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-   -   30 years since Indian Springs Crash (http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=105132)

2ndrgrbn82-85 29 September 2011 09:14

30 years since Indian Springs Crash
 
Didn't see anything posted but last week was the 30th Anniversary of this tragic training accident which took the lives of six Rangers..



Indian Springs AFB, NV Cargo Plane Crash, Sep 1981
Galveston Daily News Texas 1981-09-22

7 SOLDIERS KILLED, 61 HURT IN PLANE CRASH.
Indian Springs Air Force Base, Nev. (UPI) -- An Air Force C-130 cargo plane crashed and exploded "like a bomb" during night-time military maneuvers near a desert runway Monday, killing seven soldiers and injuring 61 others.
The troops who survived the crash escaped from side exits in the rear just before fire reached the fuel tanks, turning the craft into an inferno on the Nevada desert.
"The plane missed the field. It hit the ground, sheared off its undercarriage and skidded several hundred feet before coming to a stop," said Air Force Col. Mike Wallace. "The fuel was seeping and it caught fire. Not until the fire spread did the pyrotechnics catch on fire."
"That gave the troops in the back an opportunity to escape through the side exits. If it had been a normal crash the plane would have been a fireball," Wallace said.
The fuel fire triggered a series of smaller explosions inside the aircraft led by pyrotechnics, flares and smoke grenades, used in the night war games. The four-prop C-130 transport, with a wing span of 133-feet, hit the ground one mile short of the darkened Air Force landing strip.
Wallace said it was common for the air base to be dark and without landing lights during night training.
Eight of the 68 men aboard were Air Force crewmen based at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
The troops undergoing night realistic field condition training were assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash. A few army observers from Fort Campbell, Ky., were on board, according to a Fort Lewis Air Force spokesman said.
All of the C-130 Texas-based crewmen survived, but were hospitalized at nearby Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., for observation suffering from sprains and bruises.
Many residents of the quiet desert community of Indian Springs, located about 50 miles north of Las Vegas, heard the explosions and believed the noise was part of a night training bombing run.
The Army identified the seven soldiers killed as:
Lt. Col. WILLIAM E. POWELL, 42, Annandale, Va.
Capt. GREGORY E. GARDNER, 34, Huntsville, Ala.
Pvt. KEVIN E. LANGLEY, 19, Pampa, Texas.
Pfc. LONNIE J. FURR, 22, Rixeyville, Va.
Spec. 4 JOHN P. CRITSELOUS, 20, Knoxville, Tenn.
Staff Sgt. JIMMIE D. BYNUM, 34, Waxahachie, Texas.
Chief Warrant Officer 3rd Class JOHN WILLIAMS, 32, Yelm, Wash.
All but WILLIAMS were Rangers from Ft. Lewis, Wash. WILLIAMS was from Ft. Campbell, Ky.
NAME DATE OF INCIDENT UNIT
Kevin E. Langley 9/21/81, Killed In Training Indian Springs A/2/75 RGR
Lonnie J. Furr 9/21/81, Killed In Training Indian Springs A/2/75 RGR
John P. Critselous 9/21/81, Killed In Training Indian Springs C/2/75 RGR
Jimmie D. Bynum 9/21/81, Killed In Training Indian Springs H/2/75 RGR
Gregory E. Gardner 9/21/81, Killed In Training Indian Springs H/2/75 RGR
William E. Powell 9/21/81, Killed In Training Indian Springs H/2/75 RGR

ccorgr175 29 September 2011 11:34

R.I.P.


2%

Odin's Underling 29 September 2011 11:53

I remember hearing about this when it happened. Heard about the actions of those that went back in the aircraft to get their brothers out. RIP, 2nd Bat Rangers.

Ranger5280 29 September 2011 13:05

RIP Brothers

leopardprey 29 September 2011 14:32

IIRC, there is a memorial Stain Glass Window at Evergreen Chapel, just down the road from 2nd Bat. showing a Ranger parachuting out of a plane, and the names of those killed in this tragedy. Included in the Stain Glass window is a quote to the New Testament scripture verse stating "no greater love than one who gives their life so that others may live" .

Latewatch 29 September 2011 16:07

There was rumor before that mission that the E&E plan was going to be initiated. I was out on one of the blocking positions and when we first heard the call over the radio we thought it was part of the training and we would have to E&E.

Wish that had been the case.

RIP Brothers

rgrdrew 29 September 2011 17:27

RIP Brothers.

Typhoon 29 September 2011 18:28

RIP...

