Boerne, TX Coast Guard Plane Crash, Dec 1938
COAST GUARD OFFICIALS ON WAY TO TEXAS TO PROBE PLANE CRASH.
FATAL TO "MERCY PILOT" AND THREE PASSENGERS.
FOUR ARE BLOWN TO BITS IN BLAST AFTER CRACK-UP.
BOERNE WATCHERS DIFFER ON WHEN BLAZE STARTED.
San Antonio, Dec. 20 -- (AP) -- Coast guard officials from Washington were en route here today to investigate an airplane crash and explosion which blew to bits a famous "mercy pilot" and his three passengers last night near Boerne, Tex.
The dead, identified by belt buckles and papers in bill folds, were:
LIEUT. PERRY B. LYONS, 34, pilot, unit commander of the United States coast guard at El Paso and veteran of many a hazardous airplane rescue expedition.
C. H. TEAGUE, United States naval ensign, El Paso.
RUPERT H. GERMAINE, 32, coast guard, El Paso.
GEORGE O. LATHAM, enlisted man, Fort Bliss, El Paso.
Justice of the Peace H. L. Davis of Boerne said he believed the plane exploded before it caught fire, although several persons were of the opinion it was burning before it struck the ground.
The pieces of bodies were gathered up and sent to San Antonio by Davis and C. E. Haley, El Paso coast guardsman. The bodies were held at Fort Sam Houston hospital until identified positively and pending instructions from El Paso.
LIEUT. LYONS, writer of magazine articles and stories, also had written many a thrilling chapter in the records of the coast guard service.
While serving at Salem, Mass., LIEUT. LYONS frequently flew an ambulance plane through icy weather or black night to aid some stricken seamen aboard a slow-moving vessel.
Noteworthy was his rescue work during the Ohio valley and New England floods of 1936 when he piled up many hours of flying. Last winter from El Past he took a plane into a West Texas blizzard to aid in spotting marooned motorists in the panhandle. Last summer he flew over the Grand Canyon to locate a missing party of scientists running the Colorado by boat. He had been cited for bravery several times.
The Abilene Reporter-News Texas 1938-12-21