitted to the Eglin hospital with abrasions of the face and head, and ankle injuries; and radio operator S/Sgt. Lloyd D. Farris of Pensacola, Florida, with minor injuries but admitted for observation. The Superfortress apparently failed to gain much altitude before coming down, said Capt. Robert Gaughan, base public relations officer.[346]
First prototype Curtiss XBTC-2, BuNo 31401, of only two built, crashes at NATC Patuxent River, Maryland, during testing of full-span Duplex wingflaps and dual rotation propellers.[302] This design was the last Curtiss aircraft built for the U.S. Navy.
1 August 
"M'CHORD FIELD, WASH., Aug. 1 (AP) - The Army Air Force day observance was marred today by the deaths of Capt. W. L. Davidson, pilot, and Lt. Frank M. Brown, co-pilot, in the crash of their flaming B-25 bomber near Kelso, Wash., shortly after taking off on a night flight to Hamilton field, California. T/Sgt. Woodrow D. Matthews, crew chief, and Sgt. Elmer L. Taff, 24, Mertzon, Texas, a hitchhiker making his first plane flight, parachuted to earth several miles from the wreck scene. Matthews was critically injured."[347] TB-25J-30/32-NC, 44-31316, of the 400th AAF Base Unit, was based at Hamilton Field, and was piloted by William L. Davidson.[348]
6 August
A Kodiak-based U.S. Navy Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, BuNo 34032, goes missing on a flight from Kodiak (departed at 0626 hrs.) to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, with 15 passengers and five crew aboard. The Seventeenth Naval District radioed headquarters that the amphibian reported that it was bucking heavy headwinds SE of Fort Randall in the area of Cold Bay in a message to the Thirteenth Naval District. The PBY had six hours of fuel left at that time. All available aircraft and several ships were directed to search for the missing flight.[349] The passengers were an Army-Navy football team. The PBY was not found and a year later all those aboard were declared dead.[350][351]
Gloster E.1/44, TX145, experiences extreme nose-wheel shimmy at 140 mph (225 km/h) during taxi tests at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down, suffers severe damage to front end, returned to workshops for repair. Taxi trials not resumed until late February 1948.[331]
16 September
A pilot assigned to Eglin Field, Florida, is KWF during an attempted emergency landing in a Lockheed P-80 at that base on Tuesday afternoon. Capt. Lawson L. Lipscomb of Houston, Texas, radioed that he was having difficulty with the jet and was returning to the Eglin main base where emergency preparations had been made on the runways, but the fighter came down just west of the airfield.[352]
22 September
First (of four) Saab J 21R jet conversions from Saab J 21A-1, 21119, first flown 10 March 1947 after modification, is destroyed this date in a mid-air explosion.[353]
15 October
Second prototype Westland Wyvern TF Mk. 1, (N.11/44), TS375, powered by Rolls-Royce Eagle, crashes during attempted forced landing at RAE Farnborough after its propeller stopped, killing Westland test pilot Squadron Leader Peter J. Garner, late of the RAF. Aircraft was to rendezvous for air-to-air photography for Flight's renowned photographer John Yoxall, but before photo shoot can take place, a bearing fails and both contra-props stop, pilot unable to round-off properly from steep dive due to immense drag of eight stopped blades, drops heavily into the intended field, breaks into pieces, pilot unconscious, airframe burns almost completely.[354]
18 October
An RCAF North American B-25 Mitchell with nine aboard goes missing during a flight from Calgary to Penticton, British Columbia. Still not found by December 1947.[355]
3 November
English Electric test pilot Johnny W.C. Squier takes off from Salmesbury, Lancs. in English Electric-built de Havilland Vampire F.3, VP732, intended for the RCAF as 17043, experiences engine failure, force lands on a farm, narrowly missing trees. Fighter is wrecked but pilot survives.[356]
4 November
A USAF pilot and co-pilot successfully belly-land burning Boeing B-29-70-BW Superfortress, 44-69989,[144] of the 98th Bomb Group, in a wheat stubblefield S of Wilbur, Washington, after ordering five crew to bail out. The bomber was on a flight from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, to Spokane Air Force Base when an engine caught fire. Residents of Wilbur saw it circling with an engine afire as the pilot sought a place to put it down. First communications to Spokane Field that it was in trouble came about 1500 hrs. Those who jumped received various injuries but the pilot and co-pilot were uninjured.[357]
13 November 
Boeing B-29A-60-BN Superfortress, 44-62063, of the 98th Bomb Group, Spokane Air Force Base, Washington,[144] crashes and burns one mile W of Bald Knob on Mount Spokane alongside Dead Man Creek Road, killing five crew and leaving two seriously injured. The bomber cut a swath through trees and brush as it neared the ground. It was one of three flying in formation on a local training mission. The other aircraft circled the crash scene and radioed news of the incident back to base. The flying conditions were poor with a snowstorm accompanied by fog. Shortly after the crash the weather cleared.[358] The last victim's body was recovered on Sunday morning 16 November.[359]
17 November 
"DANVILLE, Ark., Nov. 18 (AP) - Six charred and crushed bodies of army airmen were brought to a funeral home today from Arkansas' highest peak, Mount Magazine, where a B-25 crashed and burned last night during a heavy rainstorm. Maj. N. R. Johnson, flying safety officer at Barksdale field, La., expressed belief the plane bound from Chicago to Barksdale on an administration hop, might have escaped tragedy had it been flying 75 feet higher. Wreckage of the two-engine bomber was scattered over a 75-square yard area."[360] "Havana, Ark., Nov. 19. -- (UP) -- Six army airmen killed when their B-25 bomber crashed into nearby Mt. Magazine Monday night were identified today by Army authorities.
They were:
Capt. William F. Wilson, 29, Strong City, Kan.
Lt. Albert G. Frese, Jr., 27, Brunswick, Ga.
1st Lt. Robert H. Pabst, 24, Milwaukee Wis.
2nd Lt. Ed D. Ward, 27, Chicago.
Pfc. James H. Miersma, 20, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Pfc. William E. Wesley, 21, Muskegon, Mich.
The plane was en route from Chicago to its base at Barksdale Field when it rammed into the mountain in a heavy fog.[361] This crash was initially reported to involve a B-29 Superfortress.[362] "SHREVEPORT, La., Nov. 21. (AP) - A strong east wind which blew the plane off its course was blamed today by an army investigating board for the crash of an army B-25 bomber which crashed into Mount Magazine, Ark., Monday killing six crewmen. The board, in a report to Col. A. C. Strickland, base commander at Barksdale field, said the plane was 70 miles off its course at the time of the crash. The board's report indicated the crash was not caused by failure of the plane's engines or any other equipment. It said a heavy overcast, which obscured the moon, probably prevented the pilot from seeing the mountain."[363]
19 November
Only accident of the Martin XB-48 test programme occurs when pilot E. R. "Dutch" Gelvin tries to abort takeoff in first prototype, 45-59585, from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, when fire warning light comes on as engines reach full power. He retards throttle and applies brakes but bomber does not slow. As he runs out of runway and as the brake pressure bleeds off, he has a choice of running into the Chesapeake Bay or heading for the mudflats – he opts for the latter. He turns off the runway, tries to retract the undercarriage, runs across a ditch, a road, another ditch, left outrigger gear collapses and jet slides to stop leaning to port, just 50 feet short of a Navy doctor's home. Damage is minimal, limited to gear doors, outrigger, and flaps. Cause was the emergency fuel system, designed to maintain engine power at 94 percent, regardless of throttle position. This will be eliminated in second prototype.[364]
21 November 
"Williams Field, Ariz., Nov. 21. (AP) - Two Williams Field officers escaped death today when their planes collided 7000 feet above the ground about four miles northwest of the field. First Lt. Thomas P. Demos, 30, of Forest Park, Ill., bailed out of his AT-6 but was injured. He was taken to the field hospital for observation. First Lt. Jack C. Langston, 26, of Medford, Ore., flew his crippled P-51 Mustang back to the field and landed unhurt. Escape from a collision of this type is rare."[365]
21 November 
"SAN DIEGO, Calif., Nov. 21 (AP) - A navy Martin Mariner patrol bomber is overdue on a flight from Alameda, Calif. naval air station to San Diego, the 11th naval district reported today. The plane, due here at 2:45 p. m., was last heard from at 1:45 p. m. when it radioed the naval air station here and gave its position as 20 miles west of Bakersfield, Calif., the navy said. The number aboard the plane was not known. San Diego police, at the request of the navy, broadcast bulletin advising the state division of forestry border patrol and other police agencies to be on the lookout for the plane."[366]
21 November 
