Local Civil Air Patrol officers advised this morning that a two-place jet air force trainer, missing since Saturday midnight, may be down in the east part of Kosciusko county.
At the same time CAP issued warning that the plane is equipped with explosive-powered ejection seats and that any untrained person attempting to open the canopy is in danger of killing himself.
The CAP made a ground check of reports that a plane in distress was heard near the Barbee lakes late Saturday and came up last night with three different families reporting they heard what sounded like a plane in distress, circling low.
Another report came from Bibler trailer court in the east part of Warsaw. Another was from one mile east of Winona and still another of what sounded like a crash came from near Pierceton.
CAP officers ask anyone who heard a plane at midnight Saturday to call in at Warsaw communications headquarters, phone 4078-R
No other lead has been found to the missing plane, with two men aboard, since it radioed to the Goshen tower at 11:46 p.m. Saturday on a west-east flight. Five states have been searching.
CAP search headquarters at Elkhart has scheduled aerial searches today from Logansport to South Bend, concentrating in an area west of Warsaw.
Warsaw Times-Union Wed., Dec. 12, 1956
Six civil air patrol planes searched the east part of Kosciusko county yesterday, following up to no avail, suspicion that a two-place jet air force trainer with two men aboard crashed in this area.
The plane radioed to Goshen tower just before midnight Saturday and has not been heard from since. It was on a west to east cross-country flight and its disappearance has caused a five state search.
Numerous reports from people in the east part of the county telling of hearing a low-flying plane, apparently in distress, set off yesterday's search.
Two planes from the Warsaw airport, two from Auburn and one each from Terre Haute and South Bend aided in the search that concentrated between the Barbee lakes and Pierceton.
Mrs. Alice Richards of Warsaw, in charge of state CAP radio control in the present search reported this morning that Indiana has no search flights scheduled today. Ohio, she said, is searching for reported debris in the Lake Erie area.
Warsaw Times-Union, Thurs. Dec. 13, 1956
Renewed reports of Kosciusko county residents having seen and heard strange sights and noises last Saturday midnight has once again concentrated the search for a missing military plane in the Warsaw area.
Foul weather, however, restricted search today to use of ground mobile units.
A large air rescue service amphibian was due to join small Civil Air Patrol planes converging on Warsaw today, but all aerial search had to be delayed for better weather.
Lt. John Richards of Warsaw took over acting command of the state search mission headquarters until ceiling and visibility lift and Col. Claude Gerlach, South Bend mission commander comes to Warsaw.
The report that renewed search intensity in this county came from Mrs. Harry Stabler, North Webster housewife. She tells that she looked out her bedroom window toward the south and saw a flame descending from the sky to the ground.
This report ties in with more than half a dozen scattered reports from the east side of the county telling of hearing what sounded like a plane in distress. Three mobile radio units searching on ground today were manned by Lt. Richards, Barbara Warren, Grover Lane, Carl Hultin and Lawrence Alfeld.
CAP Capt. Louis (Hank) Henderson directed operations from the Warsaw airport. Mrs. Agnes Richards has been in charge of state CAP radio control since the search started Sunday.
All hope of survival for the pilot and passenger of the air force T-33 jet trainer has long been abandoned. the plane radioed to Goshen tower at 11:46 p.m. Saturday on a west to east coast flight and has not been heard from since.
Five states have been searching for the plane, but Ohio is the only other state where possible clues have been found.
When the ceiling lifts the search out of Warsaw will comb the upper third of Indiana from Kokomo to the Michigan border, with most intense hunting expected in Kosciusko county.
Warsaw Times-Union Fri., Dec.14, 1956
Poor visibility for the second straight day has held the Civil Air Patrol search for an air force jet believed crashed in Kosciusko county down to a ground search.
As well as dense fog permits, radio cars are scouring the country roads, concentrating from North Webster to Pierceton in the east part of the county, but also checking south of Warsaw in the Claypool area.
Kosciusko county is believed to have the hottest lead to the whereabouts of a two-place T-33 trainer on a west to east coast flight last Saturday night. It radioed to Goshen tower at 11:46 p.m. and then vanished. Five states have been searching for a week.
8 Mobile Units
Scattered reports have been called to CAP headquarters in Warsaw telling of hearing a plane in distress and of seeing flashes of fire around Saturday midnight. These calls have been heaviest from the Barbee lakes region, but also have come from around Pierceton and Claypool.
Eight mobile unites pressed the search today.
Five of these radio cars were from this county, one from Elkhart, one from Fort Wayne and one from Valparaiso.
With prospects of continued foul flying weather the Warsaw airport, now Indiana CAP headquarters for this search mission, looks for five more mobile units to join the ground search tomorrow. Three cars are expected from Marion and two from LaPorte.
