Craig, AK Float Plane Crashes On Take-Off, Apr 1969


Ketchikan, Alaska (AP) -- Eight persons were killed, but a ninth survived when a plane plunged into the sea shortly after takeoff from a logging camp on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, 80 miles northwest of Ketchikan Saturday.
State police said the pilot had picked up a passenger at the Sawyer-Reynolds Co. logging camp at Deweyville. They said the single-engine float plane was about 200 feet high when it nosed over and dived into the water about 300 feet offshore.
A spokesman for Simpson Air Service, Ketchikan, which owned the plane, identified the dead as ALFRED M. WHITE, 31, Ketchikan, the pilot; GARY M. BARDELL, 26, Saohomish, Wash., another pilot who had just joined the company and was on a familiarization flight; DIAMA K. SMITH, wife of the postmaster at Port Alexander on Baranol Island 50 miles west of Deweyville, and her 5-year-old daughter, SUMMER; CHARLES W. HALE, 27, Ketchikan, a logger at the camp, THEODORE K. SPRAGUE, 56, and RICHARD M. EVERMAN, 49, both of Ketchikan, partners in a drilling company. The latter two had been working at the logging camp.
The identity of the eighth was not immediately available.
A diver recovered seven bodies from the wreckage. Two persons, including the lone survivor, LEO BEMINGHOFF, 57, a prospector from Port Alexander, were thrown from the plane.
BEMINGHOFF was listed as in serious condition at a hospital in Ketchikan.
The cause of the accident was unknown.

The Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1969-04-21


Alfred M White

Alfred M White is my mothers biological dad who died when she was only four...he is my grandfather and a great man from the stories I have heard about him. I hope the card is somewhere where it needs to be.

Alfred M. White

I was beachcombing in Petersburg, AK on Friday May 18, 2012 and found Alfred M. White's Civil Air Force Patrol Identification Card. I brought the card back to my brother's house and have since researched this article on the internet. I am astounded as to what I have learned! After reading this article I am convinced this must have been in his wallet when his plane crashed, and has since found it's way upon shore. I hope to take this card home to show my family, and then research his family with the chance of sending it to his wife or children if he had any.