Note: The following information is for HISTORICAL USE ONLY. Our goal is NOT to pursue legal action, only to provide an alternate view.

"You don't choose the things you believe in, They Choose You, " - "Minority Report"

This ENTIRE file is backed-up, and printed more than seven times with seven distinct people.

The Crash Of A Braniff L-188 Electra "II" on 3 May 1968 4:37pm in Dawson, Texas.

Our Summary:

Flight 352 (Braniff Electra N9707C) departed Houston at 4:11pm. Weather was mentioned, but not considered a problem for the flight. When 352 had reached the Dawson area, a thunderstorm had indeed moved through and was East near Corsicana. Another thunderstorm could be seen to the Northwest near Waco moving East. Flight 154 (Braniff Electra N9709C) deviated to Flight 352's path due to the storm near Waco, and was trailing Flight 352 at about 1,000 feet below and behind. At 4:37pm, two explosions took place destroying the right side, and right wing of 352. The inboard right flap actuator and inboard flap seperated from the wing and fell on a nearby farm. Both items later tested positive for C-4 residue. The explosions killed everyone on-board instantly. The plane lost its tail and slammed into the ground five miles later at "Battle Creek" in Dawson. Witnesses on the ground, and the pilot (and probably passengers) of 154 saw the main explosion, and the subsequent crash. It was not raining at the time, although "mist" was in the air from the previous thunderstorm now East of Corsicana. Likely Cause: Cargo Explosion due to "volatile" substances not disclosed to the air crew.


And the "OFFICIAL" National Transportation Safety Report (NTSB) can be found here: June 19, 1969 Report

Obviously, based on our summary, We don't think the NTSB conclusion is accurate.

The following are BRANIFF FLIGHT OPERATIONS DOCUMENTS that are 100% verified. They point to another story. One of an "in-flight" explosion that was NOT weather related.

I'll let these OFFICIAL documents speak for themselves...



Here for the the entire ALPA Letter

Note: Captain Glenn K. Bruno DIED after this letter in his pool of drowning. He was an accomplished swimmer!

Crew Autopsies:

Click here for the Second Officer's Toxicology Report

Officer Crossland was found in the battery compartment of N9707C. This Toxicology report confirms that with high levels of zinc, bismuth and cadmium etc. He would have had to be standing "mid-cabin" for this to happen. Capt. Phillips and Officer Foster were found in the cockpit at the crash scene.


Second Officer's Autopsy Click here

Donald W. Crossland, Second Officer was not sitting and probably mid-cabin during explosion. Autopsy shows presence of metal fragments and "walking/standing" fractures.

Senior Hostess' Autopsy Click here

Jo Carol Brand's autopsy shows head trauma that is consistent to a severe and rapid change of pressure. (Possibly due to the on-board explosion). It should be noted that fragments of magazines were found lodged 1" deep in her back, and she sustained "walking/standing fractures" indicating she was standing and not sitting.

(A passenger with a bomb blew up Flight 967, a Delta/National DC-7B that crashed in 1959 in the Gulf of Mexico. Two flight attendants from that flight also had "walking/standing" fractures, which led the Civil Aeronautics Board to believe in the bomb theory)

Junior Hostess' Autopsy Click here

Suzi Renz autopsy shows trauma that is consistent to a severe and rapid change of pressure. (Possibly due to the on-board explosion). She also sustained "walking/standing fractures" indicating she was standing and not sitting.

Due to her injuries and materials found on the Senior and Junior Hostesses, plus materiel found on the recovered flap actuator (see below), we think that C-4 was the cause.

About C-4 from "How Stuff Works":

"When the chemical reaction begins, the C-4 decomposes to release a variety of gases (notably, nitrogen and carbon oxides). The gases initially expand at about 26,400 feet per second (8,050 meters per second), applying a huge amount of force to everything in the surrounding area. At this expansion rate, it is totally impossible to outrun the explosion like they do in dozens of action movies. To the observer, the explosion is nearly instantaneous -- one second, everything's normal, and the next it's totally destroyed."

"The explosion actually has two phases. The initial expansion inflicts most of the damage. It also creates a very low-pressure area around the explosion's origin -- the gases are moving outward so rapidly that they suck most of the gas out from the "middle" of the explosion. After the outward blast, gases rush back in to the partial vacuum, creating a second, less-destructive inward energy wave."

From "Wikipedia":

"The only reliable method for detonation is via a detonator or blasting cap. However, applying pressure in combination with heat can often cause detonation."..."during the Vietnam War era, many soldiers would use small amounts of C-4 as means of heating rations while on long patrols. While many soldiers were able to use C-4 in this manner safely, there are several anecdotes about soldiers attempting to put out the fire by stomping on it and causing it to detonate.

