Cpt. VICTOR M. GIRODENGO, husband of Maria L. Girodengo, San Diego, Calif.
Date / Time: Friday, June 25, 1965 / 1:46 a.m. Operator / Flight No.: United States Air Force / Military Location: Near Irvine, Calif.
Details and Probable Cause: The westbound military flight, utilizing a Boeing C-135A Stratolifter transport (60-0373), originated at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey and was bound for the island of Okinawa, via El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Santa Ana, Orange County, California, and Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu, Hawaii.
Carrying 72 U.S. Marines Corps members and manned by a crew of 12 Air Force servicemen, the aircraft, the military derivative of the four-engine Boeing B707 jetliner, took off at 1:35 a.m. into thick fog and light drizzle from Runway 34R at El Toro.
The aircraft had reached an altitude of about 1,000 feet when it failed to make a prescribed left turn and continued on its northward course, smashing into Loma Ridge while flying at an estimated 300 mph.
The jet impacted the 1,300-foot hill at a point approximately 150 feet below its crest and disintegrated into flames, scattering wreckage and bodies over a mile-wide portion of the 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch. All 84 persons aboard were killed.
Due to the heavy fog and low overcast, the crash site wasn't located by search and rescue members until over four hours after the plane went down. The exact cause of the crash remains undetermined.
The worst aviation disaster in Orange County history.