MISHAPs: 01 JAN 59 A/C P5M-2 "...On 1 Jan 1959 VP 48 lost the last P5M-2 manufactured(BUNO-Unknown). On that fateful day the Navy lost two of it's best, LTjg M. E. Dickens and LTjg J. G. Collier. Mr. Dickens was lost when he bailed out to close to a mountain top and his chute did not have time to open. LTjg Collier, unable to feather #2 engine, stayed at the controls so the crew could get out, and remained so till impact. His unselfish act of bravery earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross, Post Humously..." Contributed by email@example.com [06JUN99]
"...I have been researching this mishap and have found, and visited, the crash site. Some wreckage still remains at the site. I would like to share my findings with the rest of the VP Community..." Contributed by Dave Trojan firstname.lastname@example.org [23OCT2014]
On January 1st, 1959, Patrol Squadron Forty Eight (VP-48) based at NAS North Island, San Diego, California lost the last P5M-2 manufactured, Bureau Number 135483, (SF 5). The reserve pilots who made up the squadron called themselves the "SUNDAY FLIERS" because of the "SF" markings on their seaplanes. The mission flight plan was to fly to the Salton Sea sea-drome and return. The aircraft took off at 1507 (3:07pm), with a gross weight of 72,167 pounds, which included 1,850 pounds of internal ordnance and 16,800 pounds of fuel. Trouble started only 15 minutes later at about 1522 while on an easterly heading and leveling off at 7,000 feet, two miles west of Pine Valley California. An oil leak was detected in the starboard engine. The oil leak was followed almost immediately by an uncontrollable fire forward of the number three power recovery turbine. The aircraft then made a West-Northwest heading while losing altitude. While on this heading, nine crewmen parachuted (eight successfully) and the internal ordnance stores were jettisoned. At about 1527 the aircraft rolled into a nose down, steeply banking right turn and crashed into the side of a mountain about three miles Northwest Descanso CA.
On that fateful day, the Navy lost two of its best officers, co-pilot LTjg M. E. Dickens and pilot LTjg J. G. Collier. Dickens was lost when he bailed out too late and too close to a mountain top and his chute did not have time to open. The Navy said he would have lived had he jumped a minute sooner or later. He landed on top of a mountain peak.
The pilot, LTjg Collier fought to keep the plane in the air, but he was unable to feather the #2 engine. He heroically stayed at the controls of the doomed plane so that the crew could get out. He was then unable to escape in time before the plane impacted the ground. His unselfish act of bravery earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Pictured are four of eight crewmen who parachuted safely from the burning patrol plane. From left they are AD3 Allen F. Van Dyke, AM3 Lewis H. Wheeler, AN Lawrence Gabbert and plane captain AD2 Richard Reiselman. Not shown are Navigator Richard B. Tippetts, AT1 William D. Little and AE2 Lawrence J. Denault. The name of the last crewmember is not known. Their pilots gave up their lives to permit them to parachute safely from the patrol plane. "Two died to save us" said the eight crash survivors.
According to eyewitnesses, the ponderous patrol plane crashed in flames in the mountains 40 miles east of San Diego. According to the accident report, wreckage from the plane was found "120 feet from the impact point". The "entire fuselage was very severely broken up and scattered" and the wreckage burned for 12 hours after the crash before it was finally extinguished. The accident report also stated that there was a large amount of melted aluminum in the crash area and the point of impact was centered around a large rock in the crash area.
MISHAPs: 6 or 13 APR 58 A/C P5M-1 LOCATION: Japan TYPE: Collison with water STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 8 BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Unknown...See In Memorial for lost friends...April 6, 1958 Contributed by ROBERT [N] BELL email@example.com [Updated 26JAN2012]
In Memorial for lost friends April 6, 1958 [Updated 03FEB2016]
MISHAPs: 30 JUL 53 A/C P5M LOCATION: 60 miles off the northwest coast of Luzon and 220 miles from NS Sangley Point, Philippines TYPE: Collison with water STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 10 BUNO: SF5 CAUSE: Unknown...See In Memorial for lost friends...July 30th, 1953 Contributed by CASTILLO, Ruben firstname.lastname@example.org [10APR2001]
In Memorial for lost friends...July 30th, 1953 [19JAN2011]
MISHAPs: 16 JAN 68 A/C: P3 LOCATION: Japan TYPE: Collision Ground STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 12 BUNO: 152144 CAUSE: Pilot/Mountain...See In Memorial for lost friends...January 15th, 1968
In Memorial for lost friends January 16th, 1968 [Updated 06MAY2014]
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