"SAN DIEGO, Calif., Nov. 22 (AP) - Identity of nine navy officers and enlisted men lost at sea yesterday (21 November) when their Lockheed Neptune patrol bomber crashed 100 miles west of San Diego during maneuvers with the first task fleet was announced today at 11th naval district headquarters. Named with next of kin. the victims included: Seaman 1-C James H. Urry, mother Mabel Urry, Boise, Idaho."[367] Also lost was Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dalquist, of San Diego, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs, Gust Dalquist, live in Spokane, Washington. Dalquist was a 1937 graduate of Lewis and Clark High School, and interrupted his Gonzaga University studies to serve with the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. He completed his undergraduate degree there in 1946. He was married to Miss Lois Trask, of California but formerly of Seattle, in 1945.[368]
28 November
French General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Inspector of Land Forces in North Africa, is killed[369] in the 1215 hrs. crash of his North American B-25J-25/27-NC Mitchell,[179] 41-30330, c/n c/n 87-8495, of GLAM - Groupe de Liaisons Aériennes Ministérielles, named Tailly 2, at Colomb-Béchar, French Algeria. Departing Oran at 1015 hrs., the plane flew into a sand storm.[370] "The landing, scheduled for 11:45 am, is delayed twice by a quarter of an hour by the crew. The last message of the B-25 said: 'Everything is well on board, ten minutes from the Colomb-Béchar.' An hour later, as the rumor of an accident began to spread to Colomb-Bechar, a column of the 1st Saharan company, a legion-bearing company, set out north along the railway. They discover the debris of the bomber scattered on both sides of the embankment of the railway. Legionnaires and rescuers began to identify bodies in the afternoon of the 28th in the area of the accident. All the victims were decapitated in contact with the ground, the trunks were identified on the basis of uniforms, grades and personal papers. Once the bodies were transported to the morgue at Colomb-Béchar hospital in the evening, thirteen bodies were formally enumerated by the doctors, while the plane carried only twelve men. The twelve bodies identified arrive in Paris on 6 December. Leclerc was buried at Les Invalides alongside Foch, Turenne and Vauban after a day of national mourning. The official report will conclude with the imprudence of the pilot François Delluc, despite his experience and his extremely brilliant service, and the obstinacy of General Leclerc who would have ignored the unfavorable weather. Jean-Christophe Notin shows in his book that the American-made B-25 had been recklessly laid out by the Air Force by adding a bunk at the rear which could counterweight and cause the accident. He adds that no other B-25 has ever been used to carry so many passengers. In addition to the four crew members, the B-25 was carrying General Leclerc and his staff and his aide-de-camp.
Lieutenant François Delluc, 31 years old, pilot
Lieutenant André Pilleboue, 29, navigator
Chief Warrant Officer Jean Guillou, 29, mechanic
Sergeant-leader Eugène Lamotte, 25, radio operator
General of Army Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, 45 years old, Inspector :General in North Africa
Colonel Theodore Fieschi, 41, Chief of Staff of the Inspector General
Colonel Charles Clémentin, 47 years old
Colonel Louis du Garreau de la Mechenie, 47 years old
Colonel Paul Fouchet, Chief of Staff of the 10th Military Region
Captain (N) Georges Frichement, 51 years old
Commandant Michel Meyrand, 37 years old
Second Lieutenant Robert Miron of Espinay, 24, aide-de-camp
A thirteenth corps, wearing a uniform of the air force with the rank of lieutenant, was found in the debris of the apparatus. It has never been identified."[371]
LeClerc's body was returned to France, where it was taken to Paris along the route that 2e DB had followed in August 1944. A funeral service was held at Notre Dame de Paris, and he was interred in a crypt at Les Invalides.[372][373][374]
28 November
A USAF Douglas C-47B-6-DK, 43-48736, c/n 14552/25997, of the 15th Troop Carrier Squadron, 61st Troop Carrier Group, piloted by Wesley B. Fleming,[375] en route from Pisa to Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB, thirty miles off-course, crashes in the Italian Alps near Trappa, Italy.[376] All five crew and 15 passengers KWF. Futile search involving hundreds of aircraft from several countries is given up on 11 December.[377] Wreckage discovered eight months later.[378]
30 November 
TOKYO, Dec. 1. (AP) - The wreckage of a plane believed to be an air transport commandC-47 missing with two aboard since Sunday morning has been located 5000 feet up the snowclad slopes of Mount Fuji, the First cavalry division said today. The missing plane, carrying only a pilot and copilot, left Haneda airfield near Tokyo on a flight to Itami airbase near Osaka. The United States Far East air force said no radio contact was established with the plane after its takeoff."[379]
9/10 December 
"WESTOVER FIELD, Mass., Dec. 11. (AP) - Six American soldiers were found still alive today beside the wreckage of a big transport plane which carried 23 others to death in a midnight crash Tuesday in the sub-Arctic wastelands of Labrador. Rescuers - moved overland by dogsleds and through the air by helicopter - reached the survivors, trapped in icy wilderness eight miles north of the R. C. A. F. airfield at Goose Bay. Air transport command headquarters here said meager reports from the scene gave no indication as to the condition of the survivors. Three doctors were flown in to the scene through a snow and sleet storm to give emergency treatment before the men are evacuated by helicopter to Goose Bay. The rough, rocky terrain made it impossible to bring the six survivors by land and preparations were being made to fly them out to a hospital in Goose Bay. One helicopter - sent to Labrador when the crash was first reported - has been making relay hops during the day. A B-17 dropped medical supplies and food. Visibility was only fair and fears were expressed that bad weather, preventing further flights, might close in before the men could be evacuated. A space has been cleared within a half-mile of the scattered, charred wreckage to allow a helicopter to land and a second helicopter is being sent to Westover field to assist in the rescue. The hilly, forested countryside - although within a few flight minutes of the Green Bay airfield - makes it impossible to use a larger plane."[380] Douglas C-54D-5-DC Skymaster, 42-72572, c/n 10677,[381] was destroyed.[382]
11 December
USAF Douglas C-47B-28-DK Skytrain, 44-76366, c/n 32698/15950, of the 608th Base Unit, Aberdeen Army Air Base, Maryland,[383] en route from Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, crashes five miles from Memphis Municipal Airport, Memphis, Tennessee, killing four crew and 16 passengers.[384] The plane came down three miles S of the Memphis radio range. "The Atlanta CAA reported there was a ceiling of 1700 feet at 7:30 p. m. shortly after the crash." The plane was returning to Aberdeen Proving Ground.[385] The pilot was H. J. Schofield.[383]
16 December 
"Norfolk, Va., Dec. 16 (AP) - Seven naval airmen were killed today when a Corsair fighter plane and a patrol bomber carrying a crew of seven collided in the air and crashed at the Norfolk naval air station. Naval spokesmen said the Corasair, [sic] attached to the carrier Coral Sea, collided at a 100 foot altitude with the right wing of the bomber, attached to amphibious group 3. The Corasair [sic] caught fire and its pilot burned to death. Sole survivor was a crewman aboard the bomber who was thrown from a gun blister when the plane crashed in swampy ground 300 yards from the Corsair. He escaped with cuts and bruises. Six bodies were recovered from the bombing plane."[386]
23 December
A Boeing B-29 Superfortress on a long-range navigation training flight over northern Alaska with eight on board fails to return to Ladd Air Force Base at Fairbanks at the expected arrival time of 2200 hrs. Tuesday night. Search planes are launched on 24 December but are hampered by poor weather and the short hours of arctic daylight.[387] Hopes dim for the missing crew as search planes have no success in locating the downed bomber N of the Arctic circle on the second day of the attempt.[388]
24 December 
Boeing B-17G-95-DL Flying Fortress, 44-83790, of the 1385th Base Unit, Bluie West One, Greenland,[383] delivering presents and mail to isolated outposts on Baffin Bay, runs out of fuel on Christmas Eve and pilot Chester M. Karney makes a forced landing on snow-laden frozen Dyke Lake in Labrador. None of the nine aboard are injured and they are picked up on 26 December by a ski and JATO-equipped Douglas C-47. Officers at Atlantic Division headquarters of Air Transport Command, Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, said that a snowstorm earlier in the day delayed one flight by the C-47 to fetch the seven crew and two passengers off the ice and that they had prepared to spend a third night in the sub-zero temperatures. But a successful rescue was achieved and the marooned flown 275 miles to Goose Bay.[389] Fortress abandoned and sinks to the bottom of lake. Aircraft located in July 1998; recovered from the lake on 9 September 2004. Now under restoration to fly at Douglas, Georgia.[82]
29 December 
"NAPLES, Italy, Dec. 29. (AP) - Three United States navy men were killed when a helicopter from the aircraft carrier Midway lost its rotor and fell into a scrap iron pile in the port of Naples today. Two were listed as Naval Officers Lamm and Jack Peter. Their addresses and the name of the third victim were not available. Witnesses said the helicopter took off from the carrier, anchored in Naples harbor, a few minutes before the crash. The accident occurred a few hundred yards from the Friendship Train food ship Exiria."[390] USS Midway operated Sikorsky HO3S helicopters in 1947.

