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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.


Responders to the sight

My dad just recounted the story of this horrific plane crash to my nephew, who is doing a paper on my dad and events in history. He told us how he was one of the responders to the plane crash, as he was stationed at Fort Dix. The memories of what he saw still haunts him to this day. His name is Herbert Ferreira.

plane crash

My dad was a survivor in this crash Robert revens even though misspelled in article as begins from rhode island my father spoke of.crash an always choked up an cried a lot of his.friends did not survive. He kept articles from paper etc an would read them often to remind himself of that day an friends post

plane crash

Hi Tom, My uncle Raymond was killed in the crash. I would like to talk to you about it. Will you please get in touch with me by email? Hope to hear from you. Have a nice day. Donna

plane crash July 13, 1956

My uncle was killed in the crash. I would like to talk to you about it through emails if you would. Donna G

My uncle was on this plane

My uncle was on this plane and was not one of the survivors. His name was Kenneth Miller and was returning from family leave after coming home for his brothers funeral. My grandmother lost two of her sons within two months. If anyone met him or remembers anything about him I would love to hear from you.

SFC. Bob R. Hoover

Hello Mr. Kiley,
I would like to reach out and see if you have any additional information on SFC. Bob R. Hoover. He was not a survivor and I'm having a hard time even finding BIRL records or any govmn't records in that case or where he was buried. He went by Bobby Rae Hoover. I have tried searching for Robert, Rob, Bobby, Bob etc..

Tessa Galman

Hi, yes I'd love to get in contact. Please email me

Ft. Dix N.J. 1956 Plane Crash

At the time of the crash I was an 18 year old army recruit assigned to Mike Co. (I can't remember the battalion, etc.) however Mike co. was doing basic training in the area when the crash took place. And as far as I know we were the first outfit on the scene. A sgt. in my Co. was in fact interviewed on NBC television on one of the following days giving details and explaining our Co's. involvement. We were told to do what you could to help, meaning if you could handle carrying out dead bodies or body parts, then do just that to help. If you couldn't handle that you were ordered to do what you could to help clear an area for a road that would have to be built for trucks and other vehicles. I do remember the area being thick with trees and somewhat swampy to some extent.

Hi, yes I would absolutely

Hi, yes I would absolutely love to get in contact. Could you email me at
Many thanks

Hi, sorry if I sound silly

Hi, sorry if I sound silly so are you Joseph's niece? I would absolutely love to get in contact with you. Could you email me at
Many thanks

article | by Dr. Radut