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Thread: KC135 Accident - Walker AFB (near Roswell NM) Feb 3rd, 1960

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    Senior Member vikingBerserker's Avatar
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    KC135 Accident - Walker AFB (near Roswell NM) Feb 3rd, 1960

    My dad spent 33 years in the USAF and was stationed at Walker AFB near Roswell NM in 1960. He was working Crash and Rescue on the Flight Line while a Pilot In Training was taking off on a training mission flying a fully loaded KC-135A Tanker with 31k gallons of aviation fuel. The official story:

    "The 6th Air Refueling Squadron, flying early-model KC-135A aircraft, was assigned to Walker AFB from 3 January 1958. On 3 February 1960, a "short-tail" (non-hydraulic-power-assisted rudder) KC-135A crashed during takeoff in strong and gusty crosswinds. The pilot failed to maintain directional control, rotated the aircraft 5-10 knots too early and the aircraft settled onto the dirt apron of the runway, shed two engines, plowed through the aircraft parking area and came to rest in an aircraft hangar. This single crash resulted in the destruction of three KC-135 aircraft and the deaths of eight military personnel"



    My dad said the Fire Dept of the town of Roswell responded open seeing the smoke as they thought the entire base was on fire. It took both them and the entire Base's Fire Dept to finally put out the fire. There were very little of the planes left. Below are the pics my dad has:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -crash-1.jpg   -crash-12.jpg  

    -crash-33.jpg   -crash-43.jpg  

    -crash-47.jpg  



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    Senior Member Aaron Brooks Wolters's Avatar
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    WOW! to your dad VB. Interesting story. Thank you for the post.
    Last edited by Aaron Brooks Wolters; 02-27-2010 at 01:29 PM.

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    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    Very Interesting!!!!

    Your dad have more pics of the base during when he served there?
    "Pilot to copilot..... what are those mountain goats doing up here in the clouds?"

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    Senior Member vikingBerserker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syscom3 View Post
    Very Interesting!!!!

    Your dad have more pics of the base during when he served there?
    Yea, but I'm still waiting to get my hands on them. I was expecting pics of his Rescue Chopper but was sent these instead - which I'd never seen at all before. I'll post more soon hopefully.



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    Senior Member RabidAlien's Avatar
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    Dang. 31,000 gallons of fuel....that's gonna take a while to put out!


    Pillage, then burn.

    Argue not with dragons, for thou art crunchy and go well on toast.

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    Senior Member B-17engineer's Avatar
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    Wow! Great story VB!

    Are you sureeeeee it was UFO's though

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    Senior Member wheelsup_cavu's Avatar
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    Great pictures VB.


    Wheels

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikingBerserker View Post
    My dad spent 33 years in the USAF and was stationed at Walker AFB near Roswell NM in 1960. He was working Crash and Rescue on the Flight Line while a Pilot In Training was taking off on a training mission flying a fully loaded KC-135A Tanker with 31k gallons of aviation fuel. The official story:

    "The 6th Air Refueling Squadron, flying early-model KC-135A aircraft, was assigned to Walker AFB from 3 January 1958. On 3 February 1960, a "short-tail" (non-hydraulic-power-assisted rudder) KC-135A crashed during takeoff in strong and gusty crosswinds. The pilot failed to maintain directional control, rotated the aircraft 5-10 knots too early and the aircraft settled onto the dirt apron of the runway, shed two engines, plowed through the aircraft parking area and came to rest in an aircraft hangar. This single crash resulted in the destruction of three KC-135 aircraft and the deaths of eight military personnel"

    My dad said the Fire Dept of the town of Roswell responded open seeing the smoke as they thought the entire base was on fire. It took both them and the entire Base's Fire Dept to finally put out the fire. There were very little of the planes left. Below are the pics my dad has:
    Love this article, it has been 50 years since this happened. My dad,Tech.Sgt. Carlton Price, was in the hanger when the crash occured and he was blown from the hangar and flown to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio with 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 55 per cent of his body where he died on March 17, 1960. I would love to see any more pictures that you have.

