Melbourne, FL Chartered Plane Crashes, July 1947



Melbourne, Fla. (AP) -- Twenty-one persons were killed Sunday in the crash of a DC-3 chartered airliner in swampy wastelands near here, and today 12 remained unidentified mainly because of a confusion in Spanish names.
The death toll was expected to mount with two of the 13 injured on the "critical" list.
The plane, en route from Newark, N. J., to Miami with 36 persons aboard -- a crew of five and 31 home-bound Puerto Ricans -- cut a 300-foot swath through the scrub pine six miles from this Florida east coast town as it ploughed to earth shortly after 3:20 a.m. (CST).
Civil aeronautics authority investigators reached the scene early but would not comment on their findings.
The plane had last been heard from as it passed over Jacksonville, Fla., after leaving Augusta, Ga.
Names Baffle Officials.
Similarity in the names of the Puerto Ricans, a number of whom were young children carried in the arms of parents and not listed as passengers, and the inability of the survivors to speak English, hampered identification of the dead.
The bodies of those killed were brought in trucks to the Browley funeral home where they overflowed into a garage.
A member of the Puerto Rican resident commissioner's office in Washington was expected here this morning to help with the identification.
Two children escaped injury. One was a boy JOSE RODRIGUEZ, 2, whose mother, PURA RODRIGUEZ, is not expected to live. The other child was ELLEN ACEVDO, 5.
Besides PURA RODRIGUEZ, the other passenger on the critical list is CARMEN RODRIGUEZ.
Pilots Killed.
Among the dead were the pilot, Capt. HENRY HEIN, 36, of Houston, Texas, and the co-pilot, RODERICK PAUL MacKINNON, formerly of Rochester, N. Y.
First rescue workers to plough through the knee-deep water reported the injured and dead tangled inside and out of the craft. One survivor was reported found 300 feet from the wreckage, 10 feet up a tree and hugging the trunk.
FRANK GONZALEZ, 12, whose left leg was broken, told reporters "it was dark and we were flying along and the motor stopped. Everything was quiet. We slowed down. The next minute we crashed."
Flight engineer WALLACE IRWIN who was supposed to have joined the flight crew at Agusta, Ga., was reported to have overslept, and missed the trip.
The plane was owned by the Burke air lines of Miami and was licensed to carry 25 passengers and a crew of three.

Iowa City Press-Citizen Iowa 1947-07-14


airplane crash 1947 west melbourne,fa.

Anonymous: Try the records at Brownlee funeral home in Melbourne fl.They are still in business and may have the records as to where they were sent or buried. Maybe in Melbourne ,Cemetery. Post her full name and maybe someone can find her for you. Luck

plane crash 1947

Just to clarify the facts. I went to the crash site on the back of a model-t ford.
If i remember right. Owned by the duda's that lived on malabar rd. I was 8yrs. old. My mother and father and sister and I. Waded through the swamp and Dad had to carry me across a canal on his shoulders. When we finally got to the crash site I being young and excited was running around climbing on the plane Then i found the Captains hat and put it on my head. It had a silver band around it. My mother went ballistic on me and made me throw it down. I then was running towards the flatbed truck parked close to the aircraft. And someone yelled at me to stop. I complied fast because of his tone. I was told to look down i did i saw bodies lined up on the ground dark as the ground. they were the crew i was told. As people arrived they were going through the airplane. I heard and saw this plane before it crashed. We had a front porch on our house five miles west of Melbourne. Hwy.-192. It was late in the evening when it went over our roof top real low with landing lights lit searching for a place to land South east direction.. The Engines were popping and sputtering loud. I think the time given in the paper is wrong as to when it crashed. But i was only eight at the time but certainly not on the porch 3:00 a.m. I don't think. May God rest their souls.

I'm doing a research about this plane crash!

I've been researching this plane crash since 6 years ago now, I have newspapers sent to me by one of the historians at the Melbourne Library and i currently found the funeral home for the victims. I have no answer from them, but still i keep sending emails and calling. Please send me a email with more information about what you know of the plane crash. Everything is useful, i will also reply your email with the newspapers i have.

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My Mom was on this plane as

My Mom was on this plane as well. she was 17 at the time. she recently passed away at 82.

July 13th 1947 airplane crash

The plane was going from NYC to Puerto Rico with a stop in Miami. My grandmother Carmen Rodriguez was on this flight she was one of the survivers. She was left paralized from the waist down. She died 5 years later due to complication of her injuries. She is buried in Fajardo Puerto Rico.

Plan crash

My grandmother died in the crash. She was 28 years old on her way home to Puerto Rico. My mom was a little girl, waiting for her. We don't know too much about it either. We don't even know where she is buried. - JJ

For the First Time

For the first time I get to see an article about my dad's first wife's and son (or daughter)'s airplane accident. One of the buys that survived (Jose Rodriguez) is my first cousin who passed away in 2006. I wish I could find more information about this event that changed so many lives. My dad re-married in the 50's to my mom and I am the second of 2 adopted daughters they had together. My mom's aunt was my dad's first wife.

Ellen, is my cousin

I've been searching for about 4 years now more information of what happen that day. If anyone have any information about this crash or where are the bodies of the victims i will be really happy to know. Ellen still alive, but she do not know where are the rests of her mother. That's my purpose doing this research, if anyone have any information about it please let me know. Ill leave my email.

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