Toledo, WA Marine Corps Transport Plane Lost, Dec 1946

Mt Rainier WASH plane crash site 1946.jpg Mount Rainier WASH Monument 1946.jpg

FOG HIDES FATE OF PLANE.

CRASH SOUND REPORTED BY FARM FAMILY.

32 MARINES ABOARD TRANSPORT LOST IN WILDS.

Toledo, Wash. Dec. 11 (U.P.) -- The search for a giant Curtiss Commando Marine Corps transport plane, missing with 32 men aboard since yesterday, swung to Strawberry Mountain, 40 miles east of here, today when a farm family and a forest range reported they saw a plane in trouble and heard a crash yesterday afternoon.
Even as a winter storm with lashing rain and tree-top clouds closed in over central Washington, grounding search planes and obscuring the area, the unidentified forest ranger and the farm family identified as the COLEMAN'S of Randle said they heard a crash on the mountainside at 4:30 p.m. (PST).
Wings Ice-Coated.
The two-motored plane, one of six ferrying marines from San Diego to Seattle, last radioed in at 4:13 p.m. (PST) yesterday.
Since then its fate has been hidden by the low clouds, fog and storm conditions which were believed to have forced it down somewhere in the rugged back country with ice-coated wings.
It had no de-icing equipment and when the December ice and snow storm caught it, the pilot radioed asking permission to increase his altitude to avoid the ice already forming on his wings at 9,000 feet 30 miles south of here.
Report Termed False.
The COLEMAN'S and the ranger both reported the plane "seemed in trouble." Then came the rending, tearing sound of a crash.
Viscious flying weather, some of the worst of the year, hampered searching operations, but a daring coast guard pilot hunted his marine buddies despite the conditions.
His report via radio doused the hopes of rescue units alerted when reports began to filter in from residents of the Toledo area that a plane had gone down just outside of the town.
"I couldn't find a thing," his terse report said.
The pilot, R. E. OSTERBERG, said he had been radioed by a ground crew crash truck scouring the area that the plane was sighted three miles west of here.
"They were apparently misinformed," he said.

Nevada State Journal Reno 1946-12-12

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RAINIER SIGNAL BLAZE SIGHTED.

RESCUERS PRESS SEARCH FOR MARINE PLANE MISSING WITH 22 ABOARD.

Olympia, Wash., Dec. 17 (U.P.) -- Hope that a missing marine transport plane with 32 aboard had been located was strengthened tonight when an observer in a state patrol plane reported "something had plowed through timber" on the slopes of Mt. Rainier where a signal fire was sighted today.
State Patrol Chief H. W. ALGEO, who flew low over the area 20 miles west of Longmire, Wash., in one of the search planes called out, reported on his return that traces of what might be a plane crash visible.

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