Queen Charlotte, BC (AK) (Off Shore) Airliner Crashes, June 1963



Juneau, Alaska (AP) -- All hope was abandoned today for 101 men, women and children aboard a military chartered DC-7 which crashed in the sea. Search vessels reported recovering bits of bodies.
Swift, strange disaster overtook the Northwest Orient Airlines four-engined propeller plane yesterday 60 miles off the northern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia.
The 17th Coast Guard District here said ships at the scene radioed that "evidence indicated an impact of great force."
The disaster was the third worst in history involving predominantly military personnel.
Aboard were 58 military personnel, 22 military dependents, 15 Defense Department civilian employes and their dependents, and a Northwest Airlines drew of six. They were bound for Anchorage, Alaska, from McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, Wash.
The Coast Guard said the Cutter Sorrel and the Alaska Steamship Co. freighter Chena had both picked up mutilated parts of bodies and all kinds of debris from the ill-fated plane.
The debris included books, personal belongings, seats with the belts buckled, an NWA menu and postcard, insulation from the plane, three uninflated life rafts and dozens of pieces of twisted, broken metal.
The crash wiped out or left only one surviving parent of seven families. There were 33 women and children on the flight.
The DC7, under charter to the Military Air Transport Service, took off from McChord AFB at 8:30 a.m. yesterday for Elmendorf AFB at Anchorage.
The Defense Department listed four Northern California men as being aboard the plane:
They were LARRY B. GRUHN, 35, and RICHARD E. WAMSER, 27, both civilians from McClellan Air Force Base at Sacramento, and Airman 2/c ROBERT BALLINGER of Stockton and Airman 3/c RAYMOND G. LOMBARD, 19, of Fort Bragg.
GRUHN, supervisory management analyst at McClellan since 1948 and WAMSER, an industrial engineer, were going to Elmendorf AFB in Alaska to make an engineering survey. GRUHN has a wife, JUNE, and two children, and WAMSER a wife, MARY, and a son, all of Sacramento.
WAMSER was a cousin of MRS. DONNA BRENNAN of 951 Hillcroft Circle in Oakland.
Airman LOMBARD, son of MRS. MARY G. GREGORY of Fort Bragg, was a 1962 graduate of Fort Bragg High School. He had been assigned to Alaska following his graduation as a communications specialist from the U.S. Air Force training course at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. He was en route to Alaska after leave with his family in Fort Bragg.
The last message from the pilot, Capt. ALBERT OLSEN of Sumner, Wash., came two hours 30 minutes after takeoff. He radioed the air station at Sandspit, B.C., for permission to climb from 14,000 to 18,000 feet.
Another airliner was northbound at 18,000 one minute behind but air control tried to message OLSEN to go to 16,000. There was no response. After that neither the ground station nor the other plane could contact the DC7.
The Coast Guard said a persons could not live in the 40-degree water more than 10 to 15 minutes.
Besides the Coast Guard cutter, a Japanese freighter and a seaplane also were on the scene.
In addition to OLSEN, the crew included first officer DONALD R. WENGER of Tacoma, first engineer KENNETH A. LARON, Kirkland, Wash., flight service engineer DONALD K. SCHAAP, and stewardesses JOAN V. MORRIS and PATRICIA I. MORAN all of Seattle.
The wild coast off which the plane vanished has seen air disaster and near disaster.
In July 1951, a Canadian Pacific Airlines plane, also carrying troops, disappeared over the Gulf of Alaska and never was found. On it were 38 persons, 29 of them from the United States.
Last October, another Northwest Airlines DC7 military charter plane carrying 103 persons developed engine trouble and was ditched near Sitka, Alaska. All aboard were rescued.

