Transcribed from St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, October 25, 1942, p. 16:
Air Liner and Bomber Crash; 12 Killed
LOS ANGELES — (INS) — Although withholding details, the western defense command in San Francisco yesterday confirmed the American Airlines announcement that the air liner which carried 12 persons to death near Palm Springs Friday night collided in midair with an Army plane.
The Army did not describe the type of warplane involved in the crash, not give any indication of the fate of its pilot or crew.
The defense command announcement said “an official board is investigating and the details will be available later.”
The air line announced the collision shortly after the crash.
Charles A. Rheinstrom, vice president in charge of traffic for American Airlines, reviewed the evidence in New York and wired to his Los Angeles office:
American Airlines flight 28, eastbound from Los Angeles to New York, was in collision with Army bomber and crashed one-half mile west of Palm Springs at 5:15 p.m. (PWT) Friday, Oct. 23. All nine passengers and crew of three were killed.”
R. M. Martin, an airplane spotter on duty at a station three miles from the crash scene, said he saw two planes at 8,000 feet, a mile and a half apart.
“Both were twin engine ships,” he reported. “The one in the rear veered away into a cloud and I thought it had changed course. Then it came back and slid in so close to the other plane I couldn’t distinguish between them. Bits of metal began flying from the planes.”
Among those who died in the airliner was Ralph Rainger, Hollywood songwriter, who authored such hits as “Love in Bloom,” “It’s June in January,” and “Moanin’ Love.”
Others killed were:
Capt. Charles F. Pedley, pilot, Irving, Texas.
L. F. Reppert, first officer, Fort Worth, Texas.
Estelle Regan, stewardess, Dallas, Texas.
Lt. Joseph R. Rosser, Santa Ana, Cal., Army air base.
Frank Bird, Lockheed aircraft employe. [sic]
M. C. Henderson, state industrial commission, Phoenix, Ariz.
C. Baker, Phoenix accompanying Henderson.
B. R. Vest Jr., of Allison Engineering corporation.
E. H. Wallace, Las Vegas, Nev.
L. A. Hege, Winston-Salem, N. C.