Displaying items by tag: Crash

On January 3, 1964, the fuselage of a RB-57D Canberra twin jet reconnaissance plane crashed in a parking lot of the school that has since been developed into a portion of the building.  Over 2,000 students, teachers and workers were in the school at the time!  The plane spun through the air for over 15 miles after the wings had ripped off at 50,000 feet.

No one was injured and little damage was done, largely because there was no explosion due to the fuel having been contained in the wings.  The pilot parachuted to safety.  The engines landed miles away in a field on Shakertown Road and the wings were found near Fairground Road.

Lynn ShoupTragedy struck this very spot on November 2, 1959 when an F-104 Starfighter lost power and crashed into the former schoolhouse that had become the residence of Grace Shoup and her family.  Grace, who ran from the home with her clothing afire, later died from her injuries.  Daughters Lynn and Lora were killed in the crash.  Ten year old Billy and eight year old Tommy Shoup were at school and learned of the devastation to their family as news spread through the community.

Tom Shoup graduated from BHS in 1969, his father owned Shoup Sporting Goods in the Knollwood area.  A recollection has been shared of the tail section of the plane sitting in the middle of the burned wreckage that used to be the home.

Editted Text of the November 3, 1959 Journal Herald article:

'A jet Starfighter crashed broadside into a house near here today and buried itself in the ruins.  Two young sisters were killed.  The pilot ejected to safety.  The mother of the girls, Mrs Grace Shoup 37, ran from the house her clothing in flames after the supersonic craft crushed the house and exploded.  She is in critical condition.  The sisters were Lynn Shoup 12 and Laura 2.  Their brothers, Billy 10 and Tommy 8, were in school.  Lynn a was to have reported for her half-day session of school at noon. Their father was at work.

Wallace McCormick 27, was driving past the house when the plane hit.  Flames from the blast shot clear across the road more than 50 feet away and enveloped my car, he told newsmen.  The fire was all over the car could feel the heat.  I lost control and hit the ditch about 50 yards down the road.  When I got a look at the house it was a complete wreck and Mrs Shoup was running cross the yard with her clothing afire.  McCormick was uninjured.  Shaken neighbors beat out the flames and hustled the screaming woman to a hospital.  The pilot, Maj James W Bradbury 34, ejected at low altitude when his craft lost power on takeoff.  The house, a converted brick school building, is located about eight miles south of Air Force Base where Major Bradbury is based.  Major Bradbury is one of the few men to survive ejection from a Starfighter one Air Force source said.

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