by Carole Scrivner Bearden
I was 11 years old, walking home from 5th grade at Jane Long Elementary with some classmates. I wish I could remember who was in our group, but it may have been some nearby neighbors like Sherry Traylor, Jo Beth Barkley or Sue Ann Yeargain. The date was October 24, 1956, a comfortable autumn afternoon, when we heard a huge crash and looked up. Two planes had collided in the air above the Permian Estates.
Suddenly airplane parts and body parts began to fall around us! I dashed home, across Thomason Drive, up Howard Drive, yelling to my sister that their had been an explosion and I was going to look around. No policemen or fire trucks had arrived yet, but groups of children wondered around the 7 block area.
Later we would learn the military jet, containing an instructor and student pilot, were on a training mission from Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring. The Cessna carried a father, mother, infant, and parents of the mother. All 7 passengers died.