Incident Republic F-84B Thunderjet 45-59538, 16 May 1949
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 255306
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Type:Silhouette image of generic f84 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Republic F-84B Thunderjet
Owner/operator:37th FS, 14th FG, USAF (37th Fighter Squadron, 14th FG, United States Air Force)
Registration: 45-59538
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3 miles South West of Charleston, Penobscot County, Maine -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Dow AFB, Bangor, Maine, USA (GBR/KBGR)
Destination airport:Dow AFB, Bangor, Maine, USA (GBR/KBGR)
Republic P-84B-11-RE Thunderjet 45-59538, 37th FS, 14th FG, USAF: Written off (destroyed) May 16 1949 when
crashed into a Farmers Field, three miles South West of Charleston, Maine, after wings were torn off in a maneuver. (Officially recorded as "crash landing due to structural failure in flight"). Pilot - 2nd Lt Wayne J Rabin, USAF - bailed out successfully (did not eject). According to published sources (see links #1, #2 & #3):

"2nd Lt. Wayne J Rabin was scheduled to be part of a formation of four F-84B aircraft for a radar calibration flight. Aircraft problems lead to a plane switch and by the time he got off the ground, he was too far behind schedule to participate with the other three ships. His flight leader advised him to put in some local flying time near the base.

About an hour into the flight, Rabin spotted and joined up with a different three ship formation headed back toward Dow AFB. He was on a different radio channel, so he had no contact with them and did not know their intentions.

The flight leader began a "rat race" as they neared the base and Rabin followed as the last ship. The leader did an Immelman turn and the next two planes followed suit. Rabin thought they were doing a loop, so kept going over the top. The aircraft exceeded its limiting mach and the controls locked up due to compressability. In a high speed dive, the aircraft was over-stressed and both wings broke off.

Due to problems experienced with the F-84 ejection system, planes were flying at this time with the seats disarmed. Rabin fought and eventually opened the canopy and bailed out. The tail struck him fracturing his arm.

The aircraft fuselage crashed and burned in a farm pasture. Rabin landed safe but injured nearby. The wings were not located during the crash investigation".

The only injuries sustained by the pilot were a broken leg, when he was hit by pieces of the tail of F-84B #45-59538. He landed by parachute some 300 yards from the crash site. The last thing the pilot remembered was beginning a series of rolls, and then waking up on the ground with a civilian doctor administering to his injuries which had evidently been obtained when he bailed out of the aircraft.

Charleston is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. It is part of the Bangor Metropolitan Statistical Area.


1. USAF: Air Force Crash Investigation Report, #49-5-16-1


Revision history:

02-May-2021 08:49 ASN archive Added
29-Jan-2023 00:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category]

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