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Ft. Dix, NJ 45 Die In Military Plane Crash, July 1956

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Ft. Dix, N. J., July 13 (AP) -- A military transport plane, taking off from a rainswept McGuire Air Force Base, crashed in a swampy pine forest today killing at least 45 persons, two of them children. Twenty-one others were injured.
An airman aboard, one of the least injured survivors, said the four-engine C118 hit an air pocket and split as it landed on its belly. The big plane did not burn.
Airman ALBERT J. BUCK, a survivor who suffered a fractured ankle, told an Army doctor -- Lt. Col. Horace Doty -- that the plane hit an air pocket just as it left the runway at McGuire, 30 miles south of Trenton.
Maj. Huly Bray, information services officer, said some of the survivors were so badly injured that they were not expected to live until morning.
The plane, bound for Burtonwood, England, carried a crew of 10 and its 56 passengers included 41 airmen, 9 officers, and 6 civilians, including 2 children.
The big craft had lost radio contact with the field, and the crash was not discovered for several hours after it occurred about 4 p.m. Search parties had been sent out only on suspicion of a mishap.
Number One.
The Military Air Transport Service said in Washington today's Douglas Liftmaster, was the first fatal accident suffered in five years of operating such craft.
The big plane had seats which faced toward the back of the plane.
It was reported in Washington the rescuers attempting to get to the crashed plane had difficulty in bringing vehicles near it because of the wooded area. Victims were carried out by hand.
The plane smashed into a pine forest three miles from the end of the runway and scattered wreckage over a half-mile area. It did not burn.
The wreckage apparently was signted first from the air and ground rescue parties were rushed to the scene.
Lightning, storm and blinding rain turned the scene into a quagmire.
Mililtary ambulances, buses and trucks were dispatched to the area from here and McGuire.
Companies of foot soldiers, carrying axs, entrenching tools, and other gear, waded knee deep and hip deep through swamp water to get to the site.
Bulldozers were used to clear a path to the wreckage for doctors and nurses.
The plane had cut its own swath through the pine trees, smashed apart and rolled on its side. Parts of the ship, including wings, motors and other metal parts were scattered back through the woods for a half-mile.
Half a dozen communities in the area sent first aid squads to help the military.
Another Air Force spokesman said a casualty list would be issured as soon as the next of kin are notified.
He said there was a two-hour delay in reporting the crash because no one was sure the plane had gone down.
McGuire, a huge base adjacent to this Army post, was formally dedicated less than a year ago and described at the time as destined to become one of the greatest international airports in the world.

The Daily Record East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania 1956-07-14

Continued on Page 2.


Ft Dix,NJ Military Plane Crash July,1956

Report by Stu Beitler

If you would like pictures and newspaper photos of the plane crash along with a correct accounting of how the crash was first reported
please send a e-mail address to info will be sent for your review.

Ft Dix,NJ Military Plane Crash July,1956

Stu Beitler,
The article reports that "Search parties had been sent out only on suspicion of a mishap"
The report that the plane had crashed, was given by Pvt Thomas Kiley. The news articles attached
to your updated report will confirm this.

Hi, I would like to get in

Hi, I would like to get in touch with any survivors or their family members of this plane crash. My grandmother, Thersea Galman was one of the fatalities and I would like any information.

Ft Dix,NJ Military Plane Crash July,1956

I was a 21 year old Army draftee stationed at Ft. Dix, N.J. when this accident occurred in 1956. At the time, our Company was on what was then known as "D-force" (Disaster Force) - which was a temporary 2 week Company assignment to be used in case of a disaster and we had the responsibility of mobilizing a rescue and recovery team and was sent out to the accident site. From what I remember, it was a survivor of the crash that stumbled out of the swampy pine forest and found a nearby highway and hailed down a passing vehicle to tell them of what had just happened. I was one of many drivers of what was then known as a deuce and a half truck. My assignment was to help in the retrieval of bodies and transport them to a temporary morgue and then eventually return to the scene and assist in guarding the site. Until the Engineers arrived to bulldoze a path through the forest and line the path with cut-down pine trees to make what was known as a "corduroy road", soldiers from my company walked in through the waist deep swamp water which wreaked from the smell of aviation fuel and carried out survivors.

7/13/1956 Ft. McGuire plane crash

Our family friend, Lt. Gerald Proudlove, was piloting this plane. He did not survive. Would appreciate more information if you have it.

Ft.Dix, NJ Military plane crash-July 13,1956

My name is Tom Kiley. I am a survivor of the July 1956 ft. Dix military plane crash. The newspaper article reporting as to how and when the crash was reported is not correct.What happened that day was as follows:After freeing myself from the wreckage,I made my way through the woods,which was tough because my leg and pelvis was messed up.It seemed like a long time until I came out on a dirt road and started making my way as best I could. I saw a vehicle about 50-80 yards ahead. The driver,who I found out later, was Spc. Rudolph Johnson, who was making a mail run. I told him the plane crashed and help was needed. He drove me to the base hospital and told the Doctors about the crash. Up to that point in time the only ones who knew the plane had crashed where the survivors.It has always been my hope that my effort had helped in saving some of the survivors.
If any survivors or their family contact your web site looking for information, please have them contact me.

Thank You

Tom Kiley

The Crash

Being the other Oklahoman on board, I survived seated at the forward bulkhead in the rear-facing passenger seats (which I believed is what saved me). I was seated with Lt. Henry Morris. The nine people nearest to us did not survive. Found outside of the aircraft, I think that I was the first, or one of the first, carried from the crash site to the hospital.
I was a navigator and accustomed to the sounds of an aircraft. It sounded to me as if the pilots did all they could trying to overcome what the weather had to us.
I heard, but cannot confirm, that Lt. Proudlove was still strapped to his seat outside the C-118. He passed shortly after he told rescuers that he was courier for some classified material which was under his seat. May he rest in peace.
The Tulsa Tribune had a headline "Oklahoma Airman Injured; Sooner Killed." Because I had attended Univ. of Okla, many friends and acquaintences assumed that I was the "Sooner Killed".

Charles B. Carsten(survivor)

As a fellow survivor,I would like to share with you what I have about that day. I have been touch with
Ernest Clemmons (survivor) our conversation about what happened that day was good for both of us.
Please contact. Thank You

For Gemma Mcgarvie

Gemma, I can't believe this. Theresa Galman was the very name I was looking for when I tried to find some reference to this accident. Could you please email me at
Dave Townson.

Gemma please email me at

Gemma please email me at or on Facebook about your grandmother.

David Townson.

article | by Dr. Radut