Scranton, PA Air Force Reserve Plane Crash, Jan 1966
AF RESERVE PLANE PLUNGES INTO HOUSES.
ONE DEAD, FOUR HURT.
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