Bryce Canyon, UT Plane Smashes Into Plateau, Oct 1947

Bryce Canyon UT wreckage 10-24-1947.jpg Bryce Canyon UT wreckage site 10-1947.jpg




Bryce Canyon, Utah. Oct. 25 -- (U.P.) --Investigators today had a new DC-6 flown to Bryce Canyon to compare the intact craft with its sister ship that crashed here yesterday killing 52 persons.
The new ship will be taken as close as possible to the spot on the Bryce Canyon plateau where United Air Lines' trip 608 ended in flaming tragedy.
As the investigators pick up pieces of the broken, burned craft, whey will be taken over by the other DC-6 and "matched -- if possible." a Douglas Aircraft company spokesman said.
Crash Area Checked.
"That's about the only way they can tell where the parts fit," he explained.
At the same time inspectors were checking over the crash area and the final path of the plane as its pilot tried desperately for 11 minutes to fight an aerial fire and reach the emergency field.
From the charts, the investigators hoped to be able better to know what caused the fire and how rapidly it spread in the sealed rear baggage compartment.
The bodies of 50 adults and two babies lay on the frost-covered ground until mid-morning today, when the grim task of removing them to a mortuary in Richfield, Utah, 72 miles north of Bryce Canyon, began.
The bodies were placed in crates and loaded on trucks for the trip to Richfield. Actually few of the bodies were whole. Most of the crates were filled with body parts that would be assembled in the mortuary.
By noon, 18 crates of bodies or parts had been picked up.
Await Identification.
Officials said they would not even attempt to establish the identity of the bodies until they were in the morturary. They said that dental charts would be the best aid in the identification -- the bodies were so badly burned and mangled.
After identification is established at Richfield, the bodies will be sent to the victims' homes.
Guards, braving sub-freezing weather, remained around the wreckage all night, making sure that the maroon-blanket covered corpses were not disturbed.
The investigators from many agencies and companies started their probe with a "policy" committee meeting. At the meeting, the procedure to be followed during the twin task of investigating the accident cause and identifying the dead was outlined.

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Airplane Crash Bryce Canyon National Park

I was 4 years old and lived in Tropic Utah. My father saw the plane before the actual crash. He told me people were throwing baggage off the plane to make it lighter. A suitcase landed in our yard. He put me in the car and we drove up the crash site. The plane was still burning and I remember the smell of the smoke. I don't remember anyone else at the site. My father told me to stay in the car while he walked closer to the crash site. He came back to the car, but did not say anything. We returned home to Tropic. I think the sheriff came by and took the luggage. I am now 74 years old but remember the event well.

Lost on UAL Flight 608

Mr Rogers,
I'm very sorry that you lost your uncle in the horrific crash of United 608. As well, I have great sympathy to all others who lost people they loved and cared about in the crash, I'm sure your memories are of great sadness that remain in your thoughts today, so many years later.
I have been searching for a copy of your book, the lulu web address listed nothing 6 1/2 years after your comment. I can normally find used copies of most any out-of-print book through Amazon listings. I was unsuccessful. I know of some large used bookstores not far away I can physically check out hoping to find a copy.
The incident ooocured not many years after my birth in Provo Utah maybe 230 miles from Bryce Canyon, which makes the incident a little more significant to me personally. I love anything aviation related, researching the cause of air incidents is fascinating. Reading the detailed investigation reports can't be done without recognizing that there is overwhelming sadness for the loss of life.
Today we can travel by air very safely because the accidents of the past told designers how to improve passenger aircraft safety.. Every step we have taken forward is built upon the bodies passengers and flight crews. xLSaF

In answer to Paula Watkins

Hi Paula,
Sorry for such a long time between responses. I was laid up (paralyzed) and have been recovering. I am familiar with the Watkins name from listening to my Grandmother Edith Pittinger (McMillen)

Feel free to contact me at any time.

Kim Lundahl-Harpster

Capt. Everett L. McMillen

Kim, My grandfather was brother to Dora Watkins, so Everett was my 2nd cousin. I would love to contact you and your 3 sisters. Thank you.

Everett McMillan

He was my cousin. Aunt Dora Watkins McMillan was my great Aunt. I have been trying to find Sally's family. Contact me if any of you see this.

Thank you.

Archie & Luciele Murray were

Archie & Luciele Murray were my great grandparents as well!

Are you Rob's daughter?

Are you Rob's daughter? Archie and Lucille were my grandparents. MM

Capt. Everett McMillan was

Capt. Everett McMillan was the grandfather that I never knew, but had heard a few stories about the crash. I did not know the extent of the crash. I am doing some family history and have discovered a family tragety that should have been talked about more. Howerver, I suspect that the tragety was so over whelmingly painful for my mother and grandmother that talking about it was too hard. They loved and adored him, that much I did percieve.

Crash of UAL Flight 608 in Bryce Canyon National Park.

My uncle, Luther C. Francis died in this crash. My book "Lost on UAL Flight 608" is available at www.lulu.com/spotlight/kenrogers if anyone is interested about reading about the crash.

My mother's sister, Helen

My mother's sister, Helen Morrissey, was one of the stewardesses on this flight. I grew up hearing this story but today reading the details makes me weep. What a tragedy and great sorrow to all the families that lost loved ones.