GEORGE A. FREDERICK, 1LT, USAF
George A Frederick '53
Date of birth: March 19, 1930
Date of death: August 7, 1956
From the 1953 Lucky Bag:
George was lost on August 7, 1956 when his fighter crashed near Lowry AFB, Colorado. From the Greeley Daily Tribune on August 8, 1956:
DENVER — An Air Force Academy training officer was killed late Tuesday when his F89 jet fighter "flamed out" over Lowry Air Force Base and crashed into power lines in the middle of a residential area in East Denver.
The pilot nursed the crippled fighter toward a small field where his craft struck the power lines, skidded into a tree and halted.
A Lowry spokesman said the pilot, who was in-bound for a landing after a local training mission, did a "magnificent" job of maneuvering the plane away from a thickly settled housing area.
The pilot was identified later by the spokesman as 1st Lt George A. Frederick, 26, who joined the Air Force shortly after he was graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1953.
Survivors include the widow Doree Francine, of Denver, and the parents, Mr. and Mrs. George C. Frederick of Berkley, Mich.
The spokesman said the pilot was in a traffic pattern at 1,500 feet, preparing to land, when he radioed his jet engine had "flamed out" and alerted the base for an emergency landing.
The crippled fighter lurched eastward toward the field, but stalled and plunged into the power line. There was no fire.
The pilot could have pulled the ejection cord and parachuted free. However, that would have left the pilot-less craft free to crash anywhere in the residential area that surrounds the base on three sides.
From the Petoskey News-Review on August 10, 1956:
DETROIT (UP) – The “magnificent” action of a young Air Force pilot who chose death rather than risk the lives of others today left his mother heart-broken but resigned that his decision was right.
“It sounds like something he would do because that is the kind of a boy he was,” said Mrs. George C. Frederick, mother of First Lt. George A. Frederick, 26.
Frederick was killed when he guided his flaming jet into a small park filled with trees rather than try an emergency landing in a Denver, Colo., residential district.
The Air Force called his heroic decision “magnificent.”
The F-89 Scorpion he was piloting was a part of the the 3415th Technical Training Wing.
From researcher Kathy Franz: "In May 1956, George was one of the air training officers of the first 256-cadet freshman class at the unfinished Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs."
He was also survived by his brother. (Information from October 1956 issue of Shipmate.)
George is buried in Colorado.