Flight 923 — 50 Years On

Nearly 50 years ago, a four-engine Lockheed Super Constellation, an L1049H aircraft, with a very distinctive arched tail accented by three vertical tail fins resembling predatory sharks swimming in close formation, launched from McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey, headed for Frankfort, Germany. It carried 78 passengers and crew took. The flight was to take about 19 hours, with one stop over in Gander, Newfoundland, but aircraft never made it. It crashed some 500 miles off the coast of Ireland during an attempt at a late night water landing (ditching operation). It was all happening in the midst of a massive wind storm which was pushing waves to nearly 20 feet in height. It was the night of the demise of Flying Tiger Lines Flight 923.

It was a commercial carrier chartered for services in the Military Air Transport System (MATS). Of the 78 persons on board, 70 were passengers and eight were crew. Of that number, 48 in total survived and 28 perished. Under the circumstances of the event — the distance form shore, the strength of the winds, and the turbulence of the seas — it was a miracle that anyone survived at all.

This site is about that crash, the people who comprised the crew and staff, the various rescue crews who made any sort of salvation of human life even possible, the families and friends who feared for their loved ones, and anyone else who was involved in any possible way.

The crash got relatively little public attention. In fact, the Civil Aeronautics Board report of the event was only 37 pages long. Very few knew all of the people involved in rescue operations and who went where after the crash. This site is intended to make as much information as possible to everyone, breaking the saga into many short stories, indexed, and brought together in one place.

People involved in any way, including friends and neighbors and relatives of those involved, or people who know people who were involved, are invited to submit their stories and feelings, in as long and short a form as they wish. those bits of information and thoughts will become a lasting part of history. Check back to see what has been added and let us know how you feel about it — Flying Tiger 923.

About Fred Caruso

Survivor of the crash of Flying Tiger 923. at night, at sea, 500 miles off the west coast of Ireland, with 28 deaths and 48 survivors, September 23, 1962.
This entry was posted in flight crew, passengers, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Flight 923 — 50 Years On

  1. Raul Acevedo says:

    “After endless time that I was desperately trying to keep afloat, I touched the only life-raft that got inflated. The raft was upside down 3 people got drowned inside the raft; we were all like sardines one on top of the other. The waves were 30 to 50 feet high, pouring into the raft and lifting it and turning it and making noises like it was going to burst and no hope for a boat or help to come soon I got to the point midway that I was ready to jump and finished it. One second for me in the raft was an eternity of a nightmare, now I’m glad I didn’t” by Raul Acevedo

  2. My parents, Dr. Juan G. Figueroa and Carmen Figueroa survived this accident; an accident that has always been the story of their lives. I grew up listening to their stories and looking at the pictures and magazines that they collected through the years. When my brother and I were kids our parents were invited to a TV show in Puerto Rico. My brother and I were allowed to join our parents while they answered questions and told their stories. “El Show de Tommy” was the name of the show. Although video recorders were rare in the mid 70’s maybe someone did tape and save this interview. I’m really interested in obtaining a copy if available. I contacted the daughter of the host, Tommy Muñíz, and she searched for me among the saved tapes but didn’t find my parent’s episode. My mother passed away while I was finishing high school. You can read a little bit about her story in the link below. I had the privilege to meet Mr. Caruso personally, and can only say he is a superb individual, great guy. I wish him the very best with this project. He will always have my full support. I strongly recommend his book “Born Again Irish.” Thank you Mr. Caruso for your efforts and for sharing your story.

  3. paul siwulich says:

    Can anyone tell me the aircraft nbr,,,tail nbr of the Connie that crashed!!!!! Not the serial nbr,!!!! I have a picture of a tiger connie nbr 808 on the nose wheel door, but no place in all of the stories of flt 923 do I see a tail or company nbr, again not the mfg serial nbr tks paul

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  10. Patricia Redditt says:

    I just read the book “Tiger in the Sea” written by Eric Lindner. I was amazed and couldn’t put the book down as I read about the ditching of Flying Tiger 923. My husband was hired as a pilot for Flying Tigers in 1978 and flew for them till 1989 when Fed Ex bought the airline. He continued to fly for Fed Ex till retirement. The History of Flying Tigers has always intrigued me and the courage of the pilots and crew was exceptional in every way possible. I highly recommend this new book that has come out in 2021. I’ve always been amazed by all Flying Tiger Pilot and crew and am so proud to have been married to a Tiger pilot. Lost to cancer in 2019 Captain Richard W. Redditt I miss you.

  11. eric lindner says:

    Dear Patricia-
    Thank you very much for your kind words
    I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to meet your husband – but judging from all the great Tigers I’ve met over the past 6 years, I’m sure he was a cut above!

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