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KC135 Accident - Walker AFB (near Roswell NM) Feb 3rd, 1960
|Post-War Discuss KC135 Accident - Walker AFB (near Roswell NM) Feb 3rd, 1960 in the Other Eras forums; VB - I too was there as a J-57 Jet Engine mechanic. At the time of the crash I was ...|
VB - I too was there as a J-57 Jet Engine mechanic. At the time of the crash I was in a base classroom taking the exams for Aviation Cadet and OCS entry. Yes, the winds on that clear day were gusting to almost 40 knots. When I heard the boom from the JP4 cooking off, i ran outside and looked toward the departure runway. Those KC135's left a lot of black smoke at max power, and I could tell fro teh position of th esmoke above the building tops that teh aircraft had tried to come off too early and stalled. First on the number 4 engine, knocking it off its' mounts, which caused the aircraft to roll left and headed directly for the maintenance hanger where there were approximately 50 of my mates working on engine rebuilds. The aircraft careened and caught the number 1 engine on the ground, broke free and jetted toward one of our mechanics on a tug. When he saw the engine coming at him, he jumped from the tug just in time - the engine hit the tug and exploded. At that same moment the aircraft recovered enough to vere starboard and as it plowed into three other completely loaded KC135's on the Ramp, exploding them as well, the aircraft rammed into the hangr next door (The first picture of your fathers that shows the burning hanger). An ocean wave of burning fuel consumed everything on the ramp (yes there were some individuals in cars on the ramp that died from the burning fuel) the three KC135's, cars, and the hanger where it came to rest. BTW there was a parachute training class of some 15 - 25 men being conducted upstairs. They too perished. Besides the eight flight crew, there were closer to 40 who died that day. The next day I saw where the Major, a navigator had died on the ramp outside our hanger (his major insignia had melted on the ground from his flight suit). Such a terrible disaster. Yes -- I did pass my exams and became an Officer, and a Flight Navigator during my 12 year history with the USAF. Regards, Gary