Episode 49

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All other Episodes are available at THE GREEN HISTORY DETECTIVES

Episode 49

Who can tell us what incident occurred in the yellow circle in the first aerial photo below?
The year that each aerial photo was taken is given in the upper left corner of the photo.
The clues will consist of adding another aerial photo of a later year to the set.


The incident occurred in the 1950's.

The incident occurred in 1953.

The incident occurred in July 1953.

The incident occurred on July 19, 1953.

The incident occurred on July 19, 1953 between Greensburg and the Akron-Canton Airport:


Refer to Episode 17 for information about the Corsair.





The solution is given below.

DO NOT scroll down further

UNLESS you would like to see the solution.


It's the P-51 crash that the Green Fire Department responded to on July 19, 1953 as shown in photos
included in the Akron Beacon Journal story entitled:
Volunteer firefighters to be honored at open house for 75th anniversary of Green department
Be sure to read that interesting story and see all the photos about the Green Fire Department.
Much thanks to Chief Kevin Groen and Mr. Roland Cormany (former volunteer firefighter who was
on the P-51 crash, and former township trustee and township clerk) for providing the information and photos
below about the Ohio Air National Guard P-51 #464444 of the 162nd Fighter Squadron.
Note that this incident is not included in the Aviation Safety Network Akron/Canton Regional Airport, OH profile,
but apparently it should be:

The P-51 came to rest southwest of the George Kuhar farm barn that can be seen in the upper left
in the photo above as shown circled in green in the aerial photo below:

Green History Detective Tim Bennett provided the following information about that incident as written
in the book:
CANTON'S PIONEERS IN FLIGHT, Chapter 8. CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF, The Akron-Canton Regional Airport, page 139

Sadly, there was one fatality: a small rabbit.

Mr. Tim Bennett also provided the following as reported in
The Evening Independent in Massillon, Ohio on Monday, July 20, 1953 on page 1:

—Ad. Fighter Plane In Crash But Pilot Escapes Thousands of spectators saw an air force fighter
plane plunge to the ground in a crash-landing at the Akron-Canton airport's sesqui-centenniai air
show Sunday. The plane was demolished but the pilot, a 30-year-old member of the Ohio Air National
Guard, sustained only a slight, scratch. Capt. George Bleimes of Westerville was approaching a runway
for a landing when his F-51 Mustang suddenly developed engine and control trouble. His speed was
too great when the plane hit the runway and Bleimes tried to take off again. But the ship faltered
and hit the ground in a field just east of Greensburg. * * * CAPT.BLEIMES had crawled from his
demolished plane by the time rescuers arrived. He was taken to Shadyside hospital in North Canton
and treated for a scratch on his left wrist, his only injury. The $500,000' plane was a complete
loss. Bleimes had participated in formation flying along with three other Air Guardsmen. The other
planes all were from the 112th Fighter-Bomber squadron, which is stationed at Akron-Canton. Quick
action by members of the Canton-Massillon squadron of the Civil Air Patrol prevented curious
spectators from reaching the crash site. The patrol, billed for a simulated message drop and pickup
following the formation flights by he F-51's, rushed through its demonstration and then went to the
crash scene to rope off the area and serve as guards. (See FIGHTER—Page 12)

For those interested (as documented at Barney Oldfield):

Berna Eli "Barney" Oldfield was an American automobile racer and pioneer. He was the first man to
drive a car at 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) on an oval [on June 20, 1903]. His accomplishments led to
the expression "Who do you think you are? Barney Oldfield?"

The Evening Independent story above reported that it was a $500,000 plane. However, the Citizen
State Wire story below reported that same day the value at $50,000:

Note as documented at North American P-51 Mustang:

In 1948, the designation P-51 (P for pursuit) was changed to F-51 (F for fighter).
By 1950, although Mustangs continued in service with the USAF after the war, the majority of the
USAF's Mustangs had become surplus to requirements and placed in storage, while some were
transferred to the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) and the Air National Guard (ANG).
Captain George Bleimes' recollection of the incident is included on the Internet web page at
Bleimes Family History, Chapter 1. George (5) as follows:

Also in 1953: - On a Sunday, while attending a National Guard drill, I was requested to fill in as
a participant in a demonstration flight at the dedication ceremonies for the opening of the new
Canton-Akron airport. I accepted and joined three Mansfield pilots. We flew as a simulated combat
flight-of-four. After several maneuvers my Mustang developed some mechanical problems that I could
not fully overcome. In trying to deal with the problems, and avoid the crowd (over 100,000 people)
who had gathered there, I wound up setting it down in a field off of the end of a runway. The left
wing and the propeller tore off, and the fuselage broke on both sides of the cockpit. Much dust
was stirred up, which I thought might be smoke, so I jumped clear and ran several yards from the
wreckage before realizing that I had not unbuckled my parachute. All of this was exciting, but the
scariest part of this adventure was yet to come: Local sheriff deputies said I should get to a
hospital for an examination and took me in their cruiser. The driver thought he was a reincarnation
of Barney Oldfield and drove madly through the crowded, narrow streets. That ride made me far more
nervous than the crash had. As it turned out, my total injuries were a bruised nose and a cut wrist.

Note that it states that:
"The left wing and the propeller tore off, and the fuselage broke on both sides of the cockpit."
Apparently, only the tip of the left wing "tore off".

The aerial photo below includes a white rectangle to identify the area in the aerial photos above
and a yellow circle to show where the P-51 crashed:

As can be seen in the aerial photo above, the crash site is just southeast of Greensburg Park:

Flight Safety Foundation Report:

Flight Safety Foundation:

Evidently, an addition needs to be made to your Aviation Safety Network service for the ‘Akron/Canton
Regional Airport, OH profile’ at: http://aviation-safety.net/database/airport/airport.php?id=CAK.

As documented in Episode 49 of ‘The Green History Detectives’ at http://SpareTimeActivities.net/GHD49.htm,
the Green Fire Department responded to an airplane crash approximately one mile northwest of the
Akron/Canton Airport on July 19, 1953. Photographs of that Ohio Air National Guard P-51 #464444 of
the 162nd Fighter Squadron are included on that web page.

I would like to know what information you may have or discover about this incident and if it will
be added to the Akron/Canton Regional Airport, OH profile.

Thank you for your time and efforts,
Timothy D. Ball
TDB Consulting
Email: TDBConsulting@aol.com
Web: http://TDBConsulting.org/

Informative P-51 Mustang Documentaries:

The story of the P-51 Mustang:
Part 1 of 6
Part 2 of 6
Part 3 of 6
Part 4 of 6
Part 5 of 6
Part 6 of 6

Flight Characteristics of the P-51

Rolls Royce Merlin Engine

Packard Merlin Engine