Point Arena, CA Coast Guard Plane Crash, Aug 1946

SEARCH PRESSED FOR VICTIMS OF PLANE CRASH.

Coastguardsmen today renewed their search for the remaining four of six men lost when a twin-Engined PBY rescue plane crashed into the ocean and exploded a mile north of Point Arena Lifesaving
Station yesterday.
The bodies of two of the crew were recovered a short time after the crash, but darkness ended the search before the others were found.
Three of the victims were identified by the Coast Guard, but names of the others were withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Those named were: Lieut. (j.g.) RALPH WILLIAM BUTLER, of South San Francisco, pilot; Ens. CHARLES L. COLER, of Millbrae, co-pilot, and AMM1c GEORGE ROLAND SPALDING, of Burlingame.
The huge plane took off from the air-sea rescue base at South San Francisco yesterday to search for the 56-foot "Pacific Belle," a fishing boat overdue for two days on a trip from Port San Luis, Calif., to Bandon, Ore.
The vessel had been reported overdue by Coast Guard headquarters at Seattle, but a dispatch from there last night said the "Pacific Belle" had reached
San Francisco.
Lifeboats from the Point Arena station set out at dawn today to look for missing members of the plane crew but were forced back to shore by fog and rough seas.
They planned to go out again as soon as the weather permitted. Meanwhile, parties were sent along the beach on the possibility that some of the bodies would be washed ashore.
Aerial search was impossible because of the fog.
The plane crashed about 300 yards off shore. William Owens, lighthouse keeper, who witnessed the plunge, said, "As it hit the water it exploded and there was a great ball of flame. I heard a loud roar."
"I directed men from the life station to the scene," Owens said. "They found one body and I found another that had floated on to the beach. It appeared to be the body of a youth about 17 years old."
"The plane sank within five minutes after it crashed."

Oakland Tribune California 1946-08-08

Other Casualties:
AMM1 WARREN W. ENGLEHARDT.
ARM1 TRUMAN M. MUELLER.
AOM1 WARREN ZINKEL.