The Miracle Cornfield Landing of 1960 Historical

The Miracle Cornfield Landing of 1960 Historical (HM1XNW)

Location: Carroll, IA 51401 Carroll County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 5.008', W 94° 51.436'

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At 1:40 am during a blizzard on January 18th, 1960, a World War II and Korean War marine veteran conducted a successful emergency landing of a D.C.- 3 airplane a few yards north of this spot.
Shortly after an 8:30pm takeoff from St. Louis, MO, the airplane experienced electrical failure.
Without any guidance instruments, the crew maneuvered in the direction of Minneapolis, MN but drifted off course.

Sighting the town's water tower and courthouse clock through the snowstorm the loud and low plane flew several times over Carroll trying to find a place to land.

With his head sticking out the side window because the windshield was frosted over and low on fuel, the pilot landed the 95 foot wing span aircraft near this spot.
On board the plane were 23 people, including the professional basketball team, the Minneapolis Lakers, which moved to Los Angeles the following year.  This area was a cornfield in 1960 with unpicked corn standing in January from a wet harvest season.  The pilot later joked, "never try to pick corn with a DC-3."

According to Carroll historian James Kerwin, the pilot paid tribute to Carroll, "the people of Carroll were terrific.  Within five minutes, two or three men came dashing up to offer help , and in another five minutes a whole fleet of cars was out in the road. 
In a half hour we had hot coffee and warm rooms.  The worst ordeal of our lives was over.  God must have been my co-pilot."
The cornfield landing in deep snow did not damage the sturdy DC-3.  Within a few days, the planes electrical system was repaired and Carroll residents bulldozed a makeshift airstrip through the snow and corn stalks.  With hundreds of spectators lining the nearby road, the plane soared northward and returned to Minnesota.  The Lakers continued using the converted war cargo plane.
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 at 1:02pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 346383 N 4660712
Decimal Degrees42.08346667, -94.85726667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 5.008', W 94° 51.436'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 5' 0.48" N, 94° 51' 26.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)712
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2200 Ashwood Dr, Carroll IA 51401, US
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