Sugar Loaf Mountain, AR Transport Plane Crashes, Oct 1973

Sugar Loaf Mt ARK Lockheed Crash 10-15-1973.jpg Sugar Loaf Mt ARK Lockheed Crash 10-15-1973 Site today.jpg


Fort Smith, Ark. (UPI) -- Crews, working amid airplane wreckage in the rugged mountains of western Arkansas for the second time in a month Tuesday recovered the bodies of seven airmen who died in the crash of their C130 cargo plane on foggy Sugar Loaf Mountain.
The huge four-engine propeller-driven transport crashed Monday during a routine training mission out of Little Rock Air Force Base. The aircraft accompanying it returned safely to the base.
"The wreckage is strewn over about a three acre area," said Arkansas State Trooper FRED ROSE, one of the first to arrive at the crash site. "The tail section is the only part of the plane you can recognize."
Witnesses said the aircraft exploded on impact.
On Sept. 27, a Texas International Airlines plane with 11 persons aboard crashed on Black Fork Mountain about 60 miles southwest of Sugar Loaf. It also had been caught in a thunderstorm.
The Air Force identified the seven crewmen killed Monday as Capt. RICHARD W. LANE, 26, San Jose, Calif., instructor-pilot; Capt. DAVID G. NOLTENSMEYER, 27, Kansas City, Mo., first pilot; Lt. DOUGLAS P. MENSSEN, Greenville, Ky., co-pilot; Capt. JOHN M. DAVIS, 35, Marked Tree, Ark., instructor-navigator; Lt. ROBERT L. NELSON, 24, Bradford, Pa., navigator; S. Sgt. WILLIAM R. DAWSON, 29, Cleveland, engineer, and T. Sgt. BERNARD J. THALER, 31, Slayton, Minn., load-adjuster.

Delta Democrat-Times Greenville Mississippi 1973-10-17


I lived a couple houses down

At the time of the crash we lived on LRAFB at 157 Ohio Circle. I was 13 and remember my neighborhood friend a couple houses down losing their father in the crash. If I remember correctly, he was the loadmaster on the flight. It was a very sad time for all of us.

To my friend who would have been about my age then, know that even though I can't remember your name, I think of you from time to time and pray that you are well. God is a great source of strength for us to trust in and lean upon.

"Jimmy" Besley

My father was on the flight

My father was on the flight as well, his name was Capt. John M. Davis. I know very little about the crash but I am starting to tray and reach out to the crew members family's if they are interested. I am on Face Book under Victor Lay, my screen picture is USMC Corporal chevrons. Contact me if you would like with a private message.

Anyone wanting information on

Anyone wanting information on this. be free to contact me at rurn2@live.com....we witnessed the crash and we were the first to reach the scene...before anyone...


I was but just a little girl living on the mountain the day that this occurred! But I would like to be able to help find out what I seen that night. Maybe I can help give closer to someone! I don't know if I can but if u are interested in getting ahold of me to find out what I know you can contact me here or on Facebook under Trey Farrar!

C130 Crash 10-15-73

I don't know if this is the same crash or not, but one like it was reported in the "Mac Flyer" magazine. I remember reading an article years ago, the cover story, entitled "No Escape From a Black Hole", about a formation of C-130s near LRAFB at night, and one of them crashed into the ground, while the plane behind them was able to see what was happening because his landing lights were on. As I recall, the crash plane had made an evasive maneuver to avoid the airplane in front of it, causing it to contact the ground.

Unfortunately, a number of C-130s have crashed around the world. They are fine airplanes but the nature of military training has risk. I hope you can find peace. In the end, this was an accident that happened I'm sure while everyone involved was doing the best they could do.

C130 Crash 10-15-73

My first husband Doug Menssen was on this aircraft as well. For some reason this accident seems rather "hush hush" -as so few of the C130 airplanes have been involved in fatal crahes. I have been haunted by this incident for almost 40 years now and was wondering if any further information had ever been released about the incident. The two newspaper articles I found in archives seem to have conflicting information.

crash site

i found the site long ago deer hunting an didnt under stand why or what it was for years

If anyone has any

If anyone has any information on the crash of Oct-31-1973 or pictures I would like to talk to who ever, Victor Davis.

son of victom

my father was capt. john m. davis and was on this plain, i would like as much info on the crash and location, pic if pos