1948 [ edit ]

2 January
A North American P-51D-25-NT Mustang, 45-11535,[176][391] crashes 40 miles N of Roswell, New Mexico, shortly after noon this date, killing the pilot. Maj. Charles Beck, public information officer at Roswell Army Airfield, said that the plane's home base had not been determined.[392]
6 January 
Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress, 45-21829,[393] of the 328th Bomb Squadron, 93d Bomb Group,[176] crashes and burns Tuesday night at Castle Air Force Base, California, but the eight crew and two civilian passengers escape the bomber without any serious injuries.[394]
7 January 
"LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan.8 (AP) - The Kentucky national guard headquarters revealed here today that Capt. Thomas F. Mantell Jr., 25, was killed in a plane explosion near Franklin, Ky., yesterday while chasing what was believed to be a 'flying saucer.' Mantell was one of three Kentucky national guard officers sent to investigate a reported 'flying saucer' in the air near Fort Knox. The object was also reported visible at Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., and other points in the two states. Mantell was flying a P-51 national guard plane, which witnesses said apparently exploded in the air and crashed near Franklin."[395] Mantell was flying P-51D-20-NA Mustang, 44-63869,[396] of the 165th Fighter Squadron. This incident is notorious amongst those who study Ufology.[144]
10 January 
The trouble-prone program of the double-engined French Arsenal VB 10 stumbles when the second prototype, VB 10-02, catches fire over southern Paris. An uncommanded propeller pitch change over-revs the rear engine, destroying it and starting the fire. The pilot, Pierre Decroo, bails out, surviving, but with burns.[397]
27 January
A USAF Douglas C-47B-25-DK Skytrain, 44-76443, c/n 32775/16027,[398] carrying wives and children of American servicemen to Italy to join them, gets lost in snowstorm after departing Istres Air Base in southern France for Trieste, attempts to return to airport, but winds carry it off-course and it strikes a mountain, killing all twelve aboard.[399]
30 January
A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, searching for the Douglas C-47 that went missing on 27 January in France, spots the downed transport on the mountainside, and then itself crashes and burns. Only one member of the ten crew survives, Sgt. Angelo LaSalle, of Des Moines, Iowa. He is aided by a former Luftwaffe pilot, Horst Kupski, a prisoner-of-war working for a French farmer, who lends him garments and helps him down the mountain.[399]
31 January
A Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster BI, TW902, of 115 Squadron, on a training flight from the Middle East crashes just outside Istres Air Base in southern France. Six of 14 aboard are killed, the Air Ministry announces.[400]

7 February

"SAN DIEGO, Feb. 7 (AP) - Two Navy fliers were killed today when their torpedo bomber crashed and burned during amphibious maneuvers at San Clemente island, 55 miles west of here. The Navy identified the dead as Lt. Comdr. James A. Huser of Lemon Grove, California, the pilot, and Norman C. Benson, aviation radioman 1/c of Leavenworth, Kan. The plane, carrying live ammunition, was nearing the end of a bombing run on the island when it burst into flames and began to disintegrate."[401]

7 February

Four soldiers are killed and six others injured late this date when an Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain crashes into fog-shrouded Mount Page, two miles from Saluda, North Carolina.[402]

7 February

"HARRISON, Ark., Feb. 7 (UP) - Five men were given up for dead today as authorities located the wreckage of a B-25 Army bomber on a mountain near Jasper, Ark. Four of the victims were identified by Wright field, Ohio, officials and the fifth was said to be an enlisted Navy man who hitch-hiked a ride."[403]

