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Wichita Falls, TX Tornado, Apr 1964 - Twister Slams Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls TX 1964 tornado 1.jpg Wichita Falls TX 1964 tornado 2.jpg

7 Killed As Twister Slams Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls, Tex – UPI – A killer tornado dipped down out of a clear sky yesterday and churned a 15-minute path of death and destruction through Sheppard Air Force Base and two residential areas.

It killed seven persons, injured 68 and caused an estimated $1.5 MILLION IN PROPERTY DAMAGE.

THE DEAD were Albert MILLER, 75; Mrs. Dawson MINEAR; Mrs. Carl E. HOEFFGER, 58; Ernest CASWELL, 55; Mr. Rena CASWELL; Mrs. Hazel Rea COLLINS, 35, and a woman identified as Mrs. HARTAY.

Gov. John CONNALLY ordered 100 national Guardsmen to protect wrecked and damaged homes from looting.
At least 200 homes were destroyed.

At the air base, the funnel tore up an old Air Force hospital and a clinic, both empty at the time, and missed a new $5 million hospital.

AFTER THE twister passed through the base, it hit the El Fey trailer park nearby, destroying or damaging 20 trailers. The Lincoln Heights housing area also was hit.

A railroad boxcar was lifted about 100 yards and dumped on top of the ruins of a house. A car with two women in it was lifted up by the twister and dropped a block and a half away. The women were unharmed.

IN ST. LOUIS, a tornado-like wind, hail and rainstorm last night left one man presumed dead and at least $2.5 million in damages, authorities said.

The 80-to-100 mile per hour winds ripped off roof tops and crumbled building walls in south St. Louis.

Cold air which has plagued the northern two-thirds of the nation continued a slow march southward today, bringing snow flurries, strong winds and freezing rain.

Snow flurries swirled by strong winds impeded travel in the Northeast. A severe thunderstorm and an unconfirmed tornado ripped through an area near Graham, Tex., some 70 miles west of Fort Worth.

Tucson Daily Citizen, Tucson, AZ 4 Apr 1964


I was there. I was nine and

I was there. I was nine and watched it from the back door of my trailer.

1964 Tornado

I was there--an eight year old just home from school minutes before the tornado destroyed our Sunset Terrace home.

Hooper Strret

I was there, lived on Hooper in lincoln heights near train tracks, saw that freight car! I was in 1st grade we used to talk about a can at Virgil's liquor store that had a stick running through it from the tornado.

This was a monster F5 with winds up to 300 mph

I was 8 years old and attended Mrs. Loveless 3rd grade classroom at Jefferson Elementary. The school knew bad weather was coming but not just how bad it was going to be. They sent the 1st to 3rd grade kids out that day at 2:30pm with the instructions to go straight home to our own mothers at our own houses and not stop anywhere. We kids lived at the height of the cold war and a lot of imagined the USSR was coming over to fight our United States Air Force. The previous October was the Cuban missle crisis. We all decided our Air Force out at Shepard would kick the Russian's butt and there was nothing to worry about. I had an older sibling at the school. The big kids in the 4th to 6th grade didn't get out until 3:30pm. By that time the weather was so bad they kept them at school and would not let anyone leave. On the way home I remember the sound of the wind way up in the sky. It sounded like jets but nothing was flying. The sky looked wierd that day. After I got home we could see the tornado on the outskirts of town going right to Shepard AFB.
This was a terrible F5 or what many of you know as an EF5 tornado. There were brick buildings shredded like they were made of sand. After the tornado the Air Force just bull dozed up the mess at Shepard and made repairs in a short time. I remember 7 people dying in the tornado. A F5 does some wierd things. There were plenty of stories. Fifteen years and one week to the day later the town was hit with another one and a half mile wide monster F4. This tornado did killed many more people and did a lot more damage.

I was there I was 3 months old

My mom said a tornado hit our mobile home around April 1964 a few other homes were destroyed by it. My step-dad was based at Shepard AFB. We scrambled down into the storm cellar and when came up our home was gone.

I was there. I was 10 years

I was there. I was 10 years old and attended the Middle School by Kpart housing area of the Air Base. We sat in the hall of the school and sang songs until the tornado passed by. Afterwards we were released from school to go home. There was debris everywhere about an inch thick. Does anyone know what the strength rating of this storm was? I would be interested to know what category storm that was. It seemed monsterous at the time.

I was there and just 7

I was there and just 7 years, I was at one of the Base Chapels at Sheppard AFB and took cover under the pews with one of my brothers who was 9 and there was a lady praying and speaking in tounges the tornado came our way and gained altitude and flew over the Chapel and pulled some pieces from portions of the roof. We looked after it went by and there were several small funnels outside departing and leaving us all clear. They were so small, although taller than me, they looked like it would be fun to play in them, because the were not high off the ground free of dangerous objects and could just pick you up and throw you arounjd a little bit. I knew there was no danger to them and the thought of playing in them came to me. Unfortunately, now that I am older and in pain a lot of the time I don't think I would care to play in them anymnore, perhaps if the were rigged for therapy. (smile)

1964 tornado

I was in school at Sheppard Elementary School on base. We took cover under our desk. When we went home our neighborhood was gone!!! I was in 3rd grade at the time.

1964 Witchita Falls Tornado

I was also there At Sheppard Elementary. I was in 7th grade. We saw the tornado pass through the subdivision next to Capehart Housing then on through the base. After it was over we rode our bikes home and it was raining paper and dirt. We thought it was all great fun until we got home and all the mom's were crying. We all went down to the main gate to wait for our fathers to come home. No one knew if they were alive. We were restricted to the base housing but some of us kids went down and climbed the fence and walked through the path. I will never forget the damage. The old wood frame hospital was totally flattened. The piles of rubble were still there when we moved away.

This tornado destroyed the

This tornado destroyed the Sheppard hospital where I was born. We had just left just a few months earlier as Dad got stationed to Clark AFB, Philippines. I was only 3 years old at the time.

article | by Dr. Radut