Provincetown, MA Charter Plane Crash, Oct 1949


Provincetown, Mass., Oct. 17. -- (AP) -- A small chartered plane crashed in the sea off this Cape Cod resort town today with indications all five aboard perished -- including a young mother and her two babies.
Pilot DAN LACEY of the Cape Cod Flying Service was pulled from the water unconscious by Coast Guardsmen but reports from a cutter offshore indicated he died a short time later.
Bodies of two women were recovered -- believed to be MRS. HAROLD KEPPEL, about 30, wife of a New York Times photo department employe, and MRS. EDWARD S. DAVIS of Provincetown.
Searchers failed to find any trace of MRS. KEPPEL'S two youngsters -- PAUL, 2 1/2, and BRUCE, an infant.
The plane -- a Piper Clipper -- was flying an over-the-water route from Boston to Provincetown. Most of the flight is over Cape Cod bay. This cuts in half the 110 mile overland route.
Just before the crash, Pilot LACEY radioed a distress call saying "going in" -- meaning in the water. He gave his position at "six or seven miles off Provincetown."
Failure to find sign of wreckage indicated the small single-engine plane sank immediately on hitting the water.
Rough seas kicking up white caps made an emergency landing difficult.
MRS. KEPPEL was on her way with her two children to visit her mother.
The KEPPELS had flown from New York to Boston on a regular airliner in the morning and boarded the chartered plane at Boston airport.
Pilot LACEY kept in radio contact with land bases enroute. He indicated that engine trouble developed just as he neared Provincetown.
The Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet and scores of fishing and pleasure craft searched the area.
The Acushnet reported two bodies aboard -- LACEY and a woman. A terse radio message to shore headquarters said only neither showed any signs of life.
A picket boat recovered the body of a second woman.

Charleston Gazette West Virginia 1949-10-18