7 February

Lockheed F-80A-1-LO Shooting Star, 44-85021,[404][94] from Chanute Field, Illinois, crashes in a corn field near Champaign, Illinois, killing the pilot.[405]
9 February 
"BIG DELTA, Alaska, Feb, 9 (UP) - Twelve passengers and crewmen, including high-ranking Army officers, escaped injury today when the engine of a giant Air Force C-87 exploded and the craft made a forced landing at the Fort Nelson, B. C. airport 700 miles south of here."[406]
10 February 
"JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 10 (AP) - The Navy said tonight a PBM Martin Mariner with 11 men aboard crashed near Jacksonville as it was about to begin a ground controlled approach landing. The two-motored craft had made an over-water training flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and had returned here for a landing."[407]
26 February 
"MERIDIAN, Texas, Feb. 26 (AP) - The crash of a B-29 near here brought fiery death to four members of the crew but did not prevent 19 other bombers in the flight continuing a routine mission today to the west coast and back. Eight members of the 12-man crew, including Col. Alan D. Clark, Seventh Bombardment wing commander, who commanded the flight, bailed out of the plane. None of the survivors were hurt seriously. The dead were: Capt. Alfred H. Knippa, Knippa, Texas; Sgt. Leonard G. Taylor, Sacramento, California; Sgt. Donald D. Merrick, Louisville, Ky.; Cpl. Joe F. Taylor, Brownwood, Texas."[408]
28 February
Two Army Air Force crew are killed in the crash of a North American T-6C-NT Texan, 41-32589, near Cowan, Tennessee when their aircraft impacts in mountainous terrain while flying from Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Murphy, North Carolina. A search was begun when they were reported overdue on Sunday, 29 February. Rescuers labored for several hours to reach the wreckage which had been spotted earlier by a search plane. Capt. R. M. Howard of the Air Forces rescue service identified the victims as Frank Dreher, of West Columbia, South Carolina, a February 1948 Pre-med graduate of Clemson College; and Hubert Wells, of Murphy, North Carolina.[409]
7 March
A U.S. Navy Beechcraft SNB trainer crashes and burns on takeoff from NAS Olathe, Kansas, killing five crewmen and critically injuring a sixth. Identification of the dead and injured was withheld.[410] Commander James Peterson, executive officer, said the six men had flown here from Omaha for routine drills held every Friday and Saturday. They were reserve officers or enlisted men of the organized reserve.[411]
10 March 
"TUCSON, Ariz., March 10. (AP) - An Army Air force A-26 light bomber was reported to have crashed at the Nogales, Ariz. airport this afternoon. Apparently no deaths or serious injuries resulted. The plane was from March Field, California, the report said and was piloted by Lt. Frederick H. Rohde."[412]
17 March
Lt. Roger L. Miller, flying a Marine Corps Vought F4U Corsair, crashes into the sea during dive bombing practice. His body was not recovered. He was the father of Roger L. Miller Jr. and his second son was born the following day. His name was Stephen. He was the husband of Genevieve (Slattery) Miller.
17 March
Two Grumman F8F Bearcats, assigned to USS Boxer with VF-19A, depart Naval Air Station El Centro, California, for Naval Air Station Alameda, California, on Wednesday afternoon, but collide shortly after takeoff. The Eleventh Naval District said that both pilots were killed.[413]
18 March
A Boeing B-29 Superfortress from Spokane Air Depot, Washington, crashes while attempting a landing on a fog-shrouded runway at MacDill Field, near Tampa, Florida. Ten crew are killed and four injured.[414]
Superfortresses tossed about like toys at Tinker Air Force Base by the 20 March tornado.
Damage to airplanes and cars from the 25 March tornado at Tinker Air Force Base.
20, 25 March
Two large tornadoes strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, damaging or destroying a large number of aircraft including at least two Douglas C-54 Skymasters, a Douglas C-47 Skytrain, and many Boeing B-29 Superfortresses stored from World War II. In the first storm, "54 aircraft were destroyed, including 17 C-54 transports valued at $500,000 apiece. Also destroyed were 15 P-47 fighters and two B-29 bombers. About 50 other planes were damaged and about 100 vehicles were damaged or destroyed." In the second tornado, "84 planes were hit, 35 of which were destroyed. These included 18 B-29s, 8 P-47s, 20 B-17s, and 3 C-47s. Hangars and other buildings were destroyed."[415] Other types destroyed included Beechcraft AT-11s and Fairchild PT-19s and PT-26 Cornells. Damage from the second tornado was estimated at $6,100,000. Total damages for both storms was estimated at $16,350,000.[416] See 1948 Tinker Air Force Base tornadoes.
21 March 
"McCHORD FIELD, Wash., March 21. - An air force C-47 with eight men aboard vanished over southwestern Washington during a severe storm this afternoon as it was making an instrument approach to the Portland, Ore., air base. Fears that it had crashed were heightened when no trace of the twin-engined transport was found by the time its fuel was exhausted at 5:07 p.m. Fairfield-Suisun air base announced the names of five of the men aboard. They were: Maj. John B. Harding, the pilot, Fairfield-Suisun base. Capt. William H. Tillery, Fairfield, Calif. Capt. Wiley A. Garber, Oakland, Calif. Capt. Frederick J. Ziegler, Sacramento, Calif. Sgt. Stephen J. Pressey, Oakland, Calif. Last radio contact with the plane was at 1:07 p.m. At that time the pilot messaged he was 25 [miles] north of Portland making a procedure turn at 4000 feet for an instrument letdown. The missing craft was on a routine training flight from its home field at Fairfield-Suisun, (Calif.) to Portland. An intensive ground search of the area was launched by Washington and Oregon state police. Low clouds, heavy rains and limited visibility prevented rescue planes from taking off here or at Portland."[417]
31 March
One of two Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldivers, BuNo 83414, en route from Naval Air Station Tillamook, Oregon, to San Diego, California, crashes in woods near Rockaway Beach, Oregon, killing pilot Robert W. Smedley. Loggers who witnessed the troubled flight and plummet to earth penetrated the rugged forest area on a ridge of the pacific coast mountains. K. B. Hamilton reported that the pilot had apparently tried to parachute as the shrouds were tangled in the wreckage. The engine was buried. The logger said that the plane must have come down in a dive as the treetops were not sheared off.[418] Wreckage rediscovered by loggers on 10 March 2010.[419]
31 March 
"HEMPSTEAD, N. Y., March 31 (AP) - Two air force fliers were killed today when a fighter plane from Mitchel field crashed and burned in a wooded area near the field. First Lt. Alan Belmarsh, 26, of Brockton, Mass., was killed instantly. First Lt. Ray E. Fritsche, 25, of route 4, San Augustine, Texas, died at the Mitchel field base hospital."[420]
2 April
A USAF Reserve Beechcraft AT-11 goes missing during a 35-mile flight from McChord Air Force Base, Washington, to Naval Air Station Sand Point, near Seattle, Washington, with three men aboard. Wreckage is sighted on 4 April near the summit of 5,344-foot Mount Pilchuck, in the Mount Baker National Forest,[421] ~18 miles NE of Everett, Washington. Col. John B. Randolph, air reserve commander at McChord, reports from a search plane that the identity is confirmed by tail numbers on the downed craft. McChord authorities identified the victims as: Capt. James E. McLaughlin, pilot, Takoma, Washington, on active army duty as commanding officer of the Seattle air reserve; 2d Lt. Francis A. Geyer, co-pilot, Aberdeen, Washington; and T/Sgt. Carl T. Fields, Puyallup, Washington. Two Air Force ground parties were en route to the crash site.[422] The wreck site was finally reached on 7 April.[421]
3 April 
"LOS ANGELES, April 3 (AP) - Ten persons escaped unhurt today when an Air Force B-25, arriving from Phoenix, struck a ditch at the end of a Municipal airport runway and nosed over."[423]
5 April
A Soviet Yakovlev Yak-3 fighter buzzes a British European Airways Vickers VC.1B Viking, G-AIVP, c/n 229, while it is on a scheduled flight to Berlin, Germany, then collides with the wing of the airliner, killing the pilots of both aircraft and ten passengers on the Viking. Total fatalities is 15.[424] See 1948 Gatow air disaster.
5 April
A March Air Force Base Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star crashes in a field three miles E of Chino, California, with pilot 1st Lt. James A. Reints of the 27th Fighter Squadron suffering only a sprained ankle and a head bruise in the bail out.[425] He narrowly misses a house as he lands at Ely Street and Archibald Avenue. The jet impacts on Grove Avenue near Edison Avenue.[426]
5 April
Two U.S. Marine planes and four Marine fliers go missing during night aerial manoeuvers off Barber's Point, Oahu, Hawaii, and it is assumed that they collided. The Navy suspends its search for the missing aircrew on 7 April, but 20 Marine planes continue to scan for survivors, No wreckage is found at all.[427]
9 April
A six-month fatality-free period at Eglin AFB, Florida, (the longest since the base opened) ends when Capt. William Robbins, 26, is killed in the crash of a North American P-51D-30-NA Mustang, 44-74913, in a wooded area N of Crestview, Florida. The pilot in the Friday morning accident was father of three and was well known for his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America. A resident of Cinco Bayou, Florida, Robbins is buried in his hometown of Tampa, Florida, on 11 April.[428]
10 April
Eglin AFB, Florida, suffers second accident in two days when Douglas A-26 Invader from Biggs AFB, El Paso, Texas, goes down in the Gulf of Mexico S of Destin, Florida. Two of three crew survive by parachuting from stricken bomber, TDY here for firing exercises over the Gulf. First Lieutenant John Kubo and T/Sgt. Joseph A. Riley (ages, hometowns not given) are rescued by Eglin crash boats. KWF is T/Sgt. John E. Brizendine, officially listed as missing.[428]
10 April 
"North Little Rock, Ark., April 11 (AP) - Two men were killed when an army AT-6 crashed here last night after radioing that the plane was running low on fuel. The dead were identified as Sgt. John N. Morris, 27, of Indianapolis and Capt. John H. Barber Jr., 29, of Texarkana, Tex."[429]
13 April 
"SANTA MONICA, April 13 (AP) - A Navy carrier-type plane crashed into a house today and seriously injured Jackson G. Armstrong, 28, test pilot for Douglas Aircraft, which built the restricted craft. Armstrong, former Army Air Force pilot, experienced engine trouble at 5,000 feet and headed for an emergency landing at Clover field. His plane shot uncontrolled down the runway and off a 60-foot embankment at the end. Its speed was such that the plane, with power shut off, carried 300 feet further through the air, struck telephone lines and plowed into a house, caromed off and lodged 15 feet above the ground in a tree."[430]
20 April 
TOKYO, April 23 (UP) - Far East Air Force headquarters announced today that it has virtually given up for lost 10 American fliers missing near Guam since Tuesday. The men left Guam aboard a B-29 to practice bombing and aerial photography on a small island 350 miles to the north.”[431]
23 April 
"CANFIELD, Ark., April 23 (UP) - Four servicemen were killed instantly when a plane, believed to be an Air Force B-25 bomber, crashed today in a wooded area four miles northeast of Canfield. Barksdale field officers from Shreveport, La. withheld names of the victims pending notification of the next of kin."[432]
25 April
As Royal Canadian Air Force No. 400 Squadron, based at Toronto, transitions from North American Harvards to de Havilland Vampires, on this date Flight Lieutenant Duncan Bell-Irving, a regular force officer attached to the squadron, carries out a successful forced landing on the airfield after his engine fails at 1,000 feet, just after takeoff.[433][434]
28 April 
