Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Bomber crash on east side of Detroit in 1958 Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 7:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anybody remember the day a British bomber fell out of the sky in 1958? It killed all six crew members but, miraculously, nobody on the ground was killed. Several houses on Ashland were hit, a couple completely destroyed. I'm putting together a magazine article and looking for anecdotes and any snapshots taken of the crash site.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 1158
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 7:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Welcome to DY, Richard_bak. I have not heard of this crash, so I am all ears. Let's see if the gang here lives up to their rep. Good luck with your research, it sounds interesting.
Top of pageBottom of page

Servite76
Member
Username: Servite76

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 7:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Repost.

"OCT. 24, 1958: A British Royal Air Force bomber jet -- trailing smoke and flame and its pilot calling out "mayday" -- crashed on Ashland Avenue near the Detroit River on the city's far east side. All six crew members were killed. Three homes were destroyed and about 40 others were damaged. Wreckage was scattered into nearby Grosse Pointe. No one on the ground was killed; two women were treated for burns.

The four-engine delta-winged plane was on a training mission, flying from Lincolnshire, England, to Lincoln, Neb. Crippled, it dived from 45,000 feet, passing over hospitals and schools on its path to the ground. The impact was so hard that searchers dug 70 feet in an unsuccessful effort to find the plane's cockpit. The largest piece of wreckage found was a 6-foot section of wing that landed on a porch."
Top of pageBottom of page

Servite76
Member
Username: Servite76

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On 24 October 1958, Vulcan B1 XA908 of No. 83 Squadron crashed in Detroit, after a complete electrical systems failure. The failure occurred at around 30,000 ft (9,100 m) and the backup system should have provided 20 minutes of emergency power to allow the aircraft to divert to Kellogg Airfield. Due to a short circuit in the service busbar, backup power only lasted three minutes before expiring locking the aircraft controls. XA908 then went into a dive of between 6070 degrees before it crashed, leaving a 70 ft (21 m) deep crater in the ground. All six crew members were killed, including the co-pilot who had ejected. He landed in Lake St Clair and drowned. His body was never found. It is thought he was the only member of the squadron who could not swim.[12]

B1Bomber
Top of pageBottom of page

Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 156
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, And more info is on the "Paradise Lost" thread in the H.O.F.(Hall of Fame) section on this site.
Top of pageBottom of page

Maxcarey
Member
Username: Maxcarey

Post Number: 212
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 10:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Richard_bak?

From St. Alphonsus?
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MaxCarey -- from the Pittsburgh Pirates?

Yep, a St. Al's grad -- just barely. Very, very barely. But no need to go into the bloody details.
Top of pageBottom of page

Maxcarey
Member
Username: Maxcarey

Post Number: 215
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 3:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, some loose connections to the old Pirate

I have enjoyed much of your work for quite some time.
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 3:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Who you be, MaxCarey? Hopefully not someone I borrowed five dollars from back in 1971 and forgot to repay.
Top of pageBottom of page

Aiw
Member
Username: Aiw

Post Number: 6606
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 5:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Count me among your fans too... I've got a few of yours on my bookshelf.
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 4
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 5:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I appreciate the kind words. Now, did any of you have a jet engine crash through your roof on Oct. 24, 1958? (One can only hope.) BTW -- I've seen by going through the microfilm that a four-engine bomber wiping out half a city block wasn't even the biggest story of that long-ago rainy Friday. Cardinal Mooney happened to unexpectedly die in Rome while the college of Cardinals (no, not St. Louis) was locked in secret sessions trying to decide the new pope. This sent the city's estimated 1 million Catholics into collective shock, as the dailies described it. I was four years old at the time and don't remember being shocked, at least nothing like when I accidentally saw my grandmother in her girdle (another story I need not get into at this time).
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 12206
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 6:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another St. Al's grad, curious. (1981)


A Cardinal dying unexpectedly while in secret sessions to 'elect' the new pope?!


Wow. Makes your head spin.

