Karl Vernon Albert – Major, United States Marine Corps

Courtesy of Neil King: June 2005

The following appeared in the Goldsboro (N.C.) News-Argus on February 16, 1968, two days after Albert’s death:

A Goldsboro native, U.S. Marine Corp Major Karl (Skip) Vernon Albert, was one of four who died Wednesday in Galesburg, North Dakota, after a helicopter he was piloting crashed into the guy wire of a television tower, it was learned here today.

The helicopter was undergoing a flight performance evaluation when it crashed into the tower, which is the nation’s second tallest structure.

Officials at Grand Forks Air Force Base, about 50 miles north of Galesburg, said the men all were from the Lexington Park area of Maryland.  The victims were:  Lieutenant Gerald T. Skidget, 30, co-pilot; Gunnery Sergeant Harley L. Borninkhof, 32, and John E. Burdete, 26, aerospace engineer with the Navy, Civil Service.

All were married.

The helicopter, a CH-53A assigned to Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland, was on a routine training flight performing cold weather tests.

The crash toppled the 2,060-foot tower.  The transmitter building and some switching equipment in it suffered minor damage, a KXJB-TV spokesman said, apparently when a piece of the falling tower struck the building.

An engineer in the building, Donald Schroeder, 31, escaped injury.  He said he heard a sound “like a sonic boom, then we were off the air.”

The helicopter crash came 28 days after a KC135 Air Force tanker plunged to earth on takeoff at Minot Air Force Base.  Twelve persons died in that crash and a 13th airman died two weeks later from injuries.

Major Albert, 35, of Lexington Park, Maryland, was a graduate of Goldsboro High School (1950) and Duke University (1955), and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Z. L. Albert of Goldsboro.

Other survivors include his wife, Mrs. Sadie Foy Albert; one daughter, Karen Albert of the home; two sons, Rusy and Stevie Albert, both of the home; one sister, Mrs. Tommie Baker of Charleston, South Carolina, and one brother, Z. L. Albert, Jr. of Goldsboro.

Funeral services will be held Monday at 11 a.m. in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 08/21/1932
  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/14/1968
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 13  SITE 14676-2

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