Bozeman, MT Plane Crash, Jan 1938

Weather Is Fair
Weather in the Gallatin Valley was fair at the time of the crash. The sky was cloudy but visibility was fair, and a strong west wind was blowing.

Air officials expressed the opinion unofficially the pilot had flown north of his course in an effort to avoid air currents prevalent over the rocky canyons of the Bridgers. The plane crashed about 12 miles off the radio beam. It was north of its regular course.

The Bridger mountains, named for JIM BRIDGER, an early day guide, scout and trail-blazer, lie in the Gallatin National forest. The area is serried by high mountains and deep canyons. The range is a few miles north of Yellowstone National park.

The plane was more than an hour late on its run from Seattle to Billings, Fargo, N. D., and the Twin Cities. It was due in Billings at 3:35 p. m. (MST). Officials estimated the time of the crash at between 4 p. m. And 4:10 p. m.

The plane picked up 38 pounds of air mail at Seattle, and 40 pounds of mail at Spokane.

The ship, newly put into service, had a top speed of 230 miles an hour. It was a sister ship to one that set a new record for the time Sunday between Seattle and Butte, covering the distance in two hours and thirty-three minutes – an average speed of 255 miles an hour.

ERNEST CODE, Northwest Airlines district manager at Spokane, said the last radio message received three from the plane was sent at 3:05 p. m. (MST) stating, "cruising at 9,000 feet with everything O. K."

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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!