Houston, TX (near) Cargo Plane Explosion, Jan 1961
2 SAN ANTONIANS DIE IN BLAZING PLANE CRASH.
CRAFT LOSES WING, HITS RICE PADDY.
EN ROUTE FROM KELLY TO FIELD AT MOBILE, ALA.
Two San Antonians were killed Sunday afternoon when a C46 commercial cargo plane exploded in the air and crashed in a rice paddy west of Houston.
Dead were BENJAMIN OLIVER NIXON, 40, of 439 Wayside Dr. -- a well known high school tennis player here in the late 1930s -- and ARCHIE A SHOUP, JR., 40, who lived at the Trailer Haven Park, 307 Klaus Rd.
NIXON and SHOUP, pilots for Capitol Airways, were flying a load of assorted Air Force cargo to Brookley Field, Mobile, Ala.
Their plane crashed about 20 miles west of Houston at about 3:05 p.m. -- 50 minutes after taking off from Kelly AFB.
It was the second plane to crash within a week after taking off from Kelly. A C119, carrying five reservists, three from San Antonio, crashed in Kentucky Jan. 15. All five were killed.
The C46 plane belonged to Logair, a division of Capitol Airways. Logair holds a contract to carry freight for the Air Material Command.
SHOUP was pilot of the plane, and NIXON was co-pilot, Capitol Airways said here.
Wreckage of the plane was strewn over a circle of about 600 feet in diameter on the rice farm of J. D. Woods near the Brookshire community.
State Hwy. Patrolman D. W. Duggan saw the plane as it crashed, the Associated Press reported.
"It was burning about midship," he said. "I watched it for two or three minutes and then the left wing fell off. There was a big explosion and it crashed."
Several witnesses to the crash thought a third man parachuted, but owners of the craft said NIXON and SHOUP were the only men on the plane.
San Antonio Express Texas 1961-01-23