Ronkonkoma, NY Private Plane Crash, Aug 1966


Ronkonkoma, N.Y. (AP) -- An Air Force captain, his wife and four children were killed Tuesday when their small rented plane crashed only miles from where they had spent a week swimming and visiting relatives.
Authorities were investigating the possibility that lightning struck Capt. ROBERT T. SHAW'S six-seat Piper Comanche. The plane tumbled into an unopened section of the Long Island Expressway, killing the captain, 32, his wife, JOAN, 28, and their children, DEBORAH, 9, CHRISTINE, 8, JEFF, 6, and JAMES, 3.
A witness said he saw a flash of lightning, heard a thunder clap, then watched pieces of the plane fall from the sky.

The Evening Standard Uniontown Pennsylvania 1966-08-24


I thought the Shaw family lived on the SOUTH shore. in Freeport?

From the AP: "...The family had been visiting the captain's mother, Lillian Shaw of Freeport, N.Y. and were heading back to Little Rock, Ark., Air Force Base..."

Seeing the Shaw family during their last week alive.

I remember seeing the family during their stay at their grandmother's house on the north shore of long island. Our 2 families were staying next door. My brother and his friends were playing with the children all week. The days before I looked at the couple, this family and thought what a beautiful family this is. We heard they were getting ready to leave, I believe my mom and dad and the adults of the other family. The sky grew very dark that afternoon. There was a flash in the sky. I don't recall if our moms looked at each other and commented they would be in the air by now. A short while later when we had left the beach the gardner came over to the house and said he had tried to get to the priest at the church be no no was available.I do believe it was the gardener who broke the news and sloyly friends began to gather to comfort Mrs. Shaw, Captain Shaw's mother. Never have I had as hollow a feeling remembering people who were beautiful, playing alive and in love. I could not cry that day. For some reason I remembered them this morning. I cried today.