United States Navy

F-8E Crusader


Monday 8th June 1964

Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Lt. R. H. "Mickey" Brown


".   .   . On 8 June 1964 while an Instructor Pilot with VF-174 at Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida. It was the Replacement Air Wing squadron for all east coast naval pilots transitioning to the Crusader aircraft, from whatever source. We were an experienced group drawn from the first fleet Crusader squadrons and had many ejections represented by our IPs-three had left two birds previously.


I was leading a gunnery practice flight and plane shuddered and went uncontrolled in climb at 10 thousand feet; ended up in left rolls with negative gs heading down vertically. Finally dropped ram air turbine, got positive gs, and ejected at 2300 feet and 430 knots. Bad ride, landed in group of cows, but missed the high pine trees. Picked up by station chopper from farmer-ladys house.

Flew 24 hours later-then so bruised and sore I had to take a week off.

Mickey Brown
in correspondence 12th April 2011

Further information

". . . the cause for the mishap was determined to have been a rupture of the afterburner fuel supply manifold, burn-through of the engine casing, ignition of the wrap-around fuel tanks, and resultant explosion. Hydraulic lines were ruptured; luckily the plane stayed pointed towards its erratic flight path so the fire stayed aft.

 There were several VF-174 entries in your compendium. Alexander, about a week later, was flying immediately aft of me in this episode. I was flying with T. R. Swartz when bird went thru his canopy some time prior. I was in VF-33 with Sullivan in July 1962 at time of his fatality; on and on: high accident rates then."





                                                                           via Mickey Brown

Picture is about 8 years prior to the referenced accident

     Thanks to Mickey Brown who provided details of his ejection and permission to use them, and his photograph on this web site.