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Bald Mountain, AK Air Force Tanker Crash, Dec 1956

Alaska Military crash 12-26-1956.JPG Alaska Military crash 12-26-1956 2.JPG Alaska CRASH WRECKAGE.jpg Alaska CRASH MEMORIAL PLAQUE.jpg

AIR FORCE TANKER PLANE HITS BALD MOUNTAIN NEAR WILLOW.

EIGHT CREWMEN DIE AS PLANE EXPLODES ON IMPACT.

BULLETIN:
The ground party and two helicopters have reached the wreckage of the plane. There are no survivors.
The plane apparently exploded on impact.
The location of wreckage is placed at 19 miles northeast of Willow.

Anchorage (AP) -- A four-engine air force tanker with eight men aboard crashed and burned last night on a mountainside northwest of here, and a ground party plodded toward the scene today through snow and cold.
The Alaskan air command said the big plane's home base was on the eastern seaboard in the states, but declined to identify it.
The air officials alsos declined to say whether the KB29, a tanker version of the World War II B29 was loaded with gasoline for aerial refueling at the time of the crash.
The disaster came shortly after the plane's takeoff from the big Elmendorf base near here. The plane struck Bald Mountain, about 50 miles northwest, in the rugged Talkeetna range.
The terrific explosion was heard and the fire seen many miles away.
The air command said the crash was around the 4,200 foot level.
Air force officials said the plane had taken off on a routine training mission.
One radio message was received from it after the takeoff. An air force spokesman said there was no indication of any trouble.
A search plane and two helicopters were sent up in the area despite the unfavorable conditions.
It was bitter cold in the crash area overnight. The temperature dropped to 6 degrees in the Matanuska valley and it probably was considerably colder in the mountains.

Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1956-12-27

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AIR CRASH KILLS 8 IN ALASKA.

Anchorage, Alaska (AP) -- An Air Force tanker plane carried its eight-man crew to death Wednesday night on a snow-covered mountainside northwest of here.
The Air Force reported a ground party and two helicopters had reached the spot where the four-engine plane struck, exploded and burned. There were no survivors.
The Pentagon announced the plane's home base was Turner Air Force Base at Albany, Ga.
The crew members were:
LT. THOMAS H. PATTON, 28, Corvalis, Ore.
2nd LT. JAMES D. DELLINGER, 22, Charlotte, N.C.
1st LT. LEON E. REID, 23, Hicksville, N.Y.
1st LT. LUTHER G. LAMM, 26, Lucama, N.C.
M-SGT. OTTO D. McADAMS, JR., 32, Braddock, Pa.
T-SGT. THERMAN C. RAINER, 31, Raville, La.
S-SGT. JOHN B. PYLAND, 25, Ozark, Ala.
A2-C WILLIAM P. HUDGSON, 20, Redwood City, Calif.
The air officials also declined to say whether the KB29, a tanker version of the World War II B29, was loaded with gasoline for aerial refueling at the time of the crash. The disaster came shortly after the plane's takeoff from the big Elmendorf base near here. The plane struck Bald Mountain, about 50 miles northwest, in the rugged Talkeetna range.
The terrific explosion was heard and the fire seen many miles away.
One radio message was received from it after the take-off. An air force spokesman said there was no indication of any trouble.

Albuquerque Journal New Mexico 1956-12-28



article | by Dr. Radut