We need your help to keep the KWE online. This website runs on outdated technology. We need to migrate this website to a modern platform, which also will be easier to navigate and maintain. If you value this resource and want to honor our veterans by keeping their stories online in the future, please donate now. For more information, click here.

Topics - Stateside Tragedies

Tragedies that Occurred Stateside
During the Korean War



While over 33,000 American lives were lost in the Korean combat zone, veterans' lives were also being lost stateside during the Korean War.  Click on the links below to learn about these tragedies.  They are listed by the date that the tragedy occurred.  To add further information to this page contact Lynnita@thekwe.org.

Stateside Tragedies

  • Sinking of the USS Benevolence - California - Just offshore at San Francisco, California, the hospital ship USS Benevolence was rammed by the freighter Mary Luckenbach.  There were 23 fatalities, including one Navy nurse.  There were 505 survivors.  The sinking occurred on August 25, 1950.
  • Troop Train Wreck - Coshocton, Ohio - When the Spirit of St. Louis train collided with PX5444West, a Pennsylvania National Guard troop train, 33 Pennsylvania National Guardsmen lost their lives and 67 others were injured.  The wreck occurred on a foggy morning on September 11, 1950 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  All of the fatalities were from Pennsylvania.
  • Sherman tank/Express train Collision - Barberton, Ohio - Three members of B Company, 137th Tank Battalion, Ohio National Guard were killed on April 29, 1951 when the Express train crashed into the Sherman tank.
  • Collision of the Thomas Tracy and USS Valcour - Virginia - Near Cape Henry, the USS Valcour was passing the collier Thomas Tracy when the two vessels collided on May 14, 1951.  A fierce fire broke out on the Valcour when a fuel tank was ruptured.  No one on the Thomas Tracy was injured, but there were 11 dead, 16 injured, and 25 missing (later presumed dead) on the USS Valcour.
  • Globemaster Crash - Indiana - A huge Globemaster C-124 crashed near New Castle, Indiana on May 23, 1951 when two of its four propellers reversed pitch, causing the plane to lose altitude.  There were seven fatalities and five survivors in the crash.
  • Launch Capsize - Rhode Island - Eighteen men were drowned in Narragansett Bay on May 24, 1951, when a Nor'easter caused the water to churn, swamp the launch, and capsize the vessel.  On the launch were 159 men who were returning from liberty.  All struggled for their lives in the water until rescue. (PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
  • Troop Train/Southern Belle - On August 10, 1951, eight Marines were killed when the troop train (Extra 51-A North) they were in collided with the Southern Belle passenger train near Lettsworth, Louisiana.
  • Car/Truck Accident - Romney, West Virginia - Marines on leave from Camp LeJeune crash into a semi-trailer on New Jersey turnpike October 07, 1951. Four Marines killed.  One survivor.
  • Car/Truck Accident - New Jersey Turnpike - Five Marines killed in a car/truck accident on December 18, 1951 in Bordentown, New Jersey.
  • Transport Truck Accident - Four National Guard members were killed on August 07, 1952 when the truck in which they were riding plunged over an embankment at the Hunter Liggett military reservation north of Camp Cook, California.
  • Car/Truck Accident - Six sailors killed on August 09, 1952 in Litchfield, Illinois.
  • Globemaster Crash - Alaska - On its way to Korea, a Globemaster C-124 crashed into Knik Glacier east of Anchorage on November 22, 1952.  The bodies of all 52 persons on the massive plane were lost under snow until they were re-discovered in 2012.
  • Car/Truck Accident - Five Marines killed in an accident in Ashland, Virginia on November 25, 1952.
  • Car/Greyhound Bus Accident - Five sailors were killed on December 14, 1952 at Saluda, Virginia.
  • Globemaster Crash - Washington - Some say it was pilot error and others say it was mechanical failure that caused this C-124 to crash five miles northeast of Moses Lake, Washington on December 20, 1952.  One of the worst air tragedies of its time, 82 passengers and 5 crew members were killed.  There were only 28 survivors.
  • Truck Accident - Six GI's were killed in a truck accident on March 18, 1953 in Kentucky (town unknown).
  • Car/Power Shovel Accident - Six merchant marine cadets were killed on May 31, 1953 when their car careened around a curve near South China, Maine, and crashed into a power shovel.
  • Pontoon Raft Capsize - North Carolina - On September 2, 1953, 40 trainees with the 406th Engineer Training Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina were given a demonstration ride aboard an engineer pontoon raft on a nearby lake when the raft capsized. Twenty trainees drowned.
  • Leyte Explosion - Boston Naval Shipyard - Thirty-seven men were killed by an explosion and fire aboard the USS Leyte CVS32 on October 16, 1953.  The ship was under conversion to a CVS when an explosion occurred in the port catapult machinery room.  It took four hours to extinguish the fire.  Twenty-eight others were also injured.
  • Car/Truck Accident - Five sailors lost their lives on November 08, 1953 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey.
  • Stateside Airplane Crashes - There were several in 1954.  Click the link to see details.
  • Two-car Crash - Seven persons (including five soldiers) were killed on February 13, 1954 in a two-car accident in Mountain View, California.
  • Bennington Explosion - Nantucket Island - The forward third of the USS Bennington suffered the brunt of an explosion or series of explosions that occurred on May 26, 1954 in the Atlantic Ocean not far from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.  It is believed the explosions were caused by hydraulic fluid in the ship's catapults.  There were 104 deaths and injury to 139 others.
  • R6D-1 Crash, Oahu, Hawaii - There were 66 fatalities in this crash, most of whom were veterans returning to the States after their tour of duty in Korea was over.  The date was March 21, 1955.




Your donation helps to
keep this web site FREE.

| Contact | What's New | About Us | Korean War Topics | Support | Links | Memoirs | Buddy Search |

2002-2016 Korean War Educator. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of material is prohibited.

Hit Counter