Lost Savages
Written Off and Damaged Beyond Repair

Of the 143 AJ's the 61 listed below did not make it to retirement. Twenty-six are classified as having been "W/O" (written off). Thirty-five are listed as "DBR" (damaged beyond repair). The distinction between the two categories is not clear. The list contains examples of situations that seem to be similar and yet are entered into the records differently.

Of the 82 that made it to retirement, two of the three AJ-1s that were sold to  J. M. Jackson Company (later A. J.  Tankers, Inc.) in early 1960 for firebombers crashed, one even before it was delivered. Three AJs (at least one, probably all, AJ-2s) were bailed to NASA for weightlessness training and were eventually burned by the fire brigade at the airport (Columbus?) when NASA was finished with them. AJ-2 BuNo 130418 was sold to become a fire bomber in Oregon, and then after a stint as a testbed at Avco Lycoming ended up in a museum in Pensacola. Apparently all others were scrapped at Litchfield Park, Arizona.

The underlying list of numbers (arranged chronologically by accident) and the "W/O" and "DBR" designations came from three files,
<http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_serials/thirdseries14.html> and
on the Joe Baugher website. Once when I queried him, Mr. Baugher told me that his information concerning "W/O" and "DBR" came from someone named John Withers.

I have, as far as possible, linked the individual listings with known accidents and incidents. Several questions still remain. Most notably was an accident of VC-8 on USS Midway at approximately 0100 hours on 15 July 1952 in which an AJ-1 and third crewman Jim Henson were lost. Withers/Baugher do not have a loss listed for that date. ???

121461 W/O Feb 1949 lost tail section during rudder sideslip tests and crashed near Los Angeles, CA. 2 crew killed.
121462 W/O, crashed at Edwards AFB after wing failure. 2 crew survived
122590 W/O Jun 22 1950 crashed and burned near Bedford, VA, ferry flight from Edwards AFB to Patuxent River, MD. 3 killed.
122593 W/O Aug 1950 crashed
10 Mi East of Edwards AFB 07 Aug 1950. Structual failure. A/C operated by NAA. Two killed. Pilot Daniel Darnell survived.
124157 DBR Aug 1950, while allocated to Project Sandia (nuclear weapons development at Albuquerque).
124163 W/O Oct 27, 1950, pilot Prudon, FDR, VC-5
122595 W/O Nov 13, 1950
124171 W/O Mar 6, 1951, crashed after inflight fire. 3 killed.
124169 W/O Jun 8, 1951, while allocated to Project Sandia (nuclear weapons development at Albuquerque).
124173 W/O Nov 29, 1951, Johnny Refo, port catapult of FDR, VC-5. No casualties.
124180 DBR Aug 1952, PERHAPS VC-5 loss at Olathe, Kansas during a hurricane evacuation
122598 W/O Sep 6, 1952, CDR McConnell, LT Sprague, AT1 Mathews, VC-7
124863 DBR Jan 1953
122594 W/O Feb 4, 1953, Hoise and Vaughn, Patuxent River, NATC
128052 DBR Feb 1953
122600 W/O Aug 11, 1953, Bennington fantail, middy cruise, third crewman lost, VC-5
134057 W/O Aug 6, 1954, "Cho-Cho," pilot McVay, Yorktown, no casualties, VC-6
124165 W/O Sep 7, 1954, appears to have been lost in carquals by VC-8 off the Randolph, no survivors
134040 W/O Nov 8, 1954, Grover, Garreau, Patterson, Coral Sea, VC-5
124183 DBR Nov 1954
134045 W/O Feb 10, 1955, Dewitt, McGuire, McAnally, ditched off Florida Coast, no casualties, VC-9
134070 W/O Mar 1, 1955
124182 DBR Jun 1955
124854 W/O Jul 20, 1955, "Glass Factory," crashed in emergency landing Naples, Italy. 3 crew killed. VC-8
124850 DBR Aug 1955
130410 W/O Aug 23, 1955
124159 DBR Sep 1955
124177 DBR Nov 1955
124184 W/O Dec 25, 1955, pilot was Jacobs, enroute to Pt. Lyautey, crashed and burned at Lajes Field, Azores, VAH-9.
124858 DBR Jan 1956
134068 DBR Jan 1956, Or was this the CDR Guy plane? Questionable. It seems to have belonged to VAH-6.
134038 DBR Feb 1956, Could this be the CDR Guy plane? Seems to be better candidate than 134068, which was a VC-6 plane
124179 W/O Feb 27, 1956, I witnessed this crash east of NAAS Sanford, seems to have been VAH-8 plane, no casualties
134064 DBR Mar 1956
129192 DBR May 1956
130407 W/O Jul 3, 1956, Herron, Foley, Whisnant, Florida, VAH-9
128047 W/O Jul 21, 1956
130419 DBR Aug 1956, I suspect that this was the VAH-7 crash in Sanford that killed the crew and three civilians.
122597 DBR Sep 1956, NB6, This was the plane that Caton crashed into and destroyed on Coral Sea, 8 September 1956.
124176 DBR Sep 1956
124864 DBR Sep 1956, NB7, Caton, Fitzsimmons, Kelly, and Allen crash on Coral Sea, VAH-5, 8 September 1956
124855 DBR Oct 1956, NB10, VAH5 (in the Med). I do not know the details of this loss.
124857 DBR Oct 1956
122599 DBR Oct 1957
124852 W/O Oct 27, 1956
122592 DBR Nov 1956
134060 W/O Jan 10, 1957, underwater wreckage discovered 2006, South China Sea, VAH-6
124861 DBR Feb 1957
134066 DBR Mar 1957
134075 DBR Mar 1957
124853 DBR May 1957
128043 DBR Jun 1957, appears to be one of two Savages found and retrieved by USS Windlass in summer 1957
128049 DBR Jun 1957, appears to be one of two Savages found and retrieved by USS Windlass in summer 1957
122591 DBR Jul 1957, appears to be plane lost at Love Field by VAH-11 during Project Bullet (John Glenn's flight).
134051 DBR Apr 1958
134072 DBR Apr 1958
129189 DBR May 1958
130425 DBR Sep 1958
129194 W/O Oct 18, 1958
130416 DBR Dec 1958, crash at Granby Street, Norfolk, 9 December 1958
129193 DBR May 1959