OCThen reader, "coxpilot" asks if anyone remembers the time when a jet plane crashed into a neighborhood in Santa Ana, in the late 1940s or early 1950s...
Does anyone remember a jet plane that crashed in Santa Ana in the late '40s or early '50s, in the area around S. Ross & W. Cubbon? I lived in the 1400 block of S. Olive when we all heard a great boom, and went outside to see the rising smoke. My friends and I jumped on bikes and went as fast as we could. We were there before any fire trucks or police, and saw a big hole in the ground where the front yard once was, and the living room wall was missing too. My friend kept a piece of green aluminum he found in the street. I'm told that it was a saber jet from El Toro, and the pilot had not been able to eject.Seems like this is something that should have quite a bit of coverage in the Santa Ana Register, but I don't have access to those archives online.
Update Sep 12, 2010: Larry Fuller submits the following photo showing where the airplane exploded...
I just posted about the jet aircraft that crashed in Santa Ana in 1952. Above, is a photo of the intersection of S. Olive and Wilshire from that period. The Green "X" is where I was standing and the Red "X"
is where the aircraft exploded just above the trees. I've also attached the full photo this section was taken from. The bean patch in the rear of the full photo would later become the playground behind Glenn Martin Elementary.
After the crash, two military helicopters landed on the playground to assist with the recovery and investigation of the crash.
P.S. I marked the attached photo as 1949, but it could well have been summer of 1950. The photo was taken from the front yard of 1310 S. Olive.
The green "X" and red "X" he mentions above were not on the photo he submitted, but marked over the photo perhaps through his e-mail client. But the explosion occured above the tallest tree on the far-right.