"SAN DIEGO, April 28 (AP) - One torpedo plane crashed as Navy bombers engaged submarines in maneuvers off here today. There was no sign of its crew of three in the recovered wreckage. The 11th naval district received word from the first task fleet that radio contact was lost with plane about 4 a.m. Wreckage was recovered 45 miles off the coast sometime later by search craft. Bombers were sent out in an attempt to destroy screening submarines of an 'enemy' naval force off the coast. The main enemy force was sighted but weather prevented the scheduled mass air attack. This is expected tomorrow - the fourth of six days of exercises."[435]
29 April
Pilot Lt. Ralph Van Kerhove, of Chicago, crash lands his North American P-51 Mustang of the 66th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, on mud flats 20 miles W of Anchorage, Alaska. He scrambles free despite injuries before the fighter explodes and burns. A helicopter crew, monitoring his distress call, responds to the scene and braves exploding .50 caliber ammunition in the burning Mustang to pick up the pilot, lying on the ground with shock and superficial cuts 300 feet from the plane. "Kerhove was in the 183rd hospital at Fort Richardson here in less than 30 minutes."[436]
3 May
Second Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak, BuNo 37971, NACA 141,[437] crashes on takeoff on 20th flight for NACA (46th total take-off) at Edwards AFB, California, due to compressor disintegration that cut control runs in fuselage, killing NACA pilot Howard C. Lilly, 30. Lilly is the first NACA pilot to die while on duty, and the first pilot who had flown at supersonic speed to be killed.[438] He was unmarried. His parents lived in Beckley, West Virginia.[439]
3 May
A Boeing B-29 Superfortress of the 301st Bombardment Group crashes shortly after takeoff from Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base on Monday night, with one crewman burned to death and two seriously injured.[440]
4 May
A U.S. Navy aviator is killed when his target-towing Grumman F6F Hellcat crashes offshore of Oahu, Hawaii, during gunnery practice. The pilot's name was withheld pending notification of kin.[441]
6 May
Two US Air Force North American P-51 Mustangs go missing in Alaska. Found on 8 May, 90 miles N of Fairbanks, where they made crash landings. Uninjured are Lts. Grady Morris, Jacksonville, Florida, and Garnett D. Page, Decatur, Alabama.[442]
6 May
The U.S. Navy completes the first carrier qualifications of a jet-equipped squadron this date, when VF-17A flies aboard and launches from USS Saipan, operating off of Block Island, Rhode island, in the Atlantic, in McDonnell FH-1 Phantoms. Tragedy stalks the undertaking, though, when VF-17A squadron commander Ralph A. Fuoss, 33, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, plunges into the water 2,000 feet short of the runway at Naval Air Station Quonset Point as he leads his flight in for a routine landing. Fuoss' body is recovered along with the wreckage of his plane on 9 May. An investigation is underway to determine whether the crash was the result of mechanical failure or a mid-air collision. "His wing man, Lt. John Sullivan of Dorchester, Mass., reported after landing safely that part of the tail surface of Fuoss' plane had struck his wing."[443]
9 May
Routine radio traffic from a U.S. Navy amphibious patrol bomber between Puerto Rico and Florida is last heard at 0300 hrs. this date, with no mention of trouble. A search for the flight and the twelve aboard it is underway by the Navy and Air Force the Navy announces on 10 May.[444]
11 May
Maj. Simon H. Johnson, deputy commanding officer of the Eglin AFB, Florida, fighter section, is killed when his Republic F-84 Thunderjet disintegrates during an air demonstration on the Eglin reservation, in front of some 600 witnesses. The public information officer at Eglin stated that the pilot was "engaged in operational tests on the plane" when the accident occurred. Maj. Johnson, a resident of Shalimar, Florida, was originally from Houston, Texas. He had served a year in Italy flying 50 missions in North American P-51 Mustangs with the 31st Fighter Group, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the air medal with five clusters. He had attended the University of Texas and graduated from the U.S. Army flying school in 1940.[445]
13 May 
"LOCARNO, Switzerland, May 13.(AP) - Maj. Pisle Hitz, who helped rescue 12 Americans from Agull glacier [sic] in 1946, died in a plane crash today. Hitz, 30, and Cpl. Willy Kiene were killed when their army plane crashed while practicing emergency landings. Hitz and another Swiss army pilot landed on the glacier, 9000 feet above sea level, and flew the Americans out. They had been stranded five days after a United States army transport landed on the ice."[446] Other sources list the pilot's name as Pista Hitz.
13 May
Two North American P-51 Mustangs engaged in training combat manoeuvers over Anchorage, Alaska, at high altitude collide, explode, and plummet into Knik Arm of Cook Inlet in view of hundreds of horrified citizens. Both pilots are killed.[447] One body was found floating in an oil slick on the water but the other body was not immediately recovered.[448]
13 May
A USAF Douglas C-54 Skymaster, making an instrument approach in a driving rainstorm to Northampton, Massachusetts, impacts the soggy ground so hard that it gouges an eight-foot crater, explodes and burns, spreading wreckage over a five acre area. All three crew are killed. Air Transport Command identified the victims, all married, as: Capt. Paul Longuich, 40, Yonkers, New York; 1st Lt. Wilfred W. Lavinder, 23, Portsmouth, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Jack Zaresky, 26, Jackson Heights, New York.[449]
14 May 
"FRANKFURT, Germany, May 14 (Friday) (AP) - The United States Air Force announced today that a B-29 Superfortress crashed 120 miles northwest of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, with a possible loss of 13 lives."[450]
17 May 
"NEWARK, Cal., May 17 (UP) - Test Pilot R. S. Carter of San Jose, was killed today when his surplus P-51 fighter plane exploded in flight."[451]
18 May
A Lockheed P-80B-1-LO Shooting Star, 45-8497,[452][176] one of several taking part in manoeuvers testing northwest air defenses, crashes three miles E of Sprague, Washington, killing pilot Capt. Franklin T. Johnson, Lake Elsinore, California, said officials at Spokane Air Force Base on 20 May.[453]
23 May
In the early evening, ex-RAF Handley Page Halifax C.MK 8, registered G-AIZO, ex-PP293, and operated by Bond Air Services Ltd. carrying a cargo of apricots from Valencia, Spain, crashes at Studham, Bedfordshire while on a Standard Beam Approach (SBA) to RAF Bovingdon in bad weather. After a steep turn to port and losing height rapidly, the Halifax sideslips towards the ground until, seeming to recover and flying straight and level and with engines at full power, the aircraft strikes the ground flat and disintegrates, breaking into its component sections. Miraculously, the crew escape alive. After initial suspicions that the cargo may have shifted in flight, the subsequent AAIB report blames loss of control by the pilot while the aircraft was too close to the ground for recovery.[454]
27 May
A Douglas C-47 Skytrain en route from New Orleans to its home base at Roswell, New Mexico, crashes in an electrical storm in a cornfield 20 miles SW of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, killing all seven on board. Wreckage was scattered over at least an acre. The National Guard identified the pilot as 1st Lt. Philip R. Vaughn, and the co-pilot as 2d Lt. K. R. Bailey. Some of those aboard were servicemen hitching rides to the west coast.[455]
The second Supermarine E.10/44, TS413, is lost while undergoing trials with a 270 gallon ventral fuel tank, A&AEE pilot Lt. T. J. A. Joyce-King, Royal Navy, killed. Loss was thought to be probably caused by rudder lock-over, sometimes experienced in a sideslip while carrying the large ventral tank. This was cured by adding a long dorsal fin on all production Attackers.[456]
4 June 
"TOKYO, June 12 (AP) - Three American airmen were killed June 4 in the crash of a P-61 on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, Far East air force headquarters announced today. The victims were identified as First Lts. Joseph R. Johnson, Bellefonte, Pa., pilot, Clarence T. Konecn, Bryan, Texas, radar observer; and Sgt. Joseph R. Beeles, Fulton, N. Y."[457]
5 June
Northrop YB-49-NO, 42-102368, c/n 1488, crashes in desert near Muroc Air Force Base, California after both outer wings become detached from center section during spin recovery, killing pilot Maj. Daniel Forbes, of Topeka, Kansas; co-pilot Capt. Glen W. Edwards, Lincoln, California; Lt. Edward Swindell, Virginia Beach, Virginia; and two civilians, C. C. Leser, Joliet, Illinois, and C. H. Lafountain, Hudson Falls, New York. All were attached to the flight test division of Air Materiel Command at Wright Field, Ohio.[458] Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, is named for the pilot, and Muroc is renamed Edwards Air Force Base for the co-pilot on 5 December 1949. Flying wing bomber design will be revived in the 1980s as the B-2 Spirit.[459][460]
12 June
Pilot Capt. Bill E. Myers fails to lift off from Godman Field, Fort Knox, Kentucky, on takeoff in Lockheed F-80A-1-LO Shooting Star, 44-85116,[396] crashes through a fence and plows into a passing car. All four in the automobile die. Pilot uninjured. The Godman Field public information office said that the P-80 was bound for Eglin AFB, Florida, after a stopover at Godman. The victims, all from nearby Elizabethtown, were Vernon C. Ferren, 63; his wife, Mrs. Annie C. Ferren, 50; Miss Lela Ferren, 61, a sister of Vernon Ferren; and Spencer Blackburn, 43.[461] This airframe had been tested with wingtip rocket racks.[94]
19 June
A Douglas C-54 Skymaster departs Lawson Air Force Base, Fort Benning, Georgia, with 45 on board including 39 West Point cadets, for a flight to Louisville, Kentucky. Shortly after takeoff a fuel line breaks and sparks from an engine exhaust set it alight. "The flames spread over one of the wings but crew members prevented the fire from reaching the fuel tanks." Maj. W. B. Curran, of Santa Ana, California, safely returns the burning transport to Lawson, where crash apparatus is standing by. There are no injuries.[462]
20 June
Second Lt. Richard Ambrose, 23, a student at Gonzaga University in Spokane, is killed in the 1450 hrs. crash and burning of North American P-51D-20-NA Mustang, 44-63700,[452] c/n 122-31426,[144] of the 116th Fighter Squadron, Felts Field, Washington Air National Guard, at Gray Field, Fort Lewis, Washington.[463] On 1 July 1948, the 116th moved to larger Geiger Field. Gonzaga records indicated that Ambrose was a sophomore in electrical engineering and resided at E612 Sharp in Spokane. He was the son of M. J. Ambrose of Bernardsville, New Jersey. He attended Villanova University before transferring to Gonzaga. The P-51 crashed while landing at Gray Field just after a formation flight over Gov. Mon C. Wallgren's reviewing stand during a Governor's Day review. The field is two miles from the north Fort Lewis parade grounds where the reviewing stands were located.[464]
23 June 
"Two Navy planes, flying in a seven-ship formation, crashed and burned today after colliding over the heavily-populated east side area of Detroit. The flaming wreckage set fire to four houses and a tool shop as scores of residents fled to safety. The two pilots of the single-seater planes died in the crash, and one tool shop employe [sic] was slightly injured when struck by flaming debris. First reports of the accident said three planes were involved, but public relations officers at the Grosse Ile naval air station said only two craft figured in the crash. Lieutenant Commander David A. Black, public relations officer, said that when the two planes collided, the others scattered hurriedly. This led some ground spectators to believe three planes had crashed, he said." Falling wreckage set a disastrous blaze through a one-block area but rescue personnel said they thought all occupants had escaped.[465] They were part of a formation cross-country by VA-89A to Traverse City and the collision occurred during a right turn over Detroit. The prop of F4U-4 Corsair, BuNo 96790, flown by Ens. Roy K. Schultheiss, 24, of Port Huron, Michigan, cut the tail off of F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo 79445, piloted by Ens. J. H. Nicholson, 25, Scranton, Iowa. The Hellcat crashed through the roof of the Putnam Tool Co., 2881 Charlevoix. 60 people in the machine shop fled to safety. The Corsair crashed and exploded two blocks away on Benson near McDougall. Observers said the pilots could have saved themselves by jumping but stayed with their planes to try to avoid damage to those living below.[466][467]
