Accident Vultee BT-13A Valiant 41-11061,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 120095
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Date:Sunday 2 January 1944
Type:Silhouette image of generic VALI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Vultee BT-13A Valiant
Owner/operator:741th BFTSqn USAAF
Registration: 41-11061
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:15 Miles NE of Gardner Field, Kern County, California -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
In the afternoon of 2 January 1944 Aviation Cadet Ezra Thomas Oglesbee, born on 4 December 1917 in Marion County, Mississippi, took off from Gardner Field, 9 miles southeast of Taft, California, for a routine training flight with the BT-13A 41-11061 of 741th BFTS.

The student had had Christmas dinner and New Year‘s Day dinner at the farm of Salvatore Garzelli, about 15 miles northeast of Gardner Field and stated to the host that he might fly over the house the next day. During his afternoon flight he made three passes at the farm house at an altitude of approximately 50 feet, low enough to enable the witnesses to recognize him.

Upon completing his third pass at the house, Oglesbee proceeded in a northwesterly direction, climbing slightly. He then attempted to execute some aerobatic maneuver, probably a slow roll. While inverted and still climbing slightly the engine cut out, and the nose started dropping. The pilot was able to roll the airplane from the inverted position but was apparently unable to get the nose up. The airplane stalled and struck the ground at 1635 hrs in a near-vertical attitude, bursting into flames a few seconds later and killing the pilot.


"Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945. Volume 2, July 1943-July 1944", by Anthony J. Mireles. ISBN 0-7864-2789-2 (map of Gardner Field)

Revision history:

04-Jan-2017 14:02 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2018 08:56 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
22-Mar-2020 19:50 DG333 Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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