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,
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
- McCaig, 2Lt. Stanley R. - 746 Troop Carrier Squadron, USAF -
- Meister, Dr. Adam George Jr. - Army doctor
- Montrose, Cpl. Leroy Neal - Airborne
- Pace, Lt. Richard Gene
- Perrine, A2C Carlton Lee "Corky"
- Risen, Pvt. Edward G. - Airborne
- Singleton, A/2C - 746 Troop Carrier Squadron, 456 Troop
- Sosa, Pvt. Ramiro Hernandez - Airborne
Survivors (incomplete list)
- 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.