Cape Newenham, AK Navy Patrol Plane Crash, Nov 1964
12 NAVY FLIERS DIE WHEN PLANE CRASHES NEAR KODIAK.
Kodiak (AP) -- Twelve Navy fliers died Friday when an anti-submarine patrol plane crashed into a mountain near the tip of Cape Newenham, 250 miles northwest of Kodiak.
A four-man rescue party found the wreckage of the burned plane and bodies of the crew strewn over about 500 feet of mountainside. The group was led by Maj. Curtiss Gruye, commander of the Cape Newenham Distant Aircraft Control and Warning Station.
The crash was four miles west of the military site. The plane hit about 200 feet below the crest of the mountain, 800 feet above the sea.
The twin-engined P2V Neptune from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Wash., was stationed at Kodiak on rotating assignment. It had taken off from Kodiak Naval Station on a routine coastal ice patrol.
Gruye said at the time of the crash visibility at the Air Force radar site was about one-half mile, and at the crash site it was about 80 feet. He said radar contact was difficult because the plane was "flying on the deck."
The search group had to descend a 1,000 foot cliff to reach the wreckage, and ropes will be needed to remove the bodies, Gruye said.
He said a normal position report was received from the plane crew at the aircraft control site at 9:05 a.m. yesterday, and attempts were made later to radio the plane, but they were unsuccessful. Then a column of black smoke was seen rising through the overcast.
Gruye, T.Sgt. Joseph J. Kowsok, fire chief at the radar site, and T.Sgt. Leman Snyder, a paramedic from Elmendorf Air Force Base at Anchorage, and a fourth man started on the search moments later. They were helped along the way by reports from the radar station and found the wreckage at 12:00 p.m.
"The aircraft was demolished," Gruye said. "It plowed directly into the hillside."
Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1964-11-30