Deadliest Airliner Crash in U.S. History Kills 25, Senator Among Dead (8-31-40)


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25 DIE WHEN PLANE CRASHES IN STORM

Sen. Lundeen Among Dead as Transport Plunges Into Field

Lovettsville, Va., Aug. 31 (UP) –

%20Lundeen

U.S. Sen. Ernest Lundeen of Minnesota and 24 other persons were killed today when a shiny new Pennsylvania Central Airlines transport crashed and exploded during a severe thunderstorm.

Some witnesses reported having seen indications of fire aboard the plane before it drove into a muddy field and burst into countless scattered pieces.

Several agreed that the impact brought an explosion and a burst of flame that lighted up the cloud-darkened countryside. Part of one body was hurled 2,000 feet from the wreckage.

It was the worst airplane accident in this country’s experience, the next worst one having killed 19 persons. It ended a no-fatality record by domestic airlines that lasted one year, five months and five days. It was the first fatal accident in PCA’s 13 years of operation.

Loaded to Capacity

The plane was loaded to capacity with passengers from Washington, D.C. It was bound for Pittsburgh, Akron, Cleveland and Detroit.

In addition to Senator Lundeen, a Farmer-Laborite who was one of the Senate’s most vigorous and outspoken members, there were many other government officers aboard. They included William Garbose, an attorney in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Joseph J. Pesci, a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Miss Margaret Turner, a secretary in the FBI, and two Internal Revenue bureau men.

Federal investigators, headed by Chairman Harllee Branch of the Civil Aeronautics Board, speeded here from Washington, only about 50 miles away.

Hit Slight Knoll

The plane left Washington at 3:18 p.m. (EDT). In little more than half an hour, it crashed on a gentle knoll in an alfalfa patch on the farm of Walter Bishop. The members of the Bishop family gave a graphic description of what they heard and saw during the seconds preceding the crash.

Mrs. Clarence Bishop said:

My husband was out on the front porch with the children watching the storm. All of a sudden there was a roar and a big crash. which lighted up the whole inside of the house with a bright flash. My husband pushed the children inside because we thought something was going to hit us. I never saw the plane.

Clarence Bishop said he thought that the pilot might have seen Short Hill Mountain up ahead of him and gunned the motors to circle and get over it.

Pilot Gunned Motors

William Insling, a dairyman living four miles from the scene of the crash, said:

Seems like this thing blasted out all at once. The pilot seemed to have given her the gun and then – Bang!.

Ernest Graham, who with other threshers had taken refuge, beside their machine during the storm, reported the mysterious evidence of fire preceding the crash. He was about half a mile from the point of crash.

As the plane swooped down over us we saw a piece of paper coming down and it was on fire. The rain was fierce then and it was out before it hit the ground.

Graham retrieved the charred paper and found it was a partially burned Pennsylvania Central Airlines form, carrying at the top in small letters “Form of PCA No. 252.” Beneath this heading was “Pennsylvania Central Airline Corp., Allegheny County Airport, Pittsburgh.” The remainder of the form was not legible.

No one actually saw the plane strike the ground, but the Bishop family and others near the scene agreed that there was an explosion. The fragments of the wreckage tended to conform this.

The plane crashed about 400 yards from the Bishop house. Fragments of the motor were blown over the house. A part of one body was 2,000 feet from where the motors were imbedded in the mud. The motors were mostly buried in mud, but pieces of pistons were found hundreds of feet away. One propeller was imbedded so deeply that two men could not budge it.

Bodies Widely Scattered

The bodies were scattered chiefly over a radius of 500 yards. Dr. John Gibson, Loudon County coroner, took charge of the almost impossible task of identification.

When investigators reached the scene tonight, oil flares illuminated the alfalfa field, which was roped off and placed under guard at orders of CAB inspectors.

Access to the scene was difficult. The storm, of cloudburst proportions, was called the worst this extreme northern part of Virginia has seen in 10 years. Many roads were blocked off due to washouts. Flickering oil flares marked great chasms in the roads.

M. Q. Crowder, a PCA traffic official, supervised collection of the plane’s mail cargo. It was placed in a heap near the wreckage, awaiting arrival of inspectors.

