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Fatal Coast Guard Aircraft Accidents

In the course of doing research for other military aircraft crashes, we noted that the Coast Guard is one branch of the service that is often over looked. We wanted to remedy that.

But in addition to recording the incident, we also want to try to put faces with the names on this page. We are in the process of doing extensive research in an effort to tell the story behind each of these crashes. If you have any personal information about any of the people involved or are yourself a survivor of one of these crashes we'd like to hear from you.

From the arctic ice to the jungles of Vietnam, on this page we commemorate Coast Guard aviators, aircrews and others who lost their lives while serving the United States of America. 

Click below for detailed stories about selected crashes

The Last Flight of C.T.Thrun
Lethal Rescue Mission
Deadly Training Crash
Mercy Flight Ends in Death
Tragedy at the Farallons
Death on Blyn Mt
Kingfisher Crash off Calif.
The Disappearance of Flight 86
PBY Patrol Crash
Adak PBY Crash
Fall Remains a Mystery
Crash in Greenland
Eastwind's J2F Crash
PBY Mountain Crash
Neglect Equals Death
Westwind's HTL Crash
Armed Forces Day Crash
Funeral Plane Crash
Fatal Test Flight
Rescue off China
Crash of Jolly Green 23
Mt Mars HU-16 Crash
Alaskan HH-3F Crash

This page last updated
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Listings with an * indicate photos of the actual aircraft involved in the crash.

If you have any info or photos of any of the people or aircraft involved in any of this crashes,  we would like to hear from you. Please email us at .

Credits Page
 

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Date of incident: 29 May 1934

Crash related deaths:
Harry L. Sexton, US Collector of Customs at San Antonio, Texas

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Air Detachment San Antonio, Texas

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Curtiss Falcon Mailplane*, (Former U.S. Customs No.2576)

Location of the incident: Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas

Description of the incident:
Lt Clarence F. Edge, commander of the Air Patrol Detachment at Dodd Field, had taken off in a former Custom's airplane from Fort Bliss, El Paso. Shortly afterwards, the engine developed problems and Lt. Edge elected to return to the field. While landing the plane, it hit a rough spot on the field and nosed over into a sand hill. Gasoline from the wing tank began to leak and soon thereafter the plane was engulfed in flames. Lt Edge jumped from the rear cockpit and tried to pull the unconscious Sexton from the plane. Lt. Edge was severely burned on his face and arms from the gasoline feed fire before two others were able to pull him away from the burning plane. Lt Edge spent several weeks in the Fort Bliss Army Hospital recovering from his injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Date of incident: 19 January 1935

Crash related deaths:
CHGUN [Warrant] & NAP Charles T. Thrun, (CG Aviator #3)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Cape May, N.J.

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JF-2 Duck*, 162 (V136)

Location of the incident: Cape May, NJ

Description of the incident:
"Chief Gunner Charles T. Thrun, USCG, attached to the Cape May Air Station, was killed when his plane nose dived into the bay.  Aviation Motor Machinist's Mate Kermit Parker, the only other occupant of the plane, escaped serious injury.  Thrun's body was recovered from the plane by Lieutenant Richard L. Burke, after several attempts of diving beneath the icy waters.  By the time Thrun was recovered, he had been under for nearly one-half hour.  Every effort was made to resuscitate Gunner Thrun but after 7 1/2 hours he was pronounced dead.  Burial was held at Arlington with full military honors on January 24, 1935.  Secretary Henry Morgenthau and the Commandant RADM Harry Hamlet sent a message of sympathy to the widow." 

Click here to read more about the crash

 

 

 

 

Charles T. Thrun



Date of incident: 15 June 1936

Crash related deaths:
LT Charles Martin Perrott (CG Aviator #38)
AMM1 William Dovian Eubank
RMC Walter Oliver Morris

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Petersburg, FL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JF-2 Duck, 168 (V142)

Location of the incident: Tampa Bay, FL

Description of the incident:
Two teenagers went on a fishing trip into Tampa Bay and failed to return by nightfall. Worried relatives notified the Operations Center at Coast Guard St. Pete Air Station and requested assistance.  Patrol boat CG-193 got under way to be in position to begin searching at day break.

At first light the next morning the aircraft took off to search for the missing boys.  Several hours later the two were located in their small boat which they had tied to a range light off Pinellas Point.  Radioing back this information the aircrew circled over the range light, while directing CG-193 to the scene.

Suddenly, while in a right turn over the scene, the aircraft plunged into the water at a high speed, and all three crew members were killed instantly.  The aircraft sank, but the men's bodies were later recovered and returned to the air station.


Date of incident: 24 September 1936

Crash related deaths:
RMC & NAP Russell S. Banker
  Also killed in the crash was:
    
Navy Aviation Machinist Mate Third Class Paige L. McElroy 

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
TAD from Air Station Biloxi, to CG Engine School & Repair Station Norfolk, VA

Aircraft type and tail number:
Vought O2U4 Corsair*, A8351 (Navy aircraft assigned to NAS Norfolk, VA)

Location of the incident: Norfolk Engine School, VA

Description of the incident:
RMC R. S. Banker were assigned to CGAS Biloxi.  He was a 1935 graduate of the Navy's Aviation Pilots Course in Pensacola.  He was taking the machinist's mate course while attached to the Coast Guard Engine School and Repair Base in Norfolk, Virginia.  While attached to the Engine School he died as a result of injuries he sustained in an airplane crash in the Norfolk area.


Date of incident: 5 December 1936

Crash related deaths:
LT Luke Christopher (CG Aviator #16)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Cape May, NJ

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Douglas RD-2 Dolphin, V111 "ADHARA" *

Location of the incident: Near Assateague, Virginia

Description of the incident:
"Lieutenant Christopher was on an errand of mercy when his death occurred.  He had been ordered from the Cape May Air Station to pick up a sick man in Assateague Harbor from an Assateague surfboat.  He picked up the patient to transport him to the Norfolk Hospital, but crashed on take-off; and died shortly after.  The sick man [who survived the crash] was later transported to the hospital at Salisbury, Maryland."  [As reported in Coast Guard Magazine, January, 1937, p. 8].


Date of incident: 14 September 1938

Crash related deaths:
LT William Schissler (CG Aviator #22)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Attached to the Army Air Corps Technical School, Chanute Field, Illinois

Aircraft type and tail number:
North American BC-1 (Army Air Corps aircraft)

Location of the incident: In a clover field near Henning, IL

Description of the incident:
Lt. Schissler was attached to the Army Air Corps Technical School in Chanute Field, Illinois.  While conducting a training mission, Lt. Schissler experienced difficulty in "finding his bearings in squally weather. The plane crashed while Lt. Schissler was attempting to make a forced landing in a field. 
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 19 December 1938

Crash related deaths:
LT Perry Smithson Lyons (CG Aviator #29)
ENS Clyde H. Teague, Jr.
AMM1 Rupert H. Germaine
CPL George C. Latham, US Army (passenger)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Air Patrol Detachment El Paso, TX

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Waco J2W, V157

Location of the incident: Boerne, Texas - 30 miles north of San Antonio, Texas

Description of the incident:
The aircraft left El Paso about 4 p.m. on Monday, 19 December 1938, bound for Houston.  It crashed in flames near the town of Boerne at 10 p.m. on Monday night.  The cause of the crash was never determined.


Date of incident: 6 April 1939

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Robert Leven Grantham (CG Aviator #49)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Air Patrol Detachment El Paso, TX

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Waco J2W*, V158

Location of the incident: Texas

Description of the incident:
LTJG R. L. Grantham and three crewmen departed Coast Guard Air Patrol Detachment El Paso enroute to Galveston, Texas.  Shortly after takeoff the airplane encountered a dust storm, high winds, and then icing.  When the icing became too severe he ordered his crew to bail out.  After the last crewman had exited the plane, he too jumped but his parachute caught on a wing and he was carried to his death.

His obituary in the May, 1939 Coast Guard Magazine [page 5] states: "The historic sod of Arlington National Cemetery last month closed over yet another Coast Guard hero.  Lieutenant (j.g.) R. L. Grantham, USCG, flyer.  Not for the first time in recent Coast Guard history has an officer given his life for enlisted men.   Lieutenant Grantham's case left no doubt of his actions and heroism in sending his men to safety while he died at his post.  Caught in a dust storm near Alpine, Texas, the plane was buffeted about by high winds, completely out of control.  Lieutenant Grantham ordered his men to jump.  They did, the three men landing safely.  They were Clifford J. Hudder, James A. Dinan, and Robert S. Paddon.  They realize full well that Lieutenant Grantham died that they might live.  Ages ago it was written in letters to the sky, 'Greater love than this hath no man than that he give his life for his friend.'  There is no finer way to die.  To make sure his men were clear, Grantham stuck at the controls too long.  When he tried to clear the plane it was too late to save his own life.  Married only last May, Lieutenant Grantham's widow at least has the memory of a man whose name will go down in the annals of the Coast Guard and the United States as all officer, all gentleman, and ALL MAN!"

 

 

 

 

Ltjg Robert L Grantham



Date of incident: 15 July 1939

Crash related deaths:
LT William L. Clemmer (CG Aviator #23)
AMM2 (AP) John J. Radan

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Brooklyn, N.Y.

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Hall PH-2*, V164

Location of the incident: At sea, 150 miles southeast of New York City.

Description of the incident:
This crew had just picked up a pneumonia stricken seaman, George Priest, off the ketch Atlantis in their Hall flying boat.  According to witnesses, as the seaplane began its takeoff run, an explosion ripped through the craft and it slammed into the sea.  LT. Clemmer in command of the aircraft, AP Radan who was the pilot/navigator, and George T. Priest died in the crash.  The other five crewman of the aircraft managed to escape the sinking wreckage and were picked up by a boat from the Atlantis.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 18 July 1939

Crash related deaths:
AMM1 (AP) Fred E. Schweining

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Charleston, SC

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JF-2 Duck, V147

Location of the incident: Amelia River, Florida

Description of the incident:
"At 12:45 P.M. on July 18th, another tragedy occurred in the ranks of the Coast Guard when plane V-147, on patrol duty, with Pilot Fred E. Schweining, Thomas S. McKenzie, radio operator, and Frank Dryden, mechanic, taking off in the Amelia River, struck a beacon and crashed in full view of the Coast Guard patrol boat 186, stationed at Fernandina, Florida.  Pilot Schweining was drowned, after every effort had been made to extricate him from the sunken wreckage, first by Dryden, who, while he was injured, submerged himself several times in an effort to extricate Schweining. . .The V-147, on patrol duty, searching for a barge belonging to the Tidewater Construction Company, of Beaufort, had landed at Fernandina for information and chow on the 186 and was to have resumed the search later" [As reported in the Coast Guard Magazine, September, 1939, p. 6].


Date of incident: 18 August 1939

Crash related deaths:
AMM3 James A. Merrick

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
NAS Pensacola, FL

Aircraft type and tail number:
Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-1, USN 0671

Location of the incident: Pensacola, FL

Description of the incident:
AMM3 Merrick, a student pilot, was killed in a mid-air collision at low altitude near Felton Field.  He was attached to Squadron 2.  He had been assigned to flight training from CGAS Biloxi.

Buried at Biloxi National Cemetery, Harrison County, Mississippi, USA
Plot: 2, 4/1


Date of incident: 20 June 1940

Crash related deaths:
AMM3 Herbert Stanley Hale

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Salem, MA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Douglas RD-4 Dolphin, V129 *

Location of the incident: Salem, MA

Description of the incident:
"Coast Guardsman Herbert Stanley Hale, of the Salem Air Station. . .lost his life by drowning while working on a Coast Guard plane." [As reported in Coast Guard Magazine, August, 1940, p. 19.]  His aircraft, piloted by LT George Olson and carrying a Coast Guard inspection party, landed in the waters off Nantucket.  According to a news report, Hale was struck by the aircraft's propeller and was thrown into the water.  His body was never recovered. (While this was not a crash, we list it here as an aircraft incident related death)


Date of incident: 29 September 1940

Crash related deaths:
LT True G. Miller (CG Aviator #21)
SN2 Travis B. Redman

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Petersburg, FL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JF-2 Duck, V145

Location of the incident: Tampa Bay, FL

Description of the incident:
"Lt. Miller with T. B. Redman, seaman 2nd class, took off from the St. Petersburg Air Station Sunday, September 29, on a local night training flight and crashed some time later.  When his amphibian plane did not return to the airport at the expected time, planes and patrol boats were dispatched to search Tampa Bay.  Miller's body, badly mangled, was recovered October 1.  The search continued for Redman." [As reported in Coast Guard Magazine, November, 1940, p. 51].


Date of incident: 7 June 1941

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Donald W. Weller, student pilot

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
NAS Pensacola, FL

Aircraft type and tail number:
Vought SU-3, USMC 9132  

Location of the incident: Pensacola, FL

Description of the incident:
LTJG Donald. W. Weller was killed when his aircraft collided with another plane piloted by Cadet Lawrence J. Long while flying in a group formation over Bayou Grande along the Gulf of Mexico, just north of Chevalier Field. 


Date of incident: 5 August 1941

Crash related deaths:
AMM1 Leonard L. Stonerock
RM1 John C. Gill
AMM1 Fleet D. Hancock

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Francisco, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Douglas RD-4 Dolphin, V126

Location of the incident: Farallon Islands off San Francisco, CA

Description of the incident:
AMM1 L. L. Stonerock was an Aviation Pilot and was the pilot of the RD-4.  They were on a routine patrol off the California coast in foggy conditions.  "Skimming close to the ocean, the amphibian plane, piloted by Stonerock, apparently struck a jutting rock and exploded off Farallon Islands, the Associated Press reported.  Wreckage of the plane, which had been on patrol duty, was found by a minesweeper sent to search for it when regular radio reports ceased to be received. Naval minesweepers found bits of wreckage near the jagged rocks of the island and made identification of the plane from a wing fragment.  The plane had been forced to fly low due to poor visibility."  [As reported in Coast Guard Magazine, September, 1941, p. 36].
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 3 April 1942

Crash related deaths:
AMM2 (AP) Edward T. Werner
RM3 Cecil V. Bratu

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Salem, MA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher,  5777

Location of the incident: Salem, MA

Description of the incident:
While on an Anti Submarine Warfare patrol off Salem, Massachusetts, the aircraft was presumed to have struck the water, possibly during an attack on a German U-boat.  When the aircraft was reported overdue, a search was organized.  A wingtip was eventually recovered but no sign of the crew or any other wreckage was found.


Date of incident: 16 April 1942

Crash related deaths:
LT Robert J. Lafferty (CG Aviator #71)
AMM1 Steven J. Tarapchak
RM1 William A. Boutillier

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Brooklyn, N.Y.

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JRF-3*, V190

Location of the incident: Massachusetts

Description of the incident:
The aircraft departed on a test flight and was diverted to confirm a reported sighting of a submarine southeast of Nantucket.  The weather deteriorated and darkness set in after the aircraft departed the station.  The rain and gathering darkness limited visibility and the aircraft consequently impacted the cliffs on Block Island, killing all on board.


Date of incident: 5 June 1942

Crash related deaths:
AMM2 Richard L. Fisher

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
NAS Pensacola, FL

Aircraft type and tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina #05023

Location of the incident: Gulf of Mexico

Description of the incident:
The aircraft departed NAS Pensacola on a student navigation flight and ASW patrol over the Gulf of Mexico.  At 1025 the pilot sent his position in bearing and distance from a "Point Option" which agreed with his proposed track; this was the last report received from the plane.  When it was determined that the plane was overdue, an extensive search was conducted with negative results. Eight U.S. Navy aviators were also onboard.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 29 November 1942

Crash related deaths:
LT John A. Pritchard (CG Aviator #82)
RM1 Benjamin A. Bottoms
  Also killed in the crash were:
    
Corporal Loran E. Howarth, AAF 

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
CGC Northland

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman J2F-4 Duck, V1640

Location of the incident: Greenland

Description of the incident:
LT Pritchard and his radioman, RM1 Bottoms, departed the CGC Northland in their Duck amphibian to locate and assist the crew of a downed B-17F.  They successfully located the crew, landed and flew two of the survivors back to the cutter.  The next day they returned to the B-17's crash site and recovered one of the crew before worsening weather forced them to leave.  In heavy fog, the aircraft impacted a glacier, killing all three aboard.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 22 March 1943

Crash related deaths:
AMM3 Robert Howard Thompson

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
NAS Pensacola, FL

Aircraft type and tail number:
Vultee SNV-1 Valiant, USN 34225

Location of the incident: Florida

Description of incident:
The aircraft with AMM3 Thompson in command departed NAS Saufley on a training flight to practice landings at nearby Site 8. While making a tight turn the plane went into a spin and crashed, killing Thompson. The weather in the area at the time was excellent.


Date of incident: 6 April 1943

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Frederick L. Westbrook (CG Aviator #66)
LTJG Carl R. Heussy
CAP Earl H. Muyskens
RM1 Thurlow E. Kesner 

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Port Angeles, WA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JRF-2 Goose*, V176

Location of the incident: Olympia, WA

Description of the incident:
While enroute to Seattle during IFR conditions, the aircraft impacted Blyn Mountain.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 9 May 1943

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Dale C. Burroughs, USN

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Francisco, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Vought OS2U-2 Kingfisher, 2270

Location of the incident: San Gregorio Beach, south of San Francisco

Description of the incident:
The aircraft was returning from a routine anti-submarine patrol off the California coast when it crashed into the ocean.  A Stanford university student, Bob Brown, swam from the beach a 1/4 mile to the wreckage to rescue Coast Guard crewman, Henry H. Kind, who had been badly injured, but survived the crash.  
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 1 July 1943

Crash related deaths:
MoMMC Dana W. Heckart

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
NAS Pensacola, FL

Aircraft type and tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina, 04447

Location of the incident: Pensacola, FL

Description of incident:
The pilot was approaching the area for a landing downwind in the center of a rainstorm. Flying beneath the clouds, he proceeded to make a landing rather that turn into the wind. The pilot attempted a power stall landing, hit swells and bounced. On the third bounce the nose was buried into the water causing it to break off. The nose sank immediately while the rest of the plane remained afloat. The accident investigation board found the pilot, LTJG John W. Nichols, at fault for the accident. Their report stated, "The accident might have been averted had the pilot waited for the storm to pass or flown along the shores to a clear area. A downwind landing in a 25 knot wind in a rainstorm with poor visibility is at the least very hazardous." The body of Heckart was never found.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 18 July 1943

Crash related deaths:
LCDR George O. Olson (CG Aviator #53)
CDR Harry A. Bolles, USN
LCDR Edward L Carpenter, Jr. USNR
ENS Joe A. Sosbee, USC & GS
ENS Ray B. Elliott USC & GS
AMMC Charles E. Isakson
RM2 Arthur A. Boeke
AMM3 Curtis K. Drennan

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Francisco, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina,  08055

Location of the incident: Mount Moffett, Adak, AK

Description of the incident:
This PBY-5A had been modified to accommodate a nine lens aerial mapping camera developed by the Coast & Geodetic Survey.  The aircraft was manned by a combined crew of Coast Guard and Coast & Geodetic Survey personnel.  It crashed into Mount Moffat near Adak, Alaska, while on a survey mission. 
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 21 September 1943

Crash related deaths:
AP1 Carroll R. Byrd

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Salem, MA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JRF-5 Goose, V225

Location of the incident: One mile west of Kratzerville, Pennsylvania

Description of the incident:
The plane had been recently transferred from the Navy to the Coast Guard and was being ferried from the Coast Guard Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field, New York, to San Francisco, California. Some how, Byrd fell from the aircraft and was killed instantly when he landed in the a ploughed field about one mile west of Kratzerville, Pennsylvania.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 19 November 1943

Crash related deaths:
ENS Harold D. Bennett (CG Aviator #132)
RMC James W. Cole
AMM1 Clifford W. Bull
An unidentified passenger (?)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Port Angeles, WA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JRF-5 Goose,  34075

Location of the incident: Alaska

Description of the incident:
The crew of this JF-2 seaplane was on special duty in Alaska, flying patrols and logistic missions.  The aircraft took off from Port Heiden into low ceilings and icing conditions.  After radioing the airfield of their weather problems, they turned back.  Shortly after the aircraft impacted a mountain slope and all four persons on board perished.  The remains of four were recovered in 1987.


Date of incident: 27 November 1943

Crash related deaths:  
ENS Charles E. Johnson 
   Also killed in the crash were:
   
   LT(jg). William B. Phillips, USN
   
   ART2c. Ludwig A. Stroesswer, USNR

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to: 
Fleet Air Wing 4 / Commanding Officer of Unit 64, LORAN Monitoring Station, Adak, Alaska 

Aircraft type and tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina 08118 (U.S. Navy) 

Location of the incident: Dutch Harbor, Alaska 

Description of the incident:  Ensign Johnson was on Flight Orders while engaged in running baselines for the then Top Secret LORAN navigation system. The PBY-5A being used for those tests was attempting to land at Dutch Harbor during poor weather conditions when the fatal crash occurred. After readying the aircraft for a water landing, the pilot proceeded to make a normal approach, but was unaware of the height of the ground swells on the bay. Immediately after contacting the water, the aircraft nosed into a ground swell and broke apart at the pilot's compartment. The wing broke off and the plane filled with water and sank. Two others died in the crash


Date of incident: 23 February 1945

Crash related deaths:
ENS Walter D. Huston (CG Aviator #312)
ARM1 James A. Wood

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, 05007

Location of the incident: Elizabeth City, NC

Description of the incident:
During a training flight, while practicing water landings and takeoffs, the PBY-5A crashed in the Albemarle Sound. The aircraft hit the water shearing off a wing and breaking open the fuselage. 


Date of incident: 5 September 1945

Crash related deaths:
CAP Glenn D. Ferrin
ACMC Frank S. Rakovic

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Diego, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman JRF-5G Goose, 37795

Location of the incident:
San Diego, CA

Description of the incident:
The two were killed when their Grumman Goose struck a high tension wire.


Date of incident: 15 December 1945

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Joseph T. McCormick (CG Aviator #200)
ARM1 Bob C. Robinson

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
CGC Eastwind

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman J2F-6 Duck*, 32740

Location of the incident:
Boston, MA

Description of the incident:
While heading for Grumman service center in New York City, just as the plane rose into the air about 50 to 75 feet, the engine blew apart in a huge ball of fire. The plane nosed into the ocean and disappeared in an instant. All onboard were killed.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 18 December 1945

Crash related deaths:
LT Vaughn E. Salisbury (CG Aviator #162)
CAP Ernest F. Lindsey
AMMC John E. Vallowe
ARM1 William L. Hickman
AMM2 George L Proffitt
AMM1 Oswald D. Jacobson
CPL Higinio V. Marin, (U.S. Army)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Biloxi, MS

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, 46497

Location of the incident:
Texas

Description of the incident:
While on a ferry flight from CGAS Biloxi to NAS Seattle for overhaul, pilot reported an oil leak in the right engine.  Pilot then reported single engine operation and requested emergency clearance to Fort Worth.  Aircraft proceeded out the north leg of the Fort Worth range where the other engine stopped due to an unknown cause, and the propeller was feathered.  The aircraft emerged from the clouds in a spin to the left and impacted the ground.  All personnel were killed and the aircraft was completely destroyed.

 


Date of incident: 7 August 1946

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Ralph W. Butler (CG Aviator #212)
ENS Charles L. Coler (CG Aviator #218)
AMM1 George R. Spalding
AMM1 Warren W. Englehardt
ARM1 Truman M. Mueller
AOM1 Warren Zinkel

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Francisco, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, 48284

Location of the incident:
San Francisco, CA

Description of the incident:
This aircraft crashed at 1430 hours (Pacific Time) into the Pacific Ocean one half mile north of Point Arena, California, with the loss of all six crewmembers, while returning from a routine patrol.  The cause of the crash is unknown.

 


Date of incident: 11 February 1947

Crash related deaths:
LCDR John W. Macintosh, Jr. (CG Aviator #74)
LTJG Ralph E. Osterberg (CG Aviator #201)
AMMC Roy Mason
ARM1 Rufin E. Crosby

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Port Angeles, WA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, 48328

Location of the incident:
South of Tiller, Oregon

Description of the incident:
The crew was ferrying this plane for overhaul from Air Station Port Angeles to Coast Guard Air Station  Elizabeth City at the time of the crash.  The crew attempted to avoid a ridge, scraped the side of the ridge, and crashed.  Two of the six on board survived the crash.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 22 February 1947

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Emerson W. Miles (CG Aviator #231)
AP1 Fabian J. Kestell
AMM2 Eugene A. Widener
ARM1 Winford C. Williams
AOM3 Quell V. Buchanan
AerM1 R. Merrill J. Murphy
AOM1 John G. Steuer
AMM1 George R. A. Tracy
ARM1 Robert G. Peshek
Mr. Gabe C. Leavitt (Civilian)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Diego, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Martin PBM-5G Mariner, 45435

Location of the incident:
Mexico

Description of the incident:
The aircraft and crew was flying back to Coast Guard Air Station San Diego in a heavy fog after completing a 1,400 mile "mercy" flight.  All but two of the entire crew perished when the PBM-5 crashed in this adverse weather.

