Republic F-84E Thunderjet # 49-2199 crashed 18 November 1953, Dateland, AZ

Summary: A flight of four F-84 Thunderjets departed Luke AFB for an air-to-ground gunnery mission on targets south of Dateland, Arizona. As he was getting ready for his first firing pass, Major Harms reached down to reposition his gun switch to "Guns" as he began a turn into the target. He instantly felt an abrupt thump and experienced some loss of control of the aircraft. His flight leader radioed him and advised, "You have a tip tank lodged in your tail!" A quick check revealed he had accidentally mistook the tip tank jettison for the gun switch.

He flew maneuvers for 30 minutes trying to dislodge the tip tank, but to no avail. Even the group Operations Officer made four attempts to dislodge it with his aircraft. When his fuel became dangerously low, Major Harms was forced to eject.

The main impact point. Wreckage is spread over a few hundred feet. Instrument components. Bent instrument and needle.


Scattered debris. More debris. More debris... An access door.


Cockpit data plates and instrument faces. Instrument face. Turbine blades from the Allison J35 Turbojet. Pitot tube.


Part number confirms the aircraft type as an F-84. Part of the instrument dash. Instrument mount. More debris.