Moline, IL Airliner Crashes, Aug 1946


Moline, Ill., Aug. 21 -- (AP) -- A twin-engined chartered plane crashed at the Moline airport today, killing the two pilots while the stewardess and 23 passengers aboard were little more than shaken up.
Ten passengers were given first aid treatment for minor injuries. All expressed amazement that they escaped virtually unscratched.
The plane split in half, enabling most passengers to scramble quickly to safety.
As the plane settled after the crash, MRS. HELEN THEUSEN of New York City, tossed her child to another passenger, MRS. R. W. HAMEL, of San Francisco, who ran with it fearing an explosion after the crash. MRS. THEUSEN suffered an ankle injury.
IDA MAE McKENZIE, 21, Miami, Fla., the stewardess, said she suspected something was wrong shortly before the crash, turned on the lights in the cabin, and instructed the passengers to fasten their safety belts. Several passengers said her action undoubtedly saved the lives of some.
The crash was attributed to a fire in one engine which led Pilot Capt. JAMES STEEN, Coral Gables, Fla., to attempt an emergency landing. He circled the field twice, during which the airport landing lights were turned on. Then, on the third try, witnesses said one wing struck the ground during a sharp bank and the plane bounced and crashed.
STEEN was killed instantly and Co-Pilot MARVIN FOX of Elmira, N.Y., died shortly after the arrival at a hospital.
CHARLES BATES, radio operator at the airport, said he noticed the plane at 4:10 a.m. (CST), flying west at about 1,000 feet. When it cucled toward Moline he turned on the field lights and attempted unsuccessfully to contact the plane by radio.
The plane, bound from New York to San Francisco, was chartered by Trans Luxury Airlines of New York and was owned by International Airlines of Chicago.

Charleston Gazette West Virginia 1946-08-22