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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 66801
Last updated: 23 February 2021
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Date:17-AUG-1918
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Caquot R balloon
Owner/operator:US Army Aviation, 25th Balloon Company
Registration: Field #405
C/n / msn: 405
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:50 miles North of Fort Sill, Oklahoma -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Henry Post Army Air Field, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Aviation at Fort Sill added lighter-than-air ships to its inventory when Company A, 1st Balloon Squadron, arrived on 5 September 1917 from the Balloon School in Omaha, Nebraska. The company split to form the 25th and 26th Balloon Companies on 16 February and 2 April 1918. In order to meet the demand for trained aerial observers for field artillery, a Balloon Corps Training School was set up at Henry Post Army Air Field in 1918. During World War I, the school trained 751 officers and created 89 companies, of which 33 were deployed to Europe.

Caquot R Balloon (Field #405) crashed in poor weather on August 17, 1918, 50 miles North of Fort Sill, Oklahoma. According to a published report (see link #2):

"Hydrogen filled balloons were used at Fort Sill (Oklahoma) for observation of artillery fire. In 1918, a spark of static electricity caused a balloon to explode while the ground crew was still holding onto the guide ropes. Many soldiers ran away from the explosion they were then ordered to go back and keep the balloon from drifting and igniting nearby wooden barracks. Six Soldiers were killed and another 30 injured in that incident".

(Only two Caquot R balloons are known to have crashed in US Army Service in 1918 - this one, and another operated by the 12th Balloon Company, at Sonnedieu, France on 18 September 1918)

Sources:

1. http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1940sB4/1918.htm
2. http://www.historybyzim.com/2015/07/balloon-explosion-at-fort-sill-1918/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Sill#Henry_Post_Army_Airfield
4. http://sill-www.army.mil/History/Airfield/henrypost.htm
.


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
19-Feb-2017 21:14 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
19-Feb-2017 21:16 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]

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