Glenview, IL Sightseeing Plane Crash, June 1933




Chicago, June 12. -- (UP) -- From relatives and friends today officals gradually pieced together individual stories of six of the nine persons who died in a flaming airplane that crashed with its cargo of world's fair joy-seekers.
Although the bodies of the victims were burned beyond recognition all but three had been identified today by jewelry and indestructable personal effects.
The tragedy, one of the major disasters of heavier than air craft was all the more heartbreaking because of the anxiety of relatives and friends of world's fair visitors who feared the unidentified charred bodies might include that of one close to them.
The big Sikorsky amphibian which crashed near Glenview 30 miles north of here after crippling itself in a vain attempt to land on the lake at the fair, carried with it to a painful death its crew of two, a pair of old school chums reunited for a holiday at the fair, a Chicagoan and his sweetheart and three others. Employes at the fair grounds still believed today that there were 10 persons aboard the ship when it took off but careful search disclosed no more than 9 bodies and officials agreed on that figure as the death toll.
CARL VICKERY and H. E. JACOBS were the pilot and mechanic, respectively, on the voyage that started auspiciously, as had many others, with passengers waving a cheery goodbye to spectators on shore as the ship soared off the water and away on a 20-minute cruise.
But when the amphibian, once the sky chariot of SAMUEL INSULL, utilities baron, returned to land the lake had roughened in a sudden squall and in the landing a pontoon cracked and the wing structure weakened.
VICKERY pointed the ship skyward again and ashed toward the land airport to the north where he could use the retractable landing gear with which the ship was equipped. But he never made it. THrongs along the highways saw the ship begin to wobble short of the goal; saw it lose a wing, nose dive into the earth and burst into flames.
EDWARD G. SCHALLER, Storm Lake, Ia., and JOSEPH G. ROBINSON, schoolmates at Culver, Ind., military school years ago, had reunited for a holiday at the fair and were among those who died. EDWARD M. FAY had taken his sweetheart, MISS STEPHANIE OGUREK, for a day's outing at the exposition and they, too, died.
Of the remaining three bodies one had been identified tentatively as MRS. IDA GOODWIN, of Long Island, N.Y. ROBINSON likewise was from New York. The pilot was from Chicago and the Mechanic from Wheeling, W. Va.

Chicago, June 12. -- (UP) -- A gay party of World's Fair pleasure seekers was burned to death late yesterday in an airplane crash so devastating that even the number of victims and the identity of some remained uncertain today.
Charred bodies of nine victims, including the pilot and his mechanic, were removed from the twisted wreckage of a Sikorsky Amphibian which plunged to the ground at Glenview, a suburb 30 miles from Chicago. Owners of the plane, which was fighting toward an airport after being crippled in an attempt landing at the World's Fair Harbor, believed a tenth victim, possibly a woman aboard.
Six victims were identified. They were:
CARL V. VICKERY, Chicago, pilot.
HARRY JACOBS, Wheeling, W. Va., mechanic.
EDWARD SCHALLER, 23, Storm Lake, Iowa.
J. T. ROBINSON, 21, New York. (His parents were believed to live at the Hotel Ansonia, New York).
EDWARD M. FAY, Chicago.
ROBINSON was the son of Joseph Robinson, 565 Fifth Street, New York City, an official of the Travelers Life Insurance Company. SCHALLER was the son of George J. Schaller, Storm Lake, Ia., a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
One of the two other victims was a woman. She tentatively was identified as MRS. IDA GOODWIN, 47, formerly of Missoula, Mont., a dietician in a private school on Long Island, N. Y.
The Robinson family came from New York to attend graduation of another son from Culver last week.
VICKERY, a veteran army flier and JACOBS, an experienced mechanic, were found in the control room. SCHELLER and ROBINSON were identified by the latter's father. Both were students at the University of Chicago and formerly attended Culver Military Academy together.
All the victims, trapped in the cabin of the ship when it plunged from a height of 150 feet, were burned beyond recognition. SCHALLER'S identification was established by a Culver class ring.
Identification of the other victims, officials feared, may not be completed for days. They were among the thousands of weekend visitors at the fair and may have been from distant parts of the country.
Thousands of Sunday afternoon motorists saw the huge plane, once owned by Samuel Insull, wobble in the air and plunge into the ground as a wing crumpled. Fire enveloped the torn ship, shooting flames nearly a hundred feet into the air.
Witnesses rushed to the scene but the intense heat prevented any possible rescue. They reported that one woman apparently attempted to leap from the cabin just before the plane crashed, and that arms of others were seen extending from the wreckage, beckoning for help.
The plane, the "Northern Light" was making its second passenger flight of the day. A sudden squall had blown up a few minutes before, making the surface of Lake Michigan shoppy and rough.
VICKERY had completed the customary 20 minutes flight and was zooming down into the harbor. A pontoon touched the surface for a moment and then VICKERY shot the ship back into the air. A moment later he attempted a second landing. This time a pontoon dipped deep into the water and the ship lurched to one side.
Attendants and mechanics at the port said they heard a ripping sound. They at first believed a pontoon was damaged but later decided the right wing had cracked.
VICKERY apparently heard the crack and, fearing a pontoon was injured, threw the plane back into the air and started for the airport at Glenview. The crash occurred a short distance from the field.
Each of the passengers was covered by a blanket insurance policy taken out two weeks ago with the U. S. Aviation Insurance Co., of New York, officials operating the plane said. The policy provides for $20,000 for each of the accident victims. A $500,000 accident policy carried by a Century of Progress exposition also may apply, officials said.

Oelwein Daily Resister Iowa 1933-06-12