Federal inspectors will try to determine whether the storm or some trouble in the new Douglas DC-3 transport, a deluxe model the PCA recently put into service, was responsible. It was the worst since October 17, 1937, when a United Airlines plane carried 19 to death against the jagged Wasatch Peaks near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Donald Duff, PCA Washington traffic manager, said:

We don’t know what caused the accident. It is a mystery that may not be cleared up for months.

Battled Severe Storm

Apparently the plane went through a veritable maelstrom. Mrs. Bishop said that lightning flashed continually, the wind blew in gusts, and rain drove down in swirling clouds when she heard the roar of motors over her house like the sound of “a hundred fire engines.” Aviators speculated whether the plane might have been struck by lightning or smashed down to the earth by one of the great downdrafts that occur in thunderheads.

At the controls was one of the country’s veteran airline pilots, Capt. Lowell Scroggins, with 20 years of air transport flying to his credit and was known as a “1,000,000-mile pilot.”

Time of the crash was set at 3:40 p.m. (EDT). The big plane had been scheduled to leave Washington at 2:50 p.m. (EDT), but it delayed its departure to pick up a passenger from another plane. 20 minutes later, Captain Scroggins radioed from over Leesburg that all was well at 3,000 feet with the ground visible. Five minutes later, he would have been over Martinsburg, W. Va., and made a similar report. That report was never sent.

Frank Caldwell, chief of the investigation division of the CAB safety bureau, said that the pilot was on his course at the time of the accident. Caldwell said that he could not tell from a preliminary inspection what caused the accident.

Storm Knocks Out Plane

When the plane crashed at 3:40 p.m. (EDT), it took residents some hours to send word of the accident, due to the violence of the storm. Farmers who heard the crash made their way to the scene and then sought to use the telephone at John Kolb’s home. The storm had rendered it useless.

Bryce Winters, who was the first to reach the alfalfa patch, drove back over the slick, one-lane clay road to Leesburg and telephoned Washington that an airplane had crashed, but he could not tell anyone what kind of a plane and how many persons might have been killed.

Maryland State Police across the Potomac River investigated and informed Virginia Highway Patrolmen. This was a tedious process, because each trip to the field, requiring more than a mile of plodding through ankle-deep mud, took more than an hour.

E. J. Kyle and L. W. Hicks, postal inspectors, took charge of the mail tonight. They said it was intact.

No attempt was made to remove the bodies tonight. The rain had subsided at 11:00 p.m. (EDT), but it was too difficult to assemble the remains by the light of flares and flashlights.

List of Passengers

Pennsylvania Central Airlines reported tonight the following as the official passenger list of the Washington-Pittsburgh flight that crashed near Lovettsville, Va., today, killing 25 persons:

  • Senator Ernest Lundeen (FLR-MN), Chevy Chase, Md.
  • Mr. W. M. Burleson, 57 Look Lone Road, Richmond, Va.
  • Dr. Charles D. Cole, 5305 41st St., N. W., Washington, D. C.
  • E. J. Tarr, 1722 19th St., N. W., Washington, D. C.
  • Miss M. Turner, Huddleston, Va.
  • Miss C. Post, 1739 Kilburn Place, N. W., Washington, D. C.
  • William Garbose, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C.
  • Miss Evelyn Goldsmith, 1200 Euclid St., N. W., Washington, D. C.
  • Miss Dorothy Boer, Foster Travel Service, Washington, D. C.
  • Arthur Hollaway, Interstate Commerce Commission, Washington, D. C.
  • E. G. Bowler, Department of Internal Revenue, Washington, D. C.
  • Joseph J. Pesci, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D. C.
  • Miss Naomi Colpo, 3621 Newark Street, N. W., Washington, D. C.
  • A. E. Elliot, 3757 McKinley Street, N. W., Washington, D. C.
  • Mrs. Ralph M. Hale, of Charlottesville, Va.
  • Miss Mildred Chesser, 1739 M St., N. W., Washington, D. C.
  • D. P. James, Interstate Commerce Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.
  • H. J. Hofferth, Chicago, Illinois.
  • E. W. Chambers, 17 Craighead Road, Pittsburgh.
  • M. P. Mahan, Department of Internal Revenue, 1788 Lanier Place, Washington, D. C.
  • A. Nook, Department of Internal Revenue, 1788 Lanier Place, Washington, D. C.

