On 18 May 1950, a Jet Plane crashed in my back yard. Here is a photo of what that looked like, as they hauled the pieces away.
Now, why am I telling you about this.
In our research, we tend to look locally, to Historical Societies, Genealogy Societies, Archives (think ArchiveGrid), and other repositories.
As we research Family, we remember the FAN Club (Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Neighbors). I just learned that I need to use the FAN principle for places as well.
And, the rest of the story.
I had a email from my brother, who forwarded an article from a small town in Chester County, Pennsylvania which was not too far from where I grew up. My bother’s wife has a friend that lives there, both were teachers, so I received the article. It has been posted on a website:
The June 27th article was about this Jet Plane that crashed “in a Lionville Orchard“. Oh did that take me back a very long time. The article is full of details, most of which I remember from growing up (and living through it), but some back story about the details of the “training mission”. Please read it.
The author of the article responded immediately (late in the evening) when I told the website / webmaster that I was there, and thanked them for that article. I looked at the photo album I have been working on, and there were 8 or 10 photos of that crash, of course I shared them with “Jim” (I believe he is the Vice President of the Historical Society) The article mentioned and our email back and forth, that the exact location wasn’t know. I can solve that problem (red circle)
I can see the house my Dad built, our garden across the street, and remembered where the Jet came down. That photo was taken in 1957 according to the caption. I was living in that house in early 1957, when we moved to New Jersey. I would guess, that where I have located that crash site it pretty close.
The kids on the farm, my cousins, mostly were barefooted, unless we were working, which was most of the time. But, for a couple of years, we could not, as there was small pieces of metal all over the orchard. If my memory is correct, it was about 55 acres.
So, the crash site and the house were close. Yes, there was mud on the house and the 3 car garage that my dad built, but we were not home. My folks had gone out for the evening. Don’t remember where they went, be we were across the orchard to my grandparents house.
I don’t remember the rain, that the article mentioned, but that would explain the mud on the house. I also remember a few of the details about what happened to the two pilot’s. Glad to have that story.
One more thing, DearMYRLE, last Wednesday, and I had a Webinar with The Archive Lady, and our discussion was about surprises that we run into. This article is one of those surprises.
I spend most of last night, and this morning looking at their website. What a Gem. There was a photo of a group of young men, at the High School, where I attended and the teacher in the photo was probably my teacher when I was there.
The Website has a link to what Family Files that have AND what Business Files they have. Needless to say, I am asking for them. And, may in fact to pay them a visit.
Don’t forget the FAN Club for Locations. Maybe that small, or not so small, neighboring Genealogy or Historical Society has the record you need, want, or never thought you would find.
This is the cockpit of that Jet that had been moved to the side of the road for pick up later
The Wreckage being picked up
Our Driveway where the big truck was for the wreckage.
NOTE: the field across the road, was a newly planted set of trees, peach, I think. I also think you can see the Farm House above the tree line near the top of the picture.