27 June
A P-51 Mustang of the California Air National Guard and an A-26 Invader, of the 115th Bomb Squadron, California Air National Guard, on a training mission out of Van Nuys Airport, collide over Blythe, California, although the craft fall outside of town with burning wreckage spread over a quarter mile of the Colorado Desert. Three Guardsmen are killed and two parachute to safety. "Lt. Raymond L. Mathews of Los Angeles, pilot of the fighter, and Lt. Harold A. Bowen of Pasadena, member of the bomber crew, escaped death by bailing out. Later the National Guard identified two of the men killed as First Lt. William E. Van Delinder of Long Beach and Second Lt. Robert Aiken of Rosemead. Efforts were being made to reach vacationing parents of the third victim, an enlisted man."[468]
3 July 
"PEARL HARBOR, July 3 (AP) - A Marine fighter pilot who vanished during fleet exercises at 4:30 a.m. was being sought by 57 planes in the area southwest of Pearl Harbor today."[469]
4 July
The 1948 Northwood mid-air collision takes place on this date at 1503 hrs. when a Douglas DC-6, SE-BDA, named Agnar Viking, of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and an Avro York C.1, MW248, of 99 Squadron, of the Royal Air Force (RAF) collide in mid-air over Northwood in London, UK. All thirty-nine people aboard both aircraft are killed. It was SAS's first fatal aviation accident and was at the time the deadliest civilian aviation accident in the UK. It is still the deadliest mid-air collision in British history.
8 July
A USAF Douglas C-47A-30-DK Skytrain, 43-48256[470] crashes near Wiesbaden, Germany, killing three crew. This was the first accident during the Berlin Airlift. KWF were 1st Lt. George B. Smith, 1st Lt. Leland V. Williams, and Karl v. Hagen of the Department of the Army. (One source incorrectly lists this crash as involving a C-54 Skymaster.)[471]
21 July
– A United States Air Force Boeing B-29-100-BW Superfortress, 45-21847, modified into a Boeing F-13 Superfortress reconnaissance platform, crashes into Lake Mead, Nevada, during a classified cosmic ray research mission out of Armitage Field, Naval Air Facility, NOTS, Inyokern, California. Five crew escape unharmed before bomber sinks.[472]
25 July
A Douglas C-47B-15-DK Skytrain, 43-49534, c/n 15350/26795, participating in the Berlin Airlift, departs Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany, strikes apartment building on approach to Berlin and crashes in the street, killing both crew, 1st Lt. Charles H. King, and 1st Lt. Robert W. Stuber.[424][473]
20 August
A Boeing B-29-15-BA Superfortress, 42-63442, crashes near Rapid City, South Dakota shortly after take off from Rapid City AFB, killing all 17 on board.[474]
23 August
On first flight test of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45–524, (the second of two prototypes), McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch successfully detaches from trapeze carried on Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", but when he tries to hook up after free flight, the small fighter, buffeted in turbulence from the bomber, swings violently forward, smashes canopy against the trapeze, knocking the pilot's helmet off. Schoch successfully belly lands on dry lakebed at Muroc Air Force Base, California, suffering little damage.[475][476]
24 August
Two separate accidents kill 13 U.S. airmen, this date. Nine are killed aboard an Army Douglas C-117A-1-DK Skytrain, 45-2554, c/n 18557/34212, 45–2554, near Newton, New Jersey, after a mid-air collision with an Army North American B-25J-30-NC Mitchell, 44-86870. The bomber suffers damage to a wingtip but lands safely. In a separate accident, two C-47 Skytrains engaged in the Berlin Airlift collide in mid-air near Ravolzhausen, killing two crew on each airlifter.[477] Killed in the C-47s were Maj. Edwin C. Diltz, Capt. William R. Howard, Capt. Joel M. DeVolentine, and 1st Lt. William T. Lucas.[424] Capt. Howard was piloting C-47A-80-DL, 43-15116, while Capt. DeVolentine was flying C-47A-90-DL, 43-16036, c/n 20502.
3 September
The only Silverplate Boeing B-29 Superfortress to be part of the strike package on both atomic missions over Japan, Boeing B-29-40-MO Superfortress, 44-27353, "The Great Artiste", of the 509th Composite Group, deployed to Goose Bay Air Base, Labrador for polar navigation training, aborts routine training flight due to an engine problem, makes downwind landing, touches down halfway down runway, overruns onto unfinished extension, groundloops to avoid tractor. Structural damage at wing joint so severe that Superfortress never flies again. Despite historic significance, airframe is scrapped at Goose Bay in September 1949.
4 September
A U.S. Navy Vought F4U Corsair fighter from Naval Air Station New York crashes into a four-family home at 39–29 212th Street, Queens, New York, killing the pilot, 1st Lt. Roger Olsen, USMCR, 25, of New Rochelle, New York, and three civilian women, Mrs. Helen Raynor, Mrs Alice Cressmer, and Miss Louise Paul. The pilot, a 1943 Pensacola graduate, was on the first day of a two-week reserve training course. The plane impacted one block from the Bayside station of the Long Island Rail Road.[478]
15 September
The death knell for the trouble-prone French Arsenal VB 10 program comes this date when the third (some say first) production machine crashes after the failure of one of the coupled powerplants causes an in-flight fire, killing pilot Henri Koechlin. "Six days later on 21 September 1948, the Arsenal VB 10 contract was cancelled. At the time of cancellation, four production VB 10 aircraft (including the one that crashed) had flown, six additional airframes had been completed, and a number of airframes were under construction. All remaining VB 10s (including the first prototype) were scrapped."[397]
18 September[479]
A RAF de Havilland Mosquito crashes during an air show at RAF Manston, killing both crew and ten members of the public.[480]
19 September
RCAF de Havilland Vampire crashes into a hillside in what is now the Ganaraska Forest, near Kendal Ontario. Flight Lieutenant Leslie Banner was killed while returning to Trenton, Ontario, from Niagara Falls, New York. Missing his turn at Newcastle, due to heavy clouds, he went off course and crashed into the side of Lookout Hill.[481][482]
20 September
First prototype USAF North American XB-45 Tornado, 45-59479, in a dive test at Muroc Air Force Base, California, to test design load factor, suffers engine explosion, tearing off cowling panels that shear several feet from the horizontal stabilizer, aircraft pitches up, and both wings tear off under negative g load. Crew has no ejection seats, and George Krebs and Nick Piccard are killed.[483]
6 October
An engine fire causes the crash in Waycross, Georgia, of a Boeing B-29-100-BW Superfortress, 45-21866, of the 3150th Electronics Squadron,[322] United States Air Force, shortly after take off from Robins Air Force Base, killing 9 of 13 men aboard, including 3 RCA engineers.[484] Four parachuted to safety. (See also 1948 Waycross B-29 crash).
18 October
A USAF Douglas C-54D-10-DC Skymaster, 42-72688, c/n 10793, participating in the Berlin Airlift, crashes near Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, killing three crew, Capt. James A. Vaughn, 1st Lt. Eugene Erickson and Sgt. Richard Winter.[424][485]
19 October
Royal NavyGrumman Avenger III, KE443, 'FD 068', of 703 Squadron, shorebased at Ford, Sussex, noses over on landing aboard HMS Illustrious. Airframe is not repaired and ends up on fire dump at Gosport, Hampshire, surviving until at least mid-1950.[486]
22 October
On fifth flight of the second prototype McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45–524, McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch unhooks from trapeze carried on Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", and for the first time retracts the small fighter's nose hook in flight. But when he extends it to reconnect with the mothership, buffeting over the open nose hook well (previously flown taped closed) causes the Goblin to be too unstable for reconnection. The hook is broken in the attempts, and Schoch belly lands on the dry lake at Muroc Air Force Base for the second time. This was the last flight of the second prototype.[475]
3 November
Boeing RB-29A Superfortress, 44-61999, "Overexposed", of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 91st Reconnaissance Group, 311th Air Division, Strategic Air Command, USAF, crashes on Shelf Moor, Bleaklow, in between Manchester and Sheffield, Derbyshire, while descending through cloud. All 13 crew KWF. It is doubtful they ever saw the ground. The time was estimated from one of the crew members wrist watch. The plane, piloted by Captain L. P. Tanner, was on a short flight, carrying mail and the payroll for American service personnel based at USAF Burtonwood. The flight was from Scampton near Lincoln to Burtonwood near Warrington, a flight of less than an hour. Low cloud hung over much of England, which meant the flight had to be flown on instruments. The crew descended after having flown for the time the crew believed it should have taken them to cross the hill. Unfortunately the aircraft had not quite passed the hills and struck the ground near Higher Shelf Stones, being destroyed by fire.[487]
5 November
A Boeing DB-17G Flying Fortress, 44-83678[488] returning to Eglin AFB, Florida from Fort Wayne, Indiana, crashes in woods SE of Auxiliary Field 2, Pierce Field, crashing and burning NE of the runway at Eglin main base early Friday. All five on board are KWF, including Lt. Col. Frederick W. Eley, 43, of Shalimar, Florida, staff judge advocate at Eglin for nearly three years – he was returning from his grandmother's funeral in Portland, Indiana; Maj. Bydie J. Nettles, 29, who lived in Shalimar, Florida, but was originally from Pensacola, Florida, group adjutant for the 3203rd Maintenance and Supply section; Capt. Robert LeMar, 31, Ben's Lake, Eglin AFB, test pilot with the 3203rd; crew chief M/Sgt. Carl LeMieux, 31, of Milton, Florida; and Sgt. William E. Bazer, 36, assistant engineer, Destin, Florida. Bazer's wife was the Eglin base librarian.[489]
7 November
Second prototype Republic XR-12 Rainbow, 44-91003, crashes at 1300 hrs. while returning to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The number 2 (port inner) engine exploded as the aircraft was returning from a photographic suitability test flight. The pilot was unable to maintain control due to violent buffeting, and he ordered the crew to bail out. Five of the seven crew escaped safely, including pilot Lynn Hendrix, rescued by Eglin crash boats and helicopters. Airframe impacts two miles S of the base, in the Choctawhatchee Bay. Sgt. Vernon B. Palmer, 20, and M/Sgt. Victor C. Riberdy, 30, who lived at Auxiliary Field 5, but was from Hartford, Connecticut, are KWF.[489]
8 or 11 December (sources differ)
US NavyDouglas R5D-3 Skymaster, BuNo 56502, c/n 10643, returning from the Berlin Airlift, crashes in the Taunus mountains near Frankfurt-am-Main S of Königstein, Germany. One crew of six aboard killed: AMM3 Harry R. Crites, Jr.[424][490]
13 December
A blade on the starboard rotor of the second prototype Bratukhin B-11 Soviet twin-rotor helicopter fails, and the subsequent crash kills the two crew.[491]
28 December
The pilot is killed when his Lockheed F-80A-1-LO Shooting Star, 44-85282,[94][492] crashes at the village of Jeddo, Michigan. Papers on the body identify him as Lt. Joseph R. Thomis, of Paducah, Kentucky, assigned at Selfridge Field, Michigan.[493]
28 December 
Michigan Air National GuardDouglas B-26B-30-DL Invader, 41-39350,[494][492] on "a routine navigational flight from McDill [sic] field, Fla.", crashes three miles E of Willow Run Airport, near Ypsilanti, Michigan, killing four crew and, possibly, two civilian passengers, picked up at MacDill Field. Col. Donald W. Armstrong, commander of the Michigan air wing, said that he "believed" passengers were aboard. Names of victims were not immediately released.[495]

