The reconnaissance plane lost control and crashed: its pilot died

The wreckage of a US Marine RF-4B airplane that crashed in Arizona in 1975

When an air accident occurs in a remote and sparsely inhabited place, it is very common to find remains of the aircraft for many years.

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We have an example of this in Parker, a town located in the west of the state of Arizona, in the USA. On October 22, 1975, a McDonnell Douglas RF-4B Phantom II reconnaissance plane, 153098, belonging to the 3rd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (VMFP-3) of the US Marine Corps, based at MCAS El Toro, flying over Parker on his way back from a reconnaissance flight. According to, at 9:10 in the morning, the plane made three sharp turns in a row and entered a spin. The flight specialist, the Captain Anderson, you radioed that the plane had broken up.

When the plane was at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1,524 meters), the pilot, 1st Lt. Robert M. Bach, gave the order to eject. Anderson successfully exited the plane, landing about 45 meters from the place where the plane crashed. Bach died upon impact with the ground before managing to separate from his ejection seat. Anderson was rescued at the crash site. 47 years after that event, there are still remains of the plane in that place, as shown by The Parker Channel a few months ago in this video:

You can see below some captures of the video. Here we see elevators.

The drift of the RF-4B. It had a nice decoration, but the passing of the years has almost completely erased it.

In the inner part of this tail section they have placed a small metal plaque in memory of 1st Lieutenant Bach, who died in this accident. The plate bears the emblem of the Marines.

Remains of the RF-4B engines, already badly damaged.

More remains of one of the engines. In this image the nozzle plates can be distinguished.

I found a video from WarbirdShow posted in November 2013, where we can see how was the plane and how were the remains 9 years ago. The decoration of its drift was still distinguished:

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