Missionary Ridge Plane Crash

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Aunt Lynnard

Chattanooga, TN

#1 Jan 30, 2009
Can anyone tell me where I can find information about the early 1950's plane crash on Missionary Ridge? The only thing I seem to be able to find on the internet is about a B24 bomber that crashed in Wenatchee WA in 1944 on MISSION Ridge. Diffenately not the crash I'm talking about. Thanks in advance for any answers I get.
AuntLynnard
Chattboy

Ooltewah, TN

#2 Jan 31, 2009
The following is based on 50 year old story, told by my grandfather. Some of this I’m a little foggy on.
The plane crashed just above and to the North of the Eastridge tunnels. If one takes the road up Missionary Ridge, located on the right hand side of Ringgold Rd at South Seminole Dr. this road is actually Old Ringgold Road, just before exiting Eastridge through the tunnels, while ascending the ridge, one will see a large ravine off to the left of this road, this was the crash site and remains the same. The pilot more or less guided the plane to that site avoiding; Ridgedale Elementary School which was located about 1 miles N. W.(as the crow flies on the other side of the ridge from that crash site) the surrounding neighborhoods located atop and on the side of Missionary Ridge. The plane started clipping the trees on the top of the ridge which brought it down in the aforementioned ravine. That particular point on the ridge has an altitude of about 850-900 ft., so I’m certain it was quite a sight, bellowing smoke flying over the city that day! The pilot died in the crash and the co-pilot parachuted to safety, supposedly landing in the school yard. The pilot did a masterful job,(I get a little fuzzy here) with what I believe was failure on both port and starboard engines. I also think this pilot may have survived another like crash a few years prior to this one. I don’t recall the plane type or the names of either the pilot or co-polit.
A bronze plaque was originally placed in front of a Fire hall, located on the East side of Dodd’s Ave. just north of Main street(I believe), when that was torn down it was moved to, the elementary school’s front yard about 1/25 mile north on Dodds Ave., were McCallie School now has soccer fields. It was placed just in front of the flagpole, that’s a fact. When this school was torn down, I believe the plaque was moved to the VFW hall in Eastridge on Ringgold Road about ½ miles from the tunnel east on Ringgold Rd. That’s probably the best place for more information, try a phone call or do the drive from the site of the old Ridgedale Elementary School, on Dodds Ave. in between Anderson and Bennett, across the Street from Ridgedale Methodist Church (traditional red brick church), I believe that is still standing and just up from the old turner Funeral Home! If you’ll turn toward the ridge, off Dodds on either of these streets, take that road to Woodward Ave. and make a right (that’s the end of the original schools back playground property line which was 1 square block. Take Woodward all the way to Main St. It then changes, I believe to Old Ringgold road and proceeds up the ridge. When you reach the top/ Crest Road, turn right then make the first left. This will take you to the crash site, the ravine will now be on you right has you descend the ridge and you will have followed pretty much the last few seconds of that flight and then you will only be a short distance from the Eastridge VFW hall. Hope some of this helps, haven’t thought about that in years!

Why the interest?
Chattboy

Ooltewah, TN

#3 Jan 31, 2009
Woops.... that was church of Crist, the old school was at 1000 Dodds Ave.

“Aunt Lynnard”

Since: Jan 09

South Pittsburg/New Hope TN

#4 Feb 3, 2009
I recently visited the house and stood in the attic where the plane took the top of the house off. There are still sections of the attic that remain with burned timbers. It just peaked my curiosity and I wanted to know more. I can not find anything on the internet about the crash. Thanks for the info, and keep the news coming.
Aunt Lynnard
ichattboy

United States

#5 Feb 3, 2009
interesting, didn't know about the house. when one turns left off of Crest, headed south, big house, nice gated grounds immediately on right?

