James Nelson Spangler

First Lieutenant
United States Air Force
03 April 1942 - 19 May 1966
Mayking, Kentucky
Panel 08E Line 007


USAF Pilot

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Nelson Spangler

12 Dec 2002

James N. Spangler was a brother worthy to be remembered. His dream was to one day be an astronaut. If he had had the chance, I believe he would have made it. He was 8 years old when I was born and left home while still in high school to attend the Berea Foundation and then from there was accepted into the Air Force Academy in Colorado. I can remember when he would come home to visit when I was just a girl and I always thought he was so grand. He would always tell me to straighten my shoulders and walk correctly.

He loved flying and was full of life. He was 1st lieutenant on an Air Force KC-135 fueler jet that fueled other planes while in the air when his plane was sabotaged and crashed in Okinawa on May 19, 1966. He was the brother of two sisters and four other brothers and we still miss him greatly.

From his sister,
M. Saranell Caudill

A note from The Virtual Wall

On 19 May 1966, during inclement weather, a KC-135 of the 4252nd Strategic Wing crashed on take-off from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.

The daughter of one crewman, Staff Sergeant Glen E. Wallace, maintains a memorial page for her father and provides the following crew list taken from the Memorial Service held 24 May 1966 at the base chapel at Kadena:

  • Captain Benny T. Stowers, Pilot
  • Captain Charles T. Hafendorfer, Navigator
  • 1LT James N. Spangler, Co-Pilot
  • 1LT Ronald W. Ringwall, Navigator
  • TSgt Franklin Waters, Hydraulics Specialist
  • SSgt Charles T. Stuart, Boom Operator
  • SSgt Clyde H. Crow, E. B. U.
  • SSgt Glen E. Wallace, Crew Chief
  • A1C Kenneth Alston, Asst. Crew Chief
  • A1C Marvin L. Dooley, E. B. U.
  • A1C Thomas R. Annis, Hydraulics Specialist
Taken from Cheryl Wallace Hamilton's
Tribute to her Father

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009