Wreckage of National Airlines Flight 2511, which exploded and crashed January 6, 1960 in Bolivia, NC

Wreckage of National Airlines Flight 2511, which exploded and crashed January 6, 1960 in Bolivia, NC

Photo by Hugh Morton.

15 thoughts on “Wreckage of National Airlines Flight 2511, which exploded and crashed January 6, 1960 in Bolivia, NC

  1. I remember the AM of the 6th – I was at Chestnut Street School and a military helicopter was flying low – it was foggy I believe. I recall the picture in the Wilmington newspaper with headlines “NAL plane crashes near Bolivia – 34 killed”. Also picture showed the pilot in cockpit. Also recall the mockup constructed in hanger at Bluethenthal Field.

  2. I was attached to the 2nd Marine Division
    which was brought to the scene to search the
    swampy terrain for bodies & plane parts.

  3. NA2511 departed IDL 25 years ago tonight. I was living in NJ at the time. I was surprised to see that the local newspaper had a picture of the pilot in the cockpit.(Anyone know where I can get a copy)?

    There was much intrigue concerning this flight. There was of course Julian Frank.

    I read that the one crew member owned a gunshop near Miami and had sold guns to both the Castro side and the Batista side during the Cuban revolution. This crew member would buy guns in NY, have them delivered to NA operations at IDL, where they would be loaded on a flight to MIA. (Flights staffed by the gunshop owner)

    I also read that there were members of the former Batista Govt on NA2511.

    I was told (second hand info) that a descendant of two of the pax requested the FBI report. Upon receiving the report all referances to Castro were blacked out.

  4. Dave? first of all you dont have your facts sraight……did you actually say this tragic bombing on flight 2511 happened 25 years ago? excuse me….add another 25..then get your facts straight! I personally had relatives on that flight so get over your wannabe drama!

  5. wow… Hadn’t thought about this in many years. My uncle Hall Watters found the alleged bomber’s body (Julian Frank) a few days after the crash in a marsh. He and my dad were flying around in Hall’s 2 seater plane near Fort Fisher when they spotted the body. They stored the wreckage of NAL 2511 @ his hanger @ the airport. My cousin and I used to climb all over the wreckage as kids.

  6. I remember living in Pa at the time. I was a freshman in hight school, and read about the crash for a current events day.

    I now live in Southport nc and last week drove through the town of Bolivia. Can anyone tell me if there is some sort of memorial there. Where exactly did the plane come down?

  7. Dave–Your theory would make a super screenplay, or at least, a fascinating novel. Why don’t you write it? Or, if you need help….

  8. Oh my gosh, Mare!!!

    My mother was one of the flight attendants (back then they were called stewardesses) on that flight! Please contact me if you read this at amrsurgsales@aol.com.

    It would mean so much to me. Thank you! Anne Marie

  9. i remember walking unimpeded through the wreckage as a young boy with my father..we lived on harbor island nc at the time..i do remember that it was a wooded area…dont remember what we were doing there at the time.so much time has passed that i doubt that will help ya any.

  10. I was one of the stewardesses on Flight 601 Boeing 707 when the windshield cracked and we had to taxi back and change planes. I went to the crew and we flipped a coin to see who was going on the DC-6 and who was flying on the Lockheed Electra, I got the Electra. Three months before I was suppose to be on the flight 967 from Miami to New Orleans with a stop in Tampa, I switched flights with another girl and someone put a bomb on that one also and I was lucky enough not to have been on it when everyone on that flight was killed.

  11. I thought the nuclear bomb buried under a farm in Goldsboro was the most intriguing plane crash story in NC history. I’d be very interested to obtain a copy of “Death of a DC-6B… The Julian Frank Case” which is a 300 page compilation of documentation related to the accident. Come to think of it, it might make a good addition to the UNC law library.

  12. My parents were on that plane. I’ve done a lot of research and asked the FBI for a copy of the report, where much of it was blacked out. It was a 500 page summary, they told me I’d be dead before they could copy the entire report, so either the summary or nothing. I have done much research and never saw this before today. Feel stupid. I have been in touch with the pilot who flew the Electra, Leroy, who at 91 is alive and kicking! I’ve been to NC many times and have had a very close relationship with the people who lived in that house where the plane went down. I’ve met the coroner, I’ve met Hal Watters, and several others. I have only been in contact with the children of the 2 couples who traveled with my parents. I am so anxious to speak with any surviving kin of any of the victims. Please contact me if you read this. Thank you.

  13. Devon Francis wrote an article on Flight #2511 in the February, 1961 edition of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

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