August 5, 1952
Navy Pilot G.A. Seaboro noticed that Dave Franks' B-36 was on fire and in trouble and proceeded to follow him all the way to the water in his TBM-3U Avenger. Below is his official statement and the sequence of photographs that he managed to captured with his personal camera.
STATES PACIFIC FLEET
UTILITY SQUADRON SEVEN
7 August 1952
From: G.A. SEABORO, ENS, 538260, USN
Pilot of TBM-3U (UH-24)
Subj: B-36, Crash of
The following statement is a sequence of events as I saw them, and to the best of my knowledge true.
I was at 5,000 feet over San Diego Radio when I saw the subject B-36 on my starboard wing at a range of about five miles. His altitude was estimated to be three or four thousand feet. He was a couple of miles west of ocean beach on a southerly heading parallel to that of the coastline of Pt. Loma. It was then that I noticed fire break out on what appeared to be the port wing. I did not notice anything fall off the aircraft at that range. While proceeding to the scene of the accident, I observed the aircraft to spiral to the right for about 110 degrees. The B-36 hit the water on a northwesterly heading at a very sharp dive angle. (Estimated to be about 50 or 60 degrees).
I had a personal camera aboard, and exposed 4 pictures on the scene. The results of the pictures are unknown at this time, but are being processed in Los Angeles.
It's difficult to see in this photo, but If you look closely (center-right, just above the clouds)
you can see the B-36 trailing black smoke.
Photo of mushroom cloud taken moments after impact and subsequent
explosion of the B-36 on the ocean surface.
Flames on the water and billowing black smoke can be seen in the center of the photo.
Another angle on the flames and rising white and black smoke.
Final shot taken directly over the impact site.