Missionary Ridge Plane Crash

“Aunt Lynnard”

Since: Jan 09

South Pittsburg/New Hope TN

#21 Aug 20, 2009
This is the one I've been looking for! The B-25! Tell me all you know and where I can find more information! I have pictures from inside the attic. I can find info on the forst crash, but nothing on the second. Thanks for your help!~Aunt Lynnard
Big Red


#22 Aug 20, 2009
I was not alive when that one happened - I just know about it because my parents used to talk about it. It was a training flight and I understand engine failure was the cause. You can get a complete accident report from the USAF if you contact Maxwell AFB in Alabama. It has been over 50 years, so you can get a complete, uncensored report, including witness statements. Here is the link:http://www.afhra.af.mil/
Hope this helps.
Aunt Lynnard

Lincoln Park, MI

#23 Aug 20, 2009
Thanks so much! This is a big help and I'm excited to get the information.
Have a great evening, Aunt Lynnard

Lexington, KY

#24 Nov 29, 2009
I just came across this site but as far as the B-25 crash the plane took off from Lovell field heading to the north west when it must have had some engine trouble. The plane tried to turn back toward the airfield and crewmembers began to bail out. I think two of the crewmembers chutes did not deploy and one of the landed on the football field in which a game was being played. I have the newspaper article on the whole thing somewhere. My dad saw the whole thing happened, he was watching the game. The pilot tried to miss the house on the ridge and save those peoples lives.
Walt Miller

Sterling Heights, MI

#25 Jan 25, 2010
I attended Ridgedale Elem in 1961-62. We lived on Lyerly Street. My father had a business for many years at 3801 Dodds Ave., Signal Barber Supply.

They told us this story when we were students. I have always wanted to know more about it. I still don't see the type aircraft listed.
Big Red


#26 Jan 25, 2010
The aircraft was a B-25 Mitchell bomber, the same type used by the Doolittle Raiders. It was a twin-engined medium bomber. Afer the war, they were later used as aerial firefighters. A B-25 was featured in the movie "Forever Young" with Mel Gibson.
Big Red


#27 Jan 25, 2010
Incidentally, I discovered the marker that used to be in the schoolyard on Dodds Avenue is now in front of the VFW Hall in East Ridge.
Aunt Lynnard

Chattanooga, TN

#28 Jan 26, 2010
Glad to know the marker is in East Ridge. I'll have to check that out! I still haven't requested the report from Maxwell AFB. I'll do that soon. Love Chattanooga History!

Garland, TX

#29 Jan 30, 2010
Where on Lyerly? I knew Millers who lived in the 1900 block of Lyerly but that would have put you in the Oak Grove Elem. O lived in the 1800 block

BTW--if you check my reply of 3/24/09 and follow the track---you can pull up the American Legion Wm E Blair Post in East Ridge---and read the post history. This was the pilot who was considered a hero by piloting the plane away from the city. The marker has been there as long as I can remember! Jeane Parker Salmeron
Walt Miller wrote:
I attended Ridgedale Elem in 1961-62. We lived on Lyerly Street. My father had a business for many years at 3801 Dodds Ave., Signal Barber Supply.
They told us this story when we were students. I have always wanted to know more about it. I still don't see the type aircraft listed.
Walt Miller

Suwanee, GA

#30 Jan 31, 2010
We lived at 1313 Lyerly St. We moved out to Walker County in 1962.

Denison, IA

#31 Apr 13, 2010
We lived off Ringgold Rd. in Blaney Forest on Weldon Dr. which would be just south of the ridge crash site. I was only five but I remember the grownups being so very upset at the news of the crash. I had nightmares about it for months.
I started thinking about this today because I now live in Blue Ridge Georgia and there was a military plane crash yesterday a very short distance from my house.
Walt Milller

Sterling Heights, MI

#32 May 17, 2010
This aircraft was based in Spokane, WA. The destination was Marietta, GA.

You can get (hopefully) the actual accident report at this site:


Walt Miller

Sterling Heights, MI

#33 May 17, 2010
From the link, the dates are kind of funky:

490930 B-25J 44-30138 CHATTANOOGA, TN

44-30138 of course is the serial number. This aircraft was funded in 1944. Of course the crash was in 1949.

