Lt. Frank Paul Jannarone Jr. Killed in B-47 Bomber Crash

Lt. Frank Paul Jannarone Jr., 25, and other members of his flight crew were killed June 12, 1958, when the B-47 bomber he was co-piloting crashed in the Cold Hollow Mountains in Vermont.

The Stratojet bomber was en route to Loring Air Force Base in Maine from Hunter Air Force Base, Savannah, Ga. Also killed were Capt. Arthur Craven, Lt. William G. Culbertson, and S/Sgt. John Willis.

At the time of the crash, Lt. Jannarone was second in command of the B-47 in a flight with two other bombers to Loring AFB, en route to England. The plane crashed on a mountain near Belvidere Center, 10 miles from the Canadian border.

The six-jet, 100-ton bomber, flying on instruments, cut a 500-yard swath through dense woods on the hillside and exploded on impact.

Jannarone, a lifelong Nutley, N.J., resident, was graduated from Spring Garden elementary school, and Nutley junior and high schools. He was an honor student throughout high school, and was ranked sixth in the 1951 graduating class of 213 students. He had a straight-A average for this three years at Nutley High School.

Jannarone was very active in sports and was halfback on the football team and was one of the leading pitchers on the baseball squad.

He accepted a scholastic grant to Princeton University. He was a member of the freshman baseball team, the Elm Club, was active in Air Force R.O.T.C. and received his commission at graduation. Jannarone was awarded a degree in chemical engineering.

Jannarone: Princeton class of 1955

He entered the Air Force in 1956 and took pre-flight training in Lackland, Texas, Kingston, N.C., and received his wings in San Antonio, Texas.

Jannarone was later named to the Strategic Air Command because of his outstanding service record and received bomber training in Wichita, Kan. He took a survival training course in 1957 in Nevada, and was stationed at Hunter AFB.

Since receiving his pilot's wings, Jannarone had accumulated more than 150 hours of actual flying time. He was expecting to be discharged in March 1959.

Lt. Frank P. Jannarone Jr.

A lifelong Nutley resident, the 1951 Nutley High School graduate left behind his pregnant wife, the former Mary Anne Will, his high school sweetheart. A son, Paul was born a short while later.

Receiving wings: Lt. Jannarone Jr. with wife MaryAnne

Lt. Jannarone was the third member of his graduating class to be killed in action while in service, although there was no actual fighting going on at the scene of any of the mishaps. Lawrence DiVuolo, of Kingsland Street and Salvatore Pillitteri were both killed in separate incidents while in service.

Lt. Jannarone is the son of Frank and Mrs. Jannarone, of High Street. He is also survived by a sister, Mrs. Lois Wellman, of Nashville, Tenn.

In June 1959, the Craven Memorial Trophy, was established at Hunter AFB, to be awarded each training period to the best combat crew in the wing in memory of Lt. Jannarone Jr. and two other crew members.

Conceived and donated  by the men of the 49th Bomber Squadron, the trophy is a memorial to Capt. Craven and Lts. Jannarone and Culbertson. The 30-inch gold trophy will be awarded at the end of each four months training period to the crew which demonstrated professional ability and standards during that time. 

Also in June 1959, Nutley High School awarded the first Lt. Paul Jannarone Memorial Trophy to an outstanding athlete who also combines high scholastic ranking. The first award went to Mark Hallam who was the Maroon Raiders' quarterback, and a standout in basketball and baseball.

In 2002, a memorial was held for the crew near the crash debris littered five-acre site in remote Vermont where the bomber crashed and exploded en route to Plattsburgh, N.Y., Air Force Base. A memorial plaque identifying the crew was placed on a tree.



The Vermont Veterans Militia Museum and Library in Colchester, Vt., will reopen next spring with Jannarone's dress uniform and his wife's wedding dress on display in an exhibit honoring the crew.

Replica of Jannarone's B-47 bomber.

Adapted from The Nutley Sun,

June 19, 1958: Paul Jannarone is fatality in bomber crash

June 4, 1959: P. Jannarone is honored in memorial award

June 11, 1959: New Award Is Named In Honor of Late Air Force Lieut. Paul Jannarone

November 6, 2002: Cold War pilot remembered at crash site, by Nick Moore

Photos courtesy of Mary Anne Fitton, used with permission

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