In Lake Michigan, IL United Airline Plane Crashes, Aug 1965



United Airlines Plane Vanishes.

Chicago (UPI) -- The Coast Guard today sighted bodies and debris in the choppy waters of Lake Michigan in the area where a jet airliner crashed with 30 persons aboard.
The Coast Guard cutter 'Arundal' said it had picked up four bodies. A spokesman for the Great Lakes Training Center Glenview Naval Air Station said the cutter 'Woodbine' also reported sighting bodies floating in the water.
A small fleet of private and government ships discovered large amounts of debris about 16 miles due east of the North Shore suburbs of Lake Forest and Winnetka.
The 'Woodbine' had command of the search operations for the downed New York-to-Chicago United Airlines flight. The first debris was sighted at 6:30 a.m. (CDT), more than nine hours after the Boeing 727 went down in a burst of flames.
The discovery came just as dawn broke over the storm-whipped lake. Boats, planes and helicopters had searched all night for the airliner which dropped into the lake without warning minutes away from an airport.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation joined the Civil Aeronautics Board in investigating the disaster. No cause -- including foul play -- was ruled out in the investigation.
Almost simultaneously with the report from the 'Woodbine', other searchers reported large amounts of oil being washed onto the Park Avenue beach in the North Shore suburb of Highland Park.
The debris sighted by the 'Woodbine' included a five-foot section of fiberglass with a light at one end. Several other pieces of debris were in the area.
Coast Guard Cmdr. GERALD APPLEGATE speculated that the jet went down 11 miles east of Fort Sheridan, Ill., the point shere it dropped off the O'Hare radar scope. The lake depth at that point is about 150 feet. Prevailing wind conditions could have drifted the debris and luggage to the point where the 'Woodbine' sighted them, APPLEGARE said. Water depth there was 260 feet.
All search vessels headed toward the area where the 'Woodbine' had made its find. Radio communications were bad due to the storm. At the time of the crash, the skies over the lake were calm and there was no rain.
The discovery did little, at least immediately, to lift the mystery surrounding the cause of the crash.
The new, three-jet aircraft was cruising at 6,000 feet, awaiting landing instructions from Chicago's O'Hare Airport, when it disappeared from radar scopes and plunged toward the bottom of the lake.
Investigators said there appeared to be no possibility of collision or pilot error causing the crash. They said any speculation concerning the possibility of a bomb would have to wait upon examination of the wreckage.
An emergency morgue in the Highland Park Hospital awaited the bodies of victims.
A heavy summer rain storm had whipped the lake just before the 'Woodbine,' ordered to the area from Grand Haven, Mich., reported its discovery. There was barely enough light to see by at the time. The rain had grounded search planes before dawn.
In New York it was reliably reported the FBI agents were checking to discover whether any of the passengers aboard the UAL Flight 389 had taken out large sums of insurance before the plane left La Guardia field at 8:45 p.m. (EDT).
MARLIN W. JOHNSON, chief FBI agent in Chicago, joined the night-long lakefront search. He said the FBI's role was a routine one, that of standing by to aid in fingerprint identification of the victims.
A team of CBA investigators flew from Washington to direct the investigation.
CLARENCE M. SAYEN, Seattle, Wash., former president of the Airline Pilots' Association, who was killed in the jet airliner crash in Lake Michigan, ia a brother of ALBERT SAYEN, 937 O'Sheridan St. MRS. ALBERT SAYEN is an employe of Madison Newspapers, Inc.

Passengers, Crew of Crashed Plane.
New York (UPI) -- Here is a list of the persons aboard the United Airlines 727 jet which crashed Monday night in Lake Michigan.
The crew:
Pilot Capt. MELVILLE W. TOWLE, 42, Wyckoff, N. J.
1st Officer ROGER M. WHITEZELL, 34, North Plainfield, N. J.
2nd Officer MAURICE L. FOMMER, 26, Elmont, N. Y.
Stewardesses PHYLLIS M. RICHERT, Chicago; SANDRA H. FUHRER, Mount Prospect, Ill.; JEANEAT G. BEAVER, Long Beach, Calif.
MISS KAY BRICK, New York City.
J. B. CARUSO, Harrington Park, N. J.
KENNETH J. CUMMINGS, Manchester, N. H.
SANFORD HOROWITZ, Great Neck, Long Island, N. Y.
JOSEPH W. DULUCA, New Hartford, N. Y.
H. F. FULLER, Evanston, Ill.
RITA MARCONI, South Portland, Maine.
DONNA R. MILLER, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
KALMAN MUSIN, Des Moines, Iowa.
DANIEL POLL, New York City.
CLARENCE M. SAYEN, Seattle, Wash., former president of the Airline Pilots Association.
JAMES H. THOMAS, Springfield, Ill.
MRS. B. JOHNSON, Pine Bluff Road, Morris, Ill.
BENJAMIN ROYTMAN, Hastings-On-The-Husdon, N. Y.
BEATRICE CARTWRIGHT, Bedford Heights, Ohio.

Capital Times Madison Wisconsin 1965-08-17


1st Officer Roger Whitezell

He was my husbands Uncle. Our Aunt is the only Whitezell left. Shortly after Uncle Roger passed away my husbands father was killed by a drunk driver. I wish there was a nother forum to speak to survivors if any?

Name of Deceased Crew Member is mispelled

2nd Officer MAURICE L. FOMMER, 26, Elmont, N. Y. This information is incorrect. The name of the 2nd Officer/Navigator on this flight was MAURICE LEE FEMMER.

Flight 389 Victims

Is there any way to find out more information regarding the victims of this flight?

Mel Towle

Mel Towle was a Capital Airlines pilot before the merger with United

Misspelled Name

Should be Martha Jean Kuphal, Wilmette, Ill.

The Stewardess from Long

The Stewardess from Long Beach, CA, her name is mis-spelled. It should be Jeneal G. Beaver. Thank you

Incorrect spelling if last name

Stewardess Phyllis M. Richert should be listed as Phyllis M. Rickert confirmed in NTSB report adopted December 19, 1967.