1:30 p.m. May 5, 1958 – Madison, WI
An F-102A Delta Dagger Jet crashes into Lake Monona near
. Pilot Gerald Stull is
considered a hero for maneuvering the plane and keeping it from hitting the nearby houses. Stull
turned his plane and went into the lake at what witnesses described as a steep angle, ejecting at
the last moment. He could have tried to make it to Truax Field, putting others in danger.
Three men, Pete Aspinwall, Edward Hassett, and Joe Morgan grabbed a rowboat that was tied up nearby.
Using only a board and their hands they paddled out to the wreckage. They could see the tail of the
plane and the parachute sticking out of the water.
They pulled the chute and lines until they got Stull to the surface but couldn’t pull him into the
small boat. Aspinwall held his head above water until he could be put on a Madison Police Department
Stull's heroism was recognized shortly after the crash by Madison
Mayor Ivan Nestingen
. He received
the Distinguished Flying Cross on August 5th at Tyndall Air Force base (Florida).
The Dane County Board honored him on the 50th anniversary.
A trust fund was set up for Stull's son. The money raised would put him through graduate school.
Gerald Stull 1139 E. Gorham St.
George Clark Stull (Infant Son)
May 9, 2009
Fifty-one years later a bronze plaque attached to a boulder of Baraboo quartzite memorial,
donated by Pechmann Memorials in Madison
, was dedicated
to Stull at Hudson Park
. Stull's widow Alice, son
George, Pete Aspinwall, were on hand along with 125 others for the dedication.
The event, organized by William White a member of Friends of Hudson Park, opened with an Air National
Guard 115th Fighter Wing color guard, and concluded with taps.
The program was interrupted three times by airliners flying over, using the same flight path Lt.
Stull was using 51 years ago.
George Stull is now a chiropractor in Macon, Ga., which is also the home of the widow of Otis
Redding, the singer who also died in a plane crash in Lake Monona
A statue in Redding's memory stands about a block from Clark Stull's office in Macon, and he has met
Redding's widow, Zelda.