F-84B Thunderjet, serial number 46-555, crashed May 16, 1953, 25 miles southeast of Mohawk, Arizona


Summary:  Student pilot 2nd Lt. Carl Martin was flying number three position in a formation while on an air to air gunnery mission over the Barry Goldwater Bomb Range. On the first pass, the pilot of the tow target advised Martin to go around a second time as the formation was out of alignment was off. As the flight leader made his pass, he observed Lt. Martin in a climbing bank to the right, then heard him transmit over the radio, "Item Three, flame out!"

The flight leader then advised Martin to drain his tail pipe and go through an air start. No one ever saw Lt. Martin after his transmission. The leader again called Martin, but no answer. About a minute later, Martin said " I can't get this thing started." Despite the leader calling him, he did not acknowledge any transmissions to him. The leader then went over the air start procedures in the change Martin might hear him. About two minutes later another transmission was made without any identifying call sign, stating "cant get started." The leader then told him to bail out. Shortly thereafter, a column of smoke was seen on the desert floor. Unfortunately, Lt. Carl Martin never made it out.

Investigation of the wreckage showed that Lt. Martin had indeed commenced the ejection process, but the seat malfunctioned and did not eject. Although the canopy did jettison, he was unable to jump from the plane before it crashed.

The B model is considered a rare model as there were only 220 manufactured.

Me next to the crater. What is now a shallow depression was 38 by 6 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. Thousands of parts of debris surround the crater and are scattered over 500 feet. Part of the directional compass. Many .50 caliber shells and projectiles are scattered about.


Wire and aluminum wreckage. Fuel guage shows "Gallons of Fuel Remaining" Part of the armored windscreen. Lt. Martins ripcord.


The aircraft's data plate- Republic Aviation Corporation.  As this plane was made prior to June of 1948, it has the P (pursuit) designation instead of the F (fighter).