Members of the crew were:

  • Capt. Lowell Scroggins, pilot, Washington, D. C.
  • J.P. Moore, co-pilot, Washington, D. C.
  • Margaret Carson, hostess, Pittsburgh.
  • Donald Staire, PCA observer, Washington, D. C.

Townsend Rally Speaker
Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 31 (UP) –

Sen. Ernest Lundeen (FLR-MN), one of 25 killed in the PCA plane crash near Lovettsville, Va., today, was scheduled to speak at an all-state picnic of Townsend clubs at an amusement park near here Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Press (September 1, 1940)

Crash Sounded Like Lightning
By Mrs. Viola Thompson (As Told to the United Press)

Lovettsville, Va., Aug. 31 –

I was upstairs in my room when I heard the noise of a plane going over. Ordinarily, I don’t pay much attention to them, because they are going over all the time.

This one, though, struck me funny. The noise seemed much too low and much too loud. As it got louder, I ran to the window and looked out.

It was blinding rain, so I couldn’t see much. Suddenly, right over there in the field, was a blinding flash. I can’t describe it any better than to say it was like 10 sheets of lightning rolled into one.

The next moment was a terrific explosion that nearly deafened me. For one moment, the thought “bomb” came into my mind. Then I knew it must have been the plane that had crashed.

There was only one explosion. I don’t know what could have happened. The engine had sounded all right, not backfiring or missing or anything – just loud.

I don’t know what I did then. I guess I just sat there and screamed and screamed and screamed.

TEXT OF P.C.A. OFFICIALS’ STATEMENT ON CRASH

At midnight Saturday, Pennsylvania Central Airlines officials issued this formal statement on the crash of its luxury liner in the Virginia Mountains in which 25 persons lost their lives:

At approximately 3:50 (EDT) this afternoon, one of our planes flying on schedule between Washington and Pittsburgh made contact with the ground with terrific force four miles north of Hillsboro, Va., resulting in instantaneous death of 25 persons including 21 passengers, two pilots, an air hostess and one other company employee.

The probable cause of the accident has not yet been determined. Officials of the company are now at the scene directing relief activities and co-operating with officials of the Civil Aeronautics Board to determine the cause.

Electrical storms were present in the area at the time of the accident.

Captain Scroggins, the pilot, was proceeding on a regular course at the time of impact and was approximately 42 miles northwest of Washington. Wreckage being recovered over an area of two acres is being carefully studied tonight. All remains are being removed to Leesburg, Va. The plane was demolished.

AIR BOARD TRANSFER BLAMED FOR CRASH
Washington, Aug. 31 (UP) –

Senator Pat McCarran (D-NV) tonight blamed the airplane accident in which Senator Ernest Lundeen (FLR-MN) and 24 others were killed on the “chaos and confusion existing in the Civil Aeronautics Board.”

Mr. McCarran declared that “this awful condition” has existed since President Roosevelt transferred the agency this spring from its independent status and placed it in the Commerce Department. The Nevada Senator led an unsuccessful fight in the Senate against the approval of the President’s reorganization order.

Mr. McCarran declared that:

There will be other and more disastrous wrecks unless the CAB is again put back in its independent status so that efficiency may prevail.

AIRLINES’ SAFETY RECORD STRESSED
Chicago, Aug. 31 (UP) –

Colonel Edgar S. Gorrell, president of the Air Transport Association of America, tonight issued the following statement regarding the crash of the Pennsylvania Central Airlines plane at Lovettsville, Va., today:

Up until five days ago, airlines of the United States flew 1,300,000,000 passenger miles without a fatality or injury to any persons. In this period, the airlines carried 3,100,000 passengers.

LUNDEEN KNOWN AS ISOLATIONIST

Peace Advocate Voted Against Conscription Bill

Washington, Aug. 31 –

Tall, broad shouldered and bald Senator Ernest Lundeen of Minnesota, killed in a Pennsylvania Central Airliner crash today, was one of the foremost isolationists and ardent peace advocates through long service in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

Only a few days ago, he was among the Senatorial minority which voted against approval of the Burke-Wadsworth bill to conscript American youth for peacetime military training.

Mr. Lundeen urged the settlement of the British World War debt through the taking over by this country of British possessions in the West Indies.

Seizure Urged

Soon after he came to the Senate in 1936, he began advocating seizure of Bermuda and other British territory as a means of settling the debt.