The Braniff Timeline:

Braniff's First Reaction (Timeline) on May 3, 1968 From Flight Ops


J.H. Alexander's initial weather impressions.

NTSB requests weather data from BI...
(Click here) Meteorology dept. asks for a 30 day delay (ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS)

Chief Dispatcher Jake Sorlie Memo

Dispatch documents on weather

NTSB Pre-Report on Air Traffic Control's Weather Determination with J.H. Alexander's Response

Doubts on both sides about what exactly Air Traffic Saw on May 3, 1968


Click Here for CVR Report


Click Here for FDR Report

352 Cargo?

HERE for ORIGINAL Dispatch documents for Flight 352 and Cargo Air bills.

Other Aircraft in the area

Click Here for FAA list (ORIGINAL) of other airplanes


Dawson Postmaster (in 1968)
Cloyce Williamson Floyd.

Many people discount witness testimony, but the following two people (plus the Captain of N9709C) were/are the most credible witnesses I could find. They were not paid one penny for their comments. While these interviews are not original Braniff or Government documents, they are documented by "The Braniff Pages" on a typed transcript or tape-recorded interview.

Mr. Floyd was heading home from the post office on main and saw the explosion. He described it as "bright as a welding torch." He witnessed the cigar shaped craft plummet into "Battle Creek." He stated later, that he and a "friend" went on horseback to look for aircraft parts, but stated that he did not go to the crash scene the night of the crash. He said this THREE times in a row, (in a 1997 interview) but could describe the condition of the bodies at the wreck site in vivid detail.

Mr. Floyd, "Most of the bodies that, now I didn't see them, but I was told...I never did...I was not in the process of picking it (the bodies) up." He continues, " I was doing everything else in town (Dawson), but I wasn't in the process of picking them (the bodies) up. But what they told ...it was everything from the seat and below the seat was 'blown off' or 'separated' from the torso of the body. The main torso of the body (bodies) was protected by the seat. They were intact."


I asked him in 1997, "You said the flash was like, what, a welding torch?" He replied, "Yahh. It was an explosion." I said that a welding torch was bright enough to blind you. He replied, " It'll burn your eyeballs if you watch it." - Cloyce Floyd.

Oddly enough, Cloyce Floyd had known Mr. Harry McKillop (Braniff Cargo Vice President) prior to the crash. According to him, Harry McKillop had worked for the government as an airline-postal liason. They had met at trade shows, and Mr. Floyd stated, "Well, I had met him years before because he worked for the airlines, and he worked for the transportation portion of the airlines that the post office had. And when we'd (himself) go to the national conventions, a lot of times, he would be the representative of the airlines there selling air mail, you know, the idea of it. I'd (Mr. Floyd) would always go by and aggravate him, you know, and tell him...well I've got to have one of your 'travel bags' or I've got to have whatever you are passing out. I says I've got no idea what else is going on, but I've got to have 'one of em' He and I (McKillop and Floyd) had a lot of fun together."

(Question: If Cloyce was Postmaster from 1965-1985, and the crash happened three years after he started at the Post Office...why does he say he had met Mr. McKillop "years before?"...SPECULATION: Could he have met him while he was still in the Air Force?)

The retired Postmaster also brought up Harry's involvement with the crash (McKillop was one of the first Braniff officials at the crash, and quickly took charge of the "make-shift" morgue in Dawson), and his attitude towards losing Molly Deware. (Molly was a Braniff Cargo Secretary "allegedly" sent to Houston for the day by Mr. McKillop to pick up "unknown" cargo for him.)

"He (Mr. Mckillop) was really concerned about what happened (to Molly) and everything," Cloyce Floyd.

(see www.braniffpages.com/1984.html for more on Harry)

Harry E. McKillop, VP Cargo Sales and Service. Seen here in T-shirt. He was the first Braniff official on the scene less than 2 hours after the crash.

He quickly took command of the crash, then, the "make-shift" morgue at the "Dawson Bulldogs Gym"

Braniff Cargo Secretary, Molly Deware (Jack Woodruff's personal secretary) was killed on Flight 352. She was on a special "trip" for Mr. McKillop He is, ironically, now President of an airport and a cemetery. He is also H. Ross Perot's "Second-in-Charge" and friends with President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

FULL PAGE picture from "The Waco Citizen"

Postcard sent by Molly Deware from Houston to her brother. Mailed on her "day trip," it was posted before she boarded Flight 352.

