from 1956 Oakland Tribune 1

At about 11:40 AM on October 25, 1956 a U.S. Navy jet crashed into the hillside in Montclair, killing the pilot, starting fires, and injuring at least one person on the ground.

The jet was a Navy FJ-3 Fury (the Navy version of the Air Force F-86 Sabre) based at Moffett Field in Mountain View and was on a training flight out of the Alameda Naval Air Station. Ensign Lauren D. Martin was the pilot. 2

A total of 12 houses were damaged. The plane's engine crashed through the front of the Kronrod home at 6616 Sobrante Rd., narrowly missing Mrs. Kronrod inside and 5-year-old Linda Kronrod who was playing in the front yard. Also damaged was the Alexander home at 6608 Sobrante, and the home at 6539 Thornhill Drive. The plane crashed just below the Abulet home at 7200 Thorndale Rd. and set it on fire. Eddie Thomas of 1736 Manzanita Drive said the blast blew out his windows. 1

It's unclear if the Navy figured out the cause of the crash. A week later they were still searching for the plexiglass canopy as part of their investigation. 3

Links and References

  1. Jet Plane Crash in Montclair; Pilot Killed, Big Fire Rages Oakland Tribune October 25, 1956
  2. Montclair Jet Crash is Probed Oakland Tribune October 26, 1956
  3. Jet Canopy Sought in Montclair Crash Oakland Tribune November 3,1956