Nantucket, MA Plane Crashes Into Treetops, Aug 1958
NORTHEAST AIRLINER IN FIERY PLUNGE ON NANTUCKET ISLAND.
PLANE CRASH KILLS 22.
12 OCCUPANTS ESCAPE DEATH; AIRCRAFT HITS TREETOPS IN FOG.
Nantucket, Aug. 16 (AP) -- A Northeast Airline plane from New York crashed and disintegrated near Nantucket Airport late last night taking the lives of 22 of its 34 occupants.
Among the dead in the fiery crash was GORDON DEAN, New York, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.
The three-person crew of the two-engine Convair -- pilot, co-pilot and stewardess -- perished.
Also killed was HARVEY SCHWAMM, prominent New York City banker. His wife, LILLIAN, was listed among the seriously injured.
A 2-year-old baby, riding in her mother's lap, lived through the crash. The mother, MRS. JACQUELINE YOUNG, 18, of Nantucket, was killed.
Airport officials said the plane was coming in about 11:30 p.m. (EDT) last night on an instrument landing through a heavy fog when it crashed 30-yards northeast of the airport.
Most of those aboard were heading for vacations or weekend stays on this famous island resort, 15 miles off Cape Cod.
Two airport employes reported "a big ball of fire" as the plane plunged through the fog.
They sped to the scene in a fire truck and later reported. "There was fire all around us. We saw people crawling away."
ROBERT YOUNG, communicator for the CAA at Nantucket, said only the plane's tail section remained intact after the plane burned.
It was the second major air tragedy in two days. A Dutch KLM Super Constellation crashed in the Atlantic off Shannon, Ireland, Thursday, with loss of 99 lives.
Last night's crash was in a boggy woodland. A coast guard team of 16 men served as litter-bearers carrying the injured and the dead.
It was hours before many of the dead were identified. Some were horribly burned.
At the controls of the Convair was one of Northeast Airline's most experienced pilots, JOHN BURNHAM, 36, of Marshfield.
Also killed were the co-pilot, DAVID CAREY, 23, of Nantucket, and stewardess ARLENE DABEK, 23, of Manchester, N. H.
GEORGE GARDNER, Northeast Airline board chairman, placed the time of the crash at between 11:33 and 11:36 p.m. (EDT).
The last contact with the plane, he said, was at 11:14 p.m., when the airline office notified the ill-fated plane that visibility was four miles with scattered clouds at 12,000 feet.
The weather bureau said it would not be unusual -- because of the island location -- for a heavy fog to close in between 11:14 and the time of the crash.
The accident occurred exactly 11 months after a Northeast plane crashed in New Bedford, about 50 miles away -- with the loss of 12 lives. Twelve others were injured on that flight from Boston.
Another Northeast Airline plane crashed on Feb. 1, 1957, on Rikers Island in the East River in New York City. Twenty were killed in that Miami-bound plane.
One of the casualities last night was MRS. FLORENCE SMITH, who had to be treated for shock and hysteria after she witnessed the tragedy.
She was at the airport awaiting the arrival of HARRY BANNISTER of Brooklyn, N. Y., Columbia University pre-medical student, who was to be a weekend guest at the SMITH residence. BANNISTER was killed.
East Providence, R. I. Aug. 16 (AP) -- CHESTER STARR got a welcomed telephone call at 4 a.m. today from his son JEFF, at Wareham, Mass.
JEFF had been scheduled to fly to Nantucket, last night to visit his sister, MRS. IRENE WARD. His plane would have been the Northeast airlilner that crashed on the island, killing 22 persons.
But JEFF decided to motor with relatives to Wareham to visit an aunt, his father said. "Boy, were we glad to hear from him," he said.
The family had spent an anxious night, sure their son was aboard the ill-fated plane.
Nantucket, Aug. 16 (AP) -- The list of casualties in last night's Northeast Airlines plane crash, as compiled from various sources:
WILLIAM HINCKLEY, 10 E. 76th St., New York.
MRS. JACQUELINE YOUNG, Nantucket.
MRS. I. WRIGHT, 59 E. 72nd St., New York.
MR. L. FOSTER, 601 W. 155th St., New York.
MR. F. KILBERG, 395 Riverside Drive, New York City.
GORDON DEAN, 953 5th Ave., New York.
JOHN PEARSON, 17 W. 15th St., New York.
JOHN BURNHAM, Marshfield, pilot.
DAVID CAREY, Nantucket, co-pilot.
ARLENE DABEK, Manchester, N. H., stewardess.
DR. ERIC BANNISTER, 134 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y.
HARVEY SCHWAMM, 4650 Fieldston St., Riverdale, N. Y.
BARBARA DASCH, New York City.
MISS JEWELL SHABELL, 147-16 77th Rd., Flushing, N. Y.
MR. D. TRAUTH, 100 Jefferson Ave., Maplewood, N. J.
MISS P. HAKEN, 90-11 149th Jamaica, Queens.
MR. S. RUBENFELD, no address.
MR. J. C. WEHMANN, 185 E. Madison Ave., Florham Park, N. J.
MISS H. HEREFORD, New York City.
MISS VIRGINIA MARSH, 6809 Booth St., Forest Hills, N. Y.
MISS J. CAVIN, Goshen Rd., Malverne, Pa.
MISS B. GILLEN, 2150 Crescent ave., The Bronx, N. Y.
MISS BARBARA FEINERMAN, 305 E. 34th St., Brooklyn, N. Y., critical.
CINDY LOU YOUNG, Nantucket, good.
MRS. LILLIAN SCHWAMM, HARVEY'S wife, same address, critical.
MISS MARGUERITA BOOS, 4303 Church Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y., critical.
MISS LITA LEVINE, 621 Rutland Rd., Brooklyn, N. Y., critical.
MISS JOYCE BELL, 708 Lexington Ave., New York, fair.
JOHN P. O'DELL, Elgin, Ill., critical.
JOHN SHEA, 34, New York, fair.
EDWARD H. FENNELL, Nantucket and Morris Plains, N. J., critical.
PAUL KOZINN, 615 Lefferts Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y., fair.
DON BRESTWICK, Manhattan, N. Y., on danger list.
MRS. JOHN PEARSON, 17 W. 15th St., New York, on danger list.
The Fitchburg Sentinel Massachusetts 1958-08-16