Travis Air Force Base, CA Bomber Crash, Apr 1963
TRAVIS PLANE CRASH KILLS NINE CREWMEN.
Travis AFB, Calif. (UPI) -- An Air Force C133 Cargomaster crashed in soggy marshland 3,000 feet from the landing strip here Wednesday, killing all nine crewmen aboard.
The plane, a type which often carries missiles, was apparently attempting to land after a routine training flight, Air Force officials said. Officers said the plane carried no nuclear material.
The Air Force identified the victims as:
Major ROY M. JOHNSTON, Rt. 1, Manatoup, Okla., pilot.
1st Lt. LEONARD R. DORMAN, Boise, Ida.
1st Lt. WILLIAM H. GREY, Grahamville, N.Y.
2nd Lt. RUSSELL R. ZABLAN, SR., Honolulu.
2nd Lt. EDWARD MELDA, Parma, Ohio.
T-Sgt. DONALD D. COX, Jacksonville, Fla.
T-Sgt. JOEL R. NIPPER, Derby, Ohio.
T-Sgt. LLOYD J. RICHARD, Louisiana.
Airman 3-C CHARLES W. WITTLE, Baltimore, Md.
A spokesman said all but MELDA and WITTLE were married.
The plane burst into flames on impact. It was virtually impossible for base firefighters to reach the wreckage through the marshland. An Air Force spokesman said the craft burned for nearly an hour after it crashed at 4:10 p.m. PST.
Officers said there was no immediate indication as to what caused the crash. The control tower had no warning that the plane was in trouble.
The plane carried no cargo and no passengers.
A spokesman said that planes on such missions normally stay airborne for four hours or more, making several practice approaches and landings.
The crash was the first tranport accident at this northern California base since 1959, when a C97 crashed near the base. There were no fatalities in that crash.
Eureka Humboldt Standard California 1963-04-11