Shemya Island, AK Cargo Plane Crashes, July 1961


Seattle (AP) -- An Alaska Airlines plane carrying military cargo crashed and burned Friday on Shemya Island in the Aleutians, killing all six crew members.
The DC6 plane, under contract to the Military Air Transport Service, was en route from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., to Tachikawa AFB near Tokyo.
It had been scheduled for a refueling stop at Shemya, 1,500 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.
An airline official said the plane crashed and burned at 6:30 a.m. PDT.
The airline identified the crew members as:
Capt. EDWARD BOWMAN, 44, Seattle.
Capt. GALVIA WILLIAM SARGENT, 41, Danville, Calif.
Copilot JOHN HERMAN BIRD, JR., 29, Kent, Wash.
Flight Engineer WILLIAM EVERETT DONOVAN, 26, Seattle.
Navigator EDSON A. M. CARRAHRENS, 41, Bellevue, Wash.
The cargo flight, with no passengers made a fuel stop at Anchorage before taking off for Shemya.

The Post-Register Idaho Falls Idaho 1961-07-21


air crash of 1961

Rodger, I was at Shemya at the time of the crash too. We were working a Mid shift when it happened. After the mid, some of us went to the flight line to have a look. It was just as you described it.

Aircraft crash at Shemya, July 1961

This was a terrible crash that affected many of us stationed there at Shemya for a tour with the Air Force. It was the first one I had ever seen up close and personal. Debris was scattered down the runway for quite some distance. An aircraft starting unit on wheels had been part of the cargo and this came hurtling through the cockpit along with pallets of paper and other items. Weather was always a factor at Shemya and I think I recall 4 clear days of actual sunshine in my 1 year tour. I have some pictures of the crash and will never forget it.

air crash of 1961.

I was stationed at shemya at the time of this air crash. there was a steep embankment at the front of the airfield. the aircraft came up short of the runway and hit the embankment. the cargo broke loose and tumbled over the aircrew, killing all instantly. cargo was all over the airfiend and plane burnt to nothing.It was a horrific site.