1949 [ edit ]

4 January 
Douglas VC-47D Skytrain. 43-48405, c/n 25666/14221,[496] crashes and burns in a night accident, coming down in mountainous terrain about eight miles NE of Colfax, California. The Placer County coroner said there are seven fatalities. The flight was believed to be between Reno and McClellan Air Force Base. California. The crash site is near the American River and highway U.S. 40.[497]
5 January
As five U.S. Navy Grumman F8F Bearcats make firing runs on a gunnery target sleeve towed by another aircraft, two fighters collide at 7,000 feet and plunge into the Pacific Ocean off San Francisco. Both pilots, Ens. Peter J. McHugh, of Alameda, and Lt. William R. Cecil, of Oakland, are feared lost.[498] Later the same date, a Douglas AD Skyraider, expected to return to NAS Alameda at 1150 hrs. after a routine two hour flight, is declared missing shortly before 1400 hrs. when its fuel would be exhausted.[499]
6 January
The pilot of a Grumman F6F Hellcat was feared lost after his fighter went into the sea 20 miles W of San Diego. Crewmen of the escort carrier USS Bairoko reported seeing the Hellcat hit the water.[500]
7 January
A USAF Douglas C-54G-5-DO Skymaster, 45-0543, c/n 35996, of the 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, 61st Troop Carrier Group, en route to RAF Burtonwood from Rhein-Main Air Base for a 200-hour inspection, crashes at ~1645 hrs. in bad weather at Stake House Fell, Lancashire, England, killing all six on board.[501] KWF are pilot 1st Lt. Richard M. Wurgel, co-pilot 1st Lt. Lowell A. Wheaton Jr., engineer Sgt. Bernard J. Watkins, radio operator Cpl. Norbert H. Theis, and passengers Capt. W. A. Rathgeber and Pvt. Ronald E. Stone. Investigation showed that a commercial radio signal N of Burtonwood interfered with aircraft's radio compass, giving a false reading.[502][502]
9 January
A Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star falls out of formation during a pass by the spectators at the All-American Air Maneuvers at Miami, Florida, crashes and explodes.[503]
12 January
During the Berlin Airlift, the crash of a Douglas C-54D-5-DC Skymaster, 42-72629, c/n 10734, on approach to Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, kills three crew, 1st Lt. Ralph H. Boyd, 1st Lt. Craig B. Ladd, and T/Sgt. Charles L. Putnam.[424][504]
19 January
First flight of Martin XSSM-A-1 Matador test vehicle, from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, ends in crash.[505]
3 February 
The Lavochkin I-176, powered by a Klimov VK-1 engine, the first Soviet aircraft to break Mach 1 (in a shallow dive), is lost in a crash that kills test pilot Oleg V. Sokolovsky. Authorities select the Mikoyan MiG-15 fighter, also powered by the VK-1, for production.[506]
10 February
USAFDouglas A-26B-66-DL Invader, 44-34719, out of Greenville AFB, South Carolina, piloted by Robert L. Kenyon, crashes at Waples Pond, Delaware – four killed.
2 March
Two USMC Reserve Grumman F6F-5N Hellcats, BuNo. 94202, c/n A-11954, 'WF 9', and BuNo. 94182, 'WF 14', out of MCAS El Toro, crash into the 9,500 foot level of the south slope of Mt. Baldy, in Southern California. Wreckage discovered on 6 March.[507] Also this date, Vought F4U-4B Corsair, BuNo 97448,[508] 'AB 16', is reported missing since 1430 hrs., last reporting in that it was near Santa Cruz Island. Its wreckage and the body of its dead pilot are found on the island on 5 March.[509]
15 March
Second prototype of three Vought XF7U-1 Cutlass twin-tailed fighters, BuNo 122473, lost on test flight over the Chesapeake Bay, out of NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.[510] Test pilot William H. B. Millar killed.
1 April
Tip tank of Dow AFB-based Republic F-84B Thunderjet comes off during Lewiston, Maine parade flyover and hits Lewiston Public Works Garage.[65][66]
20 April
Crash of a Lockheed F-80A-10-LO Shooting Star, 44-85438,[130] c/n 080-1461,[154] kills Col. Robert Lewis Coffey, Jr., USAF Reserve, while on take-off from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, at 1640 hrs. during cross-country proficiency flight. Coffey, a World War II ace (six victories) during 97 missions in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and deputy group commander of the 365th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, who had been shot down and evaded capture, had resigned his regular commission to enter politics. He was elected to the 81st United States Congress (D-Pa.) and was on an Air Force training flight while the House was in recess when he died at age 30. He and fellow Hell Hawks pilot William D. Ritchie had departed Kirtland after refuelling for March AFB, California, but due to apparent engine failure on take-off, the fighter never rose above 25 feet, skidded off end of runway, cartwheeled across an arroyo, and broke apart but did not burn. Coffey was killed instantly. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The House of Representatives recesses for one day in his honor.[511][512][513]
29 April
First prototype (of two) of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45–523, makes its only flight, piloted by McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch. After launching from trapeze suspended below Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", pilot is unable to hook up for retrieval and belly lands on dry lakebed at Muroc Air Force Base, California. After only six total flights by the Goblin, totalling ~2½ hours of flight time, the U.S. Air Force abandons the test program. Both prototypes are preserved in museum collections.[475]
4 May
USAFNorth American F-82F Twin Mustang, 46–468, out of Mitchel Field crashes into an unfinished house on Fulton Avenue near Duncan Road, a residential neighborhood of Hempstead, New York near Hofstra University; the plane burst into flames but neither the pilot, 2nd Lt. Andrew Wallace, nor his radar observer, 1st Lt. Bryan Jolley, were killed. In fact, Wallace used a brick from the house to smash the right canopy and rescue Jolley.[514][515]
20 May
A USAF Fairchild C-82A Packet, 48–572, c/n 10207, of the 1227th Air Base Group, Goose Bay, Labrador, veers off runway during takeoff at primitive Arctic Isachsen airstrip, Isachsen weather station, Ellef Ringnes Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, at 1745 hrs. Zulu. Despite crew attempts to keep the aircraft from drifting to the left, the port landing gear catches a snow bank, increasing veer, then port propeller strikes snow pack at 90 mph and 2800 rpm, ripping engine from mount and making aircraft uncontrollable. Three crew uninjured but aircraft written off, abandoned on site. Hull used for a shelter for a time. Wreckage still on site. The C-82 had delivered an engine and parts to repair a stranded Douglas C-54D-5-DC Skymaster, 42-72614, with a failed number 2 engine. The position of the Skymaster had required a downwind takeoff run.[516][517]
25 May
SilverplateBoeing B-29-35-MO Superfortress, 44-27299, .[518] of the 97th Bomb Group, Biggs AFB, Texas, suffers fire in number 4 (starboard outer) engine shortly after take-off for routine navigation and radar training mission. Unable to extinguish blaze, crew bails out but navigator's parachute does not open and he is killed – believed that he had struck his head on nosegear operating assembly while departing bomber. B-29 makes two-mile circle, then comes down 35 miles NE of El Paso, Texas, exploding on impact.
30 May
Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft test pilot John O. "Jo" Lancaster becomes first British pilot to save his life with an ejection seat when he bailed out of experimental twin-jet flying wing Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52, TS363, out of Bitteswell, using "primitive" Martin-Baker Mk.1 seat, when an oscillation in pitch set in during a shallow dive from ~5,000 feet.[519]
3 June
Sole Sukhoi Su-15 (Aircraft P) twin-engined jet all-weather interceptor develops severe vibration during 39th test flight, breaks up in mid-air forcing pilot S. N. Anokhin to eject. Project abandoned, second prototype never finished.[520]
13 June
SANTA MONICA, June 14 (AP) - A Navy transport, with seven men aboard dead, was located today as fog lifted from the Santa Monica mountains where the plane crashed late last night. The fog prevented an aerial search for much of today, but an Air Force plane finally spotted the still-smoking wreckage in Stone canyon, just below Mulholland drive, in the hills back of here. All seven dead were members of the naval reserve from the naval air station at Memphis, Tenn. Moffett field said those aboard were Lt. Garland P. Strickland Jr., Memphis, the pilot; Lt. Robert Lafferty, co-pilot; Lts. Marshall H. Jones and Walter E. Paul and enlisted men Warren E. Thomas, Thomas S. Daniel and Raymond Wigninton.”[521]
Just prior to 14 June
TOKYO, June 14 (UP) - The U. S. Air Force today disclosed the names of six airmen killed or missing when a rescue squadron crash boat caught fire recently near Sendai, Japan. The missing included: First Lt. Ralph L. Fish, officer in charge of the boat section, Casa Grande, Ariz.”[522]
15 June
Sole prototype reconnaissance Gloster Meteor FR Mk. 5, VT347, breaks up in the air during its first flight, killing pilot Rodney Dryland. This version is not proceeded with.[523]
11 July
Midshipman Virgil O. Gillette, 20, a U.S. Navy pilot trainee, is killed when his Vought F4U-4 Corsair strikes a parked North American SNJ Texan at Naval Auxiliary Air Station Corry Field, Florida, upon returning from a period of field carrier landing practice. It approaches on landing, and the port wing strikes a static SNJ in a parking area and the Corsair "cartwheels" onto its back, killing the pilot instantly. Midshipman Hampton F. Hobson, sitting in the rear cockpit of the SNJ, escapes injury.[524]
13 July
"SAN DIEGO, July 13 (AP) - A Navy pilot crash landed his Douglas Sky Raider plane in the ocean two miles south of Coronado today after a fire developed in the cockpit. The pilot, Lt. (jg) Claude B. Whittle, 22, of Coronado, escaped injury, the Navy said. He brought the plane down near a tuna boat, which picked him up and took him to North island naval air station.[sic] He was attached to attack squadron 114."[525] VA-114 had been redesignated from VA-11A on 15 July 1948, and will be disestablished on 1 December 1949.