Britain had a plane that flew with electronic assistance and/or fly-by-wire in 1958? Power goes out and the controls lock.


Bomber flying from Lincolnshire to Lincoln, NB. Couldn't have been going over to pick up anything nefarious, huh? Glad it didn't crash flying back.

Might've been a Panic in Detroit, the prequel.


Cheers
Top of pageBottom of page

Savannah
Member
Username: Savannah

Post Number: 24
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The company that made the wiring for most english cars was Lucas Electric Co. AKA "The Prince of Darkness". Don't know if they were into aerospace...
Top of pageBottom of page

D_mcc
Member
Username: D_mcc

Post Number: 617
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 6:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lot of St. Als grads here eh? East Dearborn Gannon?
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 6
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 6:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm killing time on this board when I should be finishing a 4,000-word piece on the Robison family murder of 1968. (Look for it in the June issue of Hour Detroit--adv.) But mentioning St. Al's unexpectedly brings on a ton of memories, even though I was born and raised on Detroit's west side. I met my wife there, her father, Wenceslaus Maliszewski (now there's a good ol' Irish name for ya) owned the real estate company on the corner of Calhoun and West Warren (directly across from Boleski's Funeral Home), and many years later our oldest daughter was married at the church. Perhaps someone should start a separate thread on St. Al's. (But give it a couple days so I can finish this Robison piece. My editor thanks you.)
Top of pageBottom of page

Leoqueen
Member
Username: Leoqueen

Post Number: 1976
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Richard,welcome to the Forum! I am very curious about your upcoming piece on the Robison murders; I was 13 at the time it ocurred and was really scared by it. The fact that the little girl was beaten to death [I think] was so very eerie to me. I guess I identified with her.
Top of pageBottom of page

Maxcarey
Member
Username: Maxcarey

Post Number: 216
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Richard

I was involved at St. Als during its last decade. I am from the east side, but loved that school and neighborhood. While I knew your works about Tiger baseball previously, some of the folks at St. Al's informed me of your previous enrollment.

I have enjoyed all of your works and look forward to your new article.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 1165
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I sure hope you wern't beaten to death, Leoqueen. That would be too sad. Now, about this bomber crash...
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 497
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

there is an old thread on here with pictures,of the crash. It was a year or so, on here.
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 7
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Robison murders remain officially unsolved, though the lead detective on the case told me he's convinced it was Joe Scolaro, the business partner of Richard Robison, Sr., who is/was the killer. For those who may have very little knowledge of the case, the slaughter of Robison, his wife, and four children at an isolated cabin in Good Hart remains one of the most fascinating mysteries in Michigan's history. I have to tip my St. Al's baseball cap to the editor at Hour Detroit for giving me a rather luxurious word count with which to explore the case.

Yes, Susie, the 8-year-old, was beaten to death with a claw hammer; like all the rest, she also was shot. The mother evidently was raped, though that is not certain. Their bodies lay decomposing inside a closed-off cabin for an entire month, with the heat turned on, before a caretaker finally decided to explore the source of the overpowering stench. Detectives were met with a wall of flies when they began their investigation; ultimately, the entire cottage had to be burned down because there was no way of getting rid of the smell. Gruesome, but there's a whole lot more. I'm in the midst of trying to complete the manuscript by next week. (But it's fun goofing off this board. I just discovered it the other day.)

Ironically, last summer my wife and I vacationed in Good Hart for the first time in our lives. The cottage we rented is just two miles down the road from where the Robisons were butchered. And the day we checked out happened to be the anniversary of the murders. Weird. All that was before I had ever heard of the Robison murders.
Top of pageBottom of page

D_mcc
Member
Username: D_mcc

Post Number: 619
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Max...You might know a few of the Families I know from there. I actually dated a girl that went to the grade school in its last days.
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 8
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 8:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

...and thanks to those for steering me to that old post about the bomber crash in 1958. I'm still interested in hearing from anyone with personal recollections of that tragedy.

