Mount Franklin, TX Bomber Crash, Dec 1953
B-36 WITH NINE ABOARD CRASHES INTO MOUNTAIN.
NO SURVIVORS FOUND AFTER CRAFT BLOWS UP.
By United Press.
El Paso, Dec. 11. -- A giant B-36 global bomber on ground control approach in zero-zero visibility crashed against a mountain north of El Paso late Friday and blew up with nine men aboard.
The plane slammed into a sheer wall of rock in strong wind and snow flurries.
A newsman who reached the scene of the crash 200 feet from the top of snow-covered Mount Franklin said the 10-engined atomic super-bomber
"burned almost to powder."
The Air Force said a ground searching party found no survivors from among the crew.
It crashed on rugged terrain in High Box Canyon that is impassable to motor vehicles. The 6,000-foot mountain was covered near its top with more than three inches of snow.
The B-36 was from Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, and was being ferried to Biggs Air Force Base at El Paso for transfer to a B-36 wing at the latter field.
Carswell authorities said the men aboard the plane were:
Lt. Col. HERMAN GERICK, 35, aircraft commander, Cameron, Tex.
Maj. DOUGLAS P. MINER, 34, navigator, son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy H. Miner of Attleboro, Mass.
First Lt. CARY B. FANT, JR., 34, flight engineer, Linden, Texas.
Airman Second Class FRANK SILVESTRI, 24, gunner, son of Margaret Silvestri, Baltimore, Md.
Tech. Sgt. DEWEY TALIAFERRO, 33, first sergeant, 492nd Bom Squadron.
Airman First Class EDWIN D. HOWE, 22, gunner, Jordan, N.Y.
Master Sgt. ROYAL FREEMAN, 25, radio operator, Dallas.
Maj. GEORGE C. MEDFORD, 33, first pilot, Verona, Pa.
First Lt. JAMES M. HARVEY, JR., Mineola, Texas.
GERICK, MINER and SILVESTRI survived an earlier B-36 crash. They were among 16 members of a B-36 crew which bailed out over England while on a flight from Texas to England last Feb. 7.
Jack McElrath a newsman for Radio Station KEPO at El Paso, was with the first litter crew that reached the scene of the crash. He said the B-36 was "almost burned to powder."
"No great fires were burning," he said, "but as I got nearer I could tell that the fire had indeed been terrific because hardly anything of the B-36 was left -- not enough to put in a very small room."
The tail of the $3,500,000 B-36 is equivalent in height to a three-story building.
Hundreds of El Paso residents, in residential and downtown areas, reported seeing the big aircraft circling the city, under an overcast.
San Antonio Express Texas 1953-12-12