Date:unknown, approx Nov 1968
Location:Yokota AB, Japan
Copyright: Nicholas Williams
Copyright: Nicholas Williams
This was taken at Ta-Khli Thailand on 15 Apr 1974, enroute from Bangkok to Korat
flying a PBP-8R5 mission.
Copyright: Duncan Williams
This aircraft and crew was lost in an accident near Knoxville, TN, on 31 August, 1982.
The extremely experienced crew elected to continue a low-level airdrop mission in
mountainous terrain during marginal weather.
The local SOLL I training mission departed Charleston shortly before 1300 hours. The crew was extremely experienced. The Aircraft Commander was recognized as the airdrop expert at Charleston and was well known within the C-141 community. The Copilot was a Flight Examiner.
The aircraft entered VR-92 at 1350 local time. Weather along the route was reported, by other aircraft as 4500 feet Overcast, tops to 8000 feet, with zero visibility below 4500 feet due to rain showers, ragged ceiling, multi-layered stratus and fog. Route weather was below MAC minimums.
Radar plots by Atlanta Center tracked the aircraft on the route. At 1427, the plots showed the aircraft in a progressive climb from 2500 feet. The aircraft impacted 4908 foot John's Knob in the Tellico Wildlife Area, 118 feet short of the peak. At the time of impact the aircraft was in a slight climb of 4-5 degrees (approximately 2000 feet per minute). There were no survivors among the crew of nine. Speculation was that the crew was attempting to use the recently installed Bendix color radar in the MAP mode, for terrain avoidance. The flight recorder and cockpit voice recorder were unrecoverable.
The above information was provided by Paul Hansen
Here's a few newspaper clippings from the Charleston area published shortly after the crash.
On September 21, 2007, C141Heaven received the following email from Paul Wood.
I am doing some research on a 141 mishap and would like to obtain as much information as possible about the accident. I am looking for individual accounts of the incident, as well as photos, news articles, and the like.
On 31 Aug, 1982, a 141B (SN 64-0652) crashed in a remote area in the NC mountains.
My father, Col H.E. Wood, USAF-ret, was stationed at Scott AFB at the time, and sat in on the accident review board meeting. I recall him telling me of the event (when it happened), and given the fact that we have a home in the mountain's of NC, I have been telling myself that I was going to head up to the site, and locate its exact location. I did this on the 25th anniversary of the flight.
In attempting to find the best ingress to the site, I located John's Knob (crash site) on a map, and was pleased to see that it was right off a 'scenic highway' that connects NC to TN. This stretch of highway, which is, and will always be, totally undeveloped from a commercialized standpoint, is approximately 23 miles in length, with numerous scenic overlooks. Each overlook as a large information board which identifies historical data, as well as misc info on MSL altitude, trees indigenous to the area, wildlife, etc.... One such pull off is within a half mile of John's Knob, and it too, has info consistent the others.
What I find particularly disturbing is the fact that on this particular 'board' there is no reference whatsoever of the fact that nine US servicemen lost their lives less than a half mile away.
What is even more disturbing (to me at least) is the fact that the board makes reference to a burial site that is approx a quarter mile away from the 141 impact area - yet does not acknowledge the fact that NINE USAF crew members, for all intents and purposes, are STILL buried throughout that mountain top.
There is a roadbed that goes up to the crash site, and both the road and the actual site itself is maintained by the State of NC.
The road leading to the site
Looking up to the crash site
The grass is cut on both the road going up, as well as the 'field' that was created as a result of the aircraft reclamation- yet nowhere, neither by the road nor anywhere near the site is a marker, or a memorial, of any kind. This is both wrong, and sad. That will change.
Looking Towards John's Knob
I am going to be getting with both the Air Force and the State of NC to ensure a memorial is placed by both the road, as well as being added (in some shape, form, or fashion) to the signage a half mile away. There will also be a marker at the crash site itself; this memorial will honor those nine people that lost their lives serving this country, as well as the mighty aircraft they flew. This is only fitting and proper.
I've obtained the official USAF Mishap Report from Kirtland AFB. -- it's very limited in content. Any additional information anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated. My father, being a flight crew member for over 20 years (Nav) and I are working on achieving this objective together, and we will come short off nothing less that success in our endeavor to have the site memorialized in the honor of the aforementioned.
If somebody has ANY information on this flight and its crew, we would appreciate it be forwarded on to me.
Paul Louis Wood, Sr.
Col. Horace E. Wood, Jr - USAF-Ret.