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    Member Dans65's Avatar
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    Thanks VB,
    I would love to see more pictures myself. I used to work on KC-135Rs in the beginning of 2k and on one support msn in the C-141, we went to that base (now Roswell Industrial Air Park) as a overnight stopover and got a really great tour of the town and facility. I was wondering if you know exactly where this hangar was, and what runway it came down on. Now when I was on the crash & recovery team with my unit, we had afew incidences that was (not aircraft error) steered off the runway on both take-off & landing rolls...I guess I'm the cat who got curious about this. There is a back-up hydraulic system for emergency brake pressure that only the co-pilot can control. Once the switch is thrown on the control panel in front of the co-pilots seat. He alone has the power to stop, but, the bad side of this is, no anti-brakes, which means, wheels are going to lock up hard. And if it was me under those conditions, I'll be in that hangar with those brave men as well.

    JP, my deepest condolences for your father's passing back then, and I want to thank you (for him) for serving our country during the cold war. We were close to a nuclear war more than the public really knows.

    Thanks again for posting this thread, I hope I didn't overstep my bounds here.

    Dan

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    Glock Perfection Matt308's Avatar
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    Not whatsoever, Dan. Good post.

    "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if
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    does anyone remember

    I had an uncle there. I was told he pulled out men from the third hanger but as he returned for the last few, that hanger blew. I have hit brick walls for three years. His name was Raymond Wesley Brooks and I am trying to get a metal for his two boys who were infants at the time. They are great men now and they both build churches in Romania with the profits from their business. I would love some help if any one can remember.

  12. #12
    Senior Member vikingBerserker's Avatar
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    to your uncle younger, I checked with my dad and he did nto recognize the name. I wish you the best in luck for getting though as he certainly deserves it.



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    I was very surprised to find this information concerning the KC-135 Crash of Feb 1960. I was a young 19 year old Airmen stationed at Walker AFB at the time of this crash. I worked in the building directly across the street from the Hanger that was hit by the KC-135. The section I worked in was the 6th Bomb Wing Supply Group. I remember the crash quite well. We all exited our building from the back side which luckily was very near the Gate entrance to the flight line. The first picture of the crash that is posted here shows what I beleive is the back side of the Hanger that faced our building. The reason I think it is the back side is that when we first consolidated all the wing supply groups from the squadron level in 1959 our part of the Wing Supply group was located in the top of that hanger. We used to climb those stairs that are shown up to our work area. After a few months we moved over to the building across the street. I have often thought that if it were not for us moving and the fact of that Hanger blocking us the KC-135 might have continued on into our old WW2 Type Wooden Building across the street. Back in 1998 I wrote the Air Force for information about this crash. They provided me with what was the actual aircraft accident investigation report. Although some of it was blacked out it was interesting to read. Walker AFB near that point had started to become a combat training base for KC-135 and B-52 crews. The pilot flying the plane that day was a student pilot with an instructor pilot plus three other crew members. The reason for the crash as I remember was that the pilot lost control during takeoff due to high crosswinds. The other KC-135's he hit before hitting the Hanger were located near or in the 6th Air Refeuling Squadron area. That was my first encounter with a magnesium fire. I can still remember the thick white smoke coming from the burning planes. I was able to locate what I think is the crash area by viewing the Roswell Industrial Air Center using Google Earth. I was also able to locate the old barracks I used to live in that is now a civilian housing area. I have some photos and a newspaper clipping from the crash that I will try to post at a later time.

    Vince

    USAF 1958-1962
    Walker AFB, NM 1959-1961
    Indian Mt. AFS, AK 1961-1962
    Last edited by Vince59; 08-20-2010 at 11:22 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member vikingBerserker's Avatar
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    Very cool Vince! and welcome aboard!



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    Senior Member Aaron Brooks Wolters's Avatar
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    That is an interesting addition to this thread. Welcome to the forum Vince and thank you for your service sir.

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