Payette, ID Air Force Transport Plane Crashes, Oct 1958
PLANE MAY HAVE HIT GEESE, 19 DIE.
Payette, Idaho (UPI) -- An Air Force C-123 transport plane that crashed Thursday night killing 19 persons may have been disabled by a flock of geese, witnesses said today.
The plane, en route from Pope AFB, N. C., to McCord Field, Tacoma, Wash., plummeted to earth at dusk after it knifed through a formation of wild geese.
An explosion and fire followed the crash which occurred on the CLAUDE SMITH ranch about 10 miles east of this farming center on the Idaho-Oregon border.
Air Force officials withheld the casualty list pending identification of the bodies and notification of next of kin.
The plane had made a refuelling stop at Hill AFB, near Ogden, Utah, and had checked in with the Civil Aeronautics Administration tower at Boise, Idaho less than a half hour before it came to grief. The Boise tower said no message was received from the plane indicating and difficulties. The CAA said the plane was on course for Tacoma when it crashed.
One of the eye witnesses, ELDRO GISSELL, who operates a ranch about four miles from the crash scene, said he saw the plane fly through a string of about 200 to 250 geese at an estimated height of about 2,000 feet. The area is on the north-south "flyway for wild geese and other migrant wild fowl."
"The formation of geese broke up and the birds flew in all directions, honking wildly," GISSELL related. "Then I heard the plane's engine stutter and the plane seemed to go into a stall and spin. For a brief moment, the engines roared wide open and the plane seemed to pull up. Then it knifed down toward the ground. A moment later I heard the explosion."
A convoy of 10 trucks from Mountain Home Air Force Base, about 110 miles east of here, arrived at the crash scene early today. Air police immediately took over from Idaho state police the duty of guarding the area.
Officers began the grim task of identifying the badly charred bodies.
The Daily Inter Lake Kalispell Montana 1958-10-10
1stLt. JOHN N. FRISBY, pilot.
Cpt. JAMES C. WILSON, JR., instructor pilot.
SSG JAMES M. HAUVER, co-pilot.
1stLt. THOMAS C. LAMPSA, navigator.
A1C JAMES C. MILLER, loadmaster.
CWO FLOYD L. PULLEY.
MSG BOYD O. LAMBETH.
SSG JOHN H. BISHOP.
SSG GEORGE H. BLANCHARD.
SSG CHARLES H. HILLHOUSE.
SSG ROBERT L. MEYERS.
SSG GEORGE J. STEVENS.
A1C ELMER G. HOUSEMAN.
A1C RICHARD T. LASHLEY.
A1C DON L. SEANEY.
A2C JERRY R. ADAMS.
A2C ADRAIN C. GAYTHER.
MR. STANLEY A. SHEGDA, North American Aviation Tecnical Representative.
MR. JOSEPH PAUL, North American Aviation Mechanic.