Senate colleagues listened politely but smiled inwardly at the suggestion. But they changed their attitude when President Roosevelt recently entered into negotiations to lease British bases in the Western Hemisphere as ports for the United States Navy and Air Corps. Mr. Lundeen contended that he was responsible for the program.

In 1918, a Minnesota crowd ran Mr. Lundeen out of town because, as a Congressman, he had voted against United States’ entry in the World War. In 1936, Minnesotans elected Mr. Lundeen to the Senate on the Farmer-Labor ticket.

Because he voted to keep his country out of the war, he lost his seat in Congress in 1918. Although he felt himself partially vindicated by being invited by the G.A.R. to deliver the Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery in 1919, he was unable to win his way back to Congress until 1932.

Then in 1936, a Democratic coalition with the Farmer-Labor Party swept him into the Senate. Curiously, Mr. Lundeen balked at a similar coalition in 1930 – that time he was asked to withdraw from the Senate race in favor of a Democrat, but he refused.

Although beneficiary of Democratic support in 1936, Mr. Lundeen accepted the policies of the Roosevelt Administration with reservations. He urged his own social security program in which unemployment compensation would be paid entirely by the Federal Government.

Mr. Lundeen was born in Beresford, South Dakota, Aug. 4, 1878, the son of a Swedish-born missionary preacher and farmer. He graduated from Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., in 1907, and served two years on the law faculty of the University of Minnesota. He served from 1910 to 1914 in the Minnesota House of Representatives and from 1917 to 1919 in Congress.

Spanish War Veteran

From 1920 to 1932, fidelity to his liberal views helped bring defeat in races for Senator, Representative, Governor and Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. At one time, he edited and published a monthly magazine called Uncle Sam.

Mr. Lundeen saw service in the Spanish-American War, was commissioned in the Minnesota National Guard and fought for the soldiers bonus. But he was a foe of war. In 1935, he urged slashing naval appropriations in half.

All we need is to defend our own soil.

He was of sturdy build and had blue eyes. In public speech, his delivery was choppy. His passions were peace and social security. His chief delights – conversation and the outdoors.


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The Pittsburgh Press (September 1, 1940)

Pittsburgh Man on Plane By Strange Coincidence
Pittsburgh, Sep. 1 –

By a strange chain of circumstances, E. W. Chambers, an official of a Pittsburgh steel company, became a passenger on the Pennsylvania Central Airlines plane which crashed in the Virginia Mountains with the loss of 25 lives yesterday.

Mr. Chambers, 43-year-old executive for the Reliance Steel Castings Co., had been transacting business in Washington since last Monday.

On Friday, he notified his wife, Mrs. Beulah Chambers, of 17 Craighead Rd., Mt. Washington, that he planned to fly home yesterday morning.

Then, according to Mrs. Chambers, extra business kept him from making the return trip at that time. He had told her he would be home this morning.

But his business in Washington apparently was concluded earlier than he had anticipated. So he boarded the plane which left at 3:18 p.m.

A short time later the plane crashed in a storm 42 miles out of Washington.

Neither his wife nor his Pittsburgh business associates knew he was on the plane until news of the crash brought out a passenger listing.

A native of Butler, Pa., Mr. Chambers had been associated with the Reliance Co. for at least 25 years. Until a year ago, he was in charge of production. At that time he was transferred to the sales staff.

CRASH FIRST IN 13-YEAR HISTORY OF PCA

A safety record that was the envy of every airline in the United States ended yesterday when the Pennsylvania Central airliner crashed in a storm near Washington.

Pennsylvania Central never had had a fatal accident in its 13 years of operation. It had carried 540,000 passengers safely over a route that extended from Washington to Milwaukee, according to its traffic report issued last April.

Four certificates of special commendation had been granted the line for its excellent safety record by the National Safety Council.

Business Increases

During the first six months of 1940, the revenue passenger miles flown by PCA jumped from 289,000 to 1,849,607 and the number of revenue passenger miles flown increased by more than 75 per cent over the first six months of 1939.

The airline added a fleet of 10 Douglas liners to augment its fleet of Boeing liners last November and is to receive four more of the ships next month.

In the last year, PCA has been considered one of the fastest growing airlines in the country.

To a route between Washington and Cleveland through Pittsburgh, PCA has added miles until its route today covers approximately 2,100 miles, serving 20 cities with a total population of 17 million.