BTW, it was fire hall number 8 on Dodds, the very first firehalll built for motorized equipment verses horse drawn, in the city.
Aunt Lynnard

Chattanooga, TN

#6 Feb 4, 2009
I'm afraid not. Nice antibellum house under renovation, but no gates. Nothing to even tell you what had happened there. I was giving a bid on a job, and that is when I found out about its history. As I walked the halls and wandered thru the rooms, I was struck by the rich history we have in this area. I could feel the connection with the people who walked and lived there over the years. They must have been as awe struck as I was when they realized what a breath taking view they had.
When I was telling a friend about my day,he recalled SEEING the plane as it went down (around '54). He lived close to the school and the firehouse.
As much as I love Lookout & Signal Mtns., in my opinion, Missionary Ridge has to be the ROSE in Chattanooga's bouquet! You can see the beauty this area has to offer. But then maybe I just appreciate it more now than I did growing up.
And then today I heard a song that reminded me of our beautiful historic area...Karen Marie Garrett..."It's about the Rose on the Table". Another reason I love classical music as well as any I've ever heard.
misschatts

Dallas, TX

#7 Mar 24, 2009
How strange! My sister in NC just asked me yesterday if I remembered when the crash was---we saw it (from our Ridgedale/EastSide back yard) coming down over the Ridgedale area. I scanned the internet but could not find the article regarding this but did remember that the American Legion in East Ridge was named in memory of the pilot, William E Blair. The marker has been at this location as long as I can remember---altho I left Chattanooga long ago--for periods.You can go to the Legion website and to Post History and there it tells basic facts---and the fact that the pilot got the plane as far away from the heavily populated areas as possible. Two girlfriends and I climbed the ridge to the site(we used to climb all over that ridge!)There was a corner of a house that was clipped--the outside bathroom wall was gone but not total damage. The last two people to parachute did so when the plane was too low--one landed in Ridgedale School yard(if I remember correctly, his parachute did not open), and there was an indention where he landed. I believe Mr Tower, who was the photography teacher at Central High got some pictures. BTW Crash date is September 30 1949.
Chattboy

Ooltewah, TN

#8 Mar 24, 2009
Yes, the story of the airman crashing into the schoolyard is correct. By the way Rigedale was one the very first large residential developments in the city and the polit was heiled as a hero. Small world isn't it.

Where did you live?
misschatts

Dallas, TX

#9 Mar 25, 2009
Chattboy wrote:
Yes, the story of the airman crashing into the schoolyard is correct. By the way Rigedale was one the very first large residential developments in the city and the polit was heiled as a hero. Small world isn't it.
Where did you live?
We lived on Lyerly St a street west of the Standard Coosa Thatcher yarn mills.I believe East Side Jr High on Main street was , I believe,the first city school on the Eastern side of the city--and Ridgedale was at that time a great family neighborhood. On Friday nights the fire station on Dodds always treated the local kids to movies at the station--mostly "Our Gang" series, etc. I went to the old Central High at McCallie and Dodds and back then we pretty were allowed to "walk" the area--and all over Missionary Ridge. We walked to school of course. Was a great time
Kim

Fair Oaks, CA

#10 Mar 25, 2009
I lived on Missionary Ridge, I grew up there, at 676 South Crest Road and I was told that an airplane had crashed in our yard, I don't know if it was before or after our house was built in 1928. I think the nieghbors at the time, Dr. Hoover, who lived next door told us. I often wondered about the details of the 'plane crash'. I now live in South Lake Tahoe, California and was last in Chattanooga in June 2003.
This may sound strange, but my whole family truly believes that that house was haunted. One day in the fall I was walking under a tree in the front yard and a huge branch fell from high above and barely missed me. That is just ONE of the stories I have.
Kim
Chattboy