Oakland Tribune California 1963-06-04



Anxious wives, parents and other relatives had waited for some hopeful word on the fate of 101 persons aboard a military chartered DC-7 airliner which crashed into the sea off the coast of British Columbia.
But messages Tuesday from ships at the scene indicated there was no hope of survivors.
Debris and bits of bodies were picked up from the squally North Pacific and the rescue ships radioed that "evidence indicated an impact of great force."
Among those on board the four-engine propeller-driver Northwest Orient Airlines plane were 13 women, including two stewardesses, and 20 children ranging from the age of 10 months to the late teens.
Besides a crew of six, the plane carried 58 servicemen, 22 military dependents, and 15 other civilians -- employes of the Defense Department and their families.
They included a mother and her four daughters ... a Red Cross supervisor ... a former school teacher recalled to duty ... a soldier, his wife and daughter ... a girl student ... and a stewardess who probably wouldn't have been on the plane if the airline had known she was married.
Ironically, one of the passengers, T.Sgt. AIMON T. RUSHING, a career man in the Air Force, spent several years picking up survivors of planes that ditched in the sea.
MRS. RESEMARY EBERLING of Clayton, Ala., whose staff sergeant husband, CHARLES, was on the downed plane, said she had a premonition Monday morning "that something had happened."
Seven family groups apparently were wiped out or left with only one surviving parent as a result of the crash.
Passengers included the wife and four children of M. Sgt. MICHAEL P. ALMOSE, attached to the Army's Alaska support command; the wife and four children of Airman 1.C. ROBERT D. SCOTT, stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage; and the wife and two children of Airman 1.C ROBERT E. SMITH, also stationed at Elmendorf.
SCOTT'S wife, MADELINE, of Panama City, Fla., was en route with their children to join him.
Also aboard the plane were S. Sgt. JOSEPH I. WHIPKEY, 36, an Army medical corpsman for 18 years, his wife and two teen-aged daughters; Army SP5 FRANK B. MANN, 23, his wife and 10-month old daughter; WILLIAM G. PARTINGTON, a civilian working for the Air Force, his wife and three sons; and A. J. MESSNER, another Air FOrce civilian employe, and his wife.
In Yonkers, N.Y., Tuesday, JACK V. CAPAZ, whose son, Army Pfc. RICHARD CAPAZ, 21, was aboard the ill-fated craft, said: "My wife and I have been sitting by the radio all day, hoping to hear good news about the plane."
Capt. RANDALL S. COX, another passenger, was returning to duty in Anchorage.
Other passengers included:
Pvt. PIERNICOLA PIETRAMALA, 21 who came to this country three years ago from Italy.
PAULA L. McKNIGHT, 50, a Red Cross worker.
Capt. LUTHER WALTON, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
JEANNE MARIE HEATH, the daughter of Sgt. Maj. EUGENE D. HEATH, stationed in Alaska.
Among the crew, one stewardess, the former PATRICIA L. MORAN of Seattle, Wash.
Her co-worker on the plane was JOAN V. MORRIS, 31, also of Seattle.

Press Telegram Long Beach California 1963-06-05


Taken from the San Antonio Express Texas 1963-06-05

Washington -- (AP) -- The Defense Department Tuesday listed the following as passengers aboard the chartered airliner missing off the coast of Alaska:
Capt. ALBERT F. OLSEN, pilot, Sumner, Wash.
DONALD R. WENGER, first officer, Tacoma, Wash.
KENNETH A. LARSON, first engineer, Kirkland, Wash.
DONALD K. SCHAAP, flight service engineer, Seattle.
JOAN V. MORRIS, stewardess, Seattle.
PATRICIA I. MORAN, stewardess, Seattle.
Pvt. JAMES E. AHINLOCK, Wainwright, Alaska.
Pvt. JAMES J. ANDERSON, Chicago.
SP4 ALFRED ATKINS, McAlester, Okla.
Pvt. BRUCE R. BARROWMAN, Renton, Wash.
Sgt. RICHARD C. BEEVER, Tacoma, Wash.
Pfc EMIT C. CARLSON, Port Heden, Alaska.
Pfc RICHARD V. CAPAZ, Yonkers, N.Y.
SP4 WOLFER C. CASPER, Alton, Tenn.
Capt. RANDALL S. COX, Anchorage, Alaska.
Pvt. ROBERT A. DELANLAY, Orekama, Mich.
Pfc. ALVIN D. LORIAN, Anchorage, Alaska.
SP5 FRANK B. MANN. Portland, Ore.
ROBIN MANN, 10-month-old daughter.
SP4 CHARLES H. THOMAS, Charlotte, N.C.
Pvt. GARY S. TAYLOR, Inglewood, Calif.
Pvt. ALAN L. TOWNSEND, Laverne, Calif.
Pfc. JOHN D. WEBER, East New Market, Md.
S. Sgt. JOSEPH I. WHIPKEY, Sheffield, Tex.
SANDRA WHIPKEY, 18-year-old daughter.
RAYMA WHIPKEY, 16-year-old daughter.
Army dependents:
JEANNE HEATH, 19, daughter of Sgt. Major Eugene D. Heath, Seattle.
JOAN G. ALLEN, 18, daughter of Col. Fred C. Allen, Seattle.
MRS. MADELINE ALMOSE, wife of M. Sgt. Michael P. Almose, Seattle.
BARBARA ALMOSE, 12-year-old daughter.
MADELINE ALMOSE, 11-year-old daughter.
JOSEPH ALMOSE, 9-year-old son.
CAROLYN ALMOSE, 7-year-old daughter.
BERNARD GRESICK, 19, son of Lt. Col. Bernard A. Gresick, Seattle.
Army civilian employes:
Air Force.
S. Sgt. KEITH I. JOHNSTON, Ellsworth, Maine.
Airman 2C MALACHY C. TARRANT, Bayonne, N.J.
Airman 2C ERNEST R. SELOCK, Homer City, Pa.
Airman 2C LARRY E. HAWKINS, Shoals, Ind.
Airman 2C JIMMY R. SCOTT, Silver City, N.M.
2nd Lt. WILLIAM L. WOODFORD, JR., Virginia Beach, Va.
M. Sgt. AUSTIN D. BENNETT, Rosefond, La.
Maj. DONALD J. FUNK, Tulare, Calif.
Capt. ROBERT M. JOHNSON, Austin, Tex.
Capt. LUTHER J. WALTON, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
1st Lt. KENNETH J. O'BRIEN, Turnbull, Conn.
1st Lt. ROBERTO PARES, JR., Alexandria, La.
1st Lt. ROBERT W. TODD, Scotch Plains, N.J.
T. Sgt. ALVA FRANKLIN, Delhi, La.
T. Sgt. ALMON T. RUSHING, Northport, Ala.
S. Sgt. DEWEY R. BAKER, Cincinnati, Ohio.
T. Sgt. IVAN E. UPEGRAFT, Good Thunder, Minn.
S. Sgt. BERTRAND A. NAHOLOWAH, Kingsport, Tenn.
Airman 1C PETER KAVAL, West Collingswood Heights, N.J.
Airman 1C ROGER C. NOWICKE, Norwood, Mo.
Airman 2C PATRICK J. COUSINS, Renirew, Pa.
Airman 2C ALBERT A. GENATA, Neosho, Mo.
Airman 2C VICTOR J. CALHOUN, Prestonburg, Ky.
Airman 2C ROBERT E. BOLLINGER, Stockton, Calif.
Airman 3C MICHAEL A. BARBARA, Watertown, N.Y.
Airman 3C ROOSEVELT C. WHITTAKER, Philadelphia.
Airman 3C GARY KNOSLER, Lumbertville, N.J.
Airman 3C JOHN D. SLAYTON, Hodgenville, Ky.
AIrman 3C RAYMOND G. LOMBARD, Fort Bradd, Calif.
Airman 3C CHARLES W. COUCH, Castopolis, Mich.
Airman 3C ROY TURNER, JR., Hermitage, Ark.
S. Sgt. CHARLES W. EBERLING, Clayton, Ala.
Airman 1C MARVIN H. TOWLE, San Angelo, Tex.
Airman 2C ROBERT F. DUTTON, Deland, Fla.
S. Sgt. RICHARD G. AGA, Whitmire, S.C.
Airman 3C HAROLD E. MILLER, Tacoma, Wash.
M. Sgt. HARRY M. STEPHEN, Tacoma, Wash.
S. Sgt. ELAINE VODHONEL; a WAF, Youngstown, Ohio.
Air Force civilian employes and dependents:
LARRY A GRUHN, Sacramento, Calif.
FRANCES DENNIS, Flagstaff, Ariz.
PAULA McKNIGHT, Seattle, Wash.
A. J. MESSNER, Anchorage, Alaska.
JOHN CRIMMONS, Cement, Okla.
MRS. MADELINE SCOTT, husband Airman 1C Robert D. Scott, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.
SHARON SCOTT, daughter.
DEBORAH SCOTT, daughter.
CAROL SCOTT, daughter.
JANICE SCOTT, daughter.
MRS. JEWELL K. SMITH; husband, Airman 1C Robert E. Smith, Elmendorf AFB.
HOWARD E. EBERSOLE; father Maj. Howard R. Ebersole, Elmendorf AFB.
Engineman 2C ELMER D. CHRISTIAN, Coast Guard, Seattle, Wash.

