Big Piney, CA Famous Aviatrix Killed, Feb 1965
PLANE CRASH KILLS FAMOUS AVIATRIX.
Los Angeles (AP) -- The first woman to fly the equatorial route around the world is believed to have piloted a small plane that crashed in the San Gabriel Mountains Wednesday, killing the two women aboard.
Although the coroner's office declined official identification until her husband views the badly burned bodies, the husband said he had no doubt his wife, JOAN MERRIAM SMITH, 28, is dead.
Authorities believe the other woman was TRIXIE ANN SCHUBERT, 42, of Los Angeles, who was writing JOAN'S life story.
Sheriff's deputies and federal authorities reported that the woman took off toward the area of the crash from nearby Long Beach.
"I don't have any doubt (that JOAN died), because the plane never came back," LT. CMDR. MARVIN (JACK) SMITH, JR., her husband since 1960, said Wednesday night. "But I won't go down there (to the coroner's office) until tomorrow."
SMITH, commanding officer of the minesweeper USS Endurance, said he was aboard his vessel in Long Beach Harbor at the time of the crash.
JOAN and JERRIE MOCK of Columbus, Ohio, caught the world's imagination last year with their race to become the first woman to circle the globe. MRS. MOCK finished her 'round the world trip before JOAN, but JOAN claimed victory because she flew the so-called AMELIA EARHART or equatorial route, which was 4,000 miles farther.
Her 27,750 mile flight took 23 days of flying time. She was delayed 33 days by weather, mechanical trouble and even a revolution in Brazil. She made 34 stops and crossed the equator five times.
JOAN just recently walked away from a crash landing in the California desert. That crash destroyed the light plane she used on her epic flight, a twin-engine Piper Apache. Wednesday she was flying a 182 Cessna.
"After all those years and all those thousands of hours, why did it have to happen like this," said her mother, ANN MERRIAM, of Miami, Fla.
MRS. SCHUBERT also was a veteran pilot. She flew in two powder puff derbies -- transcontinental air races for women -- in 1958 and 1964.
She was married to DR. DELWYN G. SCHUBERT, a college professor. They had three children.
The Ogden Standard Examiner Utah 1965-02-18