Robert Richey

Los Lunas, NM

#35 Jul 17, 2010
Aunt Lynnard wrote:
Glad to know the marker is in East Ridge. I'll have to check that out! I still haven't requested the report from Maxwell AFB. I'll do that soon. Love Chattanooga History!

I saw the plane go over Wassman Park and at first we thought it was a writing plane, but soon realized it was on fire. We saw people bailing out and the one guy who didn't have his chute fastened went one way and his chute the other. My brother and I went in his car to Dodds Ave., and I remember seeing one guy in a tree and it seems he had a broken arm or leg. We went up the ridge to the wreckage and got some pieces of the plane. By the time we doubled back to Ridgedale Grammar the guy that landed in the back playground had been scraped up, but there was an indention where he hit. I live in the 300 block of N. Crest now and the 1944 crash site was in the 100 block. I have a copy of a newspaper article from then that tells that story and shows the houses That were damaged in that incendent, they are both still standing. As a matter of fact a friend of mine bought and has just finished doing a lot of work on one of them.
Lady D

Soddy Daisy, TN

#36 Aug 28, 2010
I was seven years old & out on my roller skates when i heard & saw the plane crash on missionary ridge. I ran to tell my parent's. and we got in the car & drove up ringgold rd to see the crash. I remember there was a lot of fire 7 smoke .i think we lived on merril st. i have often told people what i had seen as a child. I loved roller skating and spent every sat afternoon at southland roller rink.
Big Red


#37 Aug 28, 2010
As I recall, the plane that crashed during World War II was a B-24 Liberator. That was the one that took the portico off the house on Missionary Ridge, if I recall my parents' conversations correctly. Mr. Towery was the photography teacher at Central High for years and I always understood he had photos of the later one in 1949. Not sure where they would be now, but perhaps in someone's filing cabinet. I graduated from Central in 1962 and he was still there then, but I am almost sure he is deceased by now.
Robert Richey

Los Lunas, NM

#38 Aug 28, 2010
Mr. Towery is deceased, and he had a picture or pictures of that 1949 crash published in Life or Look magazine. Twyman Towery is Mr. Towerys son and he was in my class in 1959. My old girlfriend was in the class of 1962,and my younger sister was in the class of 1961. I spent a lot of Saturdays at Southland Roller Rink until I was about 12 or 13. Lady D , we are the same age as I was 7 going on 8 when the 1949 crash occured.I went to Highland Park Grammar, East Side Jr. and Central High.

United States

#39 Oct 19, 2010
The airman that landed in the school playground left an indentation of his body in the hard ground. My parents took me to the school yard and the crash site. The airman that landed safely landed in my grandparents back yard on Dodds Ave, removed his parachute and flagged down a car then told the driver to take him toothed crash sight because his friend stayed with the plane. My brothers and I picked up pieces of the plane at the crash sight but our parents made us leave them there.
Big Red


#40 Oct 19, 2010
So glad folks are still responding to this site. I, too, was in the Central High Class of 62.

According to my research, there were quite a few military aircraft crashes from 1940 through 1950 in Chattanooga. Here is a list, in no particular order:

Douglas A-20A Havoc, Lovell Field 6/12/42
AT-6A, Chattanooga, 5/5/24
P-39N, Lovell Field, 5/26/43
P-39N, Lovell Field 6/9/43
C-47 Skytrain, Chattanooga, 3/28/44
P-39N, Date unknown, 12 miles NW of Chattanooga
Boeing B-17G, 1/15/45, Chattanooga
B-25J, 9/30/49, Chattanooga

I may have missed a few, but since Lovell Field was an auxiliary airfield for the many training bases during and just after the war. crashes were not that unexpected. The route over Missionary Ridge was, and may still be, a designated approach lane to Lovell. I personally have not flown a plane into CHA in a number of years, but I do know the runways now are 2/20, the longest, and 15/33, a bit shorter. When I was a small child, there were a number of AAF surplus aircraft at Lovell that had been purchased by locals.

United States

#41 Oct 20, 2010
I was a Tyner High 1961. But most of my younger years was in Avondale and Eastdale. To get to the crash site you would go through the tunnel to East Ridge and turn hard left up the Ridge, the crash happened at the top on the right.

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