SN 29 September 2011 19:38

RIP.

Did they figure out why the bird landed short?

magician 29 September 2011 23:55

Not casting aspersions, but this was early in the special operations game, and the NODs of the day were difficult to use effectively in this manner.

Nobody blames the pilots. It was a combination of equipment and procedures.

LTC Powell was trapped in debris up to his waist inside the bird, and he commanded CPT Gardner and SFC Bynum to get everybody else out first. Once this was done, they came back for him.

They just did not make it out before the bird finally blew.

tboy 30 September 2011 03:10

RIP gents

Indian Springs Airbase? Is this the same as Creech? If so is there a memorial there?

CCo275 30 September 2011 05:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by magician (Post 1058040824)

LTC Powell was trapped in debris up to his waist inside the bird, and he commanded CPT Gardner and SFC Bynum to get everybody else out first. Once this was done, they came back for him.

They just did not make it out before the bird finally blew.

That sucks. A stud to the end. RIP Rangers.

agonyea 30 September 2011 08:54

Rest in Peace. Thank you for you service and sacrifice to this nation.

Here is a website dedicated to Col. Powell:

http://www.specialops.org/resource/r...ean_powell.pdf

SN 30 September 2011 11:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by magician (Post 1058040824)
Not casting aspersions, but this was early in the special operations game, and the NODs of the day were difficult to use effectively in this manner.

Nobody blames the pilots. It was a combination of equipment and procedures.

LTC Powell was trapped in debris up to his waist inside the bird, and he commanded CPT Gardner and SFC Bynum to get everybody else out first. Once this was done, they came back for him.

They just did not make it out before the bird finally blew.

Thx.

That's the rumor we heard and that this resulted in the SOLL Program being consolidated at one base.

Still amazed at what you guys did early on.

magician 1 October 2011 04:39

We were refining lessons learned from RICEBOWL.

And we were also rehearsing for another planned op that never got green lighted.

chrissyb80 1 October 2011 08:30

Hi,

I just wanted to say thanks for remembering this day. Jimmie Bynum was my dad and it's nice to hear he hasn't been forgotten. If any of you have any stories of him, my mom, brother and I would love to hear them. Thank you.

Chrissy

Combat Jump 1 October 2011 19:56

Sometimes, for some random reason, I'll find myself thinking about my squad buddy Critselous.

magician 1 October 2011 22:21

Hi, Chrissy.

Welcome to SOCNET.

Your father was my boss. He was a good boss, he took good care of us younger medics, he trained us well, he protected us, and he did not let us run amok. This is exactly how you need to handle young Ranger medics.

I was not surprised to learn that he ran back into the aircraft with Greg Gardner. (I was not at Indian Springs, I was in the Ranger course at the time). It was in character for him. I was devastated to learn of his death, as your father and I were as close as a SSG (him) and a PFC (me, at the time) could be. I looked up to him.

The wounds for me are still raw after all of these years. I can tell you that there are many of us who are veterans of that era at 2d Ranger Battalion who still honor the memories of your father and Greg. We have never forgotten them, and we never will.

Your father is now a part of the history of the Battalion. I am sure that you have seen the memorial at the Battalion compound. That will never go away. In the event that the Battalion ever moves to a new location, the memorial will go as well. One thing that the 2d Ranger Battalion does is, it honors its dead, and this will never change, until the Battalion's colors are finally furled.

So, we are all getting older, and soon, we will die in our turn. But the memory of what your father did, trying to rescue LTC Powell, will never be forgotten. Your father went out hard, just like a Ranger medic should. He set an example for us younger medics, and all of us who knew him tried hard to follow that example in the years that ensued.

I know that my words are small consolation for your loss. I hope that you understand that we share your loss.

With my best wishes.

RLTW.

magician 1 October 2011 22:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Combat Jump (Post 1058041486)
Sometimes, for some random reason, I'll find myself thinking about my squad buddy Critselous.

He was a good dude. I used to eat breakfast with him in the RDF.

I no longer remember if he was in RIP with me. Maybe that is why. We became friends for some reason, which is weird, because he was in C Co and I was in A Co.

Same with Lonnie. I remember eating breakfast with him in the RDF plain as day. I just do not remember why we became friends. Just that we were.

I even remember going to that chow hall that was open late at night up past B Co with them. I cannot remember what it was called after 30 years.

Getting old, brother. And more and more brain-damaged every day.

Combat Jump 2 October 2011 01:58

Magician, It was the Recondo Pit Stop.
Chrissy, welcome. I am sorry for your loss.


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