After getting sidetracked talking about St. Al's and the Robison murders, I almost forgot what the original subject of this thread was. Well, always fun to wander and rummage around. It's how the mind usually works (this one, anyway).
Top of pageBottom of page

Ed_golick
Member
Username: Ed_golick

Post Number: 955
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 9:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Richard,
Not a good idea to use your real name on this forum.
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 9
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 9:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Ed,

But you use YOUR own name on this forum.

I got nothing to hide. Bring 'em on.

P.S. -- Ed, I haven't forgotten I owe you that Romper Room and Justice Colt stuff.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 12207
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 9:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is a fine idea. heh
Top of pageBottom of page

Harsensis
Member
Username: Harsensis

Post Number: 352
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 9:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Back to the crash....I had family members that lived very close to the crash site. My Grandmother even saved a few news articles about it since they lived within sight of the crash on Harbor Island. They were not home at the time, but a great uncle George, who lived on Scripps who was knocked off of his couch while taking a nap. I even sold a postcard of the area to somebody on ebay only to find out that our grandparents lived across the street from each other on Harbor Island.

Things I remember about the crash is that the plane swooped over Bon Secours Hospital in Grosse Pointe and turned around in order to ditch it in the lake, they fell just short of the river. The nuns of the hospital saw the plane going down and readied the hospital in case they had a large number of injuries.

One thing that is neat to do, is to go to the foot of Ashland and look at the houses. Most of the houses were built in the 1920's to 1930's, then there are a few houses that stick out, that were built in the 1960's. Those are where the original houses were destroyed.
Top of pageBottom of page

Zimm
Member
Username: Zimm

Post Number: 58
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2008 - 10:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

my mother's family lived on Ashland, in the middle of the first block West of Jefferson at the time of the crash. her mom was at home and remembers the sound of the crash, although she did not see it because she was inside the house. the floor of their basement was cracked end to end from the force of the impact.

my paternal great grandparents lived on the first block of Alter (Detroit side) at the time, but i don't know if they witnessed it.

of of the few neighborhood stories of theirs that i do know is that my great-grandmother was friends with famed aviator Charles Lindburg's mother, who lived in the neighborhood. she would babysit him regurlarly. when he was old enough to fly, he would buzz the neighborhood, showing off for his mom.
Top of pageBottom of page

Sailor_rick
Member
Username: Sailor_rick

Post Number: 210
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 7:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Damn Lucas electrics.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 12215
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 7:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I once made a common negative quip about Lucas to a fellow on the sales floor at the Gramophone in Birmingham...and watched him react in a full body-flinch. He was an upper-level exec with them...don't remember if he bought anything that day. He didn't admit to being with them originally, only some European wire-harness and accessory maker. It was early in their attempt to increase business here in the States...I wonder how my reply ever played in the boardroom.

When you're bad, you're bad...too much of a track record for them.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 12216
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 7:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

D_mcc,

Appoline between Belton and Oakman for my first thirteen years, Pinehurst between Moross and Tireman until graduation in 1981.

I still go back there to remember my roots!

Got this strange aversion to neckties...and nuns. Luckily, I still have a letter Sister Barbara Ann sent home back in seventh grade that might still win me some of my college cash back that my father spent on his annulment that made me a bastard!

Cheers
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 1166
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 8:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gannon, so your the reason why most harnesses are now made in China...now, back to our crash story...
Top of pageBottom of page

Mikeg
Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1553
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 8:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is the thread from Sept. 2005 that has information and aerial photos of the crash scene:
Paradise Lost - Lakeside Trailer Park and Marine Hospital

This web page lists the names and burial location of the six British Air Force aviators who were killed in that crash.

Also, here is a related thread from a year ago:
Plane Crashes Within the City Limits
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 10
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 9:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gannon,

You evidently lived on the same block as an old friend. Do you remember a Mary Bourgoise on Appoline at Belton? Her older brother(s) were Del Shannon's agent (for those of you who remember "Runaway").

