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MishapsMISHAPs: 09 MAR 61 A/C: P2V P Neptune Location: Lake George near the Ocala National Forest in Northeast Florida Strike: Yes BUNO: 147970 Death: 08 Cause: Unknown

UPDATE "...My husband, LT Robert K. MORSE, was lost while serving with VP-30 on March 9th, 1961. Bob was a VP-30 Instructor Pilot. At the time of the incident, I was told, he was in the right seat. LCDR GARDNER, a pilot transitioning through VP-30, was in the left seat. I was also told that after this incident, the searchlight - was no longer operated from the cockpit but from below..." Contributed by Jean-Marie Morse Lamine toe.kar@hotmail.com [30DEC2012]

UPDATE "...I served with VP-30 (Plank Owner) and flew with Crew-1 (LL-1). The original LL-1 was the P2 that went down in Lake George. The Mishap shows the BUNO as "Unknown." The BUNO was 147970 (later replaced by BUNO 148346)..." Contributed by Mike KENDRICK mickeysroom@q.com [09APR2011]

UPDATE "...I would like to post an update on the P2V that crashed in Lake George south of NAS Jacksonville, Florida on the night of March 9, 1961. The Aviation Ordnanceman on the aircraft was Jay Adkins. He was one of my best friends and he had just left VA-35 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida and went to VP-30. We had just returned from a Med Cruise on the USS Saratoge (CVA-60)...Hughie Martin retired UNN & USAF hmartin16@tampabay.rr.com..." [20MAY2008]

UPDATE "...This article appeared in the Jacksonville Newspaper. I believe the crash occured March 9, 1961. One one the crewmember, Harry G. Cummins, AT2, who died had just recently left VP-5. Evidently the next of kin on the other three had not been notified..." Contributed LATIMER, AT1 Donald H. donlat@cox.net [12AUG2002]

8 Feared Dead on Navy Plane
Bomber Burns in Florida Lake
Jacksonville, Fla March 10 (UPI)

A Navy patrol bomberwith eight crerwmen aboard crasshed and burned last night in fog shouded Lake George near the Ocala National Forest in Northeast Florida.

All eight were missing and presumed dead. Officials at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, where the P2V Neptune bomber was based, said a search of the crash scene was launched at dawn.

Lt. Geral Spitz, pilot of another plane who witnessed the crash, said the bomber exploded and burned as it struct the water.

The Navy identified five of the missing airment, all of whom were married and living in the Jacksonville area, as:

Lt. Robert K. Morse, 24, the pilot; Lt. Cmdr. Walter T. Gardner, 39; Aviation Machinist Mate, 2/C Fred G. Pridgeon, 33; Aviation Electronics Technician 2/C Harry G. Cummins, 23; and Aviation Electronics Technician Terry L. Ramsby, 19.

UPDATE "...The aircraft in question was a brand new P2V7 that had just completed its first 240 hr. check. The crash in Lake George was at night, where the crew was practicing searchlight target runs. The cause of the crash was eventually attributed to "Pilot Searchlight Fixation." It was speculated that the pilot followed the beam into the water as if hypnotized. After this conclusion, NATOPS stipulated that during these searchlight runs, the Plane Captain was to talk to the Pilot, (read off the altimeter) while holding a clip board so as to block the searchlight glare from the starboard wing. And, if at any time, the Plane Captain suspected that the pilot was fixated, the Plane Captain was to strike the pilot on the head with the clip board. I was part of the working party that had to lay out the recovered remains of the aircraft on the hangar deck. An unpleasant task.." Contributor's name witheld by request [05FEB2002]

UPDATE "...I commissioned VP-30 in 1960 and in 1961 or 1962, we lost a plane with all hands aboard down at Lake George. I can't remember any details, but I was in the squadron at the time...McCOMAS, AVCM Finis (Mac) Retired mcporet@newwavecomm.net..." [10JAN2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 FEB 63 A/C: P2V P Neptune Location: Unknown Strike: Unknown BUNO: Unknown

UPDATE "...This was a P2V-5F, with R-3350-30A's (I think?) (standard) installed. The P2V-7 had R-3350-32WA's (standard). When the Navy installed Sunstrands on these A/C, the P2V-5 had an internal oil feed to the angle-drive from the Accessory mounting pad it utilized on the rear of the engine. The P2V-7 utilized an external oil feed from a fitting on the rear of the engine to lube the angle drive. This difference was no problem, EXCEPT that there were 2 (at least) different type gaskets that could be installed between the accessory pad and the angle-drive. One gasket had 6 holes to go over the studs on the accessory case, while the other type gasket had 24 holes in it! In this case the 6 hole gasket was used, which blocked the lube supply hole on the accessory pad, preventing any lube from reaching the angle-drive unit! It eventually overheated & came apart, severing fuel & oil lines as stated. On the P2V-7 either gasket was fine, as I mentioned it was lubed externally. Where almost all Squadrons had only one model of the P2, they knew only one method of installation! BUT, where VP-30 had both types, so the potential was there for this error. After it was installed, there was no way of knowing if the correct gasket was installed. It was certainly well known by the nose pickers after this!..." Contributed by FCM Dick Gray (Ret) dickgray@brooksendway.com [26APR2011]