Ooltewah, TN

#11 Mar 25, 2009
misschatts wrote:
<quoted text>
We lived on Lyerly St a street west of the Standard Coosa Thatcher yarn mills.. We walked to school of course. Was a great time
Born at Erlanger and brought home to Woodward Avenue. The house was three blocks from Central High and one block from Ridgedale Elementary, Kirby Ave.@ Woodward Ave (third house down/Dodds Ave side of the street toward Ridgedale). It was a fantastic neighborhood to grow up in, loved every minute of it. We lived in that house until 1975. Graduated from Ridgedale. Romped all over that ridge the entire time! Favorite spot was "Lovers bend”, which was an abandoned section of “old” Main Street, left over after cut was made into the ridge to accommodate the freeway. It was about ¾ of a mile long, with a hairpin curve, great sledding and “pranking” the lovers in the cars over the summer, well, for a bunch of boy’s, we had a blast! A boyhood friend from that neighborhood and I work together to this vary day, 50 years later! He lived at Woodward and the cross street, it was the one where Smith Brothers Pharmacy was located on, just a couple of doors down from that fire station on Dodds, one block off Main. I’ve walked through Brainerd tunnels to the movies or Southland skating Rink a 100’s of times, what memories.
misschatts

Dallas, TX

#12 Mar 26, 2009
Chattboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Born at Erlanger and brought home to Woodward Avenue. The house was three blocks from Central High and one block from Ridgedale Elementary, Kirby Ave.@ Woodward Ave (third house down/Dodds Ave side of the street toward Ridgedale). It was a fantastic neighborhood to grow up in, loved every minute of it. We lived in that house until 1975. Graduated from Ridgedale. Romped all over that ridge the entire time! Favorite spot was "Lovers bend”, which was an abandoned section of “old” Main Street, left over after cut was made into the ridge to accommodate the freeway. It was about ¾ of a mile long, with a hairpin curve, great sledding and “pranking” the lovers in the cars over the summer, well, for a bunch of boy’s, we had a blast! A boyhood friend from that neighborhood and I work together to this vary day, 50 years later! He lived at Woodward and the cross street, it was the one where Smith Brothers Pharmacy was located on, just a couple of doors down from that fire station on Dodds, one block off Main. I’ve walked through Brainerd tunnels to the movies or Southland skating Rink a 100’s of times, what memories.
I know exactly where you are!!! Our art teacher at Central used to take us on 'walking sketching" trips doen Woodward. Also know the Main Street above Dodds thing---my son and a friend came down it on a snowy day, definitely not intending to crash, but someone cut them off and they made it almost to Dodds and flipped---no seat belts but not a scratch on either of them! Usually it was trash cans for sledding on a snowy day!!
Did you finish at Central or have older siblings who did? if you have been working for 50 years your parents may be my age. I finished at Central in 1953. Knew people who lived in your area too
misschatts

Dallas, TX

#13 Mar 26, 2009
Chattboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Born at Erlanger and brought home to Woodward Avenue. The house was three blocks from Central High and one block from Ridgedale Elementary, Kirby Ave.@ Woodward Ave (third house down/Dodds Ave side of the street toward Ridgedale). It was a fantastic neighborhood to grow up in, loved every minute of it. We lived in that house until 1975. Graduated from Ridgedale. Romped all over that ridge the entire time! Favorite spot was "Lovers bend”, which was an abandoned section of “old” Main Street, left over after cut was made into the ridge to accommodate the freeway. It was about ¾ of a mile long, with a hairpin curve, great sledding and “pranking” the lovers in the cars over the summer, well, for a bunch of boy’s, we had a blast! A boyhood friend from that neighborhood and I work together to this vary day, 50 years later! He lived at Woodward and the cross street, it was the one where Smith Brothers Pharmacy was located on, just a couple of doors down from that fire station on Dodds, one block off Main. I’ve walked through Brainerd tunnels to the movies or Southland skating Rink a 100’s of times, what memories.
BTW--I think the street by Smith Brothers was 13th--and Main was considered to be 15th. Bud's was also there--as was Kay's Ice Cream(two of my friends worked there after school). There was a 5 and 10 in there too on the same side as the fire station.
misschatts

