Rahul Sharma

1959 Okinawa F 100 crash

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Site  Ishikawa, Okinawa
Injuries (non-fatal)  210 (on ground)
Date  30 June 1959
Total fatalities  17 (on ground)
Crew count  1
Passengers  0
Registration  55-3633A
Operator  United States Air Force
Passenger count  0
Location  Ishikawa
1959 Okinawa F-100 crash httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Summary  Mechanical failure leading to in-flight fire
Aircraft type  North American F-100 Super Sabre
Similar  Tachikawa air disaster, TWA Flight 891, Piedmont Airlines Flight 349, Ariana Afghan Airlines Fl, 1959 Transair Douglas

The 1959 Okinawa F-100 crash occurred on June 30, 1959, in the Ishikawa area (now Uruma) of then United States (U.S.)-occupied Okinawa. In the crash, a United States Air Force North American F-100 Super Sabre on a training or test flight from nearby Kadena Air Base suffered an engine fire. The aircraft crashed into Miyamori Elementary School and surrounding houses, killing 11 students and six other people in the neighborhood and injuring 210 others, including 156 students at the school. The pilot, Captain John G. Schmitt, Jr. from Chalmers, Indiana, 34 years old, ejected and was unhurt.

The tragedy contributed to ill-feelings from the Okinawan community towards the U.S. occupation authorities and calls for the island to be returned to the control of the Government of Japan. A memorial statue for the victims of the disaster was erected at the crash site in 1965.

On June 30, 2009, 800 people, including former students of Miyamori Elementary and relatives of the victims attended a 50th-anniversary memorial service at the crash site. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima spoke at the ceremony, saying, "The Okinawa people of the time were deeply saddened by the accident in which the lives of children having dreams and hopes for the future were lost."

The crash and its aftermath were dramatized in the movie Himawari, directed by Yoshihiro Oikawa (b. 1958), completed in 2012.

References

1959 Okinawa F-100 crash Wikipedia


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