World Wide Fire News

Issue 10 and Volume 104.

World Wide Fire News War Comes to California War came to thousands of Long Beach, Calif., residents Sept. 9, 1951, as they awakened to the din of 50 caliber machine guns of an Air Force F51 Mustang fighter plane stationed at Long Beach municipal airport, firing out of control to spray a large section of the city with bullets. To many of those awakened by the 5:45 A.M. firing, the screams of ricochets whining through residential streets, and lightning-like streaks of tracer bullets flashing through bedrooms of darkened homes, the ‘invaders’ had arrived. The shooting occurred as a technical sergeant was servicing the armament on constant emergency alert, and was attributed to “malfunction of armament” (a short circuit) in the firing mechanism. Altogether, 576 rounds of ammunition were fired by the plane. Five of the plane’s six guns exhausted their ammunition and the sixth stopped firing earlier only because it…

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