On 5/15/79, a flight of three F-105Gs departed George AFB, California on a local training mission. The mission, second of the day for the six flight crew members, was to include Low Level Training and Air Combat Tactics. After completion of the Low Level Training, the flight climbed to medium altitude and set up for the briefed Air Combat Tactics engagement. Number one, the mishap aircraft, was attacked by number two and maneuvered to the six o’clock position of the attacker. As he slid behind the attacker the aircraft rolled off and entered a steep driving spiral. Both crew members ejected. The Electronics Warfare Officer, Capt. Michael R. Carison successfully ejected, but suffered major injury upon landing in rugged terrain. The pilot, Capt. Will H. Carroll Jr. ejected but was fatally injured on ground impact. The aircraft was destroyed on impact with the desert floor.
Photo of the Republic F-105G Thunderchief #63-8350 that crashed on 5/15/79 .
This is the spot that I started hiking from.
Didn't take long the reach the site. The first thing I noticed was a large deep impact crater.
Me inside the impact crater. This is the largest crater I've seen, looks like the Thud went in steep. The debris were scattered for over a hundred yards in about a 70 degree wedge to the north radiating from the crater. Very little wreckage was outside the wedge.
Looks like most large pieces of the aircraft have been removed, but there was hundreds of pieces of wreckage remaining.
Didn't take long to find a piece with a part number. The 57 prefix indicates it's a Republic F-105
This looks like some type of dummy missile. It's about five feet long and so heavy I couldn't move it.
Close up of the lettering, can make out the words "GUIDED MISSILE".
Think this is a piece of the fuselage with some type of mount on it.
The remains of some of the barrels from the 20mm M61 Vulcan cannon.
Couple more casings and an unknown part.
Two F-18s were chasing each other around the sky the whole time I was out there. They never came down low enough to get a good photo, but they sounded great.
The left half of this piece is made of fiberglass, think it may be part of the vertical stabilizer.
Mangled piece of electrical gear.
One of the main landing gear legs.
My hand gives you an idea of the size of landing gear.
Wheel hub with some of the brake discs.
Large armature, it's almost a foot in diameter.
Lots of gears and a few armatures.
More pieces from the engine.
Small gauge marked "ANTENNA TILT UP".
I could see some pieces down in the wash that was near the impact crater. This is the first piece I came upon after entering the wash. At the time I thought it was a part of the canopy frame, but after looking at photos of F-105s, I'm not sure what it is.
Same piece turned over. Thinking that it might be a scoop from near the nose.
One of the tires was also in the wash.
The piece missing from the tire was close by.
This rat's nest was in the middle of the wash, the little guy collected a lot of small pieces of the F-105 wreckage to reinforce his home.
Found these past the wash about 200 feet from the impact crater.
This ciircuit board traveled a long way without being broken.
Electrical connectors with a piece of aluminum that they are attached to. Was surprised to find these so far from the impact area.
Turning same part over, found a Republic inspection stamp and the part number with the 79 prefix. Both the 57 and 79 prefixes were used on F-105 part numbers.
This heavy piece of aluminum was about a hundred yards from the crater. Wanted to keep looking around, but it was getting late and the sun will be setting soon.
One last look at the crater as I start the hike back to the truck.
Made it back to the truck just after sunset.