(Source G. W. Cearley, Jr. who has the original Postcard)

(The "B-Liner" (1966) from the time Mr. McKillop was hired stated he was "Ex-military, and had served in Vietnam prior to Braniff.")


Again, Postmaster Cloyce Floyd (Postmaster in 1968) stated in that 1997 interview, "I had had it with the courts and the lawyers kept telling me this and telling me that, and I told them what I felt...what really happened. Pretty Emphatically, the Judge scolded my rear-end real good, and told me to shut-up and just answer the questions that were asked." The Retired Postmaster continued, "Course, all the "old boys" that were trying me (asking him questions at The Official Hearings) had been associates...you know, they had been down there (Dawson), and I'd worked with them for a month." According to my 1997 notes, I then asked him if these included "Braniff people." Mr. Floyd stated,” The Braniff People and the...well everybody in the world that was involved in it."

Cloyce Floyd died in Mexia in 2003. We have a notarized transcript of the full interview conducted in 1997 on file.

Excerpt from his Obit:

"Mr. Floyd was born July 12, 1926, in Dawson and was raised in Union High where he still owned the family home place. He attended Union High schools, graduated from Dawson High School and attended Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. Cloyce was a veteran having served in the Air Force as a sergeant and was a civilian instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base for 12 years. He moved back to Dawson in 1963 and served as postmaster from 1965 to 1986 when he retired. He also was a rancher and raised Longhorn cattle. Cloyce supported youth activities of Dawson and Navarro County and was the announcer for the Dawson Saddle Club for many years. He loved his children and all the children of Dawson. He was a member of the Union High Volunteer Fire Association, a lifetime member of the Dawson Historical Society and the Dawson Ex-Students Association. Mr. Floyd was a 50-year member of the Dawson Masonic Lodge and earned his 32nd degree in Scottish Rite in Prestwick, Scotland. He was also a charter member of the Dawson Lions Club and a member of First United Methodist Church in Dawson." - Source: "Navarro County Rootsweb"

Dawson Baptist Minister (in 1968)
Reverend Shewmake

Reverend Shewmake agreed to be taped in an "on the phone" interview in 2003. Probably the most honest and credible witness besides the late Mr. Floyd.

First on the scene were three people. Mr. McWilliams, a DPS officer, Ronny Slater, a local Dawson resident and a Baptist Preacher. According to the Preacher, in a recorded phone interview, it was not raining by the time he reached his home. The Reverend told me, "I Know that I had gone through a terrible storm. See, I parked my automobile in Corsicana and rode to Fort Worth to the Southwestern Theological Seminary with three more ministers (earlier that day). We always came back to the parking lot at First Baptist Church in Corsicana. I had gotten in my automobile (around 4 or 5pm he recalls...We place the explosion at 4:37pm and the NTSB at 4:51pm), and I came west on that Highway to Hubbard and Dawson (Hwy 31). It got bad (the rain just outside Corsicana)...man it was bad. The wind got up, it was so fierce. But then it had let up, and I went on to the house, and I think by that time, that I got to the house, I don't believe it was even misting." After the preacher had entered his house, he had heard a loud explosion and saw the bright white flash that the other witnesses had described. The Preacher had just arrived home from Corsicana, Texas when the plane exploded. "It was not raining when we went up to the crash scene minutes after the plane had crashed in Battle Creek," The Preacher added.

Rev. Shewmake's middle daughter contacted me on the 23rd of January 2004 via E-mail. We spoke on the phone for 2 1/2 hours. She mentioned that on the 3rd of May 1968 "she was watching cartoons, and decided to go outside and play since it was NOT raining." She, along with her younger sister, had heard the "explosion" and remembered where she was at the time (even though she was 5 years old). She even remembers that her Father was standing by the glass doors near the back of the house. The daughter also identified her Father for us in the "minutes after" crash photo.

Braniff Flight 154
Lockheed Electra N9709C

"Explosion" was mentioned several times by witnesses interviewed in 1968 by the "Waco Citizen." (Now a part of the "Waco-Tribune Herald") It is mentioned in the CVR First Transcript, it was mentioned by all of the witnesses we interviewed, and IT WAS VERIFIED by Captain Charles H.Rosendahl, Pilot of N9709C (another Braniff Electra, in the exact same airspace when N9707C exploded). The Captain of this Austin to Dallas flight, vectored over by ATC to 352's Jet Route, said to us, "The sun was shinin' down on it when it exploded." (HIS EXACT WORDS in 2002). I asked Captain Rosendahl, again in July (2004). He stated, "I was in the clear and I encountered no turbulence that I can remember...but I can't remember whether 07C was in the clear or in a cloud when it exploded." Captain Rosendahl never disputed his statements made in previous phone calls.

