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Navy Jet Crashes into Boys’ Camp, 7 Dead

July 7, 1963 - A flaming Navy Fury jet fighter crashed into a crowded boys’ day camp in Willow Grove, Pa., today, killing at least 7, including 4 children, and injuring more than 70 persons, 15 seriously. Adults and children, members of a Philadelphia neighborhood club gathered at the camp for a one-day annual meeting, were showered by flaming fuel and plane debris. Many were horribly burned. The pilot, Capt. John W. Butler, ejected safely before his plane smashed down on the Green Hill day camp. A civilian physical education teacher on Marine reserve duty, Butler was approaching the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Base for a landing when the plane apparently had an electrical failure. Two lifeguards at a swim club a mile from the crash scene said they saw the fighter explode in the air. The flaming plane skidded through a grove of trees, across a baseball field, and into an old garage used as a bath house.


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