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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My great grandparents died on that flight. Their daughter, my grandmother is still alive and in her 90's. She obviously doesn't like to discuss what happened, and I was wondering if anyone had more information on this tragedy. My email is rasklar74@yahoo.com

1952 Elizabeth Plane Crash

Greetings John:

I was also 11 years old at the time of the Salem Ave. crash. The building that was hit is at 652-658 Salem Ave. I checked there recently and a tenet told me there is still a man living there who recalls the crash as a youngster.
I have a copy of an newspaper photo showing a group, (I'm included), signing a petition to close Newark Airport.

Jim Lowney
(732) 240-0448

60th anniversary

Today is the 60th anniversary of this plane crash. My grandfather was killed on this plane. He is the 4th casualty on the list, M.L. Field. I was not born yet, my mother was 15 years old at the time, I was born almost 8 years later and named after my grandfather (my initials are also M.L. and my hebrew name is the same as his). My mother, who is still alive, still talks about her Dad, she was his first born and they were very close. This tragedy had a tremendous effect on her (as can be imagined).

Elizabeth, NJ air crash, Feb 11,1952

I was eleven years old and was present at the crash site about 6 hours after the incident. I recall the U-shaped apartment bldg. which was set ablaze by the impact. My query is what was the street address of that building. Addresses are not mentioned in the articles that survive. Thank you.

Elizabeth, New Jersey Crash, 1952

According to the Aviation Safety network, the probable cause of this tragedy was the reversal in flight of the no.3 propeller with relatively high power and the subsequent feathering of no.4 propeller resulting in a descent at an altitude too low to effect recovery.