Captain Charles “Rosy” Rosendahl passed away January 22, 2008, at the age of 84. His wife died shortly after in April. Both moved from Minneapolis (MSP) to Dallas (DAL) in 1964. Rosendahl started out with Mid-Continent in 1951, and was merged into Braniff in 1952. He was hired at the same time as Captain John Phillips.

We interviewed second Officer Cooper on 3 July 2006 on the phone in an informal interview. He stated that he did not see N9707C explode. He told me "N9709C was flying perpendicular 1000 to 2000 feet away from N9707C at the time of the break-up. N9707C was at 16,000 feet MSL and N9709C passed underneath at 14,000 feet MSL. His plane did not experience any turbulence whatsoever...not even a bump." However, despite that, Second Officer Cooper agrees that weather might have been a factor, even though he stated he was not a witness to the explosion/break-up. (The Second Officer of a Braniff Electra would have sat behind the center console, thus not having a clear view out of the left cockpit window). Cooper sticks to the accepted theory that the thunderstorm ahead (of N9707C) was "green in color," however he could not remember if N9707C penetrated that weather or not. I also mentioned that the thunderstorm was more to the West, and not over Dawson. Second Officer Cooper could not confirm or deny that. He also told us that he was not interviewed in the NTSB hearings on the crash of N9707C, However he was de-briefed upon landing by flight operations ("General Rumsey's Staff" in his words) in Dallas the day of May 3, 1968. We have nothing in our files about that de-briefing. The only thing we have is the "dispatch form" indicating he was indeed a crewmember on Flight 154.

Captain Cooper's testimony is correct in part. N9709C would have "vectored' from Jet Route 21-25 (AUS-Temple-Waco-DAL) to Jet Route 87 via the "SATIN" Intersection at 057 degrees (which agrees with the FDR report). The major weather was North/Northwest of Waco

Braniff personnel that arrived at Dawson confirmed that Flight 154 was "right behind" Flight 352. (Which Braniff Flight Operations initially denied, but confirmed later in the investigation that, indeed, N9709C was in "the same airspace."

We have now found out that Captain Rosendahl testified before Judge Hughes that he "flew under Flight 352 shortly before it crashed." He also testified he saw "nothing unusual" about Flight 352 shortly before it exploded.

Rosendahl was questioned for an hour at the hearings.

Second Officer (now Captain) Cooper was very interested in our site. He stated, "we had a wealth of information he was unaware of." He also admires the fact we are trying to clear Phillips name, and admits he wish he could be of more help. We would like to thank him for talking to us!

N9709C, Flight 154 Dispatch forms from May 3rd and Flight Data Recorder Proving that N9709C (flight 154) was indeed in the SAME AIRSPACE as 352

1960s Jeppesen Chart from Braniff files showing the flightpath of 154 and 352 the day of the crash.

N9709C, Flight 154, originated in Corpus Christi, continued on to San Antonio and Austin. It was on the Austin to Dallas leg when it encountered Flight 352. 154 continued onto Dallas where it gated at the end of "The Yellow Concourse" at Love Field. ("The end of the Concourse is where all the Electras came in," according to a Braniff Gate agent working that day) N9709C continued on (with another crew) to Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kansas, and Kansas City.

WFAA-TV Meteorologist Dale Milford

Mr. Milford, the staff-Meteorologist for WFAA-TV in Dallas in 1968 stated he found NO EVIDENCE of a Thunderstorm over Dawson, Texas at the time of the crash.

The Channel 8 weatherman testified in Federal Court with Judge Sarah T. Hughes presiding over the Crash hearings. Milford was, himself, an experienced pilot.

Cessna Pilot
Jorge Martinez DeHijar

Mr. Dehijar also testified in front of the court that he was piloting a Cessna 411 about 23 miles West of Dawson, Texas. He was approx 12 minutes ahead of Flight 352. He said "he encountered rain, but no severe thunderstorm near Dawson at the time of the crash."

Dehijar did fly through hail, but on the trip back from Dallas to Monterrey, Mexico THREE HOURS LATER.

