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.