DISASTER: Death In Mid-Air

With stubby flames spitting from its four jet pods, the B-36 roared down the runway at Carswell Air Force Base outside Fort Worth, Tex., and lumbered heavily into the air. Up in the cockpit, Major Charles E. Crecelius, 30, the plane commander, ran crisply through his in-flight checklist and settled into the routine of a 17-hour combat training mission. He and his 16-man crew had been briefed to fly a series of dogleg courses around the U.S. Halfway through the mission, they would simulate a bombing run on Oklahoma City. Four F-51...

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