First "On-Scene"

Ronnie Slater, Reverend J.B. Shewmake and DPS Officer Harold Pitts wer the first on the scene. (See Shewmake above). Mary Slater, Ronnie's wife, was "in the garage with their 3 year old son watching the weather, and observed a fireball in the sky." - R.A. Putman


A farmer in the vicinity of El Dorado, about 5 miles Southeast of Dawson, reported he was OUTDOORS gathering tools and other farm implements while watching a storm to the West. The farmer was startled by a loud "whooshing noise." He looked up and saw a plane heading towards the NW towards Dallas. He reported seeing a "piece of sheet metal fall off the back of the right wing near the main aircraft fuselage, and a square piece fell off shortly after that from the aft fuselage." He then stated, "the plane stayed on course for a bit, then it lost its tail and then right wing. The plane veered off due west and slammed into the ground."

A Frontier Airlines Pilot heading west on Hwy 31, just East of Dawson, Texas, was keeping an eye on storm clouds North and West of his car's location. The pilot was first distracted by what he described as "the sun appearing through a break in the overcast skies." He realized that it was bright white flash of an "explosion." The seasoned pilot watched in horror as he saw an "Electra burning and falling to the ground." From the pilot's position on Hwy 31, he could not visualize the sequence of break-up. In a testimony, he stated, "The Federal Aviation Administration did triangulation studies on the initial flash and explosion, and determined the plane was at 18,000 feet MSL when it exploded."

In Total, 97 people OUTDOORS witnessed the explosion and crash of Flight 352. Only 47 people were interviewed. 46 people saw the plane "straight and level" before the explosion, and only ONE saw it "in a turn." Based on this, we discount the "turn theory" even though the entire NTSB Report is based on it.

A "Mindy Maass" (a Dawson Elementary School teacher) e-mailed us on October 26, 2000, and told us, "Is it true that they buried the "unidentifiable" body parts in Corsicana - 20 miles away?" This is what she had heard from Dawson residents she states. We did have a phone number for her in Dawson at the time.

Braniff Electra N9706C.

This plane made the Dallas-Houston flight for N9707C on May 3, 1968. 07C had been at Lackland AFB that morning, and was unavailable. Allegedly, N9706C was ferried back to Dallas as N9707C took the fatal 352 flight. Captain Wendell Stephens piloted this aircraft out of DAL as 352 after the original 352 crashed. He was also, interestingly, supposed to pilot 07C out of Houston, but Phillips was substituted at the last minute.

HERMAN RUMSEY, Flight Operations VP, and Chief Investigator Flight 352, "Let's Get our story Straight" MEMO...

Rumsey was formerly "head" of USAF "Materiel" Support Vietnam


Recovered in 1989, THIS Jackscrew defies The NTSB Report

Author Beryl Frank also does NOT believe NTSB Report

From "Plane Crashes 1981"

From "Plane Crashes 1981" Part 2

Our Summary:

Flight 352 (Braniff Electra N9707C) departed Houston at 4:11pm. Weather was mentioned, but not considered a problem for the flight. When 352 had reached the Dawson area, a thunderstorm had indeed moved through and was East near Corsicana. Another thunderstorm could be seen to the Northwest near Waco moving East. Flight 154 (Braniff Electra N9709C) deviated to Flight 352's path due to the storm near Waco, and was trailing Flight 352 at about 1,000 feet below and behind. At 4:37pm, two explosions took place destroying the right side, and right wing of 352. The inboard right flap actuator and inboard flap seperated from the wing and fell on a nearby farm. Both items later tested positive for C-4 residue. The explosions killed everyone on-board instantly. The plane lost its tail and slammed into the ground five miles later at "Battle Creek" in Dawson. Witnesses on the ground, and the pilot (and probably passengers) of 154 saw the main explosion, and the subsequent crash. It was not raining at the time, although "mist" was in the air from the previous thunderstorm now East of Corsicana. Likely Cause: Cargo Explosion due to "volatile" substances not disclosed to the air crew.

Tribute to the Flight Crew written by Pat Zahrt FOR Harding Lawrence (he didn't want a tribute written) May 1968 "B-Liner"

Dawson Page © 1997-2009 "The Braniff Pages"

CLICK HERE for ORIGINAL DAL Love Field announcement.
Love Field Annoucer,
Eddie Hill 1968 (on vinyl...actual recording from Love Field, Dallas Flight announcements.)


EVERYTHING Electra and P3 Orion (with proof that the Electra/P-3 is structurally sound)

Electra/Orion "Superpage"

NASA 1998-2000 CLEAR AIR
L-188 Electra Turbulance Tester

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reperformed a series of structural and stress tests on the L-188 Lockheed Electra. NASA had performed previous studies on the integrity of the Electra design, and had confirmed the Electra can "take just about anything."

