McChord Air Force Base, WA Airliner Crash Lands, Sep 1953


McChord Air Force Base, Wash. (AP) -- A huge Northwest Airlines Constellation crash-landed and burned here early Sunday, with 29 of the 32 persons aboard receiving burns and injuries as they leaped from the flaming craft.
With only one wheel down and two of its four engines dead, the plane rolled along the runway at this base south of Tacoma until it lost speed. Then the left wing dipped to the ground and gas in the wing tanks caught fire.
The craft swerved from the runway, skidded to a stop and burned furiously as the 26 passengers, including three babies, and the six crewmen clambered to safety. Among those aboard were MR. and MRS. LESTER ARMOUR, Chicago, of the Armour packing family. They were not injured.
Most of those burned and injured were released after receiving first aid treatment at the base hospital. The others, with the exception of MRS. DORIS ALFRED, 29, Covington, Ky., and her 22-month-old son, TERRY, were to be released Monday. MRS. ALFRED and her son were described in serious condition from third degree burns.
The plane was en route non-stop from Seattle to Chicago when one engine failed. The pilot, CAPT. RUSSELL BIRD of Seattle, decided to make an emergency landing.
The Constellation was the same one in which Mrs. John Eisenhower, wife of Maj. John Eisenhower, the President's son, had arrived at Seattle at 12:25. Young Eisenhower arrived in Seattle Saturday on rotation from Korea. The plane had refueled and was starting the return flight to Chicago when it was forced down.

Walla Walla Union Bulletin Washington 1953-09-07