Hinsdale, IL Plane Crash, Sept 1961
Seven apparent members of a family called MALONEY, including at least one infant, boarded the doomed Flight 529 at New York.
The four-engine plane was an all-coach flight called the "Sky Coach." It had made stops at New York and Pittsburgh and was bound for Las Vegas.
The plane came down close to the Argonne National Laboratory, a major installation of the Atomic Energy Commission at Lemont. The explosion and flames rising from the wreckage were so intense that the thought of a nuclear explosion sprang to the minds of many witnesses.
Like Atomic Bomb
A MRS. REHAK said she thought to herself, "Dear God, what is this - the bomb?" Householder CHARLES GEORGE, whose home was narrowly missed by the falling plane, said "It sounded like an atomic bomb." A Bensenville policeman saw the flames in the sky and said "I thought the Argonne Laboratory had blown up."
One of the thousands who rushed to the charred corn field was the ham radio operator who said he had tuned in by accident on the last scraps of conversation between pilot JAMES H. SANDERS, 40, Manhattan Beach, Calif., and the control tower at Midway.
The plane narrowly missed a cluster of 12 to 13 homes as it came down. Residents could see the tail lights flashing before their windows a split second before the crash.
In an instant, the white flame turned a noonday sun glare upon the field. Streams of gasoline carried liquid fire into front yards. The acrid smell of burning corn rose above the field.
The wreckage was strewn over an area 900 feet long and 300 feet wide. So were the victims. Their bodies and their shattered luggage littered neighborhod[sic] back yards.
One body was that of a woman with a child clutched in her arms. Two bodies had been blown into a tool shed. A small hill close to the wreck was dotted with the bodies of victims.
With the coming of light, the bodies were placed in black plastic bags and taken in a caravan of ambulances to the Cook County Morgue in Chicago.
The operation was halted briefly when the supply of plastic bags ran out.
White robed attendants at the morgue put tickets on the bags carrying designations such as "E-16" and "E-34" A silent crowd watched the bodies being carried into the morgue.
Each black bag encases a tragedy of its own.
There were four girls, all 20 years old and all from the village of Suncook, N. H. CAROL CHASE, LINDA ANNIS, LINDA PEASLEY and NANCY BERGSTROM were heading for Los Angeles in hopes of finding jobs and settling down in Southern California. An aunt of one of the girls said they found life back in Suncook "too dead."
RICHARD MALONEY and his wife had taken their four children on a trip to see the youngsters' grandparents near Scranton, Pa. They took the fated Flight 529 for their trip back to Canoga Park, Calif.
MR. AND MRS. GLENN KRAFT of Charleroi, Pa., were on their way to visit their son, his wife, and their three children near Los Angeles during the holidays.
MRS. FRANCES GILLIAM had taken her children, DENTON, 14, KAREN, 11, TOMMY, 7, and LINDA JO, 4, to see her parents in New Bedford, Mass. They, too, took Flight 529 back to Eureka, Calif.
Edwardsville Intelligencer Illinois 1961-09-01