Salt Lake City, UT Area Air Liner Crashes In Mountains, Feb 1934



Tragedy Reveals Romance
Chicago, Feb. 26 -- (AP) -- The tragic wreck of an air liner in the Utah mountains brought to light today the secret marriage last year of MARY CARTER, stewardess, who lost her life on the plane, to JOHN WHEELER of Chicago.
The 24-year-old "hostess" of the transcontinental ship had not announced her marriage because of a regulation of United Air Lines requiring their stewardesses be unmarried.
WHEELER, a Michigan graduate, is 25, night manager of the Mozart apartment hotel.
WHEELER, dazed by the shock of his wife's death, left the hotel early this morning and had not returned late in the day.
"She was going to quit her flying work on April 1," WHEELER told his friends. "I had been working nights as hotel manager and days as a model at a downtown department store. It was anything to raise enough money so MARY could stay home with me."

Salt Lake City, Feb. 26 -- (AP) -- Belief that Pilots LLOYD ANDERSON and ERIC G. DANIELSON were trying to climb out of a storm when their giant air liner was wrecked on Parley's summit in the Wasatch mountains east of here last Friday afternoon was expressed today by H. P. LEWIS, chief pilot of the United Air Lines.
"While it's only a guess," he said, "my opinion is that ANDERSON was flying due east when the crash occurred. He probably was trying to life out of the storm and saw the trees looming before him."
"Fearing a crash, he probably tried to life the ship too rapidly. The wreckage looks as if the ship did a chandelle (a half back turn) and nosed into the ground."
Throttle Wide Open.
LEWIS said the throttle of the engines was wide open when the invistigators dug the controls from the ground in which the liner had buried its nose. He added this was no indication that ship was flying at top speed when the crash occurred, however, as the throttle might have been opened when the plane struck the ground.
He estimated the plane was traveling about 110 or 115 miles per hour at the time of the crash, although he said there is no way of determining the accuracy of that estimate.
The company's investigation of the wreck probably will take several days, he said.
An investigation of the crash was begun today by department of commerce and company investigators while a heavy snowstorm increased the difficulty of their task.
The snow also hampered the efforts of rescuers to extricate from the wreckage the body of co-pilot ERIC G. DANIELSON, crushed beneath the weight of the giant plane which was discovered at the summit of Parley's canyon yesterday evening.
The other seven bodies were removed last night within a few hours after the plane was reached by a rescue party, but it was believed it might be necessary to cut down a large pine tree beside which the ship crashed or to chop through one of the heavy wings of the plane. Use of an acetylene torch to cut through the wing was impossible in view of the fact that the tanks still hold a large quantity of gasoline.
Crowds At Scene.
Crowds of sight-seers who thronged the scene, two miles from the Lincoln highway in rough mountain country, also badly hampered the investigators and rescuers.
The department of commerce investigation was in charge of E. L. YURAVICH, airlines inspector, who assisted in the search for the plane during the two days it was missing, and E. E. HUGHES, aeronautics inspector.
In charge of the company investigation was LEON D. CUDDEBACK, assistant chief pilot of the lines. Pilots GRANT ANDERSON, JACK O'BRIEN, A. R. THOMPSON and DON BROGHTON, and six mechanics were assisting him in the work of removing the wreckage.
D. B. COLYER of Chicago, vice president of the United Air Lines, and F. E. CALDWELL, operations manager at Cheyenne, were expected here today to assist in the investigation, but their plane was reported grounded at Rock Spring, Wyo., this afternoon by bad weather.
The wrecked plane, containing DANIELSON'S body, was under a guard of four men throughout the night, in charge of a deputy sheriff. Valuables and other possessions of the other seven victims of the crash removed were taken in charge by the sheriff of this county awaiting their claim by relatives.
Mystery Cleared.
The mystery of a lost United Air Lines transport plane, missing since last Friday with its eight occupants, had been solved today with the discovery of the wrecked craft in the Wasatch mountains east of here, its crew and passengers all dead.
The wreckage was sighted yesterday evening by a searching plane shortly before dark. A rescue party of company officials which reached the scene two miles from the Lincoln highway, through deep snow two hours later found the bodies of two pilots and the five passengers horribly mangled, thrust into the forward end of the plane and imprisoned by wreckage.
Only the body of the stewardess, MISS MARY CARTER, the only woman aboard, was entire. It lay on top of those of the others. Identification was possible only by jewelry and clothing.
With Great Force.
The giant plane had crashed into the ground with such force as to bury its nose several feet. Except for the wings, which were cracked, virtually every part of the craft was smashed, and the tail hung drunkenly down like a boy's broken kite.
Several hours were required to extricate the bodies from the wreckage. They were carried two miles to the highway, where ambulances brought them to this city. The nose of the plane had to be dug from the ground before baggage and express could be removed from the forward compartment.
Judge JOHN C. GREEN, coroner of Summit county, a member of the rescue party, declared it wwas apparent that all the passengers and crew had died instantly. He said none of them seemed to have moved after the plane struck.
This opinion was concurred in by LEON CUDDEBACK, assistant to H. T. LEWIS, chief pilot of United Air Lines.
"The plane fell vertically and the engine was imbedded up to the cabin in the ground," he said. "All of the bodies and the cabin equipment were pushed forward, leaving only a shell."
"The ship did not move after it hit the ground. There was no evidence of fire. The passengers probably did not know what had happened."
The dead:
MISS MARY CARTER, stewardess, formerly of Omaha and Chattanooga, Tenn.
LLOYD ANDERSON, Cheyenne, pilot.
ERIC G. DANIELSON, Cheyenne, co-pilot.
J. J. STERLING, mayor of Benton Harbor, Mich.
E. L. WALKER, Rock Springs, Wyo.
The plane was sighted by pilots DON BROUGHTON and CREIGHTON H. GEER, who were about to return to the airport here and end the search that had been continued incessantly through daylight hours since Friday night. BROUGHTON signalled the find to other fliers, and returned to the air field to lead a party of company officials to the spot.
Meanwhile, the meanuvers[sic] of the searching planes had been noted by a party of skiers nearby, who located the wrecked ship and advised the air line officials of its exact where abouts.
The giant low-wing, twin-motor liner, one of the latest developments in aircraft, went to its end within a mile of the airways beacon that shows the way through Parley's canyon, main air and land artery from Salt Lake valley to the east. But the beacon was obscured by a heavy snowstorm which swept the Wasatch mountains and by heavy clouds that trailed for a mile below.
The plane had cleared the summit of the pass, and wrecked itself some three quarters of a mile below on the eastward slope.

