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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oviedo in Seminole County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Navy Plane Crash/Jim Jones: An Eyewitness

 
 
Navy Plane Crash Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, August 11, 2021
1. Navy Plane Crash Side of Marker
Inscription.  
Navy Plane Crash
January 15, 1962. Lt. Charles Hodgate, Delton Wilson, John Bush, and Horace Marks struggled to get their A3D-2 Skywarrior plane airborne. Sanford NAS cleared them for take-off on a bombing run, but the tail bumper, starboard engine, and wingtip dragged, leaving marks for 2150 ft. The order came to lower landing gear, dump fuel, and turn east to avoid Orlando. Wilson then reported the starboard engine-fire warning light was on. Two A3J aircraft joined the A3D and confirmed the engine fire. Skimming the treetops while losing altitude, the Oviedo School lay directly in the flight path. An immediate bailout was ordered. Delton Wilson parachuted out and survived, but the the plane's escape chute mechanism failed. As children watched, the plane fell short of the school and crashed into Ward Citrus Grove, exploding and killing pilot Charles Hodgate, John Bush, and Horace Marks.

Jim Jones: An Eyewitness
"In 1962, I was a high school junior sitting in Jack Calvert's English class looking out into a crystal-clear sky when I saw three planes skimming the tree tops heading directly towards the school.
Jim Jones: An Eyewitness Marker Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, August 11, 2021
2. Jim Jones: An Eyewitness Marker Side of Marker
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The two planes on each side peeled away and a parachute appeared under the planes, dropping rapidly to earth. The middle airplane rose vertically, cartwheeled sideways to the right. I could see the underbelly of the plane as it summersaulted nose-down into Ward Citrus Grove. As the enormous fireball rose up, I hoped the people inside would make it. Business teacher Novella Aulin came into the classroom and asked me to drive her car over to check on Myrt and W.A. Ward, who were living near the grove. I was the first to arrive at the crash site and I could feel the intensity of the heat from the aluminum plane burning. I knew immediately there could be no survivors."
 
Erected 2021 by Seminole County Historical Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceDisasters. A significant historical date for this entry is January 15, 1962.
 
Location. 28° 39.989′ N, 81° 12.759′ W. Marker is in Oviedo, Florida, in Seminole County. Marker is at the intersection of Clark Street and Lake Jessup Avenue, on the right when traveling east on Clark Street. The Cross Seminole Trail crosses through this intersection also and the marker can be easily read from it. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 281 Veracliff Ct, Oviedo FL 32765, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lawton House (approx. ¼ mile away); Oviedo
Navy Plane Crash/Jim Jones: An Eyewitness Marker looking west Clark Street and Cross Seminole Trail image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, August 11, 2021
3. Navy Plane Crash/Jim Jones: An Eyewitness Marker looking west Clark Street and Cross Seminole Trail
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Lake Charm (approx. 1.2 miles away); Slavia (approx. 1.8 miles away); Lake Jesup (approx. 2.7 miles away); White’s Wharf (approx. 2.8 miles away); Jamestown (approx. 3 miles away); Winter Springs Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oviedo.
 
Navy Plane Crash/Jim Jones: An Eyewitness Marker image. Click for more information.
By Tim Fillmon, August 11, 2021
4. Navy Plane Crash/Jim Jones: An Eyewitness Marker
‘I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for these heroes’
Monument honors crew members who died in Oviedo plane crash
Click Orlando website entry
Click for more information.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 73 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.

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Dec. 3, 2021