Little Rock, AR Bomber Explodes Over City, Mar 1960
JET BOMBER EXPLODES OVER LITTLE ROCK; CREW, CIVILIANS DIE.
Little Rock, Ark. (AP) -- A flaming six-engine jet bomber exploded over Little Rock today and rained debris and death in its plunge near the Capital.
At least five persons, including three crewmen, were killed. Two civilians were known dead.
Flaming debris set seven or more houses afire and wreckage shattered windows for blocks around.
One airman parachuted to safety. He was burned seriously.
The B47 bomber had taken off only 10 minutes earlier on a training flight from its station at Little Rock Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command facility. A base spokesman said the plane was capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but had none aboard.
One piece of wreckage dug a fiery 25-foot wide hole in a residential section near the Capitol. Seven homes were destroyed by fire there.
The fuselage crashed into the small home of MRS. A. L. CLARK in Pulaski Heights, two miles from the Capitol.
MRS. CLARK was trapped and perished in the flames.
The body of another civilian, JIMMY HOLLOBAUGH, 27, was pulled from debris near the Capitol. Nothing was left of his home except the foundation. It was about 25 yards from the eight-foot deep crater which the wreckage dug.
Bodies of two of the airmen were recovered from the wreckage near MRS. CLARK'S home. The Air Force said the body of the third crewman also had been found.
The dead airmen were identified as:
Capt. HERBERT J. ALDRIDGE, 37, San Antonio, Tex.
Lt. Col. REYNOLDS J. WATSON, 43, Athens, Ga.
Sgt. K. E. BROSE, 25, Kewanee, Ill.
Lt. THOMAS G. SMOAK, 26, Richmond, Va., parachuted. He was taken to Arkansas Baptist Hospital in a serious condition.
Firemen said three homes near the Capitol were so badly burned that no one in them could have survived. Officials reported, however, that as far as they could determine everyone had fled to safety before the flames evneloped the houses.
At first there were reports of a collision between the jet and a light plane over the little town of Mayflower, 15 miles north of Little Rock.
The Federal Aviation Agency at Adams Field, Little Rock's municipal airport, said observers probably mistook a falling wing for another plane.
Delta Democrat Times Greenville Mississippi 1960-03-31