Transcribed from the Schenectady Gazette, Schenectady, NY, October 27, 1947, p.1,5:
Plane With 18 Aboard is Missing
SEATTLE, Oct 26 (AP) — A storm-buffeted Pan-American World Airways Clipper carrying 13 passengers, including one infant, and a crew of five was missing tonight between Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska, more than six hours after its last radio contact with ground stations.
PAA officials here said the big four-engined DC-4’s gas supply would be exhausted by 8:40 p.m. (PST).
Meanwhile, as high winds ranging from 35 to 45 miles an hour hampered a widespread search of the area by coast guard cutters and other surface craft the army’s Alaskan air command prepared to send several planes southward from the interior.
Pan American was advised by the army that a B-17 and a C-47 from Fairbanks and another B-17 from Anchorage were being readied to take off from Annette field, near Ketchikan, arriving there by day-break. They will join the search if weather permits.
Capt. A. N. Monsen, pilot of the long overdue transport and a veteran Alaska flier, radioed the Annette control tower at 1:38 p.m. from an altitude of 7,000 feet he was preparing to make an instrument landing there.
No Reply Received
Six minutes later he reported that he had encountered “extreme turbulence” at 4,000 feet, was abandoning the approach and would proceed to Junseau approximately 230 miles to the north.
No reply was received when Monsen was given airways clearance to continue to the Alaskan capital.
Monsen, a bush pilot in Alaska for many years, joined Pan American when it started its Alaska service in 1932. His wife, Mrs. Helen Monsen, is publisher of the Juneau Empire.
The PAA Clipper disappeared only two days after 52 passengers and crewmen were killed in the crash of a United Air Lines DC-6 at Bryce canyon, Utah.
Carried Life Raft
The Clipper, which took off from Seattle at 10:30 a.m., would have reached Juneau at about 3 p.m., if it had not encountered trouble. PAA officials said it carried a life raft as standard equipment.
The cutters Watchusett and Juneau, Hemlock of Cape Deception and Thistle of Ketchikan were sent out to comb the inland sea passage over which the plane would have flown on its way to Juneau.
High winds ranging from 35 to 45 miles an hour prevented an aerial search from Juneau.
One plane of the Alaska Coastal Airlines took off from there but was forced to turn back soon after it had set out.
The possibility that the big transport may have continued on to Alaska, or turned back in an effort to return to Seattle was voiced by Pan American officials, who said the missing craft carried enough gasoline to last until 8:40 p.m.
The plane was loaded to little more than one-fourth of its capacity. A DC-4 normally carries 44 passengers and a crew of four.