United States Air Force  

B-47 Stratojet

 

?? November 1961

Lockbourne AFB
Capt. Carl Eugene Kotheimer
1922 - 1968

In November of 1961 my father, Capt. Carl E. Kotheimer, was on a training flight with a B47 based at Lockbourne AFB. The plane developed in-flight issues with flaps and hydraulics. They were given permission to ditch the plane over Lake Erie and parachute to safety but they chose to land the plane. After flying all night to reduce the fuel load, they were able to get the wheels down but they folded upon landing. The plane skidded quite a distance before stopping and the crew survived.  Ironically, my father passed away 6 years later from a heart attack. He was only 45 years old.

"Another version of this incident was that the hydraulics issue affected the function of the brakes and, due to the problem with the flaps and a brake chute that failed to deploy, the landing was at a high speed.  The landing gear did not collapse and the plane used almost the entire runway to coast to a stop."

Mr. Kim Kotheimer
in email 22nd November 2014 

 

Extracts from Major Kotheimer's Newspaper Obituary.

Maj. Carl E Kotheimer, 45, a native of Youngstown and holder of the Air Medal.

He was awarded the Air Medal six years ago at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus for saving his B47 and it three-man crew by landing the disabled bomber under hazardous conditions on a routine training flight in November, 1961.

Maj. Kotheimer discovered the flaps and hydraulic system were not working correctly. He and the crew were given permission to parachute to safety, but chose to land the plane.

After flying all night to reduce the fuel load, Maj. Kotheimer got the hydraulic system to work enough to get the wheels down but they folded upon landing. The huge plane traveled some 8,000 feet on the runway before skidding to a stop.

Maj. Kotheimer was  born Nov. 30, 1922, in Youngstown son of Carl A. and Agnes Brockhoff Kotheimer.

He graduated from St. Dominic School and South High School and enlisted in the old Army Air Corps. He served in World War II and was recalled for duty in the Korean War as a. fighter pilot.

 

Captain Carl Eugene Kotheimer
via Mr. Kim Kotheimer

 

 

 

 

 

FURTHER DETAILS APPRECIATED  - please forward any updates to this website and they can be passed on to the family