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Cajon Pass, CA Army Transport Crash, June 1933




San Bernardino, Cal., June 1 -- (AP) -- The treachery of fog and a desperate effort to escape from it which failed by a slim margin caused a crash of a transport plane of the United States Army Air Corps against a mountain side in the Cajon Pass today, killing three enlisted men.
Two commissioned officers were injured, one seriously and another, the pilot, slightly, and two other enlisted men were hurt critically. Surgeons said the injured, removed to a hospital here, apparently have a good chance for recovery.

Dead And Injured.
The dead:
Pvt. ADDISON C. SPENCER, Riverside, Cal.
Pvt. CHARLES M. LEADBETTER, Roseburg, Ore.
Pvt. L. D. ROMANA, Syracuse, N.Y.
The injured:
Lt. E. D. KENNEDY, Kansas City, Mo., fractured leg and possible internal injuries.
Pvt. SEYMOUR R. DECKER, Elmira, N.Y., broken right leg and possible internal injuries.
Pvt. PAUL L. BLINKS, Alice, Tex., broken left arm and possible internal injuries.
Lt. CHARLES M. McHENRY, Los Angeles, pilot, bruises.
The tragedy occurred as LT. McHENRY slipped the big transport through the heavy fog overlying the San Bernardino Mountains. Enroute from the home base at March Field, near here, to Crissey Field, San Francisco.
McHENRY told persons who talked to him after the crash, about 30 miles up in the mountains from here, that he had been flying low and following the railroad tracks which wind through the pass and out to the Mojave Desert to the east.
Suddenly he saw what he thought was a hole in the fog. It appeared to be between two foothills. Opening the throttles of his motors, he headed for upper air. The big ship crawled past the first foothill, but not the second. The motors could not pull the ship to sufficient altitude quickly enough and the plane tore into the earth and was wrecked.
The accident today at first brought confusing reports of a mid-air collision between two planes. Later this was disproved when the second March Field plane in the air, an observation ship flown by LT. WILLIAM TRIMBLE, was located safely at its destination, Las Vegas, Nev.

Galveston Daily News Texas 1933-06-02

article | by Dr. Radut