 


Date of incident: 1 April 1947

Crash related deaths:
AMM3 Donald L. Nigrelli

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Petersburg

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Martin PBM-5 Mariner, 59002

Location of the incident:
Tampa, FL

Description of the incident:
While practicing single engine landings, with the port engine idling, the aircraft leveled off high and power was removed from the starboard engine.  The aircraft dropped into the water and bounced.  Power was applied to both engines after the aircraft impacted, however, the port engine failed to produce power.  The aircraft crashed with the left wing down.  AMM3 Nigrelli occupied the waist crewman position, and could not be recovered until the aircraft was raised.  All other crewmen were injured, but rescued.

 


Date of incident: 2 January 1948

Crash related deaths:
ENS Roger W. Whale (CG Aviator #450)
AMM1 Kristian F. Anderson

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Diego

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman J4F Widgeon, 32977

Location of the incident:
Chattanooga, TN

Description of the incident:
The crew was on a ferry flight from San Diego to the east coast. While en route to Chattanooga following a fuel stop at NAS Memphis, the aircraft struck tree tops and crashed and burned on Signal Mountain, a few miles north of Chattanooga. It was dark at the time of the crash.

 


Date of incident: 24 January 1948

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Charles. W. Schuh (CG Aviator #90)
LTJG William N. Killebrew (CG Aviator #375)
AMM1 Charles A. MacArthur
ARM1 Rudolph H. Schoning

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Arlington

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Lockheed R50-4 Lodestar, 05049

Location of the incident:
Baltimore, MD

Description of the incident:
The plane was returning from Newark and had been diverted to Baltimore municipal airport after being unable to land at National airport due to a severe snowstorm. When the plane failed to land in Baltimore, a search was begun. Army, Navy and Coast Guard aircraft searched an area between Washington D.C and Newark, N.J. for several days before discontinuing the search. The plane was finally located after the body of one of the crewmen was found in mid-March off Wagner's Point near Baltimore.


Date of incident: 27 May 1952

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Richard J. Tomozer (CG Aviator #560)
AL1 Bernard Moore
AL2 Blaine E. Woodard
TSGT H. P. Colbeck, USAF

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Port Angeles

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Martin PBM-5G Mariner, 84740*

Location of the incident:
Port Angeles, WA

Description of the incident:
The crew of this PBM-5G was taking off into the Straights of Juan de Fuca to return the body of an Air Force airman to Prince Rupert, British Columbia.  The airplane climbed to an altitude of 250 feet, stalled, and crashed. Eight others survived the crash.


Date of incident: 11 November 1952

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Robert S. McLendon (CG Aviator #173)
LT Milton L. McGregor (CG Aviator #529)
SK3 Russell W. Beltz

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Air Detachment Guam

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina, 46640

Location of the incident:
NAS Agana, Guam

Description of the incident:
During takeoff for a night training flight, the aircraft lost an engine.  While attempting to return to the runway for landing, the aircraft crashed, flipped over and burned. There were two survivors.


Date of incident: 13 November 1952

Crash related deaths:
CDR Joseph F. McCue (CG Aviator #51)
AD1 Henry J. White

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Salem

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Bell HTL-1, 2460

Location of the incident:
Beverly, MA

Description of the incident:
Enroute to a practice landing site in Beverly, the helicopter developed engine and control problems and crashed out of control in a residential area.  The pilot and crewman were killed.


Date of incident: 18 January 1953

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Gerald W. Stuart (CG Aviator #619)
ALC Winfield J. Hammond
AL1 Carl R. Tornell
AO1 Joseph (Dick) R. Bridge
AD3 Tracy W. Miller

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippines 

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Martin PBM-5G Mariner, 84738

Location of the incident:
Formosa Strait off China

Description of the incident:
The crew of this PBM-5G had just rescued the survivors of a US Navy P2V that had been shot down by Communist Chinese forces.  The airplane crashed while attempting to take off in heavy seas near the coast of China.  Four Navy and five Coast Guard personnel perished in the crash.
Click here to read more about this crash


Date of incident: 6 July 1953

Crash related deaths:
LCDR LeWayne N. Felts, USCG (CG Aviator #499)
Also killed in the crash were:
   
Capt. Phillip M. Clinton, USAF
    1Lt Rory G. Jahn, USAF
    CWO Kenneth Ziegler, USAF

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Wright Patterson AFB, OH

Aircraft type and tail number:
Beechcraft C-45B Expeditor, USAF 43-35565A

Location of the incident:
Camp McCoy Army Airfield, near Sparta, Wisconsin

Description of the incident:
The plane was traveling from Denver to Dayton and had landed at McCoy to refuel. It crashed shortly after take off in a marshy area near Angelo Airport. A witness said the plane 'nosed down, hit the ground and bounced, then burst into flames.
Click here to read more about the crash


Date of incident: 7 July 1953

Crash related deaths:
ENS Vernon C. Fleck (CG Aviator #647)
AD2 John C. Netherland
A1C Melvin L. Sweet, USAF

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Biloxi, AL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina, 46617

Location of the incident:
Louisiana

Description of the incident:
Responding to a request for emergency medical evacuation from a vessel on the Mississippi River, the PBY struck a submerged obstacle that caused the aircraft to water loop, separating the wing from the fuselage.  The aircraft quickly sank.  The pilot, one crewman, and one Air Force airman perished in the crash.  Three other crewmen survived with injuries.

 


Date of incident: 20 January 1954

Crash related deaths:
LT John W. Day (CG Aviator #266)
AD3 Robert A. Chauvin
AD3 Dale R. Littleford
AD3 Pete A. Palombini
AD3 William J. Goodman

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Port Angeles

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HO4S-3G [HH-19G], 1303

Location of the incident:
Port Angeles, WA

Description of the incident:
This crew was practicing auto rotations from an altitude of 1,500 feet.  Upon reaching 500 feet the helicopter appeared to go out of control.  Upon partial recovery at 100 feet, the main rotor departed the aircraft, followed by the tail rotor, tail boom and drive assembly.  The helicopter plunged into the water near Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles.

 


Date of incident: 6 May 1954

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Donald G. Teifer 

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Corpus Christi

Aircraft type and tail number:
Martin PBM-5 Mariner, U.S. Navy 59106  

Location of the incident:
Mexico

Description of the incident:
The aircraft was on an over-water navigation training mission from NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico.  The pilot radioed a position report southeast of Brownsville, enroute to Corpus Christi.  No further contact was made.  The aircraft impacted a ridge at the 3000-foot level near Caricitas, Mexico.  After a massive search the wreckage was located.  There were no survivors.  Nine U.S. Navy personnel also perished in the crash.

 


Date of incident: 26 June 1954

Crash related deaths:
CDR Paul A. Ortman
LT George E. Eiswald, USN

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
USCG Cutter Westwind (an icebreaker)

Aircraft type and number:
Bell HTL-4, 128906 (US Navy Helicopter) *

Location of the incident:
Melville Bay, Greenland

Description of the incident:
CDR Ortman was the executive officer of the CGC Westwind and LT Eiswald was the pilot for the cutter's helicopter.  Both officers perished when the helicopter crash-landed on ice floes near Melville Bay, Greenland.
Click here to read more about the crash

 


Date of incident: 14 December 1954

Crash related deaths:
AL1 Clifford E. Habecker
AD1 Andrew P. Turnier
AL3 Doyle E. Jahn

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Annette, Alaska

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman UF-1G Albatross, 2121*

Location of the incident:
Haines, Alaska

Description of the incident:
UF-1G 2121 was flown from Annette, Alaska to Haines, Alaska on 14 December 1954 to perform a medical evacuation.  The aircraft crashed during a water take-off, possibly due to a layer of ice which had built up on its wing during the wait for the patient to be delivered.


Date of incident: 24 June 1956

Crash related deaths:
HM1 John J. Kohan

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Salem, MA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HO4S-3G [HH-19G], 1299

Location of the incident:
Boston, MA

Description of the incident:
The helicopter was on a search and rescue mission for the crew of a downed National Guard jet aircraft off the coast of Massachusetts.  A heavy fog moved in over the area and forced the pilot, LTJG Harold W. Wooley, to abort the mission and return to the mainland.  He elected to land at Logan Airport rather than return to Salem as visibility dropped to "zero-zero."  He made an instrument approach to the airport and the approach control gave him a radar approach to one of the runways.  The controller then informed Wooley that he was over the runway.  Wooley put the helicopter down but unfortunately he was a few feet short of the runway and into the water surrounding the runway.  The helicopter flipped over and sank.  Kohn was trapped under the helicopter's litter and could not escape the sinking craft.  He drowned and his body was recovered by divers.  The two other crewmen managed to egress the aircraft and were rescued. 

