Accident Republic F-84C Thunderjet 47-1493, 30 Apr 1949
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 255302
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Time:15:21 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic f84 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Republic F-84C Thunderjet
Owner/operator:58th FIS, 33rd FIG, USAF (58th FIS, 33rd FIG, United States Air Force)
Registration: 47-1493
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Layden Farm, North of Table Rock, Pawnee County, Nebraska -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Offut AFB, Omaha, Nebraska (OFF/KOFF)
Destination airport:Selfridge AFB, Harrison Township, Michigan (MRC/KMTC)
Republic F-84C-6-RE Thunderjet 47-1493, 58th FIS, 33rd FIG, USAF: Written off (damaged beyond repair) April 30 1949 when crashed at Layden Farm, North of Table Rock, Pawnee County, Nebraska. Pilot - Captain James N Oates USAF - was killed. According to a local history website and the Official USAF accident report file (see links #3 & 4):

Two Thunderjets were traveling from Michigan to Nevada. They had just stopped at Offutt Airforce base in Omaha to refuel. They met with a storm so violent that they attempted to turn around and return to Omaha. One plane, piloted by by Lt. Marcell Webb, made it back. The other, piloted by 30-year-old Captain James Cates, crashed in mid-turn, ending up in a field between Elk Creek and Table Rock.

This crash happened on my Grandpa, J.C. Layden's, farm at that time. Unsure, but that might be my dad & Grandpa & Grandma Layden in the first picture. Grandpa told how they found only a couple very small body parts of the pilot at the site.

Grandpa dealt & fought with the Federal Gov. to get assistance to clean up his farm. He recovered remnants of the wreckage for years thereafter, scattered across his farm. The pilot's widow asked to view the crash site much later and Grandpa humbly accommodated her. This was such a sobering situation for all concerned.

I remember Dad & Grandpa discussing this many times over the years & seeing a few pieces they recovered from the jet.

It happened on April 30, 1949 at 3:21 p.m. according to the pilot's wrist watch found at the scene. He & another jet left Offut AFB at 3:12 p.m. & got into a bad storm & through radio contact decided to turn back to Omaha. Pilot Captain James Oates was in apparent trouble & dropped his storage tanks from the wings leaving 2 large holes in the Knippelmeyer pasture, adjacent to the Layden farm just before crashing on the Layden wheat field. It left a hole 20' in diameter & 8' deep. Plane wreckage was in tiny pieces scattered over a 15 to 20 acre area

We lived in the same section where it happened. Thought we heard the crash and explosion. In the middle of a thunderstorm one boom was really loud. The next morning someone stopped and asked if we knew a plane crashed east over the hill from us. We walked up the hill and there were cars and people everywhere. ​Later we did find some pieces of the plane when we were hunting".

The same aircraft had been involved in an earlier accident on February 8 1949 when it was one of two aircraft in a mid-air collision with another F-84B (#47-1485) over Otis AFB, Cape Cod, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Both aircraft was with the 58th FIS, 33rd FIG, USAF at the time. F-84B 47-1493 made an emergency landing at Otis AFB, was repaired and put back into service, only to crash a second time as per the above.


3. Official USAF Accident Report File:
5. Crash February 8 1949:
6. Crash April 30 1949:
7. Crash April 30 1949:
8. Crash February 8 1949:


Revision history:

02-May-2021 08:49 ASN archive Added
28-Jan-2023 23:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category]

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