Silk Hope, NC Golden Knights Transport Plane Crash, Mar 1973
MILITARY PLANE, ON RECRUITING MISSION, CRASHES; 14 KILLED.
Silk Hope, N.C. (AP) -- A special transport plane carrying the Army's Golden Knights stunt parachute team on a recruiting tour crashed into a cornfield today. Military authorities said at least 14 persons perished.
A spokesman at Ft. Bragg, N.C., where the flight originated, said 11 members of the team, two pilots, a crew chief were killed.
The spokesman also said one other person possibly was aboard the plane. There were no survivors.
The black and white C47 transport, a propeller-driven plane of World War II vintage, crashed about 9 a.m., an hour after it left Ft. Bragg en route for a recruiting appearance in Overland Park, Kan.
Residents of this farming area in the central part of the state said they heard the plane just before the crash and its engines sounded erractic.
One of the rescue workers said it looked to him as if the men inside had tried to jump as the plane crashed but that they had used no parachutes.
Unopened parachutes and baggage were strewn about the crash site.
The plane's white body was torn with gaping holes, its wings had been shorn off and its engines were scattered among cornstalks and trees in the wreckage area.
The bodies were scattered for several hundred yards around the wreckage of the plane.
L. M. Petty, Jr., a resident of the area, said he heard the plane's motor "come on and go off" and then heard what sounded like an explosion.
The Golden Knights, the official U.S. Army parachute demonstration unit, was formed in 1957 at Ft. Bragg. They perform 150 to 200 free-fall exhibitions each year.
The unit is composed of two 14-man teams. Eact team consists of nine jumpers, one narrator, one ground controller, one pilot, one copilot and one crew chief.
Mrs. Alfred Newlin of Silk Hope said she saw the plane as it flew over her house before it crashed.
"It came over our house from the south, and it sounded like a plane going down. I went out and looked up in the air. There was a lot of fog, and visibility was very poor. I saw it whirling with its nose down. A few seconds later I heard it crash," she said.
Mrs. Newlin said the crash site was about one-third of a mile north of her home. She said she found Golden Knights promotional pamphlets and what appeared to be pieces of insulation from the aircraft in a field near her home after the crash.
NAMES OF VICTIMS RELEASED BY ARMY.
Silk Hope, N.C. (AP) -- The Army has released the names of the following as among the 14 persons aboard a transport plane from Ft. Bragg killed in a crash near here Thursday:
Spec. 5 MICHAEL DEE WASLEY, 25; husband of Mrs. Judith McCardel Wasley, Fayetteville, N.C.; son of Wesley S. Wasley and Mrs. Eugenia A. Williams of Portsmouth, Va.
S. Sgt. BARTLEY LEON BULLINGTON, 36; husband of Mrs. Elisa Bullington, Fayetteville; son of Mrs. Jennie Bullington, Rose Hill, Kansas.
Sgt. FRANCIS PATRICK WELCH, 33; husband of Mrs. Wanda J. Welch, Fayetteville; son of Mr. and Mrs. James F. Welch, Boston, Mass.
Pfc. PAUL DEAN ALBRITTON, 21; husband of Mrs. Julie Schindler Albritton, Fayetteville; son of Mrs. Pauline Albritton, Peoria, Ill.
CWO RICHARD ARTHUR DEL CONTE, 34, Pilot; husband of Mrs. Imogene Griffin Del Conte, Fayetteville; son of Mrs. Mary Del Conte, North Miami, Fla.
S. Sgt. CECIL EMERSON DAVIS, 32; husband of Mrs. Vernice Speight Davis, Fayetteville; son of Mrs. Julia E. Davis, Philadelphia.
S. Sgt. JAMES FRANKLYN RICE, 36; husband of Mrs. Patricia Odell Rice, Ft. Bragg, N.C.; son of Mrs. Naomi O. Rice, Tampa, Fla.
S. Sgt. RAYMOND CLARENCE KINSER, JR., 25; son of Mrs. Helen C. Moman, Springfield, Mo.
S. Sgt. JOSEPH CHARLES BARBARICK, 32; son of Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes A. Barbarick, Terre Haute, Ind.
CWO RODNEY H. PEASE, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard L. Pease, Massapequa, N.Y.
S. Sgt. JOSEPH BYRD PELTER, 39, whose wife, Dorothy, lives in Fayetteville, N.C., and whose mother, Mrs. G. L. Pelter lives on Rogero Road in Jacksonville, Fla.
Sgt. EDWARD MILTON PARRISH, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward E. Parrish, Spring Valley, Calif.
S. Sgt. ROBERT T. WOLFE, 26, son of ROBERT WOLFE, Radnor, Pa.
Sgt. MICHAEL G. BUCKLEY, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. John E. Buckley, Framingham, Mass.
Harrison Daily Times Arkansas 1973-03-08
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!