Scranton, PA Air Force Reserve Plane Crash, Jan 1966



Scranton, Pa. (AP) -- An AIr Force Reserve C-119 Flying Boxcar crashed into a house near here Saturday and burst into flames, killing one crewman, destroying the home and setting four other houses ablaze.
Four persons were injured and the pilot of the plane listed as missing.
The dead man was identified at Scranton State General Hospital as Capt. WILLIAM J. GARIN, 35, West Hartford, Conn. His body was found with his parachute suspended from a tree in a wooded area about one quarter of a mile from the crash.
Authorities reported the plane was on a training mission from Bradley Field near Hartford, Conn., to Binghamton, N.Y., when it crashed along partially frozen Lake Henry near the borderline of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties in northeastern Pennsylvania.
One of the injured was a civilian passenger, YACHIM HOLOSHOCK, 45, of Springfield, Mass., who parachuted to safety from about 2,000 feet.
HOLOSHOCK, admitted to the hospital for observation, said one of the two engines of the craft "blew up," causing the pilot to lose control.
HOLOSHOCK identified the missing pilot as Maj. ANTHONY BANAKUS.
"I guess I was lucky," HOLOSHOCK said from the hospital. "It's the Major I'm worried agout,"
In describing the crash, he said:
"The engine blew up .. it tore the mountings right off .. our radio connections were torn out, too, so we decided to bail out."
"They told me to go first. It must have been around 2,000 feet. I never knew what happened to them. I was worried about where I would land and I was watching as I went down. I ended up in some trees. It wasn't too bad," he told the Scranton Times.
He said he was on board as an observer.
The others injured are MRS. ROBERTA COATES, 37, and her son, ROBERT, 15, and MARTIN F. MEMOLO, 53, of Scranton.
The boy and MEMOLO were outside the home when the plane came plunging down. MRS. COATES was in the house, with a housekeeper, MRS. ESTHER APPEL, and another son, KENNETH, 14. HECTOR COATES and two daughters escaped injury.
MRS. COATES and MEMELO were listed in serious condition. All the injured suffered burns.
The Federal Aviation Agency at the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre AIrport said it had been ini touch with the plane at 12:17 p.m., and that the pilot said one engine was gone and he was ditching.
The plane swished across the treetops on its way down and slammed to the earth with its nose hitting between the large house occupied by the COATES and an adjacent cottage. ITs wings sheared off other cottages in the area, leaving four homes leveled or burned by the crash and fire.
The Air Force dispatched a team of investigators and paramedics from the Olmsted AIr Force Base, Middletown, Pa., and later sealed off the area.

Lowell Sun Massachusetts 1966-01-09


A tragic day that will always

A tragic day that will always stay with all us who were affected by it. Sorry for the loss of your brother Bobby.

Hope all is well with you and your family.

Ev Nichols.

The accident tore apart many

The accident tore apart many families. You grew up without your brother and my mom grew up without her father. I'm sure the Banakus family shares a similar sentiment.

your brother

Very sorry for the tragedy that found your family.
Years ago I was dating someone from the lake. She knew your family. While riding around West Scranton one day we wandered into a mausoleum. She mentioned that she thought your brother was interred in the area. When she stepped away she saw that she had been leaning by your brotherhs name.

the airforce plane UNDERSHOT

the airforce plane UNDERSHOT the lake, landed next to the side of my house, another 100 feet and he would have successfully ditched.. killed my brother and tore apart our family. I was there too, pure dumb luck that I survived..

2nd plane crash

I live on cortez rd in between lake henry and the archbald mountain. The metal you found was from a plane wreck but not the same one from this story. The plane that crashed at lake henry never passed over the archbald mt. It was coming in from the direction of hamlin. Infact one person the parachuted landed in a field near saw mill road. The pilot was aiming to land in the lake but he over shot it and crashed just past the lake literally by about 100 ft. The foundation of the house that was destroyed is still there just covered with lots of brush and dirt now. Then there was another plane crash on the archbald mountain years later. That wreck was a little single engine personally owned plane. The guy couldnt see and flew into the side of the mountain. The guy actually lived and the couldnt get to the plane easily so they just left it there. Over the years people stole bits and pieces of the plane today there is only part of the frame left. So if you were on the archbald mountain that is most likely the plane crash you came upon and like many other peoe you tried to get a little piece of that plane as well.

plane crash

Back in the 90's I was hunting on the Archbald mountain. It was in the fall and the ground was covered with leaves. I was going down a hillside when I slipped on something under the leaves. When I looked to see what I slipped on I discovered a smooth flat metallic object. upon removing all the debris I finally uncovered what appeared to be a large flap from the wing of an airplane. It was deffinitly from a plane. I tried to carry it out of the woods but it was too heavy to make the long trip back to the road. It probably was from the plane that crashed at the lake.