 


Date of incident: 22 January 1957

Crash related deaths:
LCDR William E. Sale (CG Aviator #438)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Diego

Aircraft type and tail number:
Douglas R5D-3  Navy No. 50869

Location of the incident:
Near Willow Run Airport outside Ypsilanti, Michigan

Description of the incident:
The Navy Reserve aircraft was on a cross-country transport mission with LCDR Sale as the co-pilot. During an IFR approach to land, the aircraft crashed short of the runway.
Click here to read more about this crash


Date of incident: 18 May 1957

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Albert P. Hartt, Jr. (CG Aviator #373)
AO2 William J. Tarker, Jr. 

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Salem

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman UF-1G Albatross*, 1278

Location of the incident:
Salem, MA

Description of the incident:
This crew was performing a water Jet Assisted Takeoff [JATO] demonstration.  The aircraft had insufficient airspeed when it rotated from the takeoff roll and consequently stalled and crashed.
Click here to read more about this crash


Date of incident: 22 August 1957

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Claude S. Labaw (CG Aviator #590)
LT Rolland A. Faucher (CG Aviator #711)
AD3 Matthew R. Ross
AT3 Gerald R. Fox

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Brooklyn, NY

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman UF-2G [HU-16E] Albatross, 1259

Location of the incident:
New York

Description of the incident:
The crew was performing a test flight after the aircraft had undergone an intermediate inspection in which the control columns were removed and inspected for fatigue cracks in the bottom casting. "The plane was cleared for take-off and instructed to turn right immediately after take-off to avoid other traffic.  Take-off was normal but immediately after leaving the runway the plane banked slightly to the left, hesitated, and then banked and then banked very rapidly to the left until it was in a 90° bank.  The left wing tip struck the ground, [and] the plane broke in two and crashed. . .The Accident Board was not able to determine the cause of this accident but certain items all pointed strongly toward reversed aileron control cable rigging as the most probably cause." [Source: U.S. Coast Guard Flight Safety Bulletin, No. 1, February, 1958, pp. 3-11.]

Two crewmembers survived the crash.
Click here to read more about this crash

 


Date of incident: 6 February 1958

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Edward A. McGee (CG Aviator #718)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
ARSC Elizabeth City

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Stinson OY-2 Sentinel, 03937

Location of the incident:
Near Marshall, Texas

Description of the incident:
LTJG McGee, who was on 30-day detached duty in Texas from Air Station Elizabeth City, assisting federal officers locate illicit whisky distilleries.  On board his small observation plane was also a Treasury agent.  While searching a heavily wooded area the plane developed engine trouble and struck the treetops and crashed.  McGee sustained a concussion, and while in the hospital, developed pneumonia and died on Feb 11. The Treasury agent sustained only a broken leg.

 


Date of incident: 25 April 1961

Crash related deaths:
LT James H. Levey (CG Aviator #671) 
SD2 James P. Taylor, USN

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Diego 

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HO4S-3G [HH-19G], 1310 *

Location of the incident:
Off the coast near San Diego, CA

Description of the incident:
LT Levey was performing a medical evacuation of SD2 Taylor from the USS Pine Island,  12 miles southwest of San Diego.  The helicopter lifted off in a normal manner and was shearing to port to clear ship but also moved forward causing main rotor to contract roller curtain cover aft port corner of the ship's hangar.  Rotor blade disintegrated.  The helicopter fell on port edge of the seaplane deck and port aviation gas filter station.   The helicopter caught fire and rolled into the sea, killing both the pilot and the patient.

 


Date of incident: 29 June 1961

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Stuart T. Scharfenstein (CG Aviator #664) 
LCDR Charles E. Mueller (CG Aviator #202) 
AL1 John R. Doherty

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Salem, Mass.

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HO4S-3G [HH-19G], 5509*

Location of the incident:
Rowley, Massachusetts

Description of the incident:
This crew was on a training mission and about 12 minutes into the flight several "May-Day" calls here heard but not details.  The helicopter apparently experienced a structural fatigue failure on a critical flight component and fell 1200 feet, killing all onboard.

 


Date of incident: 29 November 1962

Crash related deaths:
AD2 Thomas O. Chastain

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Petersburg, FL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HUS-1G [HH-34F], 1336 *

Location of the incident:
Gulf of Mexico

Description of the incident:
The crew of helicopter 1336 was on a search and rescue case, late in the afternoon,  hovering near a vessel in distress.   They inadvertently descended too low and struck the water.  Petty Officer Chastain was unable to escape from the sinking helicopter.


Date of incident: 3 July 1964

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Joseph N. Andrassy (CG Aviator #852) 
LT Robert A. Perchard (CG Aviator #896) 
AO1 Harry W. Olson
AM2 Donald C. Malena
AT3 Edward A. Krajniak

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Annette

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman HU-16E Albatross, 7233

Location of the incident:
Alaska

Description of the incident:
Five Coast Guardsmen were killed when their HU-16E crashed on a mountainside near Ketchikan while returning from a search for a missing fishing vessel. The aircraft had failed to land during its first approach to the air station and was making a second attempt when it disappeared. Two days later wreckage was spotted near the summit of a mountain peak on Gravina Island, only three miles from the Air Station.

 


Date of incident: 22 December 1964

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Donald L. Prince (CG Aviator #801) 
S/LT Allen L. Alltree, RCN (exchange pilot)
AE2 James A. Nininger, Jr.
 
Also killed in the crash were:
     Marie Bahnsen, Betty Kempf, Melanie Kempf and
     Arnold "Bud" Hansen (Civilian spotter)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Francisco

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1363 *

Location of the incident:
Trinidad Head, CA

Description of the incident:
While on an active search and rescue case this crew encountered extremely poor weather.   They crashed in the mountains near Eureka, CA. Four civilians also died in the crash.


Date of incident: 4 January 1966

Crash related deaths:
AT3 Banner H. Moorehouse

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Kodiak, Alaska

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Fairchild C-123B Provider, 4529

Location of the incident:
Port Angeles, WA

Description of the incident:
This C-123B had just experienced a stack fire in the starboard engine.  Petty Officer Moorehouse took a fire extinguisher and attempted to put out the fire.  He unfortunately was struck by one of the propellers and was killed.  (While this was not a crash, we list it here as an aircraft incident related death)

 


Date of incident: 4 April 1966

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Jimmie V. Phillips, USCGR (CG Aviator #657)

Also killed in the crash were:
     CDR Lloyd Wilson, USNR
     ADR-1 Joseph F. McKibbin, USNR

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas

Aircraft type and Serial umber:
Sikorsky SH-34J    BuNo 143918

Location of the incident:
20 miles east of Blythe, Calif.

Description of the incident:
The helicopter was being ferried from NAS Dallas to NAS Los Alamitos in Calif. The crash resulted from a malfunction of the main rotor head horn lock assembly.  Read More

 

 


Date of incident: 8 February 1967

Crash related deaths:
AT2 Frank R. Edmunds

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Kodiak

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman HU-16E Albatross*, 1271

Location of the incident:
St. Paul Island

Description of the incident:
This HU-16E crew was performing a scheduled logistics/law enforcement mission to the Loran Station on St. Paul Island. When then arrived they encountered poor weather with a ceiling below 400-feet with light snow falling.  With insufficient fuel available to reach an alternate airfield, the pilot attempted to land at the strip. On the fourth attempt to land, the plane crashed when the right wing tip struck the ground.  Petty Officer Edmonds was fatally injured as a result.

 


Date of incident: 6 March 1967

Crash related deaths:
LT Clifford E. Hanna (CG Aviator #1061) 
LTJG. Charles F. Shaw (CG Aviator #1199) 
AD1 Ralph H. Studstill
AT1 Eckley M. Powlus, Jr.
AT2 James B. Thompson
AE3 Arthur L. Wilson

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Petersburg, FL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman HU-16E Albatross*, 1240

Location of the incident:
Gulf of Mexico

Description of the incident:
On a Sunday night search and rescue case the aircraft and crew responded to a request for assistance from a fishing vessel reportedly taking on water 20 miles off the coast. The same plane and crew had just returned from another search of over six hours. The entire crew perished when their seaplane struck the water while attempting to deliver a dewatering pump to a sinking vessel.

