1977 Yokohama F-4 crash
RF-4B VMFP-3 El Toro Apr 1978.jpeg
An RF-4B Phantom II similar to the accident aircraft
DateSeptember 27, 1977
SummaryMechanical failure leading to in-flight fire
SiteYokohama, Japan
35°33′36″N 139°32′42″E / 35.56000°N 139.54500°E / 35.56000; 139.54500Coordinates: 35°33′36″N 139°32′42″E / 35.56000°N 139.54500°E / 35.56000; 139.54500
Total fatalities3 (on ground; includes one death five years later from injuries related to the crash)
Total injuries6 (on ground)
Aircraft typeMcDonnell Douglas RF-4B Phantom II
OperatorUnited States Navy /
United States Marine Corps
Flight originNaval Air Facility Atsugi
Survivors2 (all)
Ground casualties
Ground fatalities3
Ground injuries6

The 1977 Yokohama F-4 crash (横浜米軍機墜落事件, Yokohama Beigunki Tsuiraku Jiken, lit. "Yokohama American Military Aircraft Crash Incident") occurred on 27 September 1977, in Yokohama, Japan. In the crash, a United States Marine Corps RF-4B-41-MC, BuNo 157344,[1] c/n 3717,[2] 'RF611', of VMFP-3, a (reconnaissance variant of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II) flown by a United States Marine Corps crew based at nearby Naval Air Facility Atsugi, en route to USS Midway in Sagami Bay, suffered a mechanical malfunction, the port engine caught fire, and crashed into a residential neighborhood. The crash killed two boys, ages 1 and 3, and injured seven others, several seriously. The two-man crew of the aircraft, Capt. J. E. Miller, of Mendota, Illinois, and 1st Lt. D. R. Durbin, of Natchitoches, Louisiana, ejected and were not seriously injured.[3]

The crash, which occurred near present-day Eda Station, destroyed several houses. The two young boys initially survived the crash into their home, but died later from severe burns. The boys' mother, Kazue Doshida, was also severely burned. Due to the fear that she would be adversely affected during her recovery by the shock, she was not told until 29 January 1979, that her sons had died. Upon hearing of their deaths, Doshida responded that she wanted to hold them one more time. Doshida died in 1982, aged 31, from complications related to her injuries.


A memorial to Doshida, a statue was erected in 1985 in a Yokohama park. The statue depicts her holding her two sons.[4]

Memorial Statue Yokohama
Memorial Statue Yokohama

See also


  1. ^ "US Navy and US Marine Corps BuNos--Third Series (156170 to 160006)". www.joebaugher.com. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  2. ^ "aircraftprofiles.dk" (PDF). aircraftprofiles.dk. 2013-10-15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  3. ^ "McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, All Losses in USAF, USN & USMC Service (Part 8) 1976 - 1979 (Draft Listing)". Archived from the original on 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
  4. ^ Kusumoto, Hana, "Japanese remember mother, children killed after Marine Corps jet crashed 40 years ago", Stars and Stripes, 26 September 2017