Topics - C-119 Crash
Huntingdon, Tennessee
February 26, 1954

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The tragic end of the final flight of C-119 #52-5894 is well-documented on the Internet.  The plane struck the roof of a house in Huntingdon, Tennessee on February 26, 1954 and the plane crashed.  The crew of four was killed and two persons on the ground (Freeman Taylor, age 22, and Homer Demoss, age 72) were badly burned.

"The crew left Fort Benning-Lawson AFB in Columbus, Georgia, at 1334LT on a training flight to Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama. The training program consisted of approaches, touch and goes and landings. After takeoff from Fort Benning, the captain decided to modify his schedule and flew to the northwest to Huntingdon, Tennesse, where he came from. This city is more than 300 miles northwest from Fort Benning. Approaching Huntingdon, the captain reduced his altitude and completed a first low pass over the city. Few minutes later, at a speed of 230 knots, he made a second low pass over the city when the plane hit the roof of a house and disintegrated on a field. All four crew members were killed...."

"The aircraft disintegrated as a result of stress applied beyond the designed load limits. Inspection of the engines disclosed no malfunction of the power recovery turbines. The pilot violated several procedures by operating an aircraft in a careless and reckless manner, by flying over a congested area at less than 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a radius of 2,000 feet, by disregarding established boundaries of the local flying area and proceeding to a point approximately 170 nautical miles outside of the prescribed flying area while operating on a local flight clearance. In addition, the pilot failed to follow instructions for accomplishing scheduled crew training published by squadron training directive and as briefed by the Squadron Operations Officer. The pilot had made two extremely low and high speed passes over the town of Huntingdon."  [Source: Bureau of Aircraft Accidents]

An excellent source to find detailed information about this crash, visit To add information to this page of the KWE, contact Lynnita.

Most recent addition to this page: August 20, 2022

[This page was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council.]

Fatalities (alpha order)

  • Jenkins, 1Lt. Jack Clark (pilot)
  • Levy, A3c Franklin Delano (student flight engineer)
  • Peachey, 2Lt. John Charles (co-pilot)
  • Probus, A2c David Alvin (student flight engineer)

Bios of the Fatalities

Jack Clark Jenkins

Jack was born on August 20, 1929 in Tennessee, son of Jack Tuggle "John" Jenkins (1879-1942) and Mabel Clark Jenkins.  Jack, who was unmarried, is buried in Dixon Springs Cemetery, Dixon Springs, Smith County, Tennessee.  Jack was a graduate of Huntingdon High School and then graduated from Bethel College in 1951.

Franklin Delano Levy

Franklin was born August 10, 1933, son of Mary Edith Levy (later Wineland) (1914-1999).  He is buried in Bonner Chapel Cemetery, Tichor, Arkansas County, Arkansas.  He was not married.

John Charles Peachy

John was born December 3, 1928.  He is buried in DeAnn Cemetery, Prescott, Nevada.  His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Albert Peachey of Prescott.  There is an Albert B. Peachey (1897-1988) and his wife Keron Peachey (1906-1982) also buried in DeAnn Cemetery.  They are likely his parents.  Other Peacheys are buried in the same cemetery.

David Alvin Probus

David was born April 24, 1933 in Indiana.  His parents were Vernon C. Probus (1904-1962) and Julia L. Pasek Probus (later Mrs. Bert Seifert) (1910-1978).  His siblings were Robert V. Probus (1924-2000) and Betty Lee Probus Gossman (1925-1995).  David is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana.



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