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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sweetwater in Nolan County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Site of U.S. Army Air Corps Plane Crash

(0.6 Miles East)

 
 
Site of U.S. Army Air Corps Plane Crash Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, January 20, 2015
1. Site of U.S. Army Air Corps Plane Crash Marker
Inscription. At 6:05 A.M. on Friday, April 20, 1945, twenty-five Army Air Corps officers and enlisted men left Midland Army Air Field in a C-47 transport plane en route to Berry Army Air Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The flight crew consisted of the pilot, First Lieutenant James A. Bailey; the co-pilot, Captain John R. Rawls; and the flight engineer, Sergeant William H. Edwards. It was Sergeant Edwards’ 36th birthday. Included among the passengers were eight officers and fourteen enlisted men.
     Two Sweetwater cab drivers spotted the plane on fire in mid-air. They notified their dispatcher, who alerted authorities at nearby Avenger Field. A crash landing message came from the plane itself at 6:30 A.M. Another C-47 flying just a few minutes behind the doomed aircraft never encountered a problem. After the crash, parts of the plane were found on a straight line almost two miles from the crash site.
     By 10:00 A.M. most of the bodies of the victims had been recovered from the smoldering wreckage and taken to funeral homes in Abilene and Sweetwater. The soldiers, whose ages ranged from 20 to 37, were buried in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C.
     Ten days after the crash, the Army Air Corps Aircraft Accident
Site of U.S. Army Air Corps Plane Crash Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, January 20, 2015
2. Site of U.S. Army Air Corps Plane Crash Marker
View to east across State Highway 70
Classification Board met to determine its cause. It was the opinion of the regional safety officer that the craft had encountered a thunderstorm with only one of its two engines running, putting the plane into a roll. The plane’s 4,000 hours of flight time, mainly spent towing gliders, probably caused a weakness in the tail and contributed to its disintegration in severe turbulence.
 
Erected 2000 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12124.)
 
Location. 32° 24.951′ N, 100° 23.344′ W. Marker is near Sweetwater, Texas, in Nolan County. Marker is on State Highway 70 0.9 miles north of Farm to Market Road 1856, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sweetwater TX 79556, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Trammell House (approx. 2.8 miles away); Sweetwater Cemetery (approx. 3.4 miles away); W.A.S.P. Training Base: Avenger Field (approx. 5˝ miles away); Women Airforce Service Pilots (approx. 5.9 miles away); Roscoe Cemetery (approx. 8.4 miles away); The Bankhead Highway (approx. 9 miles away); George Parks (approx. 9 miles away); Roscoe Veterans Memorial (approx. 9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sweetwater.
 
Categories. Air & SpaceDisastersWar, World II
 
General Area of Plane Crash Site image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, January 20, 2015
3. General Area of Plane Crash Site
View to east from marker location
View to North from State Highway 70 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, January 20, 2015
4. View to North from State Highway 70
View to South from State Highway 70 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, January 20, 2015
5. View to South from State Highway 70
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 26, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 428 times since then and 104 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 26, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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