Mt. Diablo, CA Army Plane Crash, Apr 1946

Mt Diablo CALIF crash plane type.jpg


The bodies of two Army fliers killed yesterday when the C-45 twin-motored airplane in which they were en route from Oakland to Los Angeles crashed in swirling fog on the northwest slope of Mr. Diablo were found last night by a Search and Rescue Unit from Hamilton Field.
They were identified today as Maj. WILLIAM J. KETTLER of Los Angeles and Lieut. WOODROW W. DAVIS of Hanford.
A State-wide search for the plane with its pilot and co-pilot, both attached to Hamilton Field, was instituted yesterday afternoon after it was reported missing on the routine flight.

Located From Air.
The plane was first spotted 60 feet below a rocky crag late yesterday afternoon by Lieut. Stephen B. Cummings and Lieut. Vasily V. Arnautoff of the 475th Search and Rescue Unit Section 5, Hamilton Field who located the wreckage from the air.
Lieutenant Cummings returned to Hamilton Field, where he formed the rescue party. It was more than five hours after they reached the wreckage at 10 p.m. last night before the rescue workers could bring the bodies to the Ranger Station atop Mt. Diablo.
The body of the first man was found within 24 feet of the plane's wreckage. The body of the second man was found 75 yards away. It was located by a second rescue party from the Diablo Ranger Station at midnight.
The bodies were carried up the slopes of the 3849 foot mountain by rescue crews who worked in heavy fog and bitter cold weather.

Plane Burned.
They found three-fourths of the plane burned. The tail of the plane was all that remained.
In the hope that the men might still be alive, the rescue group included Lieut. George B. Green Army physician and medical corpsmen.
The plane which took off shortly before noon yesterday was scheduled to contact the Richmond beam to the ocean and then proceed down the coast to Los Angeles. No explanation could be given for the location of the plane in the Mt. Diablo area.

Oakland Tribune California 1946-04-09