Blue Book says we've got to go out, but it doesn't say a damn
thing about having to come back...
back in 1959, Lt Clifford E Hanna was the copilot on 371 st Bomb
Squadron crew R-42, along with AC, Captain John H Allen and Navigator,
Harry Jones. Cliff, an extremely affable and competent individual
could often be seen at the Aero Club.
many B-47 copilots at the time, Cliff was not satisfied with the
role of the copilot; he would rather do a different type of flying.
His opportunity came when his Air Force commitment expired. He
then joined the United States Coast Guard and became USCG Aviator
1967 Cliff was assigned to USCG Air Station St Petersburg, flying
U-2G Albatross amphibian search and rescue aircraft (Air Force
types...think SA-16). On the evening of 5 March 1967, Lt Hanna
and a crew of five were launched into dense fog in Albatross #
1240, which happened to be the first Albatross delivered by Grumman
to the CG in 1951. The mission was to come to the aid of the Flying
Fish, a 40 foot yacht reported to be disabled and sinking . About
9 PM Cliff succeeded in locating the yacht despite the fog and
successfully dropped a dewatering pump to the yacht. The position
at the time was some 22 miles east of Appalachicola and 20 miles
SSE of Dog Island Light. A few minutes after the drop, the yacht
crew heard a loud noise and saw an orange glow about 2 miles SE
of their position. The Albatross never returned to station.
thirteen days, the area was combed by the Coast Guard and Navy,
and the bodies of Cliff and two others were recovered, but no
aircraft wreckage was ever found. But, there was evidence that
Cliff had survived for a while after the crash.
July of 2006, divers belonging to the Association of Underwater
Explorers located a crash site in 60 feet of water near Carrabelle,
and the wreckage was later confirmed to be that of Albatross #
29 May 2007, a Memorial Ceremony was held at USCG Air Station
Clearwater for the lost crew of Albatross #1240. The ceremony
was presided over by Rear Admiral David W Kunkle, and was attended
by Congressman Bill Young and other officials. A permanent monument
is to be erected at Clearwater in remembrance of the crew, who
gave their lives so that others might live.
ceremony was attended by our Hank Grogan, who remembered Cliff
well from Lincoln days. Hank met one old grizzled Chief Petty
Officer who remembered the aircrew, otherwise there was no one
there with memory going back that far. Although family members
of the aircrew were invited, none were present, and apparently
there are no current records of family survivors. Hank has told
the USCG Commander that should he be able to determine any information
concerning Cliff's family, he will pass it back. If anyone
in the 307 th Association has any information whatsoever about
Cliff's family, please pass it to Mike Gingrich by phone, letter,
or email (firstname.lastname@example.org),
and it will be passed to Hank and ultimately to the Coast Guard.
further information, there are several websites: