Great Sitkin Island, AK Plane Crashes Into Mountainside, Sep 1959
AIRLINER CARRYING 16 PEOPLE HITS MOUNTAINSIDE LAST NIGHT.
No Sign Of Survivors Seen From Air.
Anchorage, Alaska (AP) -- An airliner carrying 16 persons crashed and caught fire last night on an Aleutian island peak. A search pilot radioed he saw no sign of life at the scene.
The Reeves Aleutian Airlines DC4 piled into a mountainside at the 2,000-foot level on Great Sitkin Island, 24 miles northeast of its destination at Adak Island.
A navy pilot who sighted wreckage 40 minutes after the crash reported the plane was afire but that the tail section seemed intact.
Later, BOB REEVE, president of the airline, flew over the wreck scene and reported there was no sign of survivors.
An official who declined use of his name said the situation "looked pretty grim."
The navy tug Apache reached the island with a ground party this morning. There was delay in reaching the crash scene over rugged terrain. The coast guard dispatched the cutter Clover from Adak.
The DC4, enroute from Anchorage on a flight that serves sommunities and military bases along the Aleutian island chain, carried five crewmen, two civilians and nine military men -- seven air force, one army and one navy.
The crew members, all of Anchorage, were EUGENE STROUSE, pilot; ROBERT POLLOM, copilot; BRYAN GREEN, flight engineer; and LORRAINE HENDERSON and BETTY BURKE.
STROUSE'S father, O. B. STROUSE, lives at Topeka, Kan.
Names of the two civilians and the nine military men were not released immediately.
Reeves officials said there was no word of trouble from the pilot before the crash. The DC-4 had started its approach to the Adak field when the pilot radioed his last routine report at about 5:15 p.m. (11:45 p.m. EST).
Sitkin, one of many volcanic islands, is more than 1,700 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Communications to Adak failed part of the morning, delaying word of search operations.
Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1959-09-25