De Kalb, Texas: Ricky Nelson Death Plane Tail

In the late 1950s, rocker Ricky was more popular than Elvis. See the tail from the plane that killed him. The museum also has an exhibit about Nelson and the crash, which happened just outside of town.

Williams House Museum

303 NE Front St., De Kalb, TX
Williams House Museum. East side of town, on the northeast corner of NE Front St./US Hwy 82 and NE Houston St.
Th-Sa 1-4 or by appt. (Call to verify)
RA Rates:
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Visitor Tips and News About Ricky Nelson Death Plane Tail

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Ricky Nelson Death Plane Tail.

Ricky Nelson Death Plane Tail

You have to stop at this! The plane tail is now on the inside of a building but if you stop, please allow for at least an hour or more...the Williams House is a wonderful little hometown museum. This "hometown" has some wonderful surprises and Ms Carol or her husband, she told us, would love to share them with you! My only hint...if you're a Bonanza fan, you need to stop by here!

[Amy, 07/30/2016]

Tail section of death plane.

Rick Nelson Death Plane Tail

Blink and you'll miss De Kalb's museum, the Williams House. I was looking for it and still managed to drive by twice. Unfortunately the museum was already closed by the time I arrived, and even though there's a note on the door cheerfully welcoming visitors to call and someone will come over to open the museum during off hours, I couldn't stand the thought of tearing someone away from dinner just so I could see whatever Dan Blocker exhibit they might have.

Turns out it didn't matter much anyway because what I was most interested in seeing is available for viewing 24/7. Beside the museum on the edge of the property is a fenced off piece of an airplane. There's no sign explaining the significance of the plane, but it is reportedly the tail section of the plane that [singer/actor] Rick Nelson was in when it crashed just outside of De Kalb in 1985.

[Rhonda Reddick, 06/19/2008]

Ricky's plane -- a World War II vintage DC 3 -- crashed in a De Kalb pasture on Dec. 31, 1985, killing all seven passengers. Tipster Kenny Mitchell writes: "The section of the plane at the Williams House is most definitely from the plane that Nelson crashed in and was given to the museum by the Nelson family. There is also a very nice exhibit inside the museum pertaining to Nelson and the crash, including news coverage from the night he died."

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