Dog Lake, OR Private Plane Crash, Oct 1947

Oregon Governor Earl Snell.JPG



Klamath Falls, Ore., Oct. 30. (AP) -- Foresters and scores of veteran woodsmen worked through a rugged southern Oregon mountain area today to reach the wreckage of a private plane that carried Oregon's Governor, Secretary of State, State Senate President and an experienced pilot.
The shattered wreckage was sighted and identified late yesterday by two civilian pilots who reported the small craft was "so damaged that no one could be alive."
There seemed slight chance that fate had spared any of the four -- three of them ranking executives of the state -- who left here Tuesday night on a one hour flight to Lake county's Warner Valley to hunt ducks and geese.
Aboard the single engine four-pace sportsplane were Governor EARL WILCOX SNELL, 62; State Senate President MARSHALL CORNETT, 49, next in line of succession to the governorship; Secretary of State ROBERT S. FARRELL, JR., 41, and CLIFF HOUSE, 42, Klamath Falls, the pilot.
The search was centered in a small sector of heavy timbered terrain in the rim rock country 70 miles east of here and a few miles north of the Oregon-California border.
The forest service has established headquarters at the Dog Lake guard station, approximately four miles east of the scene of the crash. Searchers have criss-crossed the immediate area all night, but failed to find the plane because of the darkness and the density of the forest.
Confirmation of the death of the Governor and his normal successor, the Senate President, automatically elevates the Speaker of the State House of Representatives to the governorship. He is JOHN H. HALL, 48, a Portland attorney and World War I veteran. The office of Secretary of State would be filled by appointment in the event that that official also died in the crash Tuesday night.
The succession of the Speaker is provided by the Oregon constitution, in an amendment approved by the voters in 1946 at the time the nation became concerned over the succession line in the Federal government.
HALL has been a member of the legislature since 1939, after a previous two year term served from 1933, and like all Oregon key executives is a Republican.
The three Oregon officials had left the state capital Tuesday, planning a direct flight to the ranch of OSCAR KITTREDGE. The rancher is a personal friend of CORNETT and co-owner with the official of the airplane. Bad weather forced the party to halt here for dinner at the CORNETT home. Later the weather reports indicated clearing conditions and they took off for the KITTREDGE ranch.
The two pilots who sighted the wreckage, ROBERT ADAMS and GREG PAINTER of Lakeview, Ore., were flying one of a score of planes from four states that circled the area in the overcast and flew at treetop level to establish identification by the numbers.
A swath had been cut through the forest where the small plane struck and the pilots reported "no sign of life. The plane is so badly damaged that no one could be alive."

The Daily Mail Hagerstown Maryland 1947-10-30