According to the report that appeared in the Coast Guard's Flight Safety Bulletin of September 1968,  "Under the circumstance, the most plausible explanation for a crash of this nature is that the pilot inadvertently flew the aircraft into the water. However, insufficient evidence was available to support a conclusion as to the factors causing the accident. Consequently, the mishap was placed in the undetermined cause category."

The wreckage of the aircraft is believed to have been located by divers in July 2006 

See Photos of the Wreckage - Read News Story


Date of incident: 15 June 1967

Crash related deaths:
LT Robert D. Brown (CG Aviator #1018) 
LT David J. Bain (CG Aviator #874) 
AT1 Robert W. Striff, Jr.

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Annette

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman HU-16E Albatross, 7237

Location of the incident:
Alaska

Description of the incident:
The three were killed when their Coast Guard HU-16 crashed in British Columbia near Sloko Lake while searching for a missing light plane with two people onboard. Three others aboard survived the crash. The missing aircraft had been reported overdue while flying to Juneau from Montana. The two were later found alive and well.



Date of incident: 7 August 1967

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Francis J. Charles
AD3 William G. Prowitt
AD3 John G. Medek

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Francisco, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman HU-16E Albatross, 2128*

Location of the incident:
North of San Luis Obispo in California

Description of the incident:
The crew was searching for an overdue vessel along the California coastline in marginal weather.  They impacted a mountain that was shrouded in heavy fog. The crash started a fire that burned about 58 acres.  After the crash, the pilot was able to hike to Highway 1 and flag down an automobile. Five crewmembers survived.
Click here to read more about this crash


Date of incident: 9 June 1968

Crash related deaths:
LT Jack C. Rittichier, USCG (CG Aviator #997) 
Also killed in the crash were:
   
CPT Richard C. Yeend, Jr., USAF
    SSG Elmer Larry Holden, USAF
    SGT James Douglas Locker, USAF

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam

Aircraft type and tail number:
Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant,   "Jolly 23", USAF 67-14710

Location of the incident:
37 miles west of Hue, Republic of South Vietnam

Description of the incident:
A Marine Corps fighter pilot was reported down on the ground with a broken arm and leg. The first helicopter made three attempts to reach the Marine before breaking off to refuel. Lieutenant Rittichier dropped his craft in for the pickup, but heavy fire drove him away. He swung around to let the gunships sweep the terrain and then, followed them back into the area. As he hovered over the pilot, bullets punched his aircraft and set it afire. He tried to pull away, but his aircraft would not respond. According to eyewitness reports, his aircraft caught fire while still in the air, hit the ground soon after, and exploded. Other helicopters in the area flying over the burning wreckage reported no survivors. 
Click here to read more about Rittichier and the crash

Jolly Green 23 Found - Click Here for Details


Date of incident: 26 November 1969

Crash related deaths:
LTJG John D. Voss (CG Aviator #1367) 
LTJG Richard K. Clark (CG Aviator #1440) 
AD3 Ronald A. Lumsden

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Petersburg

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1458

Location of the incident:
Gulf of Mexico

Description of the incident:
Helicopter departed on a search mission for a boat with two elderly fishermen that were not lost.  Unbeknownst to anyone, the two had returned to shore but failed to notify anyone they were safely back.

1458 arrived at the reported area of the "missing" fishermen and set up a search pattern. About 25 minutes into the search, Air Station St. Pete received a "Mayday" call from 1458, then silence.

The air station launched several other helicopters to search for the now silent and missing 1458.  The wreckage was located by a Coast Guard surface vessel around midnight.

On Thanksgiving Day, 27 November 1969, the Coast Guard Buoy Tender JUNIPER from St. Pete salvaged the wreckage and recovered the crew's bodies.


Date of incident:
16 December 1972

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Paul R. Lewis (CG Aviator #955) 
MAJ Marvin A. Cleveland, USAF (Exchange pilot)
AD1 Edward J. Nemetz
AT3 Clinton A. Edwards

Plus four crewmen from the F/V Wanda Dene

  • William Peek,

  • George Dayhoss,

  • Herbert Hardy

  • Paul Manley
      

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Petersburg

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican, 1474

Location of the incident:
Gulf of Mexico west of Sarasota, Florida

Description of the incident:
It was late on Saturday when the fishing vessel Wanda Dene, sent out a distress call. It was 35 miles southwest of Key West, taking on water and sinking in rough seas and needed assistance.  Helicopter 1474 was launched with its crew of four for a long range rescue. 

The helicopter arrived overhead the Wanda Dene several hours later and successfully hoisted the four crewmen from the sinking vessel in rough seas.  The 1474 then flew to the Naval Air Station, Key West, FL to refuel.  From there 1474, now with eight people aboard, departed for a return flight to St. Pete at about 7 p.m.  Normal flight operations were reported with regular radio position reports until about 8:30 p.m.  Two days later a small portion of the helicopter was found in the Gulf of Mexico south of Fort Myers.  Despite a massive search very little of the aircraft was ever found and only one body, that of one of the fisherman, was ever found. Cause of the crash was never determined.


Date of incident: 21 September 1973

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Francis W. Miller (CG Aviator #1164) 
LTJG Jerald M. Mack (CG Aviator #1567)
AD1 Harold D. Brown, Jr.
AM2 Benjamin R. Gaskins, Jr.
AT2 John F. Harrison
AT2 John P. Pledger

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Corpus Christi, TX

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman HU-16E Albatross, 2123*

Location of the incident:
Gulf of Mexico

Description of the incident:
This crew was dropping parachute flares to illuminate a search area.   One of the flares accidentally ignited in the aircraft and the intense smoke incapacitated the pilots and crew.  The aircraft made an uncontrolled descent into the water.


Date of incident: 20 January 1977

Crash related deaths:
LTJG Frederick William Caesar, III, USN
LTJG John F. Taylor
AT2 John B. Johnson
Bill S. Simpson (Civilian Observer)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Chicago, IL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1448 *

Location of the incident:
Illinois River

Description of the incident:
This crew was performing and aerial ice patrol along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.  They struck three electrical transmission wires and crashed into the ice-filled river.


Date of incident: 17 January 1979

Crash related deaths:
Aboard USCG 1376:
LT Robert G. Ausness (CG Aviator #1609) 
LT Robert C. Shearer, Jr. (CG Aviator #1776) 
AM1 Robert E. McClain
AD3 Jeffrey B. Case

Aboard Bell 47G N2873B
Mr. Alcibiade Blanco

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Miami, FL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1376 *

Location of the incident:
Opa Locka Airport, FL

Description of the incident:
This helicopter crew was involved in a midair collision during their landing descent with a civilian helicopter in a takeoff climb.  Both aircraft had been cleared by the tower along parallel flight paths, but were not advised of each other.   There were no survivors.


Date of incident: 29 January 1979

Crash related deaths:
LTJG David C. Sproat (CG Aviator #1886) 
AD3 Roger W. Stephenson

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station San Diego, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican, 1483 *

Location of the incident: Mexico

Description of the incident:
During a SAR mission for a motor vessel reported aground the helicopter impacted the water at the bottom of a precision approach to a controlled hover (PATCH).  The aircraft rolled and inverted, but remained afloat.  Only two crewmembers escaped.


Date of incident: 18 February 1979

Crash related deaths:
LCDR James D. Stiles (CG Aviator #1384) 
CAPT George R. Burge, Canadian Forces
AT2 John B. Tait
HM2 Bruce A. Kaehler

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Cape Cod, MA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican, 1432 *

Location of the incident: North Atlantic

Description of the incident:
The crew was performing a medical evacuation from a Japanese fishing vessel in deteriorating weather about 180 miles southeast of Cape Cod.  They experienced a loss of power and were forced to land in heavy seas.   The waves overturned the helicopter and only one crewman survived.

Crew Remembered - Living honor heroic Coast Guard Crew - Feb. 18 2009


Date of incident: 7 August 1981

Crash related deaths:
LT Ernest P. Rivas (CG Aviator #1739) 
LT Joseph G. Spoja (CG Aviator #1919) 
AD1 Scott E. Finfrock
AT3 John H. Snyder

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Kodiak, AK

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican, 1471 *

Location of the incident: In the Gulf of Alaska, off of Hinchinbrook Island, Alaska

Description of the incident:
While performing a night hoist to a distressed fishing vessel in heavy weather.   The helicopter's tail rotor contacted the water causing the aircraft to become uncontrollable and crashed into the water.  The crew drowned after egressing the inverted aircraft.
The helicopter was recovered by the Polar Star and taken back to Kodiak.  

