Topics - C-119 Training Accident
Collision with Paratroopers
November 17, 1953

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On November 17, 1953, twelve C-119 aircraft participated in a training exercise with some 1,000 members of the Army's 82nd Airborne.  C-119 #51-8163 left Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina as part of the paratrooper dropping exercise.  The aircraft was attached to the 764th Squadron of the 4566th Troop Carrier Wing, Charlestown, South Carolina.  While in flight over Holland Drop Zone, this aircraft's engine failed.  One account states that, piloted by 1Lt. Leo Burr Clark, the C-119 clipped C-119F #51-8122 (piloted by James A. Rowe) as it dove into the ground and scrub brush.  The C-119 was flying at 1,200 feet when it went into the dive.  Some 38 paratroopers in the plane jumped after the plane began to fall.  Paratroopers were hit and killed during the crash, and four crew members and one doctor onboard #51-8163 lost their lives.  Some paratroopers who had dropped from planes ahead of the disabled C-119 died in the accident, while others died when suction from the falling aircraft collapsed parachutes.  Others died while making 'short jumps' as the pilot of the C-119 tried to veer from the jump zone.  The jumpmaster of #51-8163 was Sgt. Jesse Arrington of Newport News, Virginia.  He survived.

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Most recent update to this page: January 07, 2023.

Fatalities (incomplete list)

  • Arbogast, Pfc. Chester - Airborne
  • Baker, Pvt. Arnold L. - Airborne
  • Clark, Capt. Leo Burr- US Air Force
  • Glover, Cpl. George Washington
  • Johnson, Pfc. Clarence C. Johnson - Airborne
  • Mallory, Charlie
  • McCaig, 2Lt. Stanley R. - 746 Troop Carrier Squadron, USAF - co-pilot
  • Meister, Dr. Adam George Jr. - Army doctor
  • Montrose, Cpl. Leroy Neal - Airborne
  • Pace, Lt. Richard Gene
  • Perrine, A2C Carlton Lee "Corky"
  • Risen, Pvt. Edward George - Airborne
  • Singleton, A/2C - 746 Troop Carrier Squadron, 456 Troop Carrier Group
  • Sosa, Pvt. Ramiro Hernandez - Airborne

Survivors (incomplete list)

  • Arrington, Sgt. Jesse
  • Sluss, Sfc. Hubert - Bristol, Virginia

Biographies of the Fatalities

Arbogast, Chester - Chester was born April 26, 1934 in West Virginia, son of Pendleton Arbogast (1911-1967) and Mabel May Morral Hedrick (1915-1993).  His half siblings were Clara Mae Arbogast Frantz (1935-2020) and Robert Thomas Arbogast (1937-2013).  Chester is buried in Biby Cemetery, Pendleton County, West Virginia.

Baker, Arnold L. - Arnold was born August 24, 1934 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Greenwood, Indiana.

Clark, Leo Burr - Leo was born April 18, 1927 in Maine, the son of Leo Vincent Clark (1890-1972) and Blanche Emily DeLisle Clark (1896-1981) of Millinocket, Maine.  Lieutenant Clark's wife was Elizabeth A. Clark of Charleston Heights, South Carolina.

Glover, George Washington - Born February 22, 1923 in Summerville, South Carolina, he is buried in Arlington Memorial Park, Kearny, New Jersey.

Johnson, Clarence C. - Clarence was born April 17, 1935, the son of Clarence C. Johnson (1904-1968) and Angeline A. Orzechowski Johnson (1909-1956).  His sibling was Mrs. Richard (Mable "Jonnie" Johnson) Ingram.  Private Johnson is buried in Clayfield Catholic Cemetery, Ellsworth, Wisconsin.

McCaig, Stanley R. - Stanley was born October 16, 1928 in Yakima County, Washington, the son of Robert Stanley McCaig (1889-1974) and Mary M. Zimmerman McCaig (1889-1985).  Stanley is buried in Terrace Heights Memorial Park, Yakima, Washington.

Meister, Adam George Jr. - "George" was born August 06, 1925.  He attended Southern Junior College and then Loma Linda University.  He met his future wife and nurse, Edwina Smith, at Loma Linda.  After he received his doctor's degree the couple moved to Sarasota, Florida, where he was a physician.  He entered the Army during the Korean War.  George and Edwina had children Joan, Jane, Jeannie, Adam and Bob.  Dr. Meister is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, Florida.  Edwina later married Donald L. West Sr.

Montrose, Leroy Neal - Leroy was born June 28, 1930, a son of William Allen Montrose (1908-1976) and Lorena Carmon Montrose (1909-2002).  His wife was Lottie Bramlett Montrose.  His siblings were Frances M. (1927-1929), William Allen (born 1928), Mrs. William Norman (Minnie Montrose) Woodson (1941-2019), Ida Montrose Edmonds, Betty Montrose Green, Mickey Montrose, and Brenda Montrose Windham.  Leroy is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Florence, South Carolina.

Pace, Richard Gene - Richard was born January 09, 1931 in Buncombe County, North Carolina, the son of Lawrence Justice Pace (1896-1976) and Ethel Stepp Ewell Pace (2905-1962).  Lieutenant Pace is buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Perrine, Carlton Lee "Corky" - Corky was born August 25, 1931 in Mansfield, Ohio, a son of Johnathon Rose Perrine (1903-1969) and Orpha Miriam Smeltzer Perrine (1902-1986).  His siblings were David Ross Perrine (1925-1925) and Mrs. Harold Dean (Dolores Jean Perrine) Detrow (1927-2017).  Airman Perrine is buried in Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield, Ohio.

Risen, Edward G. - Edward was born on January 30, 1926, a son of Eugene A. Risen (1901-2001) and Grace E. Risen (1908-1992), Oregon City, Oregon.  His siblings were Donald E. Risen, Edith E. Risen, Dorothy S. Risen, Carolyn Joy Risen, Charles R. Risen, and Ruth Risen Warmuth. Edward attended Oregon City High School and was a member of Oregon City unit of the Oregon National Guard.  H entered the service on January 30, 1953 and had been at Ft. Bragg three months prior to the accident.  He is buried in Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon.

Singleton, Daniel G. - Daniel was born August 07, 1932 in Avalon, Missouri, a son of Stanley F. Singleton (1908-1985) and Frances Figg Singleton (1915-2014).  His siblings were Stanley Dale Singleton (1931-1998) and Grace Singleton Thompson.  Daniel is buried in Avolon Cemetery, Avalon, Missouri.

Sosa, Ramiro Hernandez - Ramiro was the 17-year old son of Mexico natives Ramiro Hernandez Sosa, Sr. (1908-1974) and Belen Rodriguez Sosa (1908-1995) of El Paso, El Paso Co., Texas. He was born December 01, 1935 in El Paso.  His siblings were Belia Rodriguez Sosa (1932-1934) and Eduardo Rodriguez Sosa (1937-1974).  Edward entered the U.S. Army on January 23, 1953.  He is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, El Paso, Texas.


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