Warsaw Times-Union, Sat. Dec. 15, 1956
Search continues in this area for a missing Air Force two-place jet trainer that was last heard from on Dec. 8.
Four other states have abandoned the search, but four Civil Air Patrol and one air rescue service planes combed the area east of Warsaw this morning.
The Air Force has given up hope that the pilot and the serviceman hitching a ride to the east coast are still alive.
Warsaw Times Union, Wed. Dec. 19, 1956
A 13-day long search for a missing jet trainer (T-33), its pilot and one passenger has been narrowed to a section of northeastern Indiana as an all-out effort to locate the ship got underway today from a Warsaw command post.
U. S. Air Force rescue squads and Indiana Civil Air Patrol units have pin-pointed Kosciusko county and an area in the vicinity of Angola as points for a concentrated weekend search. Angola is approximately 50 miles east of Goshen.
The Air Force rescue service, under command of Capt. Donald Vincent, arrived earlier this week in Warsaw from its base at Westover, Mass.
The search is under command of Lt. John Richards, group communications officer for the Warsaw CAP units. Volunteer CAP search planes from over the state have been directed to assemble at the local municipal airport north of the city for instructions.
CAP ground units will work from a command post set up at Lt. Richard's home, located northeast of the airport. Mrs. Richards mans the state-wide CAP radio network set up in her home. She has been operating the network on a virtual 24-hour basis since the search got underway nearly two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, search in five other states, including New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, has been abandoned.
The jet trainer, piloted by Lt. Frederick A. Davis III of Northford, Conn., has been missing since hear midnight, Dec. 8. It was last heard from when the pilot made routine radio contact with the CAA station at Goshen at 11:46 p.m., a check-point en-route to the Air Force base at Westover. The plane's next radio check point would have been Cleveland, Ohio. This contact was never made.
The plane with one passenger, Airman 2/c Roger E. Watkins, of Reeds Ferry, N. H., was en-route from Sioux Falls, S. D. The passenger was on emergency leave from his base.
Appeal For Help
Both Air Force and CAP headquarters appealed today for the assistance of all persons residing within the county's rural areas. Farmers were urged to search their fields, wooded grounds and swamplands for traces of the missing plane.
Persons residing on or near lakes were ask to keep an eye out for the washing to shore of any debris that might be identified as that of the crashed jet. Air Force spokesmen said they have given up hope for the survival of the pilot and his passenger.
Capt. Vincent briefed members of the CAP from his local motel room last night. He said that if the plane has crashed in a heavily wooded area that splintering evidence from broken tree limbs would be a tell-tale. He pointed out that it is possible that the plane exploded and burned and that searchers may turn up on fragmentary evidence of the crash.
Local CAP members at the briefing included Lt. Richards, Capt. Bud Case, Capt. Bernard Fisher, Lt. Dean Hartman, Lt. Robert Hile, Lt. Fred Schmitt and Warrant Officers Grover Layne, William Chapel and Henry Foy.
Lt. Richards said today that he expected approximately 45 planes from over the state to participate in the hunt this weekend. A dozen to 18 CAP mobile radio units are also expected to participate in the hunt.
An Air Force rescue plane first combed the Warsaw area last Wednesday.
Radar installations tracked the plane from its South Dakota takeoff past Chicago. Radar contact was lost after Chicago. The pilot was flying instrument at an altitude of between 30,000 and 35,000 feet. He was considered by the Air Force an excellent jet pilot with more than 700 hours. His altitude was reported at 33,000 feet over Goshen.
One Air Force theory is that the pilot experienced generator trouble after reporting into Goshen via radio. In this case he could no longer transmit via radio, nor fly instrument.
Under this condition the pilot might have elected to decrease his altitude (get under the ceiling) and fly ground contact via beacons. His speed at 33,000 feet was reported at 410 knots, CAP volunteers have combed this area since last Dec. 9 via both ground units and planes.
A ground check revealed that three different families report hearing a plane in distress over the Barbee lakes area, circling at a low altitude.
Another like report came from the Bibler trailer cam in east Warsaw, another from a family residing a mile east of Winona Lake, and still another from a resident described hearing a crashing sound near Pierceton. A Bourbon resident also reported what he believed to have been a plane in distress in that area.
At North Webster Mrs. Harry Stabler, a housewife, reports she looked out her bedroom window to the south and saw a large flame descending from the sky to the ground. A like report also has come from a Claypool resident.
On the first day of the search a volunteer CAP pilot from Hammond reported seeing the world "Help" stamped out in the snow in a field north of Angola, near Fremont. State police were dispatched to this area, but reported that they believed it the work of a prankster. However, CAP units are re-concentrating a search in this area.
