|Birth: ||Jun. 7, 1921|
|Death: ||Feb. 6, 1948|
US ARMY AIR FORCES
WORLD WAR II
February 7, 1948
Five Killed When Plane Falls
Jasper, AR. Feb. 6 - An army B-25 en route from Dayton Field, OH, to Little Rock, AR. crashed into a bluff on Round Top mountain, less than two miles south of here at 8 tonight. At midnight, a rescue party reported the plane still in flames and that two bodies could be seen. It is known that five persons were on the plane and it is believed that all are dead.
Newton County Sheriff Russell Burdine and Sgt D.G. Wilson and Patrolman Wayne Hyden of the Arkansas State Police who had been at the scene and returned to Jasper at 10 p.m., said a series of explosions forced them to keep at a distance. They said the plane was burning fiercely but that by the light of the flames, they could see two bodies. They also found two caps.
The plane struck a half mile off Highway 7, principal road through Newton County, AR. No one here saw the plane, but farmers living near the scene came to town to spread the alarm. They said the big plane was flying low and it was evident it was experiencing motor trouble.
Sheriff Burdine and the State Police who are stationed at Harrison, AR. organized a searching party and found the wreckage.
Bound for Little Rock
Officials at the airport in Little Rock told State Police the plane was due in Little Rock at 8:07 and when it failed to appear, calls were sent out. They also said the ship left Dayton, Ohio with five men aboard.
Rain which fell here yesterday and today left the woods coated with ice and footing on the mountain was very dangerous. It was possible that the others of the crew were thrown clear of the flaming wreckage and may have fallen down the bluff.
The State Police radio station at Harrison remained in service but at midnight could not contact Sergeant Wilson or Patrolman Hyden an indication that they were out of their unit at the scene.
Bodies Taken from Plane Wreckage
Jasper, Feb. 7
Four of the five service men killed when an army
B-25 bomber hit the east side of Round Top mountain near here last night have been identified by army authorities.
Those identified were members of the crew. The other victim was a sailor, who was said to have hitched a ride on the plane, which was enroute to Little Rock from Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.
Wright Field identified the four crew members as:
Lt. Phillip Novick, aged 26 of Brooklyn, New York.
Lt. Felton F. Roberson, aged 27 of Little Rock and Osborne, Ohio.
Lt. Charles W. Thomas, aged 26 from Zepher Hills, Florida.
M-Sgt. George L. Haties, aged 28 of Dayton, Ohio.
State Police and an army rescue team from Barksdale Field, Shreveport, La., removed the bodies from the mountain today after residents had been barred from the area. Fire and explosions prevented police and residents from reaching the victims for several hours.
HIT PEAK NEAR TIP
The plane struck the 2,000 foot Ozarks Mountain about 200 yards from the top at 8 pm last night. It burned until about midnight. A series of explosions, which continued almost an hour, then started. Police believed the explosions were started by oil and fuel which had collected in crevices of the mountain.
Jasper is 150 miles from Little Rock in Northwest Arkansas. The plane was apparently off course, probably due to bad weather.
Sheriff Russell Burdine of Newton County said a logbook found in the wreckage recorded "icing conditions" and fog immediately before the accident occurred.
Lieutenant Roberson, aged 27, is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Betty Bivens of Little Rock; two children, Sherry Lynn and Thomas Lee; and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Roberson, of 4309 Maryland Avenue. He graduated from Catholic High School in 1940, and entered the army in 1942. Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel church.
Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
(¸.´(¸. (¸.´¸¸.¨¯`.¸¸.♥ God Bless You¸.♥
other info on the crash
The night of the crash, February 6, 1948, the weather was horrible with freezing rain and fog. The B25 was flying from Dayton, Ohio, to Little Rock, Arkansas, with five men aboard. It was a military plane, a bomber, but was not armed on that flight. It was being used for training purposes. The local people reported hearing and seeing the plane flying very low the night of the crash. It was lost and off course and the plane was icing up. It crashed into the bluff at 8 pm that night causing a large explosion that shook windows all around. Bodies and debris from the plane were scattered all around the site. Many local people were at a basketball game in Jasper at the time of the crash. When they got the news, several of them went with the sheriff to search the site and stayed to guard the scene through the night. There were many small explosions going on as the scattered fuel pockets caught fire. Locals said it was a gory sight but the full impression could not be known until morning light. The plane was broken into many small pieces, the biggest being the two engines, one of which was imbedded in the bluff where the plane hit, and a portion of the tail section.
Today there is a trail to the crash site. The place where the plane crashed into the bluff can be seen and the scorch marks from the burning fuel are visible on the rocks. One of the plane engines is on display at the site. There are pieces of metal and aluminum parts that have been found and some are still lying in the soil. Local people gathered pieces of the plane and have offered to give them to a museum if one is established.
The B-25 bomber was a military plane in very common use during World War II. It had two engines with 14 pistons per engine which each weighed over 1000 lbs. It was made mostly of aluminum and was 52 feet long with a 67 foot wing span. It could fly at 272 mph with a range of 1350 miles and 24,000 feet. Over 11,000 were built and about 260 remain in existence today.
The Round Top Mountain Crash Site is being nominated to the Arkansas Register of Historic Places with local significance under Criterion A for its significance in the history of aviation in the Jasper area and for its association with World War II aviation and home front activities.
This is the same make of plane that crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City on Saturday, July 28, 1945 due to heavy fog.
Little Rock National Cemetery
Plot: POST, 7357
Maintained by: Beverly Joe Vaughn ϑ...
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3140736