14 July
A Fairchild C-82A-15-FA Packet,[30] 44-23014, c/n 10058,[526] crashes into a parking lot in Area B of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. While conducting routine drop testing in Area C of the base, the C-82 attempted an emergency landing in Area B. With its electrical system down and the right engine on fire, the plane landed ~three-quarters down the runway, running off the end of the runway across a grassy area, plowing through a steel fence, and ran over a number of cars in the main parking lot near Highway 4 before flipping onto its back.[527] Firecrews were on the scene immediately. The only person killed was MSgt Lubitz, Flight Test Division, who jumped from the plane just before it hit the fence. The other four crew were only slightly injured and no one on the ground was hurt.[528]
25 July
RCAF World War II ace, Squadron Leader Robert Allen "Bob" Kipp, DSO, DFC, (12 October 1919 – 25 July 1949), commanding officer of No. 410 Squadron, is killed while practicing aerobatics in a de Havilland Vampire F.3 of the Blue Devils demonstration team.[529]
9 August
US Navy pilot Lt. J. L. "Pappy" Fruin[530] of VF-101 loses control of his McDonnell F2H-1 Banshee at 500 mph and 30,000 feet and ejects over Walterboro, South Carolina, becoming the first American Naval aviator to use an ejector seat during an actual in-flight emergency. VF-101 was the first Navy unit to receive the type.[531]
12 August
Third of three Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 jet-powered flying-boat fighter prototypes, TG271, design specification E.6/44, is written off after hitting a submerged obstruction and sinking in the Solent off Cowes, Isle of Wight, Royal Navy pilot Lt. Cdr. Eric "Winkle" Brown surviving. Design not placed in production.[532][533]
Second of three Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 jet-powered flying-boat fighter prototypes, TG267, design specification E.6/44, crashes into the sea during practice for an air show, killing the pilot. Design not placed in production.[532]
15 September
First Convair B-36 Peacemaker loss occurs when B-36B 44-92079, of the 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, crashes into Lake Worth during a night "maximum effort" mission takeoff from Carswell AFB, Texas, killing five of 13 crew. Cause attributed to two propellers going into reverse pitch. Wreckage removed from lake and scrapped.[534]
26 September
Boeing B-29-50-MO Superfortress, 44-86333, modified as TB-29, of the 352d Bombardment Squadron, 301st Bombardment Wing, Smoky Hill Air Force Base, Kansas, crashes in the Kiamichi Mountains 6 mi (10 km) southwest of Talihina, Oklahoma, United States, carrying 13 crew members on a reportedly routine training flight.[535] Aircraft consumed by post-crash fire and damaged beyond repair, 9 bodies recovered, witnesses report that one engine failed prior to the crash,[535] and that the aircraft was in a spin and that there was an explosion prior to impact.[536]
30 September
First Avro 707 delta-wing research aircraft, VX784, first flown 6 September 1949 (one source says 4 September), crashes near Blackbushe on test flight out of Boscombe Down, killing Avro test pilot Flt. Lt. Eric Esler. Cause never established.[537]
3 October
The first (of only two) prototypes of the Kellett XR-10 helicopter, 45-22793, crashes due to a control system failure, killing Kellett's chief test pilot, Dave Driskill. The project was abandoned shortly thereafter.
4 October
Grumman XTB3F-2S Guardian, BuNo 90505, prototype of the ASW variant, undergoing propeller vibration tests by Grumman in New York, suffers prop failure and crashes on Long Island, killing the Hamilton Standard representative who was aboard in the rear fuselage.[538] Pilot Mike Ritchie makes a high-speed, 200-foot altitude parachute escape, but lands on top of the wreckage and is hospitalized for many months.[539]
9 October
Douglas C-47A-90-DL Skytrain, 43-16062, c/n 20528, of the 6th Rescue Squadron, Air Rescue Service, MATS, based at Goose Bay, Labrador, fails to gain sufficient airspeed on takeoff from primitive Isachsen airstrip, abandoned Isachsen weather station, Ellef Ringnes Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, at 1800 hrs. Zulu, lifting off twice before landing gear/skis contacted rising terrain and collapsed. Cause was icing and overload conditions. Four crew and six passengers suffer only minor injuries. Airframe abandoned in place. It is still there.[470][540]
31 October
Westland Wyvern test program suffers set-back when second prototype Wyvern TF Mk 2 (N.12/45), VP113, powered by Armstrong Siddeley Python turboprop, crashes in attempted dead-stick landing after the props seize in flight, test pilot killed.[541]
1 November
A Lockheed P-38L Lightning, NX26297 flown by a Bolivian Air Force pilot, collides in midair with Eastern Airlines Flight 537, a Douglas DC-4 airliner, N88727, on its final approach to National Airport. All 55 people on board the Douglas DC-4 die; the P-38 pilot survived with injuries. Bridaux was considered one of Bolivia's most experienced pilots. Among the dead were Congressman George J. Bates and former Congressman Michael J. Kennedy. DC-4 wreckage comes down on Virginia shoreline of the Potomac River, north of Mount Vernon. It was (at the time) the worst plane crash in the history of civil aviation. The P-38 pilot was accused of causing the accident, later tried and cleared of the charges, which now is believed to have been an ATC error.
9 November
A US Navy Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer on a training flight crash landed south of Mikkalo, Oregon, after all four engines "froze up" in flight. One fatality.[542]
16 November
A USAF B-29 on a flight from March Air Force Base, California, to England via Bermuda goes down at sea when fuel exhausted; of 20 crew aboard two are missing but 18 are rescued on 19 November, 385 miles NE of Bermuda.[543]
22 November
First prototype Gloster E.1/44, TX145, on test flight out of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough, suffers engine flame-out, crash lands. Repaired.[331]
29 November
Fairey Gannet, VR546, crashes on take-off from Fairey's flight test airfield at White Waltham, Berkshire, following violent porpoising at unstick speed. Repairs take three months and test flying does not resume until March 1950.[544]
11 December
North American F-51D-25-NT Mustang, 45-11353, of the 192d Fighter Squadron, Nevada Air National Guard, crashes at Reno Air Force Base, Nevada, during a mock dogfight killing Reno native 1st Lt. Croston K. Stead (19 March 1922 – 11 December 1949)[545] during training mission. Base is subsequently named Stead Air Force Base in January 1951 in his honor.[546][547]
22 December
USAF Boeing B-50A-30-BO Superfortress, 47–110, c/n 15794,[548] of the 2d Bombardment Group, crashes into swamp land on the banks of the Savannah River ~7 miles above Savannah, Georgia, five minutes after take off at 2112 hrs. from Chatham AFB, 4 Miles ENE of the airfield. The bomber was on a training flight to Biggs AFB, El Paso, Texas. All eleven on board KWF. The crash site was less than two miles from U.S. Highway 17, which crosses the river just above Savannah, but it could only be reached by small boats guided by boatmen who knew the river. The Air Force waited until dawn to send a large crash boat with a score or more men, armed with shovels and ropes, to try to remove the bodies. They had to transfer to small, flat-bottomed swamp boats to get to the wreckage. Capt. E. S. Harrison, public information officer, said the wreckage would cover a football field. Salvage workers sank up to their armpits in the mire. The men aboard the plane were identified as: Capt. George V. Scaringen, pilot, and aircraft commander, Columbia, South Carolina; Capt. Andrew G. Walker, pilot, Norfolk, Virginia; Lt. Rogers Hornsby, Jr., 29, son of Rogers Hornsby of baseball fame; 1st Lt. Robert W. Beckman, bombardier, Birmingham, Alabama; Capt. Anthony C. Colandro, radar navigator, Baltimore, Maryland; 1st Lt. James W. Johnson, Jr., flight engineer, Wells, West Virginia; T/Sgt. Leonard B. Hughes, flight engineer, Denison, Texas; S/Sgt. Fred W. Cunningham, radio operator and gunner, New Orleans, Louisiana; S/Sgt. Manson L. Gregg, gunner, Meadow, Texas; S/Sgt. Garnell W. Myers, gunner, Franklin, Indiana; and S/Sgt. Billy C. Bristol, gunner, Tucson, Arizona.[549]

See also [ edit ]

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft
List of aircraft accidents at Eglin Air Force Base

Notes [ edit ]

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  424. ^ Associated Press, "Jet Crashes Near Chino, Pilot Escapes in 'Chute", San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Tuesday 6 April 1948, Volume LIV, Number 188, page 1.
  425. ^ Special Staff Correspondence, "Fighter Pilot Crashes Plane in Ontario", San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Wednesday 7 April 1948, Volume LIV, Number 189, page 15.
  426. ^ Associated Press, "Navy Abandons Hope For 4 Marine Flyers", The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, Thursday 8 April 1948, Volume 65, Number 330, page 3.
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  428. ^ Associated Press, "2 Killed As Army Plane Crashes At Little Rock", Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, Monday 12 April 1948, Volume CVII, Number 88, page 5.
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  444. ^ Fort Walton, Florida, "Major Johnson Killed in Jet Failure at Eglin – Pilot of P-84 Was Deputy CO of Fighter Section at Air Base", Playground News, Thursday 13 May 1948, Volume 3, Number 15, p. 1.
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References [ edit ]

Martin, Bernard. The Viking, Valetta and Varsity. Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1975. ISBN 978-0-85130-038-2.

External links [ edit ]

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