Santa Barbara, CA (off shore) Warship Accidents, Nov 1931
EXPLOSION OF GUN ON WARSHIP KILLS 4, INJURES OTHERS.
ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN ON U.S.S. COLORADO EXPLODES KILLING OFFICER, THREE SEAMEN; FOUR OTHERS MAY DIE.
San Pedro, Calif., Nov. 6. -- (AP) -- A five-inch anti-aircraft gun of the battleship Colorado exploded late yesterday, killing one officer and three seamen, and injuring nine others, four possibly fatally.
Shortly afterward, aboard the battleship Maryland, a petty officer was crushed in the mechanism of another anti-aircraft gun and injured so badly that he was not expected to survive.
The two accidents occurred as the dreadnaughts
were near Santa Rosa Island, a few miles off Santa Barbara, repulsing a mythical enemy air force attack.
The accident aboard the Colorado was one of the worst in peace time since the disastrous explosion in a gun turrent aboard the U.S.S. Mississippi off the local harbor here in 1924 when 48 lives were lost.
The U.S.S. Colorado listed its toll as follows:
Lieut. RALPH F. BRADFORD, JR., Pontiac, Ill.
LEWIS A CLARK, seaman second class, Los Gatos, Calif.
MAURICE G. HAWKINS, seaman first class, Hastings, Mich.
J. J. SCHNUR, seaman first class, St. Louis.
Possibly fatally injured:
Lieut. WINSTON I. QUATTLEBAUM, of Kentucky, who entered service from Texas.
Ensign JOHN B. HUNTLEY, appointed to Annapolis from Ohio.
R. O. DUFF, seaman first class.
G. E. SWIFT, seaman first class.
Others injured, all seamen first class, were:
H. J. MINTON.
J. R. KOWALSKI.
C. V. STOVER.
H. E. LUTZ.
W. J. DUVAL.
SCHNUR was attached to the U.S.S. Oklahoma
but had been detailed as an observer to make the trip with the two dreadnaughts.
The victim aboard the Maryland was J. J. PLUMMER, a gun captain. He was under the gun instructing a crew in firing practice and had descended into the pit of the gun turret when he was caught in the machinery. PLUMMER'S home is in Winchester, Ky.
Still another fatality was suffered by the Pacific Coast naval forces earlier in the day when Lieut. Commander OSCAR WILLIAM ERICKSON, 35, commander of a pursuit squadron on the aircraft carrier Saratoga, died after his plane plunged over the side of the ship as he was attempting a landing. The Saratoga was ten miles off shore. His companion, GEORGE H. CUMMINGS, aviation pilot, escaped injury.
Local navy officials clamped down a strict censorship here and first word of the tragedy came from Washington when the navy department revealed the accidents.
Admiral Richard H. Leigh, commander of the fleet, announced that a navy board of inquiry would meet aboard the Colorado today behind closed doors to investigate the accidents. The findings of the board will be forwarded to Washington.
Kingsport Times Tennessee 1931-11-06