New York City, NY Hydroplane Crash, July 1939



New York, July 15. (AP) -- A coast guard hydroplane which flew 150 miles out to sea today and picked up a sick sailor from a scientific vessel, crashed in taking off again, killing three men and injuring five others.
The plane sank before the three bodies could be recovered; the five other men were rescued by the ship, the Ketch Atlantis from the Oceanographic Institute at Woods Hole, Mass.
Medical aid for the survivors, the extent of whose injuries was not learned immediately, was rushed tonight on the coast guard cutter Campbell, after the cutter Pontchartrain, with no medical facilities, had stood by the Atlantis several hours.
The sick man, for whom the hydroplane left New York this morning, was GEORGE TEMPLE PRIEST, 36, former Boston real estate man who had gone to sea for his health, and had been stricken with pneumonia.
He was killed when the plane crashed along with Lieut. WILLIAM LEE CLEMMER, skipper of the plane, and JOHN RADAN, JR., aviation pilot of Bessemer, Pa.
When the plane crashed, the Atlantis made futile attempts to place a line on the plane and then rescued RUSSELL D. HAYES, a yeoman of Patchogue, N.Y.; FRANK L. EVERS, radio man of Brooklyn; CARL SIMON, mechanic of Williamsville, N.Y.; CHARLES R. WHELAN, mechanic of Brooklyn and WALTER B. SALTER, also a Brooklyn mechanic. HAYES and EVERS were reported as suffering fractures of the spine.

Pilots Warned.
Two coast guard planes which arrived later were warned by Captain Frederick McMurray of the Atlantis not to land.
PRIEST, a native of Watertown, Mass., shipped on the Atlantis as a seaman to recuperate from ill health. It was his first trip to sea. He was employed by an aviation company in Falmouth, Mass., and is survived by his widow and a son, Benjamin, 5.

Kingsport Times Tennessee 1939-07-16


Those who also died.

In addition to the sea man George T. Priest there were two Coast Guardsmen who died. They were the commander Lt. William L. Clemmer and the Navigator AP1 John Radan, Jr. For those who are aviation oriented, and always frustrated by reporters who miss essential facts, the flying boat was a Hall PH-2 with the Coast Guard identity V164.