Maxton, NC Army Plane Crashes Near Fort Bragg, June 1943

12 TO 20 MEN DIE IN ARMY PLANE CRASH.

12 BODIES FOUND AT WRECKAGE OF PLANE THAT CRASHED IN BAD WEATHER NEAR MAXTON EARLY YESTERDAY. ONE OFFICIAL REPORT PLACED TOLL AT 19.

Fort Bragg, June 8. -- (AP) -- A big army transport plane crashed between here and Laurinburg early yesterday, killing from 12 to 20 soldiers.
Officials at Pope field, Fort Bragg's aviation center, were still checking on details of the accident today, and they refused to give out additional details pending completion of their investigation.
Colonel SAM PRICE, executive officer at the field, said at least 12 of the men aboard died in the crash which was believed caused by unfavorable weather. An official report from another source placed the toll at 19.
The plane a C-47 transport, and another of the same type left Pope field at 3 a. m. yesterday. Shortly after leaving they ran into bad weather and one of them turned back, landing at 5 a. m. When the second plane failed to return or to report from another field, a searching party was sent out and the wreckage was found several hours later.
Colonel PRICE said 12 bodies were found at the scene. Hope was held out that some of the men aboard had been able to take to their parachutes and land.
The crash was reported unofficially to have occurred about four miles north of Maxton near the Red Springs highway. The plane, a mass of wreckage, was found in an open field. Unofficial reports here tended to confirm the larger number of fatalities, approximately 19.

The Robesonian Lumberton North Carolina 1943-06-08

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NUMBER KILLED IN PLANE CRASH SET AT TWENTY MEN.

Fort Bragg, June 9. -- The toll of dead in the crash of an Army transport plane near the Laurinburg-Maxton Air Base Monday was set at 20 yesterday as Pope Field officers revealed the entire crew of four, and all 16 passengers were killed.
Col. SAM PRICE, Pope Field executive officer, said two C-47 transports took off from Pope Field, aid base at Fort Bragg, about 3 a. m. on a routine flight to Laurinburg-Maxton. En route they ran into a thunderstorm and one plane turned back, landing safely at Pope Field.
About 5 a. m. a searching party was sent out, and the wreckage of the plane, with the bodies of all the 20 passengers and crew, was found within sight of the Laurinburg-Maxton field.
An eye-witness told Colonel PRICE that he heard the plane fly low around his house, then turn in the direction of the Laurinburg field. A few seconds later he heard the crash.
Colonel PRICE said that the pilot apparently had found an opening in the storm and had sighted the field, but that when he attempted to turn toward the field a wing had struck the ground.
The plane was practically demolished, Colonel PRICE said. Gasoline from the plane caught five, but none of the scattered debris of the plane nor the bodies of the men were burned.
Colonel PRICE said all next of kin had been notified, but that acknowledgement from two families had not been received yet and that names of the dead would not be announced until notifications were acknowledged.

Robesonian Lumberton North Carolina 1943-06-09