Elbert G. Head
6/8/56 Plane Crash
J. C. Head 6/8/56 Plane Crash
Mrs. Wallace Hess 6/8/56 Plane Crash
George Hogue 6/8/56 Plane Crash
W. K. Tanner 6/8/56 Plane Crash
Wolverine Plane Crash; Searchers Find Remains Of 5 Victims
The remains of five persons yesterday were removed from the charred and mangled wreckage of a light plane which rammed a Chugach Mountain peak Friday and burned.
The blue Howard apparently cleared one peak before it plowed into another only a few hundred feet from the top. The craft bounced for several hundred feet and burned. Debris was scattered for several hundred yards across the steep flower-carpeted peak.
An Air Force ground party was flown by helicopter to within 1,000 feet of the wreckage yesterday morning. Shortly after noon the six airmen reached the wreck and recovered the remains of the three men and two women who had been aboard.
Another 'copter returned the dead to the 5005th AFB Hospital about 4:30 p.m.
Those in the plane have been identified as Capt. Elbert G. Head, Alaskan Air Command headquarters, the pilot; Mrs. J. C. Head, Birmingham, Ala., his mother; Mrs. Wallace Hess of Dallas, Texas, wife of M-Sgt. Wallace Hess, 64th Fighter Interceptor Squadron; George Hogue and W. K. Tanner both of Birmingham.
Sergeant Hess has been removed to the 5005th where he is suffering from shock. He had joined the two day aerial search for the plane.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration sent an investigator to the crash site yesterday but his report is not expected to be completed for several weeks. Cause of the crash is unknown.
Captain Head had been in contact with Merrill Field while only a few miles from there Friday morning. He radioed that he was beginning his approach. Searchers said it appeared that he drifted too far east and became lost in the heavy clouds and fog which were rapidly closing over Anchorage.
The single-engine plane struck an almost inaccessible spot on the south slope of the peak between the north and south forks of Campbell Creek. After the initial crash the craft slid upward to within 100 feet of the peak. As clouds cleared yesterday observers at the scene could see Anchorage in the background. The Campbell Creek airstrip was only a few miles to the west.
The engine of the plane hurtled more than 800 feet down the mountain and came to rest in a small ravine. When rescuers arrived marmots and rock ptarmigan were poking curiously into pieces of debris.
The plane was on the last leg of a flight from Washington, D.C., where Captain Head had purchased the aircraft while on leave. He left Northway, near the Canadian border, early Friday and was due in Anchorage about-noon.
The downed craft was sighted early Sunday, but for nearly 30 hours bad weather prevented the ground party from reaching the wreck.
The party was composed of Capt. J. E. Hartman, M-Sgt. Walter C. Kubacki, T-Sgt. Mack F. Davis, T-Sgt. James Bolieu, A2-c Clifton Rand, and A2-c Robert Houser. All are members of the 5004th Air Intelligence Squadron. They were flown, to a base camp about 1,000 feet below the wreck by a helicopter of the 5039th Air Transport Squadron.