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  Clifton 'CC' Williams T-38 crash site location

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Author Topic:   Clifton 'CC' Williams T-38 crash site location
p51
Member

Posts: 911
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 10-30-2011 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently got to wondering about the crash of Clifton Williams in a T-38 which went down near Tallahassee, Florida in 1967. I have always been curious exactly where the crash site is. Surely the exact crash site location must be documented somewhere, but does anyone know where I could find that? Would that be a FAA or a NASA report?

I searched a lot online but couldn't find anything showing the exact location. I grew up just south of the area but the subject rarely ever came up (I was born two years after the crash) locally. I think the first reference to it I ever heard was in the series, "From the Earth to the Moon" on HBO.

I was in that area last month and checked with friends at the local newspaper (where I worked for four years) and turned up nothing. I wonder if maybe NASA wanted to keep this low profile or more likely the newspaper was inept at reporting (which I saw all the time in the 90s).

What little I know is that the T-38A-65-NO in question was 66-8354 with the FAA registration of N922NA (also tail no. 922). It apparently went down at Woodfield Springs Plantation at Miccosukee.

I can't find anything that specifies any point of contact there. I'd assume someone who is a caretaker or something would know where the crash site is. You just can't find much more than a mention of it online.

I'll be looking into that area the next time I find myself in that area. I swear, I will find the location someday! But you'd think there would a plaque or marker of some kind.

Also, would anyone happen to know where a photo of this airplane before the crash could be found?

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3095
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-30-2011 12:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may find some of the information you need in this book. Even if not, it sounds like you will appreciate it as the most comprehensive account of Williams' life and career out there.

Your comment about a memorial or plaque reminds me of visiting the site where Ed Givens sadly passed away, in the company of Robert Pearlman and some NASA folks. We also expressed the opinion that it would be fitting to have some kind of marker there.

ColinBurgess
Member

Posts: 1610
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 10-30-2011 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm the author of the book Francis has kindly pointed out to you.

I do have a newspaper photo of the crash site taken from above which I never put into the book out of consideration for the family, although I can't recall it showing much in a geographical sense. However the NASA Safety Report states:

The impact occurred in a semi-wooded area approximately 5 mi. north of the Tallahassee VORTAC station at 1725Z. The aircraft struck the ground in a 75- to 80-degree dive, inverted and on a heading of 300 deg. at close to Mach 1. The crater was approximately 29 ft. in diameter and 12 ft. deep.
That's about as close as I can pin it down for you. If you'd like to see a scan of the crash photo send me a message and I'll dig it out for you.

robsouth
Member

Posts: 627
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 10-30-2011 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crash site was located on Woodfield Springs Plantation. This webpage has further details on the location of the plantation.

You can find the area on Google maps by locating Centerville Road and Miccosukee Road and also by comparing the lakes in the diagram on the webpage above to those shown on Google maps.

tfrielin
Member

Posts: 149
From: Athens, GA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 10-30-2011 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tfrielin   Click Here to Email tfrielin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
I wonder if maybe NASA wanted to keep this low profile or more likely the newspaper was inept at reporting (which I saw all the time in the 90s).
I have to assume you're referring to the Tallahassee Democrat. I agree it was then and continues to be a pretty sorry excuse for a newspaper.

Anyway, I lived up north of Leon County, FL for many years and know the area pretty well. The plantation where Williams crashed is mostly pine forest, oaks and scrub. And some fields.

But after nearly 45 years, I'm not sure what would be left of that dreadful crater – it is probably mostly filled in by now. Maybe just a shallow depression by now, assuming the owner didn't just fill it in.

p51
Member

Posts: 911
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 10-30-2011 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding the hole, yeah, knowing the area (I grew up out on Highway 20 and lived there until I was 28), it probably dug a hole that filled with water.

robsouth
Member

Posts: 627
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 12-29-2013 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
I do have a newspaper photo of the crash site taken from above...
Colin, could you send me a scan of the photo you mentioned?

ColinBurgess
Member

Posts: 1610
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 12-29-2013 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob, there is no email contact above your cS post. Can you contact me off-forum at my email address above?

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