MISHAPs: 17 JUN 50 A/C: PV-2 Location: NAS LOS ALAMITOS Strike: NO BUNO: 37264 Cause: TAXI ACC, GEAR COLLASPED Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [16FEB99]
MISHAPs: 14 FEB 51 A/C: PB4Y-2S Location: NAS Atsugi, Japan Strike: Yes BUNO: 66267 Cause: Daylite recon:Swerved off runway Contributed by Terry email@example.com [13MAR98]
MISHAPs: 27 JUL 51 A/C: PB4Y-2S Location: NAS Atsugi, Japan Strike: Yes BUNO: 59992 Cause: During climb out after take-off hit top of hill at night (35 degrees 5 miles from tower at RAAF Ikawkuni, Base at Atada Shima). Crew killed: Pilot: LT Walder L. McChord, LT A. Spund, LT J. H. Marouish, ADE1.R.Gariel, ADF1 E. B. Cook, AL1 Wm. B. Still, ALAN R. E. Overton, and AOU1 C. O. Priden. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [30SEP2000]
Flight Crew Number 7 "...In Memory of Donald Harl Winton (VP-772 Crew 10), who served proudly, but saw to much to early in life..." Contributed by his daughter Marie email@example.com [09SEP2005]
"...Aircraft Accident Card #4-51..." Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [16AUG2004]
Aircraft Accident Card #4-51
27 JUL 1951 (0347K)
NAS Atsugi, Japan
Com Fair Wing-6
Location: Atada Shima, bearing 035 degrees, 5 miles from Tower Iwakuni RAAF Base.
Time of flight: 3 minutes
Pilot: LT Walder Leeford McCord, USNR, VP-772
Total hours: 3204.0
Total hours this model: 1460.4
Total hours this last 1 month: 190.9
Total hours last 3 months: 190.9
LT Allen Spond (1st Pilot) USNR
LT James Herbert Marovish (Navigator) USNR
ADE1. Robert Gariel (Flight Engineer) USNR
ADF1 (T) Edward B. Cook (2nd Mech) USNR
AL1 William R. Still (1st Radar) USNR
AT2 Thomas J. Ricotta (Radarman) USNR
ALAN Robert E. Overton (2nd Radar) USNR
AOU1 Coley G. Pridgen (1st Ord) USNR
Aircraft was scheduled for a Tactical Reconnaissance flight on morning of the 27th out of RAAF Base at Iwakuni. Pilot filed an IFR tactial flight clearance in accordance with local AACS regulations. Two days prior to this date, subject aircraft had flown a tatcial mission of nine hours duration on which no troble of mechanical nature was encountered. Plane Captain's report to maintainence Chief after landing, was that aircraft was in a "up" status. In later afternoon of the 26th aircraft was turned up, checked out and reported to be operationally ready. Weather cover was VFR. Pilot taxied to take-off area at 0324 local time.
Board assumes he checked aircraft in accordance with PB4Y-2 pre-take-off procedures. ATC cleared pilot to climb out VFR to 6000-ft, to maintain 6000-ft, proceed via airway Green to Fukuoka Control when airborne. Aircraft was airborne at 0344k. Pilot contacted tower for permission to leave tower frequency approx 3 minutes following take-off. This is as reported by tower operator. At a time later established to be approximately 0347K; a fire and explosion was seen on Atada Shima.
This island bears 035 degrees 5miles from tower. Air Sea Rescue, Hospital, and Base Operations were notified at once. Air-Sea Rescue personnel were at scene of disaster at 0455K. They reported no survivors. Aircraft struck NW corner of Island at an altitude of approx 175 feet. Its course was determines to be 230seg. From reconstruction of estimated flight path, pilot must have been in a right hard turn in an attempt to miss higher peaks of island to his left, his right wing struck the ground first. Plane cartwheeled and exploded.
Wreckage and personnel were strewn forward for a distance of approx 200 yards. This area included point of impact up to ridge over and down the other side. Fire and explosion was so great that it was impossible to reconstruct or determine mechanical failure or cause of accident. Main aircraft parts identifiable were wing, panel and engines. No part of fuselage could be found. Explosion of two depth charges are thought to have cause complete disintegration.
In as much as there are no survivors and no postive reports of material failure. Factor causing accident con only be left to conjecture. It is known that PPC was a cautious, sober, experienced and competant pilot. Why he was at extremely low altitude three minutes following take-off is unknown. His request to be cleared from tower frequency indicated he believed operations were normal. Under existing similar weather conditions and always under IFC conditions most pilots make a take-off to the south. This is the outstanding critisim Board has of pilot procedure. Board feels certian that mechanical diffculties were encountered, but has no proof of same.
CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATION:
Board is of opinion that primary cause of accident is unknown. This conclusion is based upon lack of evidence to prove postive material failure, mechanical failure or pilot failure. Board recommends that obstacle lights be placed upon Atada Shima. There are no lights of any kind to be seen at night.
There was no eveidence to support mechanical failure.Crew and pilots were well trained, experienced, and familair with area. PPC was known to be sober, conscientious and careful pilot. I concur also with recommedation that obstacle lites be placed on island. It is located directly in traffic pattern for heavy aircraft on dark nights present a hazard.
"...I have been asked to locate the survivors/descendants of the nine Shipmates who were lost when their PB4Y-2 went down on July 27, 1951 at ATADA SHIMA outside of Iwakuni, Japan during a tactical patrol mission. The purpose is to present them "Honor Roll" certificates issued by the Department of Defense and to invite them to the forthcoming 50th Commemoration VP-772 squadron Reunion, where there be a memorial service and other ceremonies. We have already located relatives of two of the men. Those remaining are: William R. Still, Walder L. McCord, Robert Gariel, Robert E. Overton, Edward B. Cook, Coley G. Pridgen, and Thomas J. Riccotta. Anyone having any knowledge of relatives of these men please contact me, Frank Tatu, at (2302)291-2214, or email@example.com or 1738 Upshur St., NW, Washington, DC 20011. Many thanks...Frank Tatu firstname.lastname@example.org..." [18MAR2000]
"VP-772 Summary Page"