San Diego, CA Navy Seaplane Crash, Dec 1924


Three Others Injured When Huge, Twin-Motored Craft Hits Sea at San Diego

SAN DIEGO. Cal., Dec. 10 — Five officers and men of the aircraft squadrons of the battle fleet were killed here today in one of the worst accidents in naval aviation annals.

They were hurled in the ocean when the huge twin-motored, H-16 type of seaplane in which they had been engaged in machine gun practice, went into a dizzy spin from a height of about l,200 feet.

Splinters from the wrecked plane were scattered over the sea for several hundred feet and all five of the men who were in the forward cockpit were killed instantly, it is believed. They were all carried below the waves and the bodies of those recovered were badly mangled.

The victims were:


CRUELL, FRED D., aviation chief machinist mate; widow lives at 1,729 Lincoln Avenue, San Diego; body recovered.

ROBY, KILBURN N, Lieutenant, assistant pilot; widow lives at 1004 Fort Stockton Drive, San Diego; body not recovered.

THURSTON, ARTHUR P., Lieutenant. assistant pilot; survived by mother, Mrs. C. E. Thurston, who lives at 401 Hayward Avenue, Orange. N. J.; body recovered.

VARINI, GEOCHINO, Lieutenant, pilot; survived by widow, Mrs. Minnie May Varini, living at 17 North Spring Street, Pensacola. Fla.: body recovered.

WIECZK, J., radio man, first class: mother lives at S09 West Eighth Street, Oswego. N. Y.; body not recovered.