McNary, AZ (near) Airliner Crash, Apr 1937
WEARY SEARCHERS DISCOVER BODIES OF CRASH VICTIMS.
BURNED AND BROKEN BODIES OF EIGHT FOUND AMID WRECKAGE OF AIRLINER.
BIG SKY SHIP CRASHED HEADON INTO MOUNTAIN.
NONE OF BODIES REMOVED BY MID-AFTERNOON AS FIRST PARTY OF SEARCHERS RETURN TO BASE; PILOT AND CO-PILOT FOUND STRAPPED TO SEATS.
McNary, Ariz., April 7. (AP) -- Weary searchers found only burned and broken bodies late today at the spot high in the mountain wilds southeast of here where a luxurious skyliner crashed Saturday with eight aboard.
Bodies of Pilot GLEN MOSER and Co-Pilot JOE WOFOLK, half-burned, were still strapped to their seats in the smashed and charred wreckage.
The other six bodies, all burned beyond recognition, were beneath the wreckage of the giant 21 passenger ship which had plunged headlong into a mountainside in a snowstorm.
Deep snow, precipitous trails and terrain where there were no trails forced the first party of searchers to return tonight without the bodies.
The 21-passenger transport, which was being ferried across the country from Burbank, Calif., to New York City, crashed into the mountain almost headon.
Half of the tail was found a quarter of a mile away.
When the big ship hit the ground it broke into half a dozen parts and the cabin housing the passengers burned. The plane was so badly torn up that investigators discussed the possibility it had exploded when it hit the ground.
Others expressed the opinion the terrific impact was sufficient to break it to pieces.
The plane was reached shortly after noon.
By mid afternoon none of the bodies had been removed. Early arrivals at the scene said they preferred for Sheriff John Nunn and Major Victor Bertrandias, Douglas Aircraft corporation official, to take charge. However others had already set to work constructing sleds and stretchers to carry the bodies over the rough mountain country.
About 40 searchers reached the scene in parties of eight or ten.
Among the searchers were a group of inexperienced persons. Authorities expressed doubt they would be able to get back to McNary tonight.
The most logical manner of moving the bodies, officers said, would be to start from McNary at dawn. The task will take hours.
The blackened hull of the ship was imbedded in a deep drift of snow.
The propeller of the ship dived head-on into the mountain side, tearing out a large hole.
Victims of the crash, besides the pilots were:
E. R. MOSER, 55, father of the pilot.
MERLE ESTEY, 29, a Douglas engineer, and his wife LUCILLE.
ROLAND KENT, Douglas employe.
MRS. B. B. BRUDERLIN, mother of a Douglas employe.
BERNARD TROYT, JR., 33, parking station operator.
The plane left Burbank at 10 o'clock Saturday morning. It was reported missing late Sunday night.
Attention was directed to the White Mountain area, when John Butler, lodge operator at Greer, Ariz., reported to Sheriff Nunn he had seen a ship circling over his lodge at 3 p.m. Saturday.
It finally headed "right in to Mount Baldy" Butler reported.
The wreckage was sighted about 25 miles southwest of Greer yesterday by Major A. D. Smith, Albuquerque division airline manager, after an unsuccessful attempt to locate it near Alpine the previous day.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph West Virginia 1937-04-08