Dallas, TX

#14 Mar 26, 2009
Kim wrote:
I lived on Missionary Ridge, I grew up there, at 676 South Crest Road and I was told that an airplane had crashed in our yard, I don't know if it was before or after our house was built in 1928. I think the nieghbors at the time, Dr. Hoover, who lived next door told us. I often wondered about the details of the 'plane crash'. I now live in South Lake Tahoe, California and was last in Chattanooga in June 2003.
This may sound strange, but my whole family truly believes that that house was haunted. One day in the fall I was walking under a tree in the front yard and a huge branch fell from high above and barely missed me. That is just ONE of the stories I have.
Kim
Kim! I think one of "your " ghosts just ate my reply to you!!! Else it's floating around out in cyberspace, There are supposedly many "ghosts"attached to the Ridge---the homes and the land---since many of the homes predate the Civil War. There was one home in the area where the "ridge cut" for the freeway that had one room papered in Confederate money--and was supposed to be haunted. Do I believe the stories--you bet I do, most of them anyway. I love the area but there are some eerie feelings in some places! Tell us more!
Jeane

“Aunt Lynnard”

Since: Jan 09

South Pittsburg/New Hope TN

#15 Mar 29, 2009
I have a picture of the burned timbers in the attic of the house. I didn't get the remodeling job, but it is interesting to see how this thread has spread since I asked about the plane crash!
misschatts

United States

#16 Mar 29, 2009
Aunt Lynnard wrote:
I have a picture of the burned timbers in the attic of the house. I didn't get the remodeling job, but it is interesting to see how this thread has spread since I asked about the plane crash!
Hi
I am sure Kim would like to know if the house she lived in on Crest was the one you were talking about. She gave the address in an earlier post--but wasn't sure about which plane. Sorry you didn't get the job!!!
Chattboy

Chattanooga, TN

#17 Mar 30, 2009
Kim, it appears your house was well south of the finial course & crash site of the plane. However, your location reminded me of yet another Missionary Ridge adventure, I had as a kid during the summer months. My friend’s and I would tell our parents some story explaining our “where-abouts” for the entire day. Then we would hop on our bikes, track all the way down past your old homestead following Crest Road, to John Ross Road, to Bennett and then to Lake Winnipesaukee for the day, what a way for some young boys to spend the day!
Chattboy

Chattanooga, TN

#18 Mar 30, 2009
sorry, Lake Winnepesaukah http://www.lakewinnie.com/LWwebA/main.htm
Jo Ringgold Ga

Dalton, GA

#19 Jun 12, 2009
Or through those tunnel to the Coat of Arms as a pre teen. I also lived on Sioux Trail as a young girl as the cut was made through the ridge. I would visit with my grandparents the people who took care of the resoviour on the side. Oh my the memories.
Chattboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Born at Erlanger and brought home to Woodward Avenue. The house was three blocks from Central High and one block from Ridgedale Elementary, Kirby Ave.@ Woodward Ave (third house down/Dodds Ave side of the street toward Ridgedale). It was a fantastic neighborhood to grow up in, loved every minute of it. We lived in that house until 1975. Graduated from Ridgedale. Romped all over that ridge the entire time! Favorite spot was "Lovers bend”, which was an abandoned section of “old” Main Street, left over after cut was made into the ridge to accommodate the freeway. It was about ¾ of a mile long, with a hairpin curve, great sledding and “pranking” the lovers in the cars over the summer, well, for a bunch of boy’s, we had a blast! A boyhood friend from that neighborhood and I work together to this vary day, 50 years later! He lived at Woodward and the cross street, it was the one where Smith Brothers Pharmacy was located on, just a couple of doors down from that fire station on Dodds, one block off Main. I’ve walked through Brainerd tunnels to the movies or Southland skating Rink a 100’s of times, what memories.
Big Red

AOL

#20 Aug 16, 2009
I remember the crash well. My father was in the National Guard in Chattanooga when the plane crashed and they were doing crash site security. My mother and I drove out on Ringgold Road to view the wreckage scattered on the hillside beside the tunnels.

Incidentally, there was also a crash during World War II involving the Ridge. That one took the front porch off a house on Crest Drive. It ended up in almost the same place. The house is still standing, but does not have the portico on the front it used to have. That aircraft was a B-25.

I always wondered what happened to the marker that used to be in the schoolyard. I moved to NC in 1982 and the first I knew it and the school were gone was when Turner Funeral Home had the services when my Mother passed away in 2001.

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