Major William Payne is being congratulated after he and captain William
L. Polhemus and captain Raymond Wagener completed the flight from
Carswell to Paris in 3 hours, 19 minutes and 41 seconds. A tenth of
the time which Lindbergh needed in 1921.
A picture of the 5665 'firefly' with the autographs of the crew. Sadly,
the return flight crew, consisting of Maj. Elmer Murphy, Maj. Eugene
Moses, and Lt. David Dickerson, the same crew that had won the Bleriot
Trophy some two weeks earlier, crashed in 59-2451 on June 3, following
departure from Le Bourget. All three men were killed in this accident.
received the following E-mail regarding to the Paris B-58 crash
from Bill Tappe. He now is semi retired and working as a golf pro
in Tucson Az.
was a Staff Sgt. in the 43rd A&E (Armament & Electronics Maint Sqdn.)
and worked on the B-58 Bomb/Navigation system from 1960-1966 at
both Carswell AFB Texas and Little Rock AFB Arkansas. I remember
some of the incidents that were involved in the crash of A/C 451during
the Paris Air Show of 1960. What you have on your web page may be
the official news release of the incident, but it's not the story
we got. Maj. Moses was our Maint. Officer with the A&E sqdn. The
word we got was that the flight crew was ordered to do a slow roll
over the trophy presentation when the A/C went into a fog bank and
the attitude indicator in the 1st station was referenced to the
bomb/nav system instead of the Auxillary Flight Reference System.
The B/N system had mechanical limits that were exeeded when the
A/C did the slow roll and with the A/C in a fog bank, the AC lost
horizontal reference and the A/C ended up upside down on a farm
outside Paris. The Wing Commander, Col. Robert Johnson, who wrote
the book "Thunderbolt" was relieved of command shortly afterward.
The A/C were all modified to include a secondary attitude indicator
referenced to the Auxillary Flight Reference System at all times
to make sure something like that never happened again.