Alvarado, CA Airliner Plunges Into Field, Mar 1953

Alvarado CALIF Flight 942 crash 3-20-1953.jpg

"It then seemed that the engines were cut off. Instantly, it seemed to catapult almost straight down, crashed and the explosion shook the house," she said. "I could see the flames strung out in a long line."
WILLIAM SILVA, 31, of Whipple Road, who also saw the crash, later found pieces of ice up to eight inches long and three inches thick with "smooth rounded inner sides."
Presumably the ice came from the leading edge of the wing and was broken off by de-icers.
Authorities in their preliminary investigation discounted the probability that icing caused the plane to fall, since the pilot had reported no difficulty with icing conditions. SILVA'S house is southwest of the place where the plane crashed, which would indicate the ice was knocked off before the accident. Icing conditions will be investigated further, however.
Tests 'Prove' Point.
The U. S. Weather Bureau found the freezing level at 4855 feet at 7 p.m., less than half an hour after the crash, and the Transocean plane was at 3500 feet two minutes before it hit.
Fire equipment from Alvarez and Decoto was the first rescue equipment on the scene and extinguished the main fire.
Reportes that there were about six survivors, some seemed to be alive at first, brought ambulances to the scene. They bogged down in the mud that became a quagmire as more people and vehicles sloshed through the field in the rain. Tractors pulled the ambulances out. The victims were taken to Fairmont Hospital, where they too were pronounced dead.
Alameda County sheriff's deputies and air police from Parks Air Force Base roped off the area and medical technicians from Parks and Oakland Naval Hospital carried on the girm task of recovering the bodies, some of which still were inside the plane.
Transocean Air Lines President ORVIS M. NELSON and Executive Vice-President SAM WILSON both were on the crash scene, along with other executives.
The crash was the company's third fatal accident out of more than 700,000,000 passenger miles flown in all parts of the world since it was organized by NELSON in 1946.
The company has been engaged in the Korea airlift and one of its subsidiaries, Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Company, has contracts for the overhaul of Air Force multi-engine planes.

Roswell, N. M., March 21 -- (AP) -- Walker Air Force Base released this list of names of the dead in last night's DC-4 crash near Oakland, Calif.:
S/Sgt. KENNETH B. SHAPIRO, 23, husband of Mrs. Kenneth Shapiro, 905 West Summit, Roswell, N. M., and son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Shapiro, Box 242, Stratford, N. J.
A/1c ROBERT E. HITCHCOCK, 22, son of George Hitchcock, 1712 Wood, Wheeling, W. Va.
A/1c JAMES E. McCLANAHAN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn McClanahan, Route 4, Morristown, Tenn.
A/2c NORMAN E. WILSON, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Wilson, 2424 Gaty, East St. Louis, Ill.
A/2c AMMYA B. PLACKER, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Placker, 112 Florida Avenue, Alamogordo, N. M.
A/3c JOSEPH W. MADIGAN, 21, son of Joseph Madigan, 15 Temple Place, East Aurora, N. Y.
A/1c BERNARD J. ROLLE, 24, son of Mrs. Anna A. Rolle, 1725 East 25th, Baltimore, Md.
A/1c HAROLD L. MALOY, 23, son of Mrs. Anna Senft, 229 North Third, Coshocton, O., and Jacob Malloy, 524 South Chestnut, Comerstown, O.
A/1c VELDON L. WICHSER, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Wichster, West Concord, Minn.
A/3c JOSEPH L. DOBBS, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Dobbs, general delivery, Stanaford, W. Va.
A/2c BENNIE C. MABBITT, 22, son of Coral Mabbitt, Box 32, Sheldon, Ill.
A/2c ELDRIDGE J. LARKINS, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle M. Ewen, Sheldon, Ill.
A/1c JAMES C. COOMER, 22, son of Mrs. Blanche Coomer, 715 South Green, Belascoe, Ky.
S/Sgt. ROBERT P. MALADY, 21, husband of Mrs. Barbara Malady, 682 Parker, Newark, N. J.
A/1c WILLIAM M. SMART, 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Smart, 857 Country Road, Pomona, Calif.
A/1c TROY MATLOCK, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Orlen J. Matlock, Route 2, Box 125, Mulgrow, Okla.
A/1c EUGENE G. GRANGER, 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Granger, 1245 Carroll, Baltimore, Md.
A/2c PAUL G. MOORE, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy E. Moore, 7108 Dale Ave., Richmond Heights, Mo.
A/2c GEORGE E. BLAIR, 20, son of David C. Blair, 5206 California Ave., Seattle, Wash.
A/2c WILLIAM C. MICHAEL, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Michael Sr., Route 1, Oakfield, Tenn.
A/2c JASPER W. HALL, 20.
Staff/Sgt. ANTHONY BUSH, 45.
The five members of the crew were:
HARVEY W. ROGERS, 41, of 696 Glenside Avenue, Lafayette, chief pilot for Transocean Air Lines.
HERMAN E. HUM, 41, of 42 Lake Forest Drive, Daly City, a Transocean captain.
FRED W. PATCHETT, 37, of 2995 Summitt Drive, Burlingame, a co-pilot.
VELMA I. SANDRIDGE, 27, of 2205 East 15th Street, Oakland, stewardess.
MRS. LUCILLE MUNRO CHAPMAN, 41, of El Paso, Tex., second stewardess.

Oakland Tribune California 1953-03-21