Farallone Islands, CA Coast Guard Plane Crash, Aug 1941
COAST GUARD PLANE FEARED LOST OFF GATE.
The Coast Guard amphibian plane V-126 with three men aboard, disappeared today while on a routine patrol flight around the Farallone Islands, and may have crashed into the sea.
An air and surface search for the craft was launched immediately, with two Coast Guard cutters and another Coast Guard plane, a squadron of Navy mine layers and a squadron of Navy planes cooperating.
The V-126 with Aviation Machinist's Mate LEONARD L. STONEROCK, as pilot, took off from Mills Field, San Francisco, at 9:30 a.m. for the flight. With STONEROCK were FLEET D. HANCOCK, mechanic, and JOHN C. GILL, radioman.
Their instructions were to report back by radio every 15 minutes. They made their first report at 9:45 a.m., when they may have been somewhere west of the Farallones, but were silent at 10 a.m.
No word was received from them after that, and the search was started.
The plane carried enough gas for a six hour flight. It was to have circled beyond the Farallones and returned to its base.
The possibility that is was down on the ocean somewhere with its radio out of order was expressed by Coast Guard officers.
Weather reports showed that there was less than a mile's visibility at sea because of the haze.
The cutters Daphne and Alert were ordered to sea at once under forced draft. Two other cutters in the Bay at the present time are laid up for repairs. The second Coast Guard plane stationed here, the V-128, took to the air to search for the fliers.
Coast Guard officers also appealed to the Navy for help, and a squadron of planes on maneuver from the Alameda Naval Air Station joined the search. The squadron of mine layers was dispatched from its Treasure Island base.
The same crew of fliers which took the V-126 out today, regularly makes the flight on an average of three times a week and are thoroughly familiar with the area and weather conditions, their superiors said.
They were instructed to return to their base at once if their radio failed.
Oakland Tribune California 1941-08-05