Click here to read more about the crash

Click Here to read about 'Monster Waves' and their threat to helicopter rescues

Note: The crash depicted in the beginning of the 2006 movie, The Guardian, is loosely based on this accident



Date of incident: 22 October 1981

Crash related deaths:
LT Raymond T. Brooks (CG Aviator #1930) 
LTJG Robert E. Winter (CG Aviator #2163) 
AD3 Mark C. Johnson
AD3 J. A. Hinton

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Mobile, AL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1427

Location of the incident: Bates Field

Description of the incident:
During a night instrument flight the crew experienced a catastrophic failure of a major flight control.  There was an instantaneous breakup of the aircraft.

TV News Report


Date of incident: 14 November 1981

Crash related deaths:
CAPT Frank W. Olson (CG Aviator #911) 

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station North Bend, OR

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1353

Location of the incident: Coos Bay, OR

Description of the incident:
CAPT Olson and crew were on a night search and rescue case searching for a fishing vessel in distress.  The weather was deteriorating rapidly and they were attempting to return to base when they experienced an engine malfunction.  They executed an autorotation to the water but the aircraft capsized.  CAPT Olson died while attempting to escape.


Date of incident: 7 January 1982

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Horton W. Johnson (CG Aviator #1635) 
LT Colleen A. Cain (CG Aviator #1988) 
AD2 David L. Thompson

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Barbers Point, HI

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1420

Location of the incident: Mokokia, HI

Description of the incident:
It was 4 a.m. when the helicopter lifted off from Barbers Point Air Station in torrential rains and heavy winds. They were responding to a distress call from the Pan Am, a 74-foot fishing boat that was taking on water off Maui and was in danger of sinking. By 5:15 a.m., the Coast Guard had lost radio contact with the crew. Almost nine hours later, another helicopter discovered the wreckage on a steep ridge in Moloka'i's Wailau Valley. Thompson, Johnson and Cain died in the crash.

Lt. Cain, 29, of Burlington, Iowa, was the Coast Guard's first woman pilot to be killed during a mission.


Date of incident: 30 July 1982

Crash related deaths:
AT3 Brad S. Canfield
SA Steven D. Berryhill

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Kodiak, AK

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Lockheed HC-130H Hercules, 1600 *

Location of the incident: Attu, AK

Description of the incident:
This C-130 crew was transporting personnel and cargo to the USCG LORAN station on the island of Attu, AK. VFR weather conditions deteriorated, forward visibility was lost, and the aircraft impacted with the terrain.  The remainder of the crew were injured but escaped the wreckage and survived.      See the crash site


Date of incident: 8 July 1984

Crash related deaths:
Herman J. Mau, III
Madeleine L. Mau

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Auxiliary

Aircraft type and tail number:
Piper PA-23-160; N4167P

Location of the incident: New Hope, NY

Description of the incident:
Herman "Skip" Mau, 38, and his mother Madeline, 60, were departing for a Safety Patrol of southeastern Lake Ontario when their twin engine aircraft experienced an engine malfunction in the left engine.


Date of incident: 2 November 1986

Crash related deaths:
LT Michael Clement Dollahite (CG Aviator #2148) 
LT Robert L. Carson, Jr.
CDR David Meurice Rockmore, USPHS
ASM2 Kevin M. McCraken
AT3 William G. Kemp
HS3 Ralph D. King

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Kodiak, AK

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican, 1473 *

Location of the incident: Ugak Island, off Kodiak, Alaska

Description of the incident:
This crew was on a night SAR case to Old Harbor, AK in very poor weather.  While circumnavigating Ugak Island, a small island with high terrain just off the main island of Kodiak, it is believed that they encountered unexpected weather in the form of heavy winds and rain.  The aircraft impacted a high cliff and fell to the beach below to be consumed by a post-crash fire.

Read - Air Crew Honored


Date of incident: 21 January 1989

Crash related deaths:
Richard C. Smilgoff
Linda B. Smilgoff

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Auxiliary

Aircraft type and tail number:
Piper PA-28-180, N16375

Location of the incident: Chicago, IL

Description of the incident:
The pilot & two observer/trainees were on a flight along the Lake Michigan shoreline. After about 23 min of flight, while approaching to land at Chicago, the pilot reported an engine problem of unknown origin. He attempted to land in a parking lot at a water filtration plant. After clearing the roof of a building, the plane turned & subsequently collided with a retaining wall at the edge of the parking lot. Both observer/trainees were fatally injured and the pilot was seriously injured.


Date of incident: 18 September 1989

Crash related deaths:
Robert J. Duffield
Gerard Britt Rene

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Auxiliary

Aircraft type and tail number:
Beech A35; N566B

Location of the incident: Escondido, CA

Description of the incident:
While on a routine patrol the crew encountered a thick cloud layer.  After initiating a climb on course, the pilot lost control of the airplane at 7100 feet and it entered a right descending spiral. During the uncontrolled descent, just prior to ground impact, the outer 1/2 or the right wing separated due to overstress. 


Date of incident: 12 May 1990

Crash related deaths:
Mr. Russell J. Anderson
Ms. Charlene J. Huhne
Ms. Julie A. Nappi
Mr. Christopher R. Polimeni

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Auxiliary

Aircraft type and tail number:
Bellanca 17-31A; N7SF

Location of the incident: At sea off of Davis Park, NY

Description of the incident:
This crew was on a routine training flight and departed on what was to have been a local area training flight for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. There was no further contact with the airplane, and it was reported overdue about 6 hrs after takeoff. Recorded radar data showed that the airplane had flown out over the ocean after takeoff, and after some maneuvering reversed course. At no time was the airplane above 500 ft. Three days later, parts of the airplane were found washed up on a beach. Two passenger bodies were recovered; the pilot and the remaining passenger were not. Examination of the wreckage indicated that the airplane had impacted the water at high speed while structurally intact. The pilot had reportedly suffered a head injury within the previous 48 hrs, and had been complaining of pain on the left side of his head.


Date of incident: 24 August 1990

Crash related deaths:
LT Duane E. Stenbak (CG Aviator #2283) 
LT Paul E. Perlt (CG Aviator #2674) 
LT Craig E. Lerner (CG Aviator #2683) 
AT1 Matthew H. Baker

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station St. Augustine, FL

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Grumman E2C Hawkeye*, 3501

Location of the incident: Puerto Rico

Description of the incident:
Returning from a night law enforcement mission, the crew was making their final approach into U.S. Naval Air Station, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico when they reported a wing fire and problems with the plane's hydraulic controls.  They crashed short of the runway; there were no survivors.


Date of incident: 13 January 1992

Crash related deaths:
Gilbert Feig

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Auxiliary

Aircraft type and tail number:
Cessna C-172; N121L

Location of the incident: 28 miles south of Key West

Description of the incident:
The aircraft was on patrol when a little over 3 hours into the flight, the pilot reported that the engine began to miss. Attempts to correct were unsuccessful. The condition continued & the aircraft began to shake violently and oily smoke entered the cockpit. The pilot ditched the aircraft and it sank in 2,500 ft of water. Both occupants exited with no injuries but the passenger reportedly lost his lifejacket during the egression. The observer perished after the crash. He had undergone a cardiac triple bypass in Nov of 1989, & was taking medication for high blood pressure & diabetes.


Date of incident: 31 August 1993

Crash related deaths:
LT Marc C. Perkins (CG Aviator #2803) 
LTJG Mark S. Fisher (CG Aviator #3042) 

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Brooklyn, NY

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Aérospatiale HH-65A Dolphin, 6594

Location of the incident: Ambrose Light Tower

Description of the incident:
This crew was delivering aids to navigation personnel and equipment to the Ambrose light tower.   The helicopter landed short of the elevated helipad.  The left main gear struck the edge of the pad, resulting in a dynamic rollover.  The aircraft fell to the sea 100 feet below.  Both pilots perished in the accident.


Date of incident: 12 July 1994

Crash related deaths:
LT Laurence B. Williams (CG Aviator #2887) 
LT Mark E. Koteek (CG Aviator #3113) 
ASMCS Peter A. Leeman (CG Rescue Swimmer #147)
AM1 Michael R. Gill

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Humboldt Bay, CA

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Aérospatiale HH-65A Dolphin, 6541

Location of the incident: Shelter Cove, CA

Description of the incident:
This crew was responding to a grounded sailing vessel.  It was dark and the weather was poor as this crew attempted to descend through the fog to assist the vessel in distress.  The helicopter impacted the side of a cliff and the entire crew was lost.


