Skip to Content

Chiefland, FL Air Force Jet Crash, May 1958


Chiefland, Fla. (UP) -- An Air Force jet fighter crashed and exploded in a watermelon patch here Tuesday night, apparently taking its young pilot to his death.
Officials at MacDill Air Force Base identified the pilot at 1st Lt. ROBERT E. CRENSHAW, 24, of North Miami Beach. CRENSHAW was officially listed as "missing and presumably lost."
The jet was on a return flight from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., to MacDill when the crash occurred. Witnesses said there apparently was no explosion or fire before the fighter plunged to earth about six miles south of here.
Levy County Sheriff Jim Turner said there was no sign of anybody getting out of the plane. He added, "Nobody could have lived through the crash."
Searchers were unable to find any bodies or parts of clothing in the wreckage to indicate the fate of the pilot. A highway patrolman said,
"There's hardly a piece bigger than your hand."

Delta Democrat Times Greenville Mississippi 1958-05-21

article | by Dr. Radut