It was one of those moments so traumatic in the life of a 7-year old that it is indelibly etched in my memory. It was as if it happened yesterday. In 1954 a jet fighter out of either Republic or Grumman crashed right into the middle of Denver Rd.[ right around the corner from Roxbury ]. I saw it fly right over my back yard, disappear over the trees on Willoughby Ave, and then saw the flames rise. Small pieces of the plane landed in my yard and in the yard that the Trubia's would move into later. The pilot wanted to land in a field at the Beech Street School. In a Newsday article the next day, they qouted the pilots last words, "can't land at school, full of kids, gonna try to make it to the water...". He saved a lot of lives that day. How many of you saw or heard it too? Reply here or at Warren@SaturnAtl.com
The fighter jet crashed in the middle of Denver Rd, 2 blks away from Amherst Dr, where I lived. I remember standing in my driveway with Pete Gilfilon eating a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and seeing this jet streaking across the sky in front of us. It was on fire at the time and the pilot flew it into the middle of the street. It was in '54.
I was in the front seat of my mother's car going up Seaford Avenue towards Sunrise Highway. Right after we passed Willoughby Ave. we saw the plane diving down. It looked like it was going to crash into the train station. There was a HUGE fireball that came up. I don't know if it was my imagination , or what, But I swear that I felt the heat on my arm out the window of the car.
My mother was hanging curtains in the front window and saw the whole thing. Six people, including the pilot, were killed. My friend's mom had just taken her two toddlers out of their cribs and had gone elsewhere in the house. Within moments that bedroom, with its 2 empty cribs, was where the engine landed. There were parts all over the neighborhood.
We were playing kickball in the middle of Larch Street just north of Merrick Road when that plane went down.. Mike Hamill, the Dillons, Sue Wassing, Jud Box ( we actually had a Box that DIDN'T start with a "T" ) and others. We were all playing at the time. We thought it was a bomb. Remember, in 1954 we were just 9 years out of WWII. It was a scary moment.
Post by Warren111qwert on Nov 11, 2003 18:49:52 GMT -5
The crash happened on August 3, 1954. An Air Force Republic F-84 "Thunderjet" went down smack in the middle of Denver Road. Two died - the pilot, instantly, and another man on the ground a few days later. According to Newsday, 5 others were injured. There was talk of putting a plaque up but it never happened. The pilot could have bailed out, but didn't. His heroism saved many lives that day.
I asked my father if he remembered the airplane crash in Wantagh. He most certainly did. Turns out that my brother was riding his bike at the time at almost dead center where the plane crashed. Apparently my mother went nuts worrying that he had been hurt when the plane crashed. I queried my brother as well and he remembers, as did my father, body parts and wreckage strewn around the crash site. What an amazing memory.....
I was in the 7th or 8th grade in Wantagh when that F-86 went down in Wantagh. The pilot, whose name I believe was William Wieland, was flying from Bangor, Maine. Initially, when he developed an engine problem, he was heading for water but could not make it. Then he spotted the field at the Beech Street School but kids were on the playground. He went down in a ball of fire. A nieghbor who was on his front lawn at the time died. I remember that the hole in the ground that his plane made had the outline of his plane.
My father, Cpt William Hubbard Weiland was the pilot that lost his life August 3, 1954. I would like to hear from anyone familliar with the incident. I plan to visit the crash site for the first time late this summer.