Bozeman, MT Plane Crash, Jan 1938

The transport was a crumpled mass with the bodies of three victims laying in the snow, the bodies of the seven others crushed together in the forward end of what had been the fuselage.

The impact of the crash into the frozen ground had ripped the wings from the twin-motored plane. Both engines, twisted and torn by the crash and the heat of the burning gasoline which poured from the wing tanks, lay back of the wings.

The fuselage and the tail assembly were unrecognizable.

Gasoline from ruptured tanks was spread over an area about 100 feet in diameter.

Postal authorities awaited the removal of the bodies before attempting to dig for the 13 sacks of mail carried in the ship. No mail was visible around the wreckage.

Postal inspectors MELVIN NORDTHRIP and F. U. MILLS of Spokane, left the ALFRED NIKELS ranch, three miles from the crash scene, with NIEMEYER and Coroner NELSON shortly after noon.

From two and a half to three hours is necessary to complete the round trip from the ranch by bobsled to the crash, four miles away, and back.

An automobile road was opened to the NIKELS ranch.

A party of postal inspectors and newsmen left Bozeman before dawn today for an inspection of the crash scene. They started by automobile but had arranged to transfer to bobsled for the last few miles of the trip. When starting, they estimated the round trip would probably require seven hours or longer.

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Pin-point the crash site in Bridgers?

Researching to see if I can find the crash site. Anyone from Bozeman or Belgrade out there, feel free to contact me.

-Roxanne Kenison, Seattle

Bozeman 1938 crash

Thank you so very much for posting this very detailed account of the crash that killed my grandfather, Irven Stevenson (not JE, but IE). I have a trove of material from my grandmother - thinking there are some stories to tell here. Nick Mamer's daughter Patti became my mother's (Dorothy's) best friend after the death of their fathers. Until now I have found only sketchy accounts of the crash. The detail here brought the scene to life, and I confess, made me sad all over again that I never knew my mother's father other than in pictures and what he wrote. Thank you again - this websiteis a gem!