LtJG Frederick J. Hancox, USCG (Plank Owner)

A plank owner, Mr. Hancox left Sebago to enter the ranks of Coast Guard aviators. According to the USCG.mil website he authored an article on rescue procedures entitled "Operation Attache" that appeared in The Bulletin (Nov 1948), pp. 228-230.

In December of 1954, as a 34 year old LCdr, he was piloting a Coast Guard HU-16 Albatross that crashed on take off from Haines Harbor, Alaska, while on a medical evacuation of a mental patient. The patient and two Coasties did not survive the crash; AD1 Andrew P. Turnier, 39, of Landsdowne, Pa., and AL3 Doyle E. Jahn, 21, of Roseland, Nebr.

Another one of his missions was related in Time magazine on July 2, 1956. That night he was the command pilot of CG 2124, a Grumman HU-16, dispatched to locate and render aid if needed to an Linea Aeropostal Venezolana (LAV) flight outbound from New York to Caracas, Venezuela. One of the engines of the Lockheed Constellation had malfunctioned. The aircraft had declared an emergency and was returning to New York's Laguardia Field.

LCdr Hancox and his crew found the aircraft in flight by using their onboard directional finder and prepared to escort the airliner back to New York. Just after 1:00 AM the LAV flight crew advised Mr. Hancox they had New York in sight and they were going to begin dumping fuel in preparation for landing. Moments later Hancox called LAV to advise them they were on fire . . . the LAV Captain had neglected to turn off a key electrical system and had inadvertently sparked the offloading fuel.

CG 2124 followed the Constellation as it first trailed flame and then exploded and fell into the ocean below. There were no survivors.

This photograph was taken of Capt Hancox on December 29, 1967, as he presented an award to a group of old lightkeepers from Nobska Point Light. At the time Capt Hancox was commanding Coast Guard Group Woods Hole.

Capt. Hancox died November 5, 2005, at Falmouth, MA.

 

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