Transcribed from The Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, WA, October 31, 1947, p. 1:

Air Crash Kills Six in Family

Alaska Clipper Wreck Found

18 Apparently Killed Instantly as Plane Hit Mountain

 

KETCHIKAN, Alaska, Oct. 31. (AP) — Wreckage of the Pan American World Airways clipper that crashed Sunday with 18 persons aboard was sighted today on an Annette Island mountainside.

Wesley Monsen, son of Pilot Alf M. Monsen of the crashed airliner, said he flew over the wreckage and “apparently all had been killed instantly.”

He said there was no question about the wrecked plane’s identification. The plane was partially burned.

The wreckage was first sighted by a coast guard flyer. Monsen was one of several pilots who flew over the wreck scene later.

The crash was against 3600-foot high Tanigas mountain, highest point onf the island off the rugged and irregular southeastern Alaskan coast.

Six Miles From Field

It is six miles east of the Annette island airfield. THe crash was on the north side of the mountain.

It was over the Annette field that Pilot Monsen, a veteran of northern flying, made his last report by radio Sunday. He said then that extreme turbulence turned him back from a schedule landing on the field.

Two search parties were en route to the scene.

A CAA inspection party flew a seaplane to a small lake at the foot of the mountain, and planned to proceed afoot. Another group left from the beach.

The wreckage was first sighted about 8:45 a.m., the coast guard reported. Five planes flew over the scene, and pilots reported the tail structure of the P. A. A plane was plainly visible, within 200 feet of the peak.

The position of the wreckage on the north side of the mountain indicated that Monsen, on his northbound flight, had swung back southward.

Today was the first time since the Sunday crash that clouds have rolled away from Tamgas mountain enough to allow a clear air view of it.

Pan American search leaders said the wreckage was apparently imbedded in the snow of the white-capped peak.

A party being organized by the airline was expected to reach the crash scene late today or tonight. Progress was expected to be slow because of rough and soggy ground, with thick timber and underbrush.

The crash was the worst air disaster in Alaska commercial flying annals and was the first crash of a Pan American four-engine clipper.

Among the passengers on the plane were Frank Twohy, formerly of Spokane; Sam Phillips, a long-time resident of Davenport; Sally Richards of Ely, Minn., sister of Ben Richards of Spokane; and the Rev. Willis Shank of Seattle, a Youth for Christ leader who gave several addresses here two weeks ago.

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