Transcribed from Evening Independent, St. Petersburg, FL, March 16, 1962, p. 1:

Plane, 107 Sought

93 Army Men to Viet Nam.

 

MANILA (AP) — U.S. military planes and ships pressed a hunt between Guam and the Philippines tonight for a chartered airliner which vanished at sea with 107 persons, chiefly American army men, on a flight to wartorn South Viet Nam.

A full 24 hours had passed since the four-engine Superconstellation, owned by the California-based Flying Tiger Line, radioed its last message. This was a routine report to Guam from a position 270 miles west of that U.S. base in the Western Pacific, as it headed for Clark Air Force base, north of Manilla.

Search craft crisscrossed 75,000 square miles of the Pacific fruitlessly by daylight and were continuing through the night. Weather was excellent and the sea normal.

IN BURBANK, Calif., striking coincidences and unexpected circumstances in the ill-fated flights of two big planes taking American military help to south Viet Nam led the owner of the planes today to raise these possibilities:

1. Sabotage of one or both planes.

2. Possible kidnapping of the craft missing with 107 persons aboard.

But the Flying Tiger Line stressed it has no evidence of either possibility and they are strictly in the realm of wild guesses.

One plane, carrying secret military cargo, crashed and burned while landing in the Aleutians, killing one man. The other is missing out of Guam.

The identical four-engine 1049A Super Constellations both left Travis Air Force Base, Calif., at 9:45 Pacific Standard Time Wednesday. Both were bound for Saigon on flights for the Defense Department. Both mysteriously hit trouble a few hours later, though they’d taken different routes.

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