Date of incident: 2 June 1997

Crash related deaths:
Mrs. Frederica Lizak
Mr. Frank R. Lizak

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Auxiliary

Aircraft type and tail number:
Grumman American AA-5B; N28297

Location of the incident: Avon Park, FL

Description of the incident:
These two USCG Auxiliarists were returning from a Coast Guard Auxiliary Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The airplane was observed at about 100 to 125 feet in the traffic pattern. It was seen to make a very steep left turn, lose altitude, and then hit the ground. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly, and accessories, revealed no evidence of a pre-crash mechanical failure or malfunction. Low ceilings and poor visibility were reported at the airport.


Date of incident: 8 June 1997

Crash related deaths:
LT Jeffrey F. Crane (CG Aviator #3188) 
LTJG Charles W. Thigpen IV (CG Aviator #3310) 
AD3 Richard L. Hughes
ASM3 James G. Caines (CG Rescue Swimmer #425)

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Humboldt Bay, CA

Aircraft type and tail number:
Aérospatiale HH-65A Dolphin, 6549

Location of the incident: At sea off the coast of Northern California

Description of the incident:
Responding to a sailing vessel taking on water at night the crew of CG-6549 perished in poor weather conditions and high seas.  It is believed that the aircraft impacted the water while attempting to make an approach to the vessel.


Click Here to read about 'Monster Waves' and their threat to helicopter rescues


Date of incident: 1 February 2001

Crash related deaths:
Mr. Casey A. Purvis
Mr. Robert S. Fuller

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Coast Guard Auxiliary

Aircraft type and tail number:
Piper PA-32-300, N99WD  In Water

Location of the incident: Florida Keys

Description of the incident:
The Piper PA-32-300 was conducting a night intercept training mission (posing as a drug smuggling plane) with a Coast Guard HU-25 from Air Station Miami. The accident pilot stated that it was getting a bit hazy and informed the Coast Guard pilot that he would be breaking off and turning to the north to get separation for another intercept. After some more communications between the two aircraft, there was no other radio communications with the Piper. Review of radar data revealed that the accident airplane continued south bound at 1,600 feet before making a slight left turn followed by a turn back to the right then another turn to the left and back to the right. At 00:49:47, the airplane was observed to start a left turn, and stops on a north heading at 1,500 feet. At 00:50:47, the airplane was observed to start a right turn. The last recorded radar hit was at 00:51:08, at 1,500 feet. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly and accessories, vacuum pump and flight instruments revealed no evidence of a pre-crash mechanical failure or malfunction. However, only the tail of the single-engine Piper PA-32-300 was in one piece, indicating that the plane slammed into the sea at a high rate of speed.
Click here to read more about the two men.


Date of incident: 8 December 2004

Crash related deaths:
Zaferino M. Vaz, of India
Blaise M. Mascarenhas, of India
Narendra S. Yadav, of India
Durg V. Singh, of India
Didlar Singh, of India
Carlos Flores Santiago, of The Philippines

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Kodiak, AK

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky  HH-60 Jayhawk, 6020*

Location of the incident: Unalaska Island, Alaska
  (About 750 miles from Anchorage in the eastern Aleutian Chain)

Description of the incident:
The 738-foot M/V Selendang Ayu had lost power off Unalaska Island. Over the course of a long day, Coast Guard helicopter crews -- including those from the Jayhawk that crashed -- evacuated 20 of the ship's 26 members to the USCG Cutter Alex Haley and Unalaska. While the helicopter was hoisting crewmen from the stricken ship it was engulfed by a huge wave of water. The engines flamed out and the helicopter fell into the sea.  An HH-65 rescued the three Coast Guard aviators, who were wearing survival suits, and one of the crewmen.

After transporting the four crash survivors to Dutch Harbor, the HH-65 returned to hoist the 6020 rescue swimmer and Selendang Ayu master from the bow section of the sinking vessel.

A two day search failed to find any of the other crewmen from the ship who were aboard the helicopter when is crashed. 


Date of incident: 4 September 2008

Crash related deaths:
CDR Thomas G. Nelson, pilot and XO, (CG Aviator #3033)
LCDR Andrew C. Wischmeier, co-pilot, (CG Aviator #3132)
AST1 David Skimin (CG Rescue Swimmer #409)
AMT2 Joshua Nichols

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Aérospatiale HH-65 Dolphin, 6505*

Location of the incident:
Into Mamala Bay, about five miles from Honolulu International Airport

Description of the incident:
The incident occurred while the aircrew was performing small boat hoist operations with a CG Station Honolulu 47' motor life boat during the early evening hours of Sept 4. Immediately after the crash, a Honolulu Fire Department Response Boat recovered LCDR Wischmeier, AST1 Skimin and AMT2 Nichols without any vital signs. The fire department boat crew performed CPR and the three Coast Guardsmen were medically evacuated to a local hospital but they did not survive. The search for CDR Nelson, who was also the Executive Officer (XO) of Air Station, Barbers Point, was suspended after three days of intensive searching.

The conclusion of the Coast Guard investigation found that while engaged in hoist training operations the hoist cable became fouled in the dewatering standpipe of the motor life boat the helicopter was training with. The cable snapped resulting in damage to the main rotor of the helicopter. Just over 3 minutes later, with the helicopter traveling approximately 2.1 nautical miles, the the rotor head experienced a catastrophic failure and the helicopter crashed into the sea from a height of approximately 450 feet. The investigation found no indication of any wrong doing on the part of the helicopter or boat crews.


Date of incident: 29 October 2009

Crash related deaths:
Aboard USCG 1705:
LCDR Che J. Barnes, aircraft commander (CG Aviator #3436)
LT Adam W. Bryant, co-pilot (CG Aviator #3935)
AMTC John F. Seidman,  flight engineer
AET2 Carl P. Grigonis, navigator
AET2 Monica L. Beacham, radio operator
AMT2 Jason S. Moletzsky, air crew
AMT3 Danny R. Kreder II, drop master

Aboard the Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra, assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39 of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing):
Major Samuel Leigh
1st Lt. Thomas Claiborne

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Sacramento, California

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Lockheed HC-130H Hercules, 1705*

Location of the incident:
About 50 miles off San Diego and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island

Description of the incident:
The Coast Guard C-130 1705, with a crew of seven, was involved in a midair collision with a Marine AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, with a crew of two. The collision occurred around 7 p.m. about 50 miles off the San Diego County coast and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island. The C-130 was engaged in a search for a missing person while the helicopter was involved in a training exercise.

The active search for survivors was suspended on Sunday Nov 1, however the 'black box' was recovered from the wreckage of the C-130 that is located at a depth of approximately 2,000. There are no plans for any continued recovery efforts.

Memorial coverage
 



Date of incident:
7 July 2010

Crash related deaths:
LT Sean D. Krueger, aircraft commander (CG Aviator #3669)
AMT1 Adam C. Hoke 
AMT2 Brett M. Banks

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:
Air Station Sitka, Alaska

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Sikorsky  MH-60T Jayhawk, 6017*

Location of the incident: La Push, Wash.
  (off James Island, near La Push, Wash., which is about 100 miles west of Seattle)

Description of the incident:
The helicopter was en route from Astoria, Ore., to Sitka, Alaska, when the crash occurred.
Eyewitnesses said they saw the tail of the helicopter appeared to clip an aerial power cable that runs from the shore near La Push to James Island.

 



Date of incident:
28 February 2012

Crash related deaths:
LCDR Dale T. Taylor, aircraft commander (CG Aviator #3483)
LTJG Thomas J. Cameron, co-pilot (CG Aviator #4377)
ASTC Fernando Jorge
AET3 Andrew 'Drew' W. Knight

Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to:

Air Training Center Mobile, Alabama

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number:
Aérospatiale MH-65 Dolphin, 6535*

Location of the incident: About 3 1/2 miles west of Mullet Point near Point Clear, Alabama on the eastern side of Mobile Bay.

Description of the incident:

The helicopter was engage in night training operations while around 7:40 pm local time the Coast Guard received reports from a boat in the area that a Coast Guard helicopter had gone down into the water. A search discovered the helicopter in 13 feet of water mired in mud. Cause of the accident is under investigation.

 


This page started as a mirror of a page on the official U.S. Coast Guard Web site.
However, we have added an immense amount of additional information from various sources on the Internet, newspapers, official crash reports from the Army, Air Force, Navy and  U.S. Dept of Transportation and Homeland Security, as well as personal interviews from survivors and witnesses. 

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