Transcribed from Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI, March 17, 1962, p. 4:
2 State Soldiers On Lost Airliner
Two Wisconsin soldiers were among the 107 persons aboard the Flying Tiger Super-Constellation airliner which vanished Thursday in the Pacific Ocean, the Defense Department said Friday.
They were identified as Sp. 4C Roger L. Oliver, husband of Mrs. Ramona K. Oliver of Victory (Vernon County), and Pvt. Jack C. Packard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley L. Packard of Lodi (Columbia County).
A spokesman for Mrs. Oliver said her husband was 21 years old and had been in the Army about a year and a half. He was a native of Victory, where his parents still live.
Mrs. Packard said her son was 18 and had been in the Army since last July. He was a graduate of Lodi High School and has three brothers and a sister.
The plane was en route to Saigon, South Vietnam, where the 93 GI’s aboard were scheduled to relieve other American soldiers who have been helping train Vietnamese troops in the fight against Viet Cong guerrillas. The plane disappeared between Guam and the Philippines.
Others aboard were 11 American plane crew members and 3 South Vietnamese.
Ships and planes of the U.S. armed forces crisscrossed 15,000 square miles of ocean looking for a clue to the airliner’s fate.
Loss of all aboard would make it the third worst single-plane disaster in aviation history.
Army Secretary Stahr said in Washington a “maximum effort” was being made to locate the plane.
“We have not given up hope that it will be found and that those aboard are safe,” Stahr said.
Striking coincidences and unexplained circumstances in the flights of that airliner and another plane taking American military help to South Vietnam led the owner of the planes Friday to raise these possibilities:
- Sabotage of one or both planes.
- Possible kidnaping of the craft missing with 107 persons aboard, mostly trained American jungle troops.
But the Flying Tiger Line stressed in Burbank, Calif., it has no evidence of either possibility and they are strictly in the realm of wild guesses.
Coincidence was not ruled out.
The other plane, carrying secret military cargo, crashed and burned while landing in the Aleutians, killing one man.