UPDATE "...I was in error in thinking that VP-5 had lost a plane off Jax in Jan/Feb 1963. I have since learned that it was VP-30. There is, however, some disagreement on the date. Thanks...Dick Prather rprather@csc.com..." [16JUL2001]

UPDATE "...I request any info on the loss of a P2V off NAS Jacksonville, Florida during the first week of Feb 1963. All AIRLANT P2V squadrons were grounded for a week as a result of the loss. My recollection is that the plane belonged to VP-5, and the problem was caused by failure of linkage(s) to the 115VAC/400~ SUNSTRAND units mounted in the wheel-wells. I seem to remember that the broken drive-line(s) severed fuel lines resulting in fire(s) in one or both of the plane's engines. Confirmation and/or details please. Thanks...Dick Prather rprather@csc.com..." [26JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 27 SEP 67 A/C: P2V-7 P Neptune Location: Jacksonville, Florida Beach Strike: YES BUNO: Unknown Death: 07 Cause: Collided with a US Navy Jet CRUSADER (assigned to Light Photo Sq. 62, NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida) collided over Jacksonville Beach, Florida on Sept 27, 1967....crashing on the swampy east bank of the Intracoastal Waterway. The Neptune was carrying two officers and three enlisted men (LCDR R. H. Ford, LT M. P. Myers, ADR2 C. M. McLarty, ATR2 M. E. Young and AEAN P. R. Huggins)....the pilot was the only occupant in the Crusader jet...a total of 6 people were killed. I was part of the aircrew on that aircraft earlier in that day ... and was asked to give up my position to let a fellow crewman get some needed flight time. I did so. It's been a sad experience to see so many friends lost that day Contributed by Andy Romanisky 103626.44@compuserve.com [10MAY99]

UPDATE "...My husband, Mike Myers, was killed on September 27, 1967 while serving with VP-30. I'm looking for any pictures of VP-10 or VP-30 P2 Neptunes. Went to NAS Brunswick, Maine in December closing base and saw the last three P-3's leaving. Our oldest son will be 50 in 2011 and would really like a picture of his Dad's plane to frame..." Contributed by Jeanne jmhand@tds.net [03JAN2010]

UPDATE "...VP-30 The SP-2H involved in the mid-air collision on 27sep67 was 147946, the RF-8G was 146864..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jwaarde@chello.nl, Navy/USMC/USCG/NASA Updates Editor WebSite: http://www.scramble.nl Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble [01DEC2004]

Mishaps "...I just noticed that there is no mention of at least 2 P2V's that we lost in VP-30? One went in to Lake George on a searchlight run, all hands on board were lost. P/C was AD2 Pridgon. The other was ditched off Mayport. I'm sure someone has much more info on these than I do..." Contributed by FCM Dick Gray (Ret) dickgray@brooksendway.com [28DEC97]

MishapsMISHAPs: 22 JAN 62 A/C: P2V-2 P Neptune LOCATION: Approximately 20 miles off the coast at Jacksonville, Fla TYPE: Ditched STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: NO BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Uncontrollable fire and were forced to ditch. "...Of all the patrol aircraft I am familiar with, I think the old faithful P2 takes it all when it comes to ditching at sea. This I can attest to as during my training time with Patrol Squadron and specifically January 22, 1962, I was one of twelve personnel who were aboard when we experienced an uncontrollable fire and were forced to ditch approximately 20 miles off the coast at Jacksonville, Fla. Believe it or not, not one person was seriously injured, but I cannot say that no one was scared stiff. Thanks to the professional attitude of our Instructor PPC, calm was maintained throughout the entire procedure..." Contributed by William H. Taulbee, LCDR., Retired willtau@yahoo.com [14MAY99]


Mishaps "...I noticed there is no entry on the VP-30 incident (Mishaps) at Cecil Field in 1993-94 time-frame. The prop struck the deck when they rotated out. Chunks of prop were extracted form the C-rack. No injuries, no deaths..." Contributed by Paula Wold PJWOLD@AOL.COM..." [E-Mail Updated 17JAN2001 | 22OCT98]

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