Parrottsville, TN Air Crash Kills 39, July 1964

NEWPORT CRASH KILLS 39

AEC DATA ON PLANE; FBI CALLED.

Newport, Tenn. -- A United Air Lines Viscount turbo-prop with 39 aboard crashed and burned at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in the East Tennessee foothills of the Smokies near here. There apparently were no survivors.
Police said there was no sign of life around the wreckage.
"I looked up and saw bodies flying everywhere," said Asst. Police Chief ALVIN WEBB.
WEBB said many of the bodies he saw at the scene were unrecognizable.
ALFAN ATKIN, manager of the Knoxville airport, said the plane was Flight 823, bound from Washington to Knoxville.
The plane crashed in a wooded hollow off U.S. 411, 8 miles northeast of this town near the Tennessee-North Carolina line.
It was disclosed in Washington that United Airlines has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to make an inquiry into the crash. FBI disaster specialists also were sent to the scene to help with the identification of victims.
One of the searchers said that "papers concerning Oak Ridge, site of one of the Atomic Energy Commission's largest installations, were found in the wreckage and were confiscated by an FBI agent."
Oak Ridge sources reported four widely known blood specialists were killed in the crash.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory officials said four hemotologists were scheduled to arrive in Knoxville aboard the plane for a conference on blood platelets opening here today.
The men were listed at :
DR. ALFRED LEITNER, Harvard Medical School.
DR. R. H. LEVIN, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.
DR. MELTON CROSS, School of Medicine, State University of New York, Buffalo.
DR. P. H. GEISLER, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia, BILL DONAHUE, a supervisor for United Air Lines, said Flight 823 originated in Philadelphia. He said it was scheduled to stop at Washington, Knoxville and Huntsville, Ala., where it would terminate.
Wreckage was scattered over a wide area.
United officials refused to release a passenger list immediately.
The Federal Aviation agency (FAA) in Washington said there was no indication of trouble from the pilot at last radio contact. The FAA said there were scattered thunderstorms in the area, but that weather conditions generally were good.
MRS. J. E. WALDROP, who lives on a farm near Newport, asid she saw a flash in the sky and watched the plane come down. "The plane crashed into the side of a hill," she said.
The FAA said the pilot radioed at 6:03 p.m. that he was canceling his instrument flight plan. It meant that the pilot, for some reason, had departed from the flight plan filed in Washington.
The Cooke [sic - see comment below] County, Tenn., sheriff's office said ambulances and the county coroner had been dispatched to the scene near U. S. Highway 411 next to the community of Parrottsville, about 7 miles north of here.
"The plane was terribly disintegrated," said DENVER TRENTHAM, who lives on a farm near the crash scene. "A part of one engine was about 1,000 feet from the rest of the wreckage."
"There were no seats -- just small pieces of metal," he said.
In Washington, a spokesman for United said the plane carried 35 passengers and a crew of four.
A Civil Aeronautics Board spokesman said there was a 4,000 ceiling, 30 miles visibility, and scattered clouds.

DID BODIES FALL FROM AIRLINER?
Newport, Tenn. (AP) -- Several persons saw objects falling from the United Air Lines plane before it crashed.
They were unwilling to say whether they were bodies.
As soon as the Newport Emergency and Rescue Squad arrived. Capt. WILLIAM CURETON sent two men to the next ridge to investigate the reports that bodies might have fallen there. The search is incomplete, but nothing had been found late Thursday night.
The steep slope where the plane crashed is known as Trentham's Hollow. It's grown over heavily with trees and poison ivy.
A gravel road leads to the scene from U.S. 411, about 2 1/2 miles away.
Rescue squads plan to bulldoze a road up the other side of the ridge today to reach the bodies.
The rescue squads normally do not move bodies when they reach a disaster scene. However, Thursday they were wrapping them in sheets to be sent to a morgue at Newport soon after they arrived.
The scene was so crowded with men, women and children that officers had to rope it off to do their work.

PASSENGERS
Chicago (AP) -- The following is United Air Lines' list of passengers aboard the airliner which crashed Thursday night at Newport, Tenn. No addresses were available early this morning.
MRS. R. ANDERSON.
MASTER R. ANDERSON.
MISS N. ANDERSON, 6 years old.
MISS LINDA BAKER.
J. M. BURROUGHS.
MRS. M. CHESTNEY.
MR. R. CRAMER.
DR. MELTON CROSS.
B. E. CROWDER.
MR. D. DePONT.
MR. S. FORD.
DR. T. GEISLER.
MR. R. HALL.
MRS. R. HARPER.
MASTER R. HARPER, 4 years old.
M. H. HALL.
MR. R. HANGER.
MR. P. HESTER.
MR. J. HODDINS.
DR. R. LEVIN.
MR. A. LITNER.
MR. G. LOUPOLE.
MR. J. McHALE.
F. O'BRIEN.
MR. S. ORLEANS.
MR. P. POHL.
MRS. P. POHL.
MRS. E. RICHARDSON.
P. ROARK.
S. ROESCHEN.
AL SCHAFFER.
MR. H. TAYLOR.
MR. S. TOSCA.
MR. W. WHITTAKER.
MR. R. STUART.

Kingsport News Tennessee 1964-07-10

Comments

Parrotsville plane crash

My Aunt, Freda Ruth, and her son, Ricky Harper died on that plane. They have a memorial stone here in Knoxville. She was my mother's sister.. It happened 4 years before i was born...

i remember very well when

i remember very well when this happened . I was 8 years old and at asoftball game with my dad in morristown. I remember us getting their not long after it happened. Fire and ambulances everywhere, I think about this from time to time. My grandparents were from cocke county. I remember them telling me that they stored all the bodies or what was left of them at the old american legion building . Yes i remember that night well.

I would like to add to this

I would like to add to this article that this airline disaster took place in

COCKE COUNTY TENNESSEE not Cooke county
Thank you

My uncle was with the rescue

My uncle was with the rescue squad & CAP & helped with this crash. He said it was the worst & saddest crash he ever had to deal with.

R H Levin was my uncle

Is there any follow-up to this story? I was 11 when it happened. I never knew until I read this that there may have been foul play. I'd appreciate any info anyone has.

My Daddy died on this plane

My Daddy died on this plane 47 years ago today. Still miss him every day.

New Website About Parrottsville Crash

It's new with additional information added frequently.

Unitedflight823.com

If you do a net search, you

If you do a net search, you will find my website. I am unable to respond to you with a url, because gendisasters considers this spam.

Use some key words and it will appear. Hint: Your uncle's name appears on the site.

Much information from a variety of sources.

My Dad died in this plane crash

My Dad was killed in this plane crash when I was 6 years old. My Mom didn't talk about it much at all and suffered greatly as a result. It wasn't until recently that she even told us where it actually happened. When researching on line, I discovered that there was controversy over the cause which I never knew. It angers me to know that innocent lives were lost and this could have been a planned incident? I have never stopped thinking about this since the day it happened and I never really go the chance to know him.

My grandpa died in this

My grandpa died in this crash when my dad was 2 :/ mr.J McHale