Talihina to remember Air Force crash

TALIHINA—A remembrance of the 13 Air Force men who lost their lives in a plane crash near Talihina will be held Sept 28 in honor of the 70th anniversary of this tragic incident.

It will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade followed by speakers and the unveiling of the memorial plaque.

Families of the crash victims will be present for all the activities. The men lost their lives far from their families, and they are getting the recognition they deserve at last.

On Sept 26, 1949 an Air Force B-29 bomber crashed and burned near Talihina. All 13 onboard died. The B-29 was on a training flight when it crashed.

People from Talihina and Albion heard a plane in trouble. They looked up to see a large Air Force B-29 bomber circle overhead. The plane entered a flat spin falling from the sky, crashed and burned in a wooded area six miles southwest of Talihina.

The plane was on a flight from Smoky Hill Air Force Base in Salina, Kansas. At 6:55 p.m. they radioed their position over Fort Smith, Arkansas at 25,000 feet proceeding to Perrin Air Force Base in Texas.

Twenty minutes later, the plane crashed. The official investigation speculated an explosive decompression lead to the crash.

The names of the men are as follows: Pilot 1st Lt. Robert B. Black; Co-pilot 1st Lt. Harold S. Spicer; Navigator 1st Lt. Phillip L. Benefield; Bombardier 1st Lt. Jack E. McDannell; Radar Operator Capt. Julian B. Massey; Radar Operator 1st Lt. Thomas F. Carlow; Engr. M/Sgt William H. Day; S/Engr. Cpl. Theodore P. Sells; Radio Operator S/Sgt Charles G. Slifkey; Radio Operator S/Sgt Thomas M. Crean; Gunner S/Sgt Charles A. Jellings; Gunner Sgt Harold M. Hanna; Gunner S/Sgt Robert O. Troyer

SAC 15th AF, 301st Bomber Group, 352nd Squadron, Smoky Hill AFB, Salina, Kansas.


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