Squak Mountain, WA Plane Crashes, Jan 1953


Seattle -- (AP) -- Off course and afire in a storm, a commercial airliner from California carried seven persons to a flaming death at the foot of a mountain 15 miles east of here last night.
Two of the victims were children and two were women. The three men aboard were crew members.
The four-engine DC4, owned by the Flying Tiger Airlines of Burbank, Calif., barely missed 1,980-foot Squak Mountain as it wandered about in one of this winter's worst wind and rain storm, apparently seeking Boeing Field here.
Then, witnesses said, it appeared to catch fire at an altitude of 500-600 feet, nosed down and roared straight into a ploughed field.
Vincent Herlihy, a farmer, said his son Michael, 15, saw the plane from a window of their home and shouted, "There's a plane on fire out here."
Herlihy reached the window as the plane hit the ground, sending up a huge flash that lighted the area "like daylight."
He ran to the burning wreckage 600 feet away as explosions sent scraps of metal flying through the air around him. He said any rescue attempt was impossible.
Airline officials said the plane was flying from San Francisco to Boeing Field.
Those aboard were identified as:
The pilot, Capt. CHARLES E. GREBER, 33, Wortendyke, N.J.
The co-captain, Capt. BUDLONG MERRILL, 49, South Pasadena, Calif.
The co-pilot, WARREN C. LOWE, of Burbank, Calif., and Brookfield, Mo.
Stewardess JANET WOODMANSEE, 20, Santa Monica, Calif.
Three passengers were:
MRS. E. K. McLINDEN, 24, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and her two sons, KELLY, 5, and GARY, 4.
MRS. McLINDEN, wife of a Flying Tiger pilot, and her sons were returning from a holiday visit with her parents in Los Angeles.

Charleston Daily Mail West Virginia 1953-01-08