01/31/09 155 W - + 13 - 16 Maxton Military Aircraft Accident, 1943

What might have be the state's deadliest military aircraft accident happened the morning of Sept. 20, 1943, at Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Base, two miles from Maxton. On a run to shuttle passengers, cargo, and official mail daily between "Pope Field" and Stout Field in Indianapolis, reported the News & Observer (9/20, 9/23), an Army transport crashed after take off. The plane burst into flames in woods near the end of the runway, and all 25 aboard were killed. It was also the first fatality at the base, which had been operating for more than a year. LMAAB was an installation of the First Troop Carrier Command, and was used for training  air units including airborne infantry, glider pilots, and paratroopers. Other military aircraft accidents with 20+ fatalities include Camp Lejeune in 1967 (21 killed) and Pope Air Force Base in 1994 (23 killed). Learn more about deadly plane crashes in our state.