Noted Men Lose Lives in Crash

Transcribed from The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA, March 2, 1962, p. 1:

Ike’s Friend is Included


NEW YORK (AP)–A prominent oilman on his way to join former President Dwight D. Eisenhower on a fishing trip . . . a producer of the motion picture “Guns of Navarone” . . . a fishing champion . . . a college president . . . the head of a luxury hotel chain.

These were among the 95 persons killed Thursday in the crash of an American Airlines jetliner that had just taken off for Los Angeles.

The oilman was W. Alton Jones, 71, former president of Cities Service Co. He played a major role in construction of the Big and Little Inch pipelines in World War II.

A frequent companion of ex-President Eisenhower, he was on his way to Palm Desert, Calif., to join Eisenhower on a fishing trip in Mexican waters.


The two often golfed and hunted quail together and Eisenhower visited Jones’ Blue Springs plantation near Albany, Ga., on many occasions.

Jones, a resident of New York City, was chairman of the executive committee of Cities Service and board chairmen of Richfield Oil Co. at his death.

The film producer was Irving Rubine, 51, who was en route to Hollywood to discuss Academy Award campaigning for “Guns of Navarone.”

The film was turned out by Highroad Productions, an independent film company of which he was vice president. Rubine was a New York newspaperman before turning to film publicity and then going into producing.


John Dieckman, 35, international professional casting champion, also met his death on the plane.

Dieckman, of Costa Mesa, Calif., was national professional fresh water fishing champion and held numerous national and international casting and fishing records.

He was returning home to his wife, Rickey, also a casting champion, and was to report back to the Garcia Corp., where he worked as a fishing tackle designer and tester.

The college president was Adm. Richard Lansing Conolly, USN (Ret.), 69, who had planned to retire in October as head of Long Island University.

He and his wife were flying west for a vacation at their home in La Jolla, Calif.


Conolly served twice as deputy chief of naval operations and was a U.S. representative at the 1946 Paris peace conference.

Since becoming president of the university in 1953, he had guided it through its greatest period of expansion.

Arnold S. Kirkeby, 61, was a prominent realtor, developer and financier of Bel-Air, Calif., and New York.

He owned extensive property in the Los Angeles area and was head of the former Kirkeby hotel chain that operated some of the most exclusive hotels in the country.

He also was president of the Kirkeby-Natus Corp., which makes short-term loans to a variety of businesses.


Other victims included:

George T. Felbeck, a former manager of operations at Oak Ridge, Tenn., for Union Carbide Nuclear Co., and his wife. The two were believed to have been on the first leg of a round-the-world trip.

Felbeck recently retired as vice president of Union Carbide Olefins Co.

David L. Corbin, a partner in the admiralty and aviation law firm of Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens, in New York City. Corbin lived in Greenwich, Conn.

His father, Arthur Linton Corbin, is professor emeritus of the Yale Law School. Miss Luella Reckmeyer, 50, of New York City, a consultant on programs for the American Heart Association. She was a native of Arlington, Neb., and was going to California on business for the heart association.