On March 6, 1968 the A-4C BuNo 148520 piloted by LCdr. Sam H. Hawkins and A-4C BuNo 149626 piloted by Lt. Jim M. Gill took off from NAAS Fallon, Nevada as a section and as part of a twenty two plane air group coordinated strike force participating in a simulated Alfa strike. The take off, rendezvous, tanking and subsequent flight to the target complex were normal and uneventful. The flight proceeded to the Twenty Nine Palms tactical Range E and as the last section in the flight, these two aircraft made the final bombing runs of the strike. While retiring from the target, LCdr. Hawkins in BuNo 148520 commenced jinking to avoid simulated AAA fire. Lt. Gill attempting to maintain bearing and close the distance on the lead, suddenly found himself slightly ahead of bearing. The lead commenced a fake right turn followed by a descending left turn into the wingman. The aircraft collided while Lt. Gill was attempting to cross under to the outside of the turn. BuNo 148520 lost the outboard four feet of the left wing along with the left drop tank and the aircraft immediately went into a violent left spin. LCdr. Hawkins ejected almost immediately at approximately 3000 feet AGL. The aircraft impacted at the base of a ridge of mountains between two peaks. Lt. Gill circled the scene of the crash to determine LCdr. Hawkins condition and then was escorted by a participating A-6 aircraft and led to an uneventful landing at NOTS China Lake. LCdr. Hawkins was picked up by a power line worker and later transferred to an Air Force helicopter and taken to George AFB hospital.