Elizabeth, NJ 34 Killed In Another Air Crash, Feb 1952



Elizabeth, N. J. (UP) -- Four more bodies have been brought to the county morgue within the last hour, raising the plane crash toll to 34 died, the wife of county mortician ALFRED C. HAINES reported from the morgue.

Elizabeth, N. J. (UP) -- A third airliner crashed into this city early today. It killed 30 persons and injured 42. Elizabeth's two-month death-from-the-sky toll, caused by falling airliners, stood at 116.
So grave were the implications that adjoining Newark Airport, one of the country's biggest and busiest, was shut down immediately "in the light of these tragic events and pending further investigation."
Today's disaster plane was a DC-6 four-engine giant owned by National Airlines. It smashed into a four story apartment house in which 60 families were sleeping, two minutes after its take-off from Newark bound for Miami.

3 Babies On Plane.
Fifty-nine passengers, including three babies in arms, and a crew of four were on board. Twenty-four passengers, three crewmen, and three residents of the building were killed. Thirty-one passengers and nine residents were in hospital, some gravely injured.
In addition, five persons were missing and may prove to be dead. Several passengers and the pretty little stewardess, MISS NANCY TAYLOR, 22, were hardly injured.
The plane crashed two minutes after its take-off and was in trouble practically from the instant its wheels left the runway.
MISS TAYLOR said: "All of a sudden the engines sputtered and stopped and then we went down." A passenger said he saw the propellor of the far right engine turning in reverse. The pilot WAYNE G. FOSTER, radioed the control tower: "Lost an engine. Coming back."
Other passengers were conscious in the seconds before disaster, of the pilot fighting to keep his plane in the air. Some said he got no higher that a few hundred feet and MISS TAYLOR said it was 1000 to 1500 feet. Then, suddenly, the heavy plane "dropped like a shot," as one passenger put it.

Just Misses Orphanage.
FOSTER jettisoned his gasoline and it showered down on the roof of an apartment house. The plane wavered on, skimming roof-tops. It barely cleared the roof of an orphanage in which 60 children were sleeping, and smashed into a second apartment house, four and a-half blocks east of the first.

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I was the operater ( switch board operator) in Elizabeth who took the call.

Elizabeth, NJ Plane Crash

I'm about to submit a lengthy story to a publisher about this event and would like to hear your story as relayed by your dad.
You may reach me at the email address here.
Very interested to determine if it was your dad who helped save Nancy Taylor or someone else.
Tim Lake
Downingtown, Pa

Jim, Read your comment about

Jim, Read your comment about the crash. I was 9 at the time of the three crashes and it was a pretty scary time being a child and living so close to all three crashes. I don't know about you but I was terrified up until about five years ago to even think about flying. I would really like to see the pictures you have. My e-mail is suzanne.eller@dbhds.virginia.gov feel free to contact me any time. Sue (Kinney) Eller

Plane crash

I lived on Cherry Street during this time and also recall seeing the wreckage of the one at the Elizabeth River and the one close to Battin High School. What I remember most were the eyewitness accounts from the people on the ground who heard the screams of the passengers before and after they plunged into the river. It was a scary and sad tme for everyone involved whether on the plane or on the ground. I was nine years old at the time and 62 years later the memories of those days are just as vivid as the days that they happened.

Plane crashes of the 1950's in Elizabeth, New jersey

I was 11 years old at the time of these crashes. I can remember passing by where the plane came down into the Elizabeth River on my way to school. After haring people talk about hearing people on the plane screaming as the plane crashed. It was a scary time for us kids. I know that I was terrified to fly up until a couple of years ago because of the crashes. I am now 71 and to this day I still think of the people who lost their lives.

My father might have been the one that saved the stewardess!

One of my dad's best stories is of a plane crash in New Jersey and how he had helped pull people from the burning plane. When I finally found this article and read about the stewardess suspended upside down, I had a "Eureka" moment. My Dad MUST have been the one who freed Ms. Taylor. He described to me about how her inverted position made freeing her difficult. He said to me something about having to push her up, just a bit, to relieve the strain on the seatbelt. With her weight off the belt, he was able to release the latch.

My dad, who would have been 21 at the time, just dropped off his date (who would eventually be my mother) at home. While driving to his home, he saw the sky turn orange and thought it might have been an explosion at an oil field. However, he discovered the plane crash and started rescuing people with other witnesses.

I've been researching his story, now and again, but never found quite what my dad was describing until this article. My dad, who is described as a "passerby" in this article, is Russell Lisk. He will be entering hospice very soon, thus the motivation to look for this article. I am grateful to all those who wrote, archived, and eventually published this story. This HAS to the story he talked about.

658 Salem Avenue, Elizabeth,

658 Salem Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ

1952 Elizabeth Plane Crash

My Grandfather Steve Venturini survived the crash. He is best known as the founder of Steve's Sizzling Steaks in Carlstadt NJ. We still own the business and have a piece of the plane wreckage mounted on the ceiling in the dining room. I also made a montage of various newspaper articles regarding the crash on display.

Re: Facebook discussions

The Facebook sites I grew up in Elizabeth, NEw Jersey and othe sites have discussed these three plane crashes .... I lived at 610 Salem Av in 1953-59 and my step-mother told me of these crashes and more specifically the one by the Janet Memorial home .... I also have some news photos of the crash site.

36 dead only crash of the 3 that had survivors

the plane ended up on the play field of janet memorial and across westminster ave.the apartment building hit faced salem ave..i was 12 and living one block over on union ave.this was a few hundred feet away.the fire filled the sky out in my back yard.