Gulf Of Mexico off AL, Airliner Crashes In Gulf, Feb 1953

Mobile ALA body loader into car.jpg Mobile ALA Wreckage from Flight.jpg

PLANE WITH 46 ABOARD BELIEVED DOWN IN GULF.

AIRLINER LONG OVERDUE.

Tampa, Fla., Feb. 14 (U.P.) -- A National Airlines DC-6 bound for New Orleans from Tampa with 41 passengers and five crew members aboard was four hours overdue tonight and a NAL official said it was "presumed to be down in the Gulf."
WILLIAM EHART, National official in Miami, said since the airliner presumably exhausted its fuel at 10:30 p. m. EST, it was believed to have gone done in the rough waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Coast Guard rescue planes and boats began an immediate search for the DC-6 but had found no trace of the airliner several hours later.
The huge, four-engine airliner, NAL flight 470, left Tampa International Airport at 4:40 p.m. EST today and was due in New Orleans at 6:45 p.m. EST.
The Coast Guard said the DC-6 was last heard from at 5:45 p.m. when the pilot radioed his position was 250 miles west of St. Petersburg over the Gulf of Mexico. He said he was encountering squally weather.
A National spokesman said the plane had enough fuel to last until 10:30 p.m.
The Miami Coast Guard Station said it had dispatched one plane to join in a search for the airliner and the Coast Guard disclosed that air-sea rescue operations had begun.
The National spokesman said it had an unconfirmed report that the DC-6 had been in contact with Southern Airways in Mobile and given a position report but not a distress call.
The official theorized that the plane may be detouring the rough weather and was out of radio contact.
National Airlines identified the crew members aboard the ship as E. A. SPRINGER, captain, C. T. STETTNER, co-pilot, E. B. CAMPION, flight engineer, and stewardesses L. BLAMENSER and B. BAUCOM.

The Star Anniston Alabama 1953-02-15

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HOPE GIVEN UP FOR 46 ABOARD LOST AIRLINER.

ALL OF LIFE RAFTS CARRIED BY PLANE ACCOUNTED FOR; NO SURVIVORS FOUND.

Mobile, Ala. (UP) -- The last faint hope that any of the 46 persons on a National Airlines DC-6 that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico might be found alive disappeared today after all the four life rafts the plane carried were accounted for.
A preliminary investigation indicated the big airliner may have been slammed into the heaving seas about 60 miles south of here Saturday night by "unexpected tornadic conditions."
The plane carried four life rafts -- three 20-man rafts and one for ten men. The U. S. Coast Guard advised National Airlines today that all have now been accounted for. Until then there had been the faintest of chances that someone might have clung alive to one of those rafts.
As the search for more bodies proceeded, National announced that efforts will be made to raise the wreckage from the Gulf.
The Coast Guard revealed a Navy jet plane was believed to have plunged into the Gulf a short distance west of the airliner's wreckage. Two Coast Guard cutters and two smaller patrol boats were joined by planes returning to the area at dawn for a combined search.

The Star Anniston Alabama 1953-02-16

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