Pacific Ocean, HI, CA Airliner Goes Down In Ocean, Nov 1957

A Pan Am Stratocruiser identical to Flight 7.

Ships Flash Lights.
When the airliner failed to arrive on time here last night, rescue units went into action immediately. All ships at Pearl Harbor flashed their lights in the sky throughout the night in a vain hope the plane had lost radio contact and was searching for the island.
Scripps-Howard Washington reporter HENRY N. TAYLOR, a passenger aboard a Quantas airliner en route to San Francisco from Honolulu, said his plane joined in the search for the missing airliner but found nothing.
"We were flying about 15,000 feet when we got word of the missing plane. Captain MAX BAMMANA dropped down to 5,000 feet and followed along the track of the plane's last reported position for about 200 miles."
"The weather was clear and there was a full moon. But no sign of the plane."

Bombers Join Search.
Shortly before dawn, 11 P2V Neptune bombers and sever W2V Constellations took off from Barber's Point to join the widespread search.
A Pan American spokesman in San Francisco was asked how long the plane could stay on the surface after hitting the water.
"Naturally, that would depend on the conditions of the ditching," he said. "Under ideal conditions, the plane could float indefinitely -- as we said before, we still are hopeful."
Pan American refused to comment on reports a power failure may have knocked out the plane's radio.

"We never speculate on these matters," a spokesman said.
The airliner, named the Romance Of The Skies, carried 6,673 gallons of gasoline on takeoff. At its last known position, it had 3,723 gallons remaining or enough to keep it aloft until 3 AM.
Pan American said it has flown 9,085,000,000 revenue passenger miles without a passenger fatality. In June, the airline was given the National Safety Council award for outstanding safety in operation.

San Francisco -- UP -- Pan American World Airways today released the following names, addresses and destinations of the persons aboard an airliner missing on a flight from San Francisco to Honolulu.
The crew members, all from California:
Captain GORDON H. BROWN, Palo Alto.
First Officer W. P. WYGANT, Sausalito.
Second Officer W. A. FORTENBERRY, Santa Clara.
Engineering Officer A. PINATARA, Belmont.
Purser E. CROSTHWAITE, Felton.
Flight Supervisor JACK E. KING, South San Francisco.
Stewardess YVONNE ALEXANDER, San Francisco.
Stewardess MARIE McGRATH, Burlingame.



Boeing 377

Unlike it's military sister the KC-97, the 377 had many reliability issues. Of the 50 built, ten were lost in accidents, giving it a 20% mortality rate. The last intact survivor I saw( which was reportedly scrapped later) was in 1987 in a storage area at Tucson (Arizona) International Airport. So sad--people would have loved to see a piece of history like that flying in air shows.
A picture of this plane does exist, along side a 1952 Buick, taken that year which I have seen from time to time in propliner related magazines.