Good info Vince.
Good info Vince.
I was very surprised to find this crash when I googled WalkerAFB. My father was a navigator on the B-52, 40th Bomb Sqdn. I was 14 at the time and remember the crash. The weather was terrible that day with strong winds. I just remember seeing the Base Chaplin along with a couple other officers make that dreaded visit to the family of one of the flight crew members down the street. Visited the base a couple of years ago and drove past where the hanger once stood. There was a 747 and several other aircraft parked on the site undergoing some restoration/salvage work. Vince, you are right, Google Earth shows the flightline where the hanger stood. Stands out because there were 3 or 4 similar hangers with a gap between them and a similar foundation. That was a very, very sad day...
Air Force Brat
Great site! Just joined
Thanks for sharing that, and welcome aboard Duncan.
Similar experience. B-47 crashes on base at Pease AFB, 1960-1963, 100th Bomb Wing. We lived at 31 Birch Drive in base housing. On two occasions there were terrible explosions and the night sky lit up. On both occasions my Pop was due home from what they called Reflex Missions to Brize Norton AB, England. They were sent out and came home in a Vee formation of three aircraft. Both times my Mom shot to the phone and called base operations to see who crashed. My Pop wasn't one of them but she would begin to cry because she learned which of her friends lost their husbands. We, as kids (I was 8 years old) learned which of our friends lost their Pops and knew they would move away. My Mom absolutely hated the military never saying one kind word about it. That early jet age killed many of her friend's husbands due to accidents and she lived in constant fear of my Pop being one of the statistics. Twenty years of living in fear like that are seldom chronicled in military journals. Military wives and families are different kinds of veterans, but veterans nonetheless.
There were subsequent investigations of the above crashes, which I learned the results of years later from my Pop, with the key findings that, 1) Fast jet bombers required the skills of fighter pilots with regard to reaction times and keeping their heads out in front of the (high speed) airplanes. Transitioning reciprocating engine pilots should be transitioned in T-33s before moving to the new bombers and, 2) At the time pilots were ordered to follow the commands of tower controllers who were not trained in the controller procedures for that particular high performance jet bomber, their higher approach speeds and slower power (turbine spool up times) recovery for aborting. A controller directed one aircraft onto the "runway" on one fogged-in night. The "runway" was, in reality, the base golf course. IOW, it crashed short of the runway killing all 3 crew members. The investigation determined that due to the conditions of that night the pilot could not have recovered.
I remember seeing the burned out wreckage of one in the base golf course the morning after.
Wow, that's a great story Sweb! and God bless the spouses of the Military, there is no harder job.
The wives and families of serving military past and present are seldom thought of it seems and they should be for they are also giving a lot. Thank you for the post Sweb and Duncan.
I was stationed at Walker as a Jet Engine mechanic assigned to the 6th Field Maintenance Squadron and was discharged the morning that this happened. Just as I was clearing the main gate that morning in my car I heard the explosion and could see the smoke from the fire in my rear view mirror. I believe the hanger you see in the above pictures was where I worked as it was the biggest hanger in that area and housed all engine maintenence personel. I was assigned to the Unit Conditioning section and our office/work room was on the outside of the hanger adjacent to the aircraft parking area. I believe the small entrance you can see in the first photo is where we would go in and out of the hanger.
Wow, what a way to end the day!
Last edited by vikingBerserker; 06-04-2013 at 11:32 AM.
Was the photo of the hangar crash scene the "big" hangar at the west end of the field that could accomodate B52's ? DCM and DCMT located in the hangar ?
I wondered if anyone remembered the KC-135 incident. I was a firefighter when that happened. We had two shifts A & B. A shift was on duty when the crash occurred. I was on B shift and we responded right away. I was at the hanger in your photo and may be one of the firefighters in the photograph. There was a firefighter named Brooks but he was known as Joel E. Brooks from South Carolina and was with us on B shift. Great article and thanks for remembering.
to your uncle and his family Mr. Dollar.
Last edited by Aaron Brooks Wolters; 04-25-2011 at 09:04 PM.
I am looking for information on a young airman that was stationed at Walker at that time named Arthur Heaney. I don't have a lot of information, but know he was there between 1959-1960 at least. His buddies included a big Pole named Ron (nicknamed Pollock) and Mike Durbin (?).
Any information would be greatly appreciated!