VP-6 Squadron Crew Escape Crash Mishap
The Torii Teller, April 26, 1958
Contributed by Bob Dell
Eleven crewmen of a VP-6 P2V escaped death here Tuesday night when their aircraft crashed and burned while attempting to land at the south end of the runway at 8:21 p.m.
The "Neptune" patrol plane was returning to Iwakuni from a routine tactical training mission and was making an instrument approach because of poor weather conditions.
Landing short of the runway the aircraft sheared off its landing gear, skidded to a stop at the edge of the apron and then burst into flames.
Meanwhile the MCAF Crashcrew rushed to the scene and, finding the crew safe, began putting out the fuel and oil fire. The aircraft burned fiercely for about three hours and was still smoldering the next morning.
Listed as suffering moderate burns are: Lcdr. Donald A. Swanson, the pilot, LTjg. Arthur L. Fish, co-pilot, LTjg. Wilbur D. Templeton, navigator, and B.E. Lyles AM3, the plane captain. The injured men are recovering at the Facility Hospital.
Listed as un-injured are Ens. Richard P. Johnson, Harold K. Wandvik ATC, Robert L. Nowak AM3, Henry E. Stancil AT3, Donald D. Baker AE1, Raynmond K. Williams AO3 and Kelvin J. Sidney AN.
At the time of the mishap MCAF was experiencing light rain, fog and smoke. Visibility was limited to 2000 feet.