Topics - Triple Collision
F-84 Thunderjet and Two C-119's
West Germany - May 15, 1953

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A formation of four C-119's was flying at an altitude of 5000 feet on May 15, 1953 near Mannheim, West Germany, when a US Air Force Republic F-84 Thunderjet (51-628) flew through the formation and collided with one of the Boxcars (51-8241). It careened off that one and hit another C-119 (51-8235). The F-84 pilot (James W. Chilton) ejected and landed safely by parachute. Both C-119 planes were lost with eight crew members killed and three parachuting to safety.

Table of Contents:

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List of Fatalities:

  • Battiste, A1c Michael - engineer on C-119C (51-8241)
  • Clement, Capt. Wesley Yeo - aircraft observer on C-119C (51-8235)
  • Dahl, 1Lt. Edwin E. - co-pilot of C-119C (51-8241)
  • Osborn, Lt. John William - aircraft commander of C-119C (51-8235)
  • Ray, Maj. Joseph H. - copilot of C-119C (51-8235)
  • Sohns, SSgt. Dean O. - radio operator of C-119C (51-8235)
  • Thompson, Capt. Carl J. - navigator of C-119C (51-8235)
  • Wells, Williston G. "Bill" - aircraft commander of C-119C (51-8241) based at Rhein Main AFB, Germany

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Biographies of Fatalities:

Battiste, A1c Michael

Born December 19, 1929, he was from Pennsylvania.  There is a marker for him at Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, New Jersey.

Clement, Capt. Wesley Yeo

Born January 11, 1919, Captain Clement married Rebecca "Re" Robins, daughter of Harrison and Ethel Rhoads Robins, in May 1945 at The Country Club of Maryland.  They were parents of four children.

Dahl, 1Lt. Edwin E.

Osborn, Lt. John William

John W. Osborn was born on November 19, 1916, near Lincoln, Nebraska, to Emment and Nora Osborn. In 1938, John married and he and his first wife had two sons, John W. and Charles R. Osborn served in WW II, stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, and was discharged in 1945, at which time he made Rapid City, South Dakota, his permanent home. After his discharge, he was self-employed as a farmer and rancher near Pactola. In 1951, he remarried in Rapid City; his wife’s name was Dorcus (Carlson), daughter of Clarence and Blanche Carlson, who moved from Philip to Rapid City in 1946.

Lt. Col. Osborn was recalled to active duty on April 11, 1951, at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He was sent overseas as Commander of the 60th Troop Carrier Group in Rheim, Mein, Germany. Mrs. Osborn accompanied her husband to Germany.

[Source: Zach Robinson, Spearfish, South Dakota]

Ray, Maj. Joseph H.

Born February 07, 1920.

Sohns, SSgt. Dean O.

He was born September 11, 1921.

Thompson, Capt. Carl J.

He was born September 05, 1920.

Wells, Maj. Williston G. "Bill"

A world War II pilot, Major Wells was born June 27, 1922.  He is buried in Tabor Cemetery, Mills County, Iowa.


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