Transcriber's note: Some of the names were very hard to read from the article. I apologize for any mistakes or misspellings.


Flight DC7 293

My name is Mrs. Rita "Dutton"-Huck. My father was Airman 2C on board Flight 293 that crashed in June 1963. I'm still mystified by the reason that flight went down in the first place and am wondering if with all of the latest technologies, possibly even submarines and fibet optics under the ocean floors can ANYTHING be done to return to that site's crash with so much of our updated technologies today (2017) and dregde up ANYTHING that can help surviving families of those we lost at sea to know what actually happened or even find the plane and close this chapter in our lives and heal our shattered hearts? Please return a reply to me as soon as you possibly can.
Sincerely, Rita Dutton; Daughter of Airman 2C Robert Francis Dutton of Deland, Fla. Thank you in advance!

Flight 293

KIRO / TV and radio Producer - Seattle, Felix Banel will be airing an investigation to try and unlock the mystery and push for creating a monument honoring the fallen solders and family's lost on flight 293. I list my brother, Pvt. Bruce Barrowman that day. (Lost but not Forgotten)

Robert Todd was also a friend of mine while stationed at Keesler

Lt Bob Todd was a good friend. We were both Squadron Commanders in the Triangle Area of Keesler AFB. We also were close neighbors living in what was called Base Werrie Housing. When Bob's plane went down he left a beautiful widow and a small son about 4 years old. Wonder what ever became of them. That little boy would be in his mid 50's now. Such a pitty he never knew his Dad.
We chatted at the barber shop day before Bob's base departure. We joked about his fresh very close haircut....going to Alaska from Mississippi with very little hair on his head.. Good sense of humor and a good officer.
He told me that another officer from Keesler, Major Donald Funk would be traveling with him. They were probably sitting next to each other when disaster struck. Perhaps still sitting next to each other. So very sorry.

I just recently found this

I just recently found this site because I was doing a search for any information on this plane crash. I should have been on this flight with my dad and mom. We were visiting with my uncle in Seattle and missed the plane. My dad had just retired from the Air Force and we were planning a trip to visit my Uncle Bill in Anchorage. I was six years old at the time and remember my dad asking me if I wanted to take a commercial plane the next day. I cried and pleaded with him not to ever go on a plane again.
My heart aches for all those that were aboard.

Recovery of remains


My sister, Jeanne Marie Heath, was a college Junior returning from school in Kansas. She was among those lost on this flight. Did you have any success with your request for recovery of those lost? My parents never received any closure and have since passed away.

Tim Heath

Capt. Luther Johnson Walton

My father was Captain Luther Johnson Walton. I am the oldest child of seven. I was seven years old when my dad's plane crashed. My mother was pregnant with triplets born Friday, September 13, 1963. They never saw daddy.

He was a wonderful father, a loving husband and an awesome son and brother. He has been dreadfullly missed, I know my mother's heart has never recovered from this tradegy.

My Uncle was on this flight,

My Uncle was on this flight, his name was Harry M. Stephan, corrected spelling. Glad to have found this site as I have incomplete childhood memories of that day when my dad learned he had lost his brother.

Lt. Robert Todd

Lt. Todd was a good friend at Keesler AFB. I just stumbled across this article and wanted to comment after all these years. Since another aircraft was only one minute behind is it possible there was some kind of near miss? Perhaps a sighting of the other aircraft lights and abrupt control input that cause airframe failure? This is the first I have heard of another aircraft nearby.

John Slayton was my cousin

John Slayton was my cousin as well. His mother Irene and my mother were sisters. John's Mom just passed away in May.

The person listed as Carolyn

The person listed as Carolyn Almose should be listed as Geralyn Almose age I believe to be 3 years old.