Centerville, TN Plane Crashes Seeking Landing Area, Oct 1943

THINK ACCIDENT OCCURS TO PLANE CARRYING TEN.

Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 16 -- (AP) -- An American airliner carrying six passengers and four crew members was reported this morning to have crashed and burned last night near Centerville, Tenn. All occupants of the plane were believed to have died.

Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 16, (AP) -- American Air Lines said early today it would "have to assume" an accident had occurred to one of its passenger planes five hours overdue here from Nashville, Tenn., with 10 persons aboard.
Capt. B. Payne, chief pilot for the Memphis area, made the statement at 5 a.m. after an earlier announcement that the missing ship had enough gas to keep it aloft only until 2:35 a.m. (CWT).
Payne said army planes from Memphis and Nashville would join in a widespread search shortly before daybreak. The army declined to reveal the number of planes but Payne said there would be
"quite a few." He added that two company ships and the civil air patrol also would participate.
The plane is believed to have gone down in the Tennessee River area, about mid-day between Nashville and Memphis, Payne said. He described that location as "pretty rough" for a forced landing.
Earlier reports had placed the plane over Chester county, about 60 miles this side of the river.
New York headquarters of American Air Lines said six passengers and a crew of four were aboard the plane when it left Nashville. The pilot was listed as Capt. DALE R. DRYER of Cleveland.
The others were listed as follows:
Passengers:
W. H. CLARK, JR., Republic bank building, Dallas, Tex.
BLAN R. MAXWELL, an attorney, of Memphis.
Aviation Cadet G. A. HOLLINGSWORTH, of Nashville classification center, reported on his was to visit his mother, Mrs. Anna H. Hollingsworth of Memphis, who is ill.
V. E. MILLER, of Kimbrough Towers, Memphis.
MARVIN RISEN, Nashville.
A man or woman named GAYNESS, no address listed.
Crew members:
First Officer W. J. BRAND, Cleveland.
Stewardess MARGARET JEWEL, Cleveland.
Capt. ROBERT GAY, Memphis, who was making a route check.

Fitchburg Sentinel Massachusetts 1943-10-16

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TEN PERSONS KILLED IN AIRLINER CRASH.

SEARCHING FOR LANDING SPOT, PLANE CRASHES.

Centerville, Tenn., Oct. 16 -- (U.P.) -- An American Airlines plane circled desperately for many minutes over dense forests in search of a landing place last night, suddenly zoomed high into the air and then plummeted to the bottom of a deep gulch, killing all 10 persons aboard, eye-witnesses said today.
The dead:
Crew members:
Capt. DALE R. DRYER, Cleveland, pilot; First Officer W. J. BRAND, Cleveland; Capt. ROBERT GAY, Memphis; Stewardess MARGARET JEWELL SCHMUCK, Akron, Ohio.
Passengers:
W. H. CLARK, JR., Dallas, Tex.; BLAN R. MAXWELL, Memphis; Aviation Cadet G. A. HOLLINGSWORTH, Memphis; D. E. MILLER, Memphis; MARVIN RISEN, Nashville; Capt. STUART GAYNESS, a through passenger en route from Washington, D. C.
Witnesses who viewed the wreckage said the plane did not burn.
"It was just crumpled up like you'd take a paper bag and blow it up and then bust it," Justice of the Peace W. M. AYDELOTTE said.
Woodsmen saw the plane in trouble and heard the crash but failed to report it, presumably because there are no telephones in the area, AYDELOTTE said.
The crumpled plane was found this morning by JOHN DURISON, woodcutter, who was going to a neighbor's home to borrow a team of mules. As he walked along a thicket-crowded dirt road at the top of the gulch he glanced over the side and saw the huge transport near the bottom.

The Star Anniston Alabama 1943-10-17

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Comments

The check pilot

The check pilot, Capt. Robert Gay, was the AA ground school class and room mate of Ernest K. Gann, famed aviation and screen writer. Capt. Gay is referred to as "Gay" in the novel "Fate is the Hunter" as well as Gann's actual autobiography, "Hostage to Fortune."