"On March 24, 1998, an L-188 Electra aircraft owned by the National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia and operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, flew near Boulder with an Airborne Coherent LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) for Advanced In-flight Measurement. This aircraft was on its first flight to test its ability to detect previously invisible forms of clear air turbulence. Coherent Technologies Inc., Lafayette, Colorado, built the LiDAR device for the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. NASA Dryden participated in this effort as part of the NASA Aviation Safety Program, for which the lead center was Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. Results of the test indicated that the device did successfully detect the clear air turbulence."

Associated Retired Aviation Professionals
(ARAP) Site on TWA 800

A Retired Navy Commander set up this organization to investigate and question the NTSB findings of Jim Hall, Dr. Bernard Loeb, Bill Clinton and "Sandy" Berger. ARAP deem TWA Flight 800 a "cover-up" by the NTSB which exploded off the coast of Long Island, NY in the Summer of 1996

ARAP consists of Retired NTSB board members, a Former Joint Chief of Staff, Aviation engineers and Aerospace experts.


"On July 19, 1967, in the skies above Hendersonville, N.C., one of the deadliest mid-air collisions in American aviation history took place. Eighty-two people were killed in an accident that the National Transportation Safety Board ruled to be one pilot's fault."

That report is now being re-opened and questioned.

Flight 22 Page

Captain John Ralph Phillips
The pilot of N9707C, Flight 352
He was unfairly blamed for the accident
Phillips had signed on with Braniff in 1951
He "checked-out" on the L-188 Electra in 1966
Total time in an L-188 Electra: 1,388:00 hours
Total overall flight time: 10,866:56 hours
Phillips was known for "doing things by the book."
He would have never compromised safety
Interesting fact: Phillips was asked
to fly Trip 352 at the last minute!

(From May 1968 "B-Liner")

Phillips Autopsy Toxicology Report:
From Parkland Hospital
Dallas, Texas
Conducted by Dr. Rose
No. ML68-205

Posionous gases:
Trace, only, of CO
Volatile Poisons:
Positive for formaldehyde and ethyl alcohol

Distillate from the muscle tissue contained formaldehyde
and ethyl alcohol. Gas Chromatography showed 0.0025%
(similar to other crew members) ethyl alcohol
The muscle tissue contained abnormal amounts of lead,
presumably postmortem in origin.

Senior Flight Hostess
Jo Carol Brand
Her Autopsy, No. ML68-208,
also done at Parkland Hospital,
has confirmed
a violent explosion.
(See her FULL Autopsy
In "Crew Standing?")
Ms. Brand, like the Captain,
was asked at THE LAST MINUTE
to fly on Flight 352
(Picture Source: May 1968 B-Liner)
Lockheed Electra II
Ship N9707C
at Dallas Love Field

© 1993 Mel Lawrence
Lockheed Electra II
In Flight

Unknown Photographer
taxiing on Runway 13 (13L)
at Love Field
According to the ship's "Logbook,"
07C left the Lemmon Ave Hanger
(Pictured behind) the morning of
3 May 1968 enroute to Lackland AB
in San Antonio, Texas.
Reason: unknown Passengers to SAN: unknown
Ship N9706C (S.C. Orange Electra II)
made the trip, Flight 381, to Houston that 07C
normally would have flown.
This left DAL at 1:40pm and arrived HOU at 2:38pm
(normal procedure was to fly the SAME aircraft on both legs,
this did not happen on 3rd May 1968)

(Braniff Timetable 28 April 1968)

07C had just finished a "C" check,
(a few weeks earlier at Love Field)
but was NOT re-painted into the "Solid Color"
Schemes that the other Electras were
already wearing. Instead, it wore a Black
radome and White Q.E.C. (that belonged to another
Electra which had been painted Solid Color)
and otherwise remained in its 1959 "Red, White and Blue"
"Jet-Power" Paint Scheme.

Photo © Pete Bulban via George W. Cearley, Jr's
"Braniff International Airways in Color"
Braniff Timetable in effect
during the crash.
Electra N9707C's tail.
Never found, of course.
This picture was taken shortly before the end.
At Corpus Christi, Texas

© 2004 "The Braniff Pages"
A teletype from Braniff Dispatcher Bob Hatch
Flight 221, another Braniff Lockheed Electra II
Departed Dallas at 4:00pm CST for Houston.
The same time Flight 352 left Houston for Dallas.
Both aircraft flew on J87, the jet-route assigned for HOU-DAL-HOU.
This clearly shows that the area over Dawson was "clear and remained clear"
(Verified by Flight 154, the red Electra II, that was flying next to 352)

