THE FLAGLER TRIBUNE
Thursday, August 7, 1952
Lt. (jg) Max W. Stults, USN, and brother of Mrs. Clifford Higginbotham of Bunnell, was killed about 1:15 Monday afternoon when his twin-jet fighter plane became tangled in a aerial banner being towed by another plane and crashed into the sea about 15 miles east of St. Augustine.
Lt. Stults was on a routine gunnery practice flight when the accident occurred. He was attached to Fighter Squadron 22, Jacksonville Naval Air Station. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Morris E. Stults of Tampa.
Mr. and Mrs. Stults have lost three sons in military service. In World War II, Lt. Paul Stults was killed in combat with the Air Force an their other son, Marine Lt. Richard Stults died while fighting.
Besides his parents, the Navy Pilot is survived by his wife, Caroline Harris Stults; a one-year-old son, Richard Paul Stults, who was named after the two brothers; and his sister, Mrs. Clifford Higginbotham of Bunnell.
Lt. Comdr. J. L. Fruin, public information officer for Fleet Air, Jacksonville, said the pilot of the tow plane looked back after Lt. Stults made a fire run on the 30 by 6 foot banner target. The tow plane pilot said the target entangled in the gunnery plane, which seemed to be partially out of control.
Parts of the crippled plane began to rear off as the ship stalled, recovered and stalled again, the tow pilot said. After the second or third recovery, the gunnery plane plunged into the sea and sank immediately.
It could not be learned today if the body had been recovered.
THE FLAGLER TRIBUNE
Thursday, August 21, 1952
A memorial service was held at Jacksonville Naval Air Station on August 6th for Lt. (jg) Max Stults, brother of Mrs. Clifford Higginbotham of Bunnell, who was killed in a routine jet plane training flight when his plane crashed about 15 miles east of St. Augustine. His body was not recovered.
The impressive service was held in the Air Base Chapel with Chaplain Johnson officiating. Following the service three floral arrangements, from his wife, his squadron and his fraternity, were carried by two of his close friends, who were also pilots in the squadron and dropped in the water where his ship crashed.