Description: Nighttime photo of a group of men excavating plane wreckage with a shovel. An Oklahoma Highway Patrolman is holding a flash light. Photograph taken for a newspaper owned by the Oklahoma Publishing Company. Caption: "Workers are shown digging in the wreckage of a T-33 jet trainer after it crashed into a plowed field and exploded 15 miles northeast of Duncan. the explosion blasted a crater 15 feet deep-- Jet Pilot Killed In State Crash- A T-33 jet trainer from Perrin Air Force base, Texas, crashed in flames and exploded 15 miles northeast of Duncan Friday night, killing the pilot and scattering wreckage over a wide area. The trainer was one of two planes running interception drills at 29,000 feet over southwestern Oklahoma. Tinker Air Force base officers here said they suddenly lost radio contact with one plane and never heard from it again. A fisherman on Lake Duncan 2 1/2 miles southwest of the crash scene said "he saw the jet pass overhead in flames and suddenly go into a nosedive. Then there was a muffled explosion" said the witness, Froggy Green of Duncan, who rowed ashore and drove over to the wreckage. The fiery crash, at 10:25 PM attracted several hundred curious residents from Duncan. The explosion blasted a crater 15 feet deep and the engine was buried in the ground. Pieces of wreckage, none more than three feet long, were scattered 150 yards away in the plowed field. Identification of the pilot was withheld pending notification of next of kin. Tinker officials said there was no indications of what went wrong. The pilot was blown to bits."
Date: October 31, 1953
Partner: Oklahoma Historical Society