(ORIGINAL Braniff Flight Operations File)
Lockheed L-188 Engineering Layout
NOTE: "Electrical Service Center"
This is where Second Officer Donald Crossland
was found at the crash site at Battle Creek.
His HIGH LEVELS of Battery Chemicals in his autopsy verify this.
(see link to left for Crossland's Toxicology Report)
The seating plan is the same as N9707C.
The "Rear Baggage Compartment" is where we believe
THE EXPLOSION originated 5 miles Southeast of Dawson.
This is from a MAY 1965 Braniff in-house technical manual.
© 2002-2004 "The Braniff Pages"
Electra N9707C on takeoff from Dallas Love.
This is a view of the right wing
and No.3 and No.4 GM/Allison propjet engines
Photo from "Braniff International Airways in Color"

Photo taken inside N9707C by Pete Bulban
N9707C just before the crash...note black "Radome" and White No.1 Q.E.C.
N9707C just before the crash.
Right side which was unrecognizable at crash scene.
Note Black "Radome"
from the "solid-color" scheme
hastily put on in Dallas after "C" check.
("C Check" verified by LOG BOOK)
This was also verified by the NTSB report:
Appendix B Paragraph 2:
"The aircraft (N9707C) had a total time of 20,958 hours prior to the departure from Houston to Dallas May 3, 1968. It had flown 10 hours since the last Terminal Check, April 28, 1968"

Also note rear cargo hatch.
Picture taken at Corpus Christi
very close to the end.

© 2002-2008 "The Braniff Pages"
Interior of Braniff Electra showing the aft cabin with galley
This is directly OVER the aft cargo hold.

L-188, Ship N9709C, Flight 154
Austin-Dallas 3 May 1968
Vectored to J-87 by FTW Center
because of "intense storms over Waco"
Piloted by Capt. Charles H. Rosendahl
In the exact same airspace
as L-188 N9707C when it
"exploded" in clear air.
The Captain saw it explode
as did everyone on the left side
of this aircraft.
It had been flying parallel with 07C
on J-87

Pictured here with TTA DC-9s (which also flew J87 on 3 May)
Harry E. McKillop Today
Taken at "McKillop Irish Spirit Awards" 2005
Ironic, since the "Braniff Family" came from Ireland
Mckillop is H. Ross Perot's "second in command"
Harry E. McKillop 2002
Taken at an Alliance Airport event for H. Ross Perot (his boss)
Actual Jeppesen Sectional Chart from 1968
(Click on image for full size view)
Red Route shows Flight 154's route
Blue Route shows Flight 352's route
Black areas are indications of the storm cells in the area at the time of the crash
Flight 154 Deviated East to avoid storms North and West of Waco
Course of 352 along J87 fairly constant until break-up which began at
El Dorado, 5 miles SE of Dawson.
From 352/Pat Zahrt Accident File
"Booklet" insert on the Dawson Crash
Published by the "Waco Citizen"
9 May 1968
N9707C just after the crash.
This is one of the FIRST pictures taken.
This is minutes after the crash.
Wayne Allard is taking photos of the landing gear
and isn't worried about rain on his camera.
It isn't raining, nor are the people
in this picture worried about "rain" or a
thunderstorm in the direct area.
You can see the front landing gear.
This verifies witnesses that state it was
NOT raining at the time of the "Explosion."
From the "Waco Citizen" 1968

Rev. Shewmake can be seen in this picture.
He is wearing the black suit and black tie with
glasses, and is standing behind the pile of wreckage.

A trusted witness from Hubbard, Texas
(About 5 miles Southwest of Dawson, Texas)
Stated that the "major storm" hit between
5:00pm (17:00) and 5:15pm (17:15).
AFTER N9707C had crashed based on our version
AND the "official" version.
The same witness stated she heard 10 "Backfires...
cutting in and out" after the initial explosion.
Braniff Memo from 1968
States both CVR and FDR "OK"
NTSB Report states tapes damaged
(THIS IS an original memo from 1968)
Possible "altered" FDR
At 32:30 into the flight,
you can see a noticable change in the
line shown above. The "Plot Points"
go missing and the line darkens
(We think it was drawn in at this point)
(We also speculate this to be the time of
the tail seperation or impact...4:43:30pm CST)
Header for J.H. Alexander's
Handwritten CVR transcript
made in Corsicana on the 5 May
This "first copy" does not agree
with the "final" copy.
At least four (possibly five) revisions
were made, and phrases changed.
Last page of J.H. Alexander's
Handwritten CVR transcript.
He clearly states "explosion"
This is changed in the NTSB report
to "break-up" noise!
Exit door
According to the "Waco Citizen"
Recovered at "Battle Creek" - Dawson, TX
The tail, according to the paper,
was recovered 2 miles from the crash site,
by men on horseback.
However, the tail was "never recovered"
according to Braniff files.