Formed in 1927

The original Pennsylvania Airline Company was formed by Clifford Hall at Bettis Field in 1927, and Lowell Scroggins, who was at the controls in yesterday’s crash, was one of the first pilots who flew the Washington-Pittsburgh route. On Nov. 1, Pennsylvania Airlines and Central Airlines were consolidated.

Central during its brief period of operation over the same route flown by Pennsylvania had a perfect safety record to pass on to its successor.

Beginning its 14th year of operation, PCA had operated 71,200 flights between Pittsburgh and Washington without an accident.

CO-PILOT WAS LUCKY TWICE, BUT DEATH WINS THIRD TIME

Flier Killed in Virginia Tragedy, Miraculously Escaped In Two Other Crashes – Used to Fly Over Tropical Jungles

J. Paul Moore, Pennsylvania Central Airline co-pilot, who was killed in the crash of his ship yesterday, miraculously escaped death in two other crashes – one of them in the heart of a Central American jungle.

A veteran of South and Central America flying, Moore quit a co-pilot’s job with Pan American Airways in June to take a similar post with PCA.

His home was in Ohioview, near Beaver, but he and his wife had been living in Washington where he was based recently.

Before Moore entered the Pan American service, he flew for a Nicaraguan freight airline. His job had been flying cargoes of dynamite and gold across uncharted areas. On several occasions, his plane had been used as a flying hearse.

Single Engine Failed

His crash in Central America was described during a recent visit to his Beaver home before taking the PCA job.

On one of his many trips over the jungle area, the motor of his single engine ship failed and Moore crashed into a mass of tropical trees and undergrowth. Dazed, Moore climbed from the wreckage and started crawling for a nearby river.

Then I got a real scare. I was almost there when the ugly snout of the biggest, meanest alligator you ever saw reared up five feet from me. He was more scared than I and dived into the water. I crawled the other way as fast as I could.

Found By Indians

Eventually Indians working in a nearby mine found Moore and took him to an outpost. His only injury was a broken nose.

Moore and his wife had been married only a few months when he was offered the job of flying the freight line in the tropics. Moore wanted to go but feared for the living conditions his wife would have to endure in the tropical climate. But, interested in his flying career, she insisted he take the job and he did.

House Built on Stilts

Their house was built on stilts to keep away from snakes, the few movies they did see were nearly three years old and they traveled over unpaved roads when they did travel. All this was endured by Mrs. Moore because it gave her husband a chance to fly – and what flights he made.

Transportation across the jungle so slow, freight airlines were started to speed up the transportation of such things as gold and dynamite. It was risky business to fly such cargoes, but Moore relished the job. He made countless trips with his small ship loaded to capacity with high explosives and gold worth many thousands. He didn’t even flinch when on occasion the air freight line accepted bodies for cargo. Flying across the dense jungle with men for passengers got to be a commonplace assignment for Moore.

First Crash In Ohio

His first crackup, near Montpelier, Ohio, several years ago, won him his wife. After the accident, which “washed out” his small plane, Moore got a job flying planes for an Ohio sheriff. He met his wife when the sheriff’s daughter brought her to the airport one day for a ride in the plane. They were married shortly afterwards.

Moore is a veteran of nearly 6,000 hours of transport flying and came to PCA with an excellent flying record from Pan American.

A brother-in-law, John Sebring of Beaver, said Moore had visited him last Monday and returned to Washington the following day. His wife, Sebring said, has been staying with Moore’s parents in Ohioview.

SISTER, FIANCEE WAIT IN VAIN

Pesci, Crash Victim, Had Just Become a G-Man

A happy group of girls went to the County Airport here around 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon to meet Joe Pesci, former Duquesne University athlete who had gone to Washington to become a G-man and was now coming home for the weekend on his way to an assignment in Chicago. There was his sister, Ellen, and his sweetheart, Sylvia Pecori of 816 Ninth St., McKees Rocks, and Sylvia’s sister, Grace.

The plane didn’t arrive on time, and there were disquieting rumors around the airport that it had crashed. The girls, white-faced, waited for news.

Girls Near Hysteria

Several hours passed. It was announced that the plane had crashed. The passenger list showed that Joe Pesci had been on board. The girls were near hysteria.

Ellen said, through her