1952 plane crash
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 4 years ago
Okay history buffs, I have a tough one for you. I have received a message from someone interested in the crash of a converted P-38 in 1952. I have heard stories of the crash. My mother told me how strange it was, standing on the old bridge, on a beautiful day, as they dragged the river for the remains.

The inquiry was about the N number or registration number. The two clippings the person had made no reference to it. I very much doubt it was in the newspaper but does anyone here, some plane crush buff, perhaps, have the number?
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Posted by David Schott (+12373) 4 years ago
No aircraft registration number but a mention of the incident:

http://keystoneaerialsurv...CT_NOV.pdf

[f] John F. Tagan

"Aero Service mourns the death of John F. Tagan,
one of the Company's mapping pilots, who was
killed in an aircraft accident at Miles City, Mon-
tana, on September 26. Preliminary CAA reports
show that there were no mechanical defects in the
P-38, and that the plane was inadvertently stalled
and spun in from an altitude of about 4,000 feet.
Though John Tagan had been with us only a
few months, he was well liked and respected as a
man and a pilot. He will be missed. His death was
the Company's first fatality in 33 years of flight
operations all over the world."

[/f]
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 4 years ago
Thanks. The guy looking into it has searched high and low but can't find the number. Apparently, those records were lost. I guess he is tracking what happened to old P-38s. He had clippings that turned out to be from the Star and they didn't mention the number. Guy posted here some time ago and first hand reports but no N number.
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Posted by Jay (+277) 4 years ago
I had just gotten home from school had changed my clothes and out the door for my bike when I heard the sound of the 38. Looking to the west I say it coming down a flat spin. Then it hit the water right at the mouth of the Tongue River. Naturally it burst into flames when it hit.
On my bike (lived pretty close to the river) headed there. When I got there the only other person was some guy that was fishing. Soon others started do gather. The fuel was burning on top of the water.
Soon an ambulance arrived.
Bert Clark and Bob Lyman showed up with a small boat. They somehow fished the body out of the wreckage and got it to shore. I watched as the put the pilot in a body bag a took him away.
My Father was out at the sales barns at the time and he and the others claim that what appeared to be one of the rudders came off as it passed over head.
Dragging for remains? Be no reason. I watched the body leave.

[This message has been edited by Jay (6/11/2014)]
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 4 years ago
She told me the story many years ago and I probably mis-remembered the details beyond that it was a lovely day and folks were chatting pleasantly, even as someone had just died a grisly death.
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Posted by Fred South (+133) 4 years ago
What was left of that P-38 was brought to CCHS and piled outside the Industrial Arts Shop. It was a very large pile of twisted aluminum. My guess is that it was eventually melted down and used to cast items in the school shop classes.
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Posted by Fred South (+133) 4 years ago
I have two articles out of the paper. But no numbers are mentioned.
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Posted by Fred South (+133) 4 years ago
The CAA, Civil Aeronautics Administration, investigated the crash and made a report. That report must be in the government files, perhaps the FAA files.
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supporter
Posted by Bill Zook (+493) 4 years ago
As I recall Fred, there was a wing tank pod from that plane that lay around the outside of the auto shop for a few years along with a sort of Link trainer used by the cadets in the CAP back in the '40s. I used to hang around the high school a lot when we lived across the street from where Amorette lives now.

[This message has been edited by Bill Zook (6/22/2014)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9296) 4 years ago
They tried the government files but they are lost.
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Posted by Bob Hall (+4) 4 years ago
Mark Dyba, the McCann bros., my brother and I were playing basketball near the Garfield school when we heard a loud bang from the direction of the Yellowstone river, we hopped on our bikes and went tearing down Tatro to see what happened. By the time we got there it was cordoned off. They did tell us that a plane had crashed.
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Posted by edstewart (+21) 2 years ago
Reply to Fred South (#348478)
FAA records have been lost according to them. Still trying to identify the airplane. I have been in contact with the heirs who have given me pictures of the pilot but when he was flying B-24's.
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