For what it's worth, I spent the first 15 1/2 years of my life on Pinehurst, between West Chicago and Orangelawn. I'm still trying to figure out how I wound up at St. Al's.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bulletmagnet
Member
Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 1169
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 10:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for posting the linkage, Mikeg. I missed out on the original interest of this topic, sadly, so it was nice to come up to speed. Richard_bak, I have some memories and photos of the trailer park in question. I had a brother, a friend, and a work mate who lived there from the mid- 70's to the bitter end. I have scads of photos, but not sure how relevant to this bomber crash topic they would be. Currently I am tied up up-loading about 2,000 photos to Flickr from this dying comp to look for them. Let me know if they are needed and I will try to find some time to locate them.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 12217
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Richard,

Yeah, I remember the Bourgoises, Mary was a year or two ahead of my sister ('79). Never knew that about the brother, pretty cool.

Were they right on that NW corner of Appoline and Belton? If so, their father was a lawn nazi. Prick kept his lawn like a putting green, then assaulted any kid without the steering precision to avoid that little corner spot...I'd bet he died from stress. He sure taught an entire neighborhood of kids to be PASSIVE-aggressive, and sneaky equalizers.


But I think they were on the east side about five houses from the corner with a cool double lot...forty-four year old synapses stretching a wee bit! That family kept to themselves, but were nice enough. Haven't thought of the Bourgoise name in about thirty years, thanks for the trip.

We lived in the 'castle' topped house on the west side of the street with the basketball court out back that everyone dropped in for in the early seventies...across from Mr. Hawkin's legendary BBQ cookouts.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 12218
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 10:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Richard,

If you were on Pinehurst that far north, you might've crossed paths with my cousins, the Smiths.

Mother worked at the ACLU, father at Burroughs if I remember right. Bruce, Beth, Colleen, Veronica, then Michelle (Mickey) all started their lives on Pinehurst, but they might've been up near Schoolcraft.
Top of pageBottom of page

Richard_bak
Member
Username: Richard_bak

Post Number: 11
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 11:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, all, for the links. What I'm really looking for is somebody who actually was in the vicinity of the bomber crash when it happened, or may have taken some snaps of the wreckage afterwards.

Gannon, I don't remember the Smiths (how could I forget such an unusual name?) but, yeah, the Bourgoises lived in a brick bungalow right at the corner of Belton and Appoline. Mary graduated in 1975, I believe, from St. Al's. Her dad (think his name was Larry) was a bit odd, I guess. Seems like every time I saw him he was wearing the same cut-off orange sweatshirt and tinkering with something in the basement. He had a goatee, as I recall, which was a little unusual in those days. I can remember sitting on the front steps of her porch some evenings, circa 1972, 1975, and wondering where we would all be in 25, 30 years. Guess now I know -- reminiscing on this board.

BTW -- I do remember that turret-style house. Use to briefly wonder about it every time I drove past leaving Mary's house. Small world.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 12219
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 11:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LOL.

Damn this is a funny turn of threads.


I'm pretty sure he was tinkering with yet another gadget to trap the wanderings of youth across his maniacally-maintained front yard...and then sitting on his porch waiting to see if his better housetrap would work.


For all that damn time spent trimming and defending his putting green, I think I saw him practice on it ONCE!


I ran into a fellow who was '71 St. Al's when I lived in Orlando/Winter Park in the mid-eighties...that was an odd co-incidence. Can't remember his name, but I'm sure it'll come up at the right time.


That was a great street to live on before all the Elms died, seemed every city employee knew our 'shade cathedral'. I vaguely remember when GI Joe mobilized at the end of our street, at Tireman, during the '67 and '68 summers.


The castle-top roof always, always leaked...no matter what engineering was introduced, no matter what cost entailed with the new 'fix'. I wouldn't mind revisiting that house, I've a personal ghost I need to chase away upstairs.


Cheers

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.