The door did not suffer from fire damage, as you can see.
However, the paper stated the fire AFTER the crash was so hot,
"It scorched the trees and melted aluminum."
Braniff flight compartment
What is left of the Captain's seat
You can make out instruments and
a Flight Chart.

"Waco Citizen"
Recognisable Braniff markings
from N9707C at "Battle Creek."
"NIFF" can be made out.
Firemen still trying to douse the
"after-crash" fire which smoldered through the night
Recognisable Braniff markings
from N9707C at "Battle Creek."
This is the left (Port) side of the aircraft.
The Right (Starboard) side was completely
obliterated in this crash.
Most of the Electra was "Highly Fragmented."
Two ACTUAL fragments of
Recovered at "Battle Creek" - Dawson, TX
April, 1997
These two pieces were found in different places
along the erroding creek bed.
However, they fit together (as shown) perfectly.
These have been confirmed (by a retired Braniff mechanic)
as interior panelling from Electra N9707C, Trip 352.
Possibly near a window or partition due to
the distinct "curving"
and the screw and rubber washer behind the piece recovered.

We thought the "Dilbert" cartoon was appropriate.

Picture © "The Braniff Pages" "Dilbert" © Scott Adams
Molly Deware
Braniff Cargo Secretary
Based at Exchange Park (BI HDQTS) She was working for Mr. McKillop
when she died on Flight 352.
Satellite image of crash location
"Battle Creek" is surrounded by the trees in the center.
The upper left shows the "stock pond"
where a jacket was found with $20,000
The "clear areas" (near the trees) are the "Sandy Loam Fill"
where the aircraft is now buried

Image via Microsoft's "TerraServer" Satellite
Taken in 1995
Martha Leonard (Pat) Zahrt, "B-Liner" Editor
from 1945-1973, her files (which continue to surface)
contributed MUCH to this page.

Pictures © 2007 "The Braniff Pages" via "The Zahrt Collections"
Proof that Pat Zahrt knew what she knew!
Actual picture of Pat at crash scene.
Taken 3 May 1968
Courtesy the "Zahrt Collection"
and University of Texas Aviation Collection
Granite Memorial
in Dawson, Texas
Cloyce Floyd, one of our key witnesses,
died March 2003
in Mexia, Texas
and was buried in Dawson, Texas.
He was a 32nd degree Mason,
a retired Air Force Sgt.
and devout Methodist.
The photo's and info on this page was provided by: Pat Zahrt, George W. Cearley, Jr., "Guy V." Cearley, Cloyce W. Floyd, Rev. Shewmake, Carrie Shea, The Dallas Hist. Society, UTD-Larry Sall-Curator-Special Collections and Aviation Collections, The "Clipped B's", Murphy Martin, Lockheed/Martin Aircraft Co. (Fort Worth, Burbank), John Paul Braniff, Sr., Dick Jordan, Joe Mitchell, Irma Ellis, The Deware's, C. Adin, Howard Putnam, John McFarlane, Wanda Brown, Diane Muse, C.R. Smith, Chuck Beard, Marv and Carol Degroote, Alan B. Reff, Bill Smith, Kristopher Crook, Geneva Baird, Fran Becker, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Canadian Air Force, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA., The Files of: Herman Rumsey, Dan Hughes and R.V. Carelton, Dan Defenbaugh, Ed Lueckenhoff and Celiza Talamantes: Federal Bureau of Investigation - Dallas (FBI), Houston 1940 Airport Terminal Project, United States Air Force, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Langley, VA., John Keller, Pat Darden, Dallas Love Field Airport, Dalfort Aviation, Dickson, TN City Library, Bell South, Southwestern Bell, T.S.T.C. (formerly Connally AFB), Waco, TX., Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Houston Hobby Airport, The City of Dawson, TX., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration (NOAA), Department of Defense (DOD), The United States Navy, Houston Municipal Police Department, Pete Bulban, Beryl Frank, Rupert Hoenig, Tom H. Davis LLC, TWA and W.C.'s Braniff Coll.

"20 Items" MP3 by John Powell (c) 2004 Varese Sarabande
P-3 Orion Wing and GM/ALLISON Prop-Jet Engines
Taken of a Navy P-3 at the 2001 Alliance Air Show
The Lockheed Electra shares the exact same wing structure
and engines as the P-3 Orion.
(This plane also was in the 2003 Air Show)

(c) 2004 Brooke Watts