Warsaw Times Union, Fri. Dec. 21, 1956
A jet trainer (T-33), missing since Dec. 8, was rumored to have been found this afternoon in Tippecanoe lake, near Oswego, although reports to that effect were not substantiated. Reporters at the scene could find no person to verify the rumor.
The rumor broke into the open today because samples of an oil slick found in the lake were being tested.
Telephone reports to The Times-Union shortly before 1 p.m. advised that pieces of the plane had been located in 50 feet of water in front of Camp Dick Runyan east of the Bruce Pierce landing on the north side of the lake. This turned out to be unwarranted.
The jet trainer, piloted by Lt. Frederick A. Davis III, of Northford, Conn., was last heard from near midnight, Dec. 8, when Davis made routing radio contact with the CAA station at Goshen, a check-point enroute to the air force base at Westover, Mass.
2 Men Aboard
Lt. Davis and one passenger, Airman 2/c Roger E. Watkins, of Reeds Ferry, N. H., were enroute in the plane from Sioux Falls, S. D. Both men several days ago were given up as dead.
Search for the plane has been under command of Lt. John Richards, group communications officer for the Warsaw CAP units. Volunteer CAP search planes have been covering this area, other parts of northeastern Indiana and five other states.
Last weekend the air force rescue service, under command of Capt. Donald Vincent, arrived in Warsaw from its base at Westover, Mass., to supervise the search.
Lt. Richards this afternoon advised residents of Tippecanoe lake to help search for the plane, but if and when it is definitely located, he said no one under any circumstances was to touch the plane, but instead should act as guards until air force officials arrive.
Find Oil Slick
Several days ago area residents reported an oil slick on Tippecanoe lake, and oil was sent to the Westover air force base, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Indiana state police laboratory for analysis.
Tippecanoe lake runs 135 feet deep in place, and it would be almost impossible to spot the wreckage from the air if it actually is in the lake as reported early this afternoon.
If it is down in Tippecanoe lake, it may not be entirely recovered until spring due to the depth and severity of winter weather.
All residents of the lake area have been asked to watch for floating tires, pillows, map cases or any aluminum parts that would hold air and float, and report any such appearance to Lt. Richards in Warsaw or local air force officials.
Warsaw Times Union, Fri., Dec. 28, 1956
The rumored finding of a missing T-33 jet trainer in Tippecanoe lake, near Oswego, has gone no further than the rumor stage.
Reports of an oil slick on the lake surface and pieces of wreckage resting on the lake bottom drew a crowd of sightseers to the north side of the lake yesterday afternoon.
However all reports of the plane definitely being in the lake proved only conjecture, and visitors to the lake came away only with "wet and muddy" shoes and pants legs due to condition of a single lane leading to the lake.
Missing Since Dec. 8
The plane, with two men aboard, has been missing since Dec. 8 when it was on a routine flight. The pilot, Lt. Frederick A. Davis III, of Northford, Conn., and one passenger Roger E. Watkins, of Reed Ferry, N. H., made radio contact with the CAA stationed at Goshen, a check-point enroute to their air force base at Westover, Mass. that was the last time they were heard from.
Several persons in the northeast section of this county days later reported they had heard or seen a plane which appeared to be falling. As a result a Civil Air Patrol search was centered here and throughout Northeastern Indiana under the direction of Lt. John Richards, group communications officer for the Warsaw CAP units.
A week or so ago, after the oil slicks were seen on Big Tippecanoe lake, samples of the oil slick were sent to the Westover Air Force base, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Indiana state police laboratory in Indianapolis for analysis.
Reports on these tests are being awaited by Lt. Richards and other officials.
Officials say there is a good possibility that the airplane and its two victims are in Tippecanoe lake. However the lake runs 135 feet deep in places, and due to weather conditions and other circumstances it may be next spring before the plane can be recovered if it is actually in the lake.
Warsaw Times Union Sat., Dec. 29, 1956
A three-week search by an air rescue group for a missing T-33 jet trainer will not be resumed, Lt. John Richards of the local Civil Air Patrol squadron announced today.
Lt. Richards said the local CAP organization would check out a rumor that the plane may be in Tippecanoe lake, when the weather gets better. He said reports on oil slick samples taken from the lake and sent to Indianapolis have not been received.
Search for the plane was centered in this area due to reports from persons hearing loud noises and seeing flashes of light on the evening of Dec. 8 when the jet was last heard from after making a routine radio check with the Goshen tower.
Two men were in the plane. The pilot was Frederick Davis III, of Northford, Con., who was accompanied by Airman 2/c Roger E. Watkins, of Reeds Ferry, N. H. both men have long since been given up for dead.
Warsaw Times Union Wed., Jan. 2, 1957