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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data

Photo #: 80-G-439862 (Extended Caption)

USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)

Ensign Edward D. Jackson, of Fighter Squadron 112, is helped from his F9F-2 "Panther" fighter, after making a blind landing on board the carrier, 17 September 1950.
He had suffered severe facial lacerations when his plane flew through high-tension lines west of Seoul, Korea, while attacking targets on the Han River.
See below for the text of an "All Hands" magazine article on this incident.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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Text of a brief article published in "All Hands" magazine, January 1951, page 39:

Blinded Pilot Talked Down to Carrier Deck

Coolness and a steady touch, plus plenty of tense advice from others, brought a temporarily blinded pilot safely back to his carrier in a feat of the Korean War.

Diving his F9F Panther at enemy troops, Ensign Edward D. Jackson, USN, suddenly found himself the victim of an aerial "booby trap" -- cables strung by the enemy to catch low-diving planes.

One of the cables caught his right wingtip, shattering it, then whipped through the windshield and canopy, striking the pilot about the head. For nearly 20 seconds he was unconscious while his plane zoomed into a steep turning climb, recovering to find himself blinded by blood from facial cuts.

Feeling for his controls, Ensign Jackson slowed speed to cut down the wind rushing at him and radioed a wingmate, Ensign Dayl E. Crow, USN, for help. Ensign Crow radioed directions to head Jackson's plane out to sea where their carrier, USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) {original text sentence was cut short at this point}.

The real test came in the landing. Lieutenant (junior grade) L.K. Bruestle, USN, tossed aside his hand signals and gave landing directions by voice radio. The landing was described as "normal".

Ensign Jackson reported he saw the flight deck for the first time when the flight surgeon climbed beside the cockpit and wiped the blood from Jackson's eyes.

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Caption extended 19 December 1999