Mayday Over Wichita: The Worst Military Aviation Disaster in Kansas History

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9781626190528: Mayday Over Wichita: The Worst Military Aviation Disaster in Kansas History
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On the cold Saturday morning of January 16, 1965, a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker carrying thirty-one thousand gallons of jet fuel crashed into a congested African American neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas. When the fire and destruction finally subsided, forty-seven people--mostly African American children--were dead or injured, homes were completely destroyed and numerous families were splintered. As shocking as it may sound, the event was seemingly omitted from the historical record for nearly fifty years. Now, historian D. W. Carter examines the myths and realities of the crash while providing new insights about the horrific four-minute flight that forever changed the history of Kansas.

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About the Author:

D. W. Carter is a historian, author and educator in Kansas, specializing in military and social history. Carter first arrived in Wichita when he was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base in 2003. Carter considers himself a transplant Kansan and currently resides in Topeka.

Review:

"Mr. Carter has given us a conscientious and commendable, if unsettling, account of a very dark day in our military air history." --Richard Kluger, Pulitzer Prize-winning social historian

"D. W. Carter is a scholar to pay attention to. His book on the 1965 major plane crash in Wichita, Kansas, the air capitol of the US at that time, incorporates survivor interviews, archival material, wonderful photos, and analysis of why survivors of this crash that devastated a black neighborhood during the Civil Rights Movement received little and late compensation. His analysis is even handed and long overdue." --Gretchen Eick, Ph.D., Professor of History and author of Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-72

"Truly necessary but in a dreadful retelling of a horrific event that occurred over Wichita, Kansas on the bitter cold Saturday morning of January 16, 1965, D. W. Carter provides a serious account of the crash of an Air Force KC-135 tanker into the heart of one of the city's, mostly Black, northeast neighborhoods. In Mayday Over Wichita, Carter argues that for nearly 50 years a historical record of this terrifying loss of life and human carnage was 'seemingly omitted.' Fortunately, this author has accepted the challenge of examining 'the myths and realities of the crash while providing new insights' regarding a 'four-minute flight' over Wichita that will be remembered throughout eternity. Simply - a must read." --Galyn A. Vesey, PhD., ACSW, Project Director of Research on Black Wichita: 1945 1958 and former Senior Research Associate (Cornell University, 1998)

"In the history of race relations in America there remain quite a few blank spaces. D. W. Carter has written a book determined to fill at least one. Relying on extensive archival research and interviews with key figures, Carter's Mayday Over Wichita turns the historical lens on the crash of an Air Force KC-135 tanker into an African American neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas in 1965 engulfing the streets and buildings in a blaze. The narrative examines not only the cause and coverage of the crash, but the subsequent investigation and reaction of the African American community, which in heavily segregated Wichita existed the gap between the American dream of equality and on the ground realities." --Thom Rosenblum, Ph.D., National Park Service Historian and author of Of Merit, Achievement, & Service: The Story of Topeka's Monroe School

"D.W. Carter's Mayday Over Wichita is an important literary feat that compellingly captures history, offers clarity and provides public service for a city enduring lingering pain from the Piatt Street crash. Carter, using little-known government records, survivor and eye-witness interviews and independent verification, offers his readers information, insight and intelligent reporting that might possibly put to rest conspiracies related to the tragedy." --Van Williams, City of Wichita Spokesman and former News Editor and Reporter at the Wichita Eagle

Mayday Over Wichita is a long-overdue work of historical recovery set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, escalating U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, and local patterns of housing discrimination in the “Air Capital of the World.” Beyond discussing who or what was to blame for the disaster that claimed the lives of nearly fifty people and devastated Wichita’s black community, author D.W. Carter shows how the aftermath of this tragedy brutally exposed longstanding issues of racial and economic inequality. The survivors were traumatized not only by the loss of neighbors, friends, loved ones and homes, but also by hard-hearted officials and decades of silence and historical forgetting. As an act of public remembering, Mayday Over Wichita represents a vital step toward civic healing.

Clarence Lang
author, Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75

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Book Description History Press (SC), United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the cold Saturday morning of January 16, 1965, a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker carrying thirty-one thousand gallons of jet fuel crashed into a congested African American neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas. When the fire and destruction finally subsided, forty-seven people--mostly African American children--were dead or injured, homes were completely destroyed and numerous families were splintered. As shocking as it may sound, the event was seemingly omitted from the historical record for nearly fifty years. Now, historian D. W. Carter examines the myths and realities of the crash while providing new insights about the horrific four-minute flight that forever changed the history of Kansas. Seller Inventory # AAS9781626190528

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