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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.

article | by Dr. Radut