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Little Valley, NY Some Survive Airliner Crash, Dec 1951

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Little Valley, Dec. 31 (AP) -- The missing Pittsburgh to Buffalo unscheduled airliner was found today in wild country in Southwestern New York and 14 survivors were brought to safety.
There were 40 persons on the plane when it left Pittsburgh Saturday night.

Removed on Sled.
The Cattaraugus County sheriff's office said the most injured of the survivors were brought out thru dense underbrush on a sled arrangement towed by a tractor.
There were 13 survivors still at the wreckage when rescue workers got thru to the crash site. One passenger had walked out of the rugged country in search of help and reported the plane's location.
All the injured were being taken to Salamanca District Hospital. The first to arrive there was identified by the hospital as MRS. ANNA PISO, 51, Grafton, Pa.
MRS. PISO was listed on a passenger list released earlier. Her address on the list was given at 51 Bradford ave., Grafton. However, her name was not given by the survivor who walked out.
Condition 'Good'.
Hospital attendants said MRS. PISO was suffering shoulder and leg injuries and that her condition was good.
The survivor who pushed his wasy thru dense undergrowth with the first word of the crashed plane's location was GEORGE ALBERT, Miami, Fla. His mother, MRS. ELIZABETH ALBERT, 46, was killed.
ALBERT, 30, told The Associated Press by telephone that he left the scene of the crash shortly after 11 a.m. He reached the farmhouse of CHARLES BRYANT. He called police from there.
ALBERT said the plane crashed about 10:25 p.m. Saturday.
He said the survivors huddled around a fire all of yesterday and last night near the wrecked plane. One passenger, WILLIAM BESCHOS, tried to make his way out for help yesterday, but could not get thru, ALBERT said.

Albert Injured.
ALBERT said he was bruised and injured but that his injuries were the least of any of the survivors. He said he could not say how badly hurt he was but that he was about to enter a hospital for observation.
According to ALBERT, as quoted by the sheriff's office, the other survivors included these whose names were listed on earlier passenger lists.
MRS. LOUISE ATKINSON, hospital superintendent, said all 14 were suffering shock and some had broken bones and lacerations.
She said there were no cases of suffering from exposure. She did not give individual injuries.



Stewardess Dolores Beshears MacMurray

Just wanted to add to the article that Pearl Moon was not the only Stewardess that lived in the plane crash of 1951. My mother Dolores Beshears lived and went on to be married and have 4 children. She continued to fly until Lung Cancer took her in 2004. She told me that the only reason she lived was that she was in the back of the plane when it crashed. She was supposed to be up front but one of the other Stewardess asked to change places with her as she wanted to be near one of the Pilots as she had a crush on him.

Thank you

Elizabeth MacMurray

97 year old father,still alive, survived Cattaraugus plane crash

My father, Robert A Geyer of Pittsburgh, Penna. survived this 1951 plane crash. Because he lay barefoot with a shattered leg and hand, in a puddle of gasoline with a piece of plane in his head he was not expected to live. My father, 35 years and strong, was able to pull himself under a wing of the plane. He survived by breaking open a suitcase he dragged beside him; and with his good hand, wrapped himself in clothing. He found a piece of fruit cake which he ate. He watched coyotes go through the wreckage, slept when he could and prayed that he would survive. Just as he was about to leave this world, he was awakened by rescuers who transported him to the hospital.

It took probably a year for him to recover from the crash. He is still alive today, at 97. Rarely has he ever spoken in depth about this experience, turning down interviews and even a play write who wanted to write a teleplay about his 3 days in December on the side of a mountain. Pamela Geyer

Don case who lives on

Don case who lives on narrows rd was at the seen to help bring out survivors

Plane crash near Salamanca

Saw your comment about the plane crash that happened near Salamanca, NY in 1951. I was searching for information on this because my father always told about this. My dad grew up in Salamanca and had family in the Bucktooth Rub and Sawmill Run areas. He said that he was on the scene before any emergency officials. He describes the scene as horrific; bodies in trees, dismembered parts, wreckage everywhere. I am interested to learn more. My dad's last name in Terhune. Anything in your book about that name?

My father died in this crash

My father was a back up pilot on this flight. His name was C.J. Webber, and I would love to have this scrapbook.
Please call me at 305-633-9637 office or 305-796-4809 cell.
I have two sister that would also be excited in us getting this scrapbook.

Conrad J Webber

little valley 1952 plane crash

I was 5 years old. I remember my mom had a dream about the crash. My dad didnt think anything of it. I rember my mom being upset. She had a 2nd dream the next night and my dad said most likely it crashed over Lake Erie. My mom cryed and cryed. This is why i rember it. I went to the door here on Bucktooth Run Road. I had to use a chair to see who it was. I told my mom a police man was at the door and police,fire and dump trucks were all the way down the road as far as i could see Sheriff Segal wanted to use our phone to send emergecy people to upper Sawmill Run not Bucktooth. Two way radios didnt work well in those days. My dad had a surprise when he returned from work and couldnt go home. Road was blocked except for residence. Police told him there was a plane crash. When my mom was alive she didnt want me to tell this story. I remember her pleading and crying which wasnt normal for her. Later i knew of my mom having esp but no furter dreams. My mom prayed the rosery

Gus Athas plane crash

Please contact me at I'd really like to hear from you.

Tim Lake

seeking info.

hi i am looking for any accounts or stories associated with the crash. I live near the site and in the spring will be hiking to the site. I was thrilled to see this link, as i was just assembling the list of names. i have an outline and i would appreciate assistance of any kind with eyewitness accounts for a collection of survivor stories to be compiled into a locally produced film about the ordeal through a series of individuals as told by family members and actual survivors. i truly would appreciate assistance, copies of pictures of the people and mementos or memorabilia,,photos of anything really,,thanks again,,todd

Plane Crash

As a Chief of the Little Valley Fire Department, I have looked into our records several time on this topic with little info found. If you have any copies of the scrapbook it would be a great addition to the history of our Fire Dept. as the accident happened in our district, and we have little info.


D.J. Adams

plane crash

Hello, i am interested in this scrapbook. I work in a nursing facility in north carolina and one of the survivors (Pearl Moon) is in this facility. She remembers the plane crash and tells us about it.


article | by Dr. Radut