The Ogden Standard-Examiner Utah 1934-02-26



One of the worst and most tragic air disasters in the history of western air navigation was the crash of the United airliner last Friday, and later the finding of the wrecked plane near the summit of Parley's canyon, supposedly in Salt Lake county, and the awfully mangled remains of eight persons.

The cause of the crash is at present a mystery and likely will ever remain so, for the huge plane, one of the biggest and best of airships, had only left the air port in Salt Lake some twenty minutes before it crashed into the mountain side, burying its nose through five feet of snow and three feet of hard frozen ground, instantly killing and crushing into a shapeless mass the five passengers, the pilot, co-pilot and stewardess. From those who witnessed the crash report the horror of the sight as indescribable.

When news was flashed to Park City Sunday afternoon that the lost plane had been located, hundreds of Park City people rushed to the scene, and despite the deep snows, difficult climbing thru tangled brush and pine trees, etc. succeeded in reaching the scene, experiencing the thrill of viewing the monster wreck and the mangled mass of humanity jammed therein. And during the entire week, crowds of Summit county people as well as Salt Lake and other counties, make daily pilgrimages to see what is left of the great wreck. A well beaten path from the Lincoln highway on the summit to the scene, makes it comparatively easy – a distance of some two miles from the road.

County Attorney McDONOUGH and Coroner GREEN were among the first to reach the scene, the latter taking charge, but later Salt Lake county officials took charge and the bodies removed to Salt Lake.

The list of the dead follows:
LLOYD ANDERSON, of Cheyenne, pilot.
ERIC DANIELSON, Cheyenne, co-pilot.
MARY CARTER, Salt Lake, stewardess.
E. L. WALKER, of Rock Springs, Wyoming, automobile dealer.
J. J. STERLING, Benton Harbor, Michigan, mayor and attorney.
MARCELLUS ZINSMASTER, Des Moines, Iowa, bakery official.
BERT McLAUGHLIN, Perry, Iowa, grocer.
E. W. BERGLUND, Boone, Iowa, post commander, American Legion.

The passengers were all prominent, well-to-do citizens of their respective communities.

After one of the many searching planes had signaled from the air that the lost plane had been located, people from this section immediately busied themselves in getting to the spot. Those who happened to be at Ecker's Hill, near Gogorza, were the first arriving near where the plane had been seen by the air men. LINDEN FEHRSON, FRANK RASMUSSON and JIM RASMUSSON, of Gogorza, being the first to get in the close vicinity. LINDEN FEHRSON being the first one to see the plane – and he with the RASMUSSON'S the first to commence the work of getting out the managled [sic] victims.

With the crowds going to the scene after the wreck had been located, many women struggled through the snow and up the mountain sides to see what was to be seen – and to get the thrill of the gruesome sight. MISSES MAY KIDDER, high school girl, and KATHARINE MARAN, both of Park City, have the distinction of being the first ladies to reach the “horror spot.”

Park Record Utah 1934-03-02



Last Body Recovered From Twisted Mass; Cause Is Mystery.

Salt Lake City, Feb. 27 -- (AP) -- In an imposing mortuary in Salt Lake City the broken bodies of six men and a young woman lay today. That of a seventh man, E. L. WALKER, was on board an express car of a train bound for Rock Springs, Wyo., WALKER'S home.
An in the Wasatch mountains, 20 miles from Salt Lake City, the one time $60,000 pride of a transcontinental air line, its blunt nose rammed deep into the frozen earth, stood ungracefully -- a grim reminder of the aerial tragedy that carried the eight to instant deaths in a storm last Friday.
Wreckage Remains.
It is to remain there indefinitely, officials said. And the answer for the cause of its plunge, they confessed, may never be known.
The bodies of the seven victims still held here await further identification and instsructions from relatives. Morticians said that they are to be sealed in 500 pound coffins and will be sent by train to addresses furnished by relatives.
The names and destinations of the seven are: LLOYD ANDERSON, pilot, and ERIC DANIELSON, co-pilot, Cheyenne; MARY CARTER, Chattanooga, Tenn.; J. J. STERLING, Benton Harbor, Mich.; MARCELLUS ZINSMASTER, Des Moines, Iowa; BERT McLAUGHLIN, Perry, Iowa, and E. W. BERGLUND, Boone, Iowa.
United States department of commerce officials and air line officers yesterday visited the scene of the wreck, but their studies as to the cause were futile, they said.
Last Body Removed.
Seven bodies were removed from the battered wreckage Sunday night, but that of DANIELSON was not recovered until late yesterday afternoon. It was necessary for the rescue crews to move the plane wreckage before the last mangled body was removed. The craft buried its nose deep in the ground when she struck, trapping DANIELSON in the nose of the plane.
The body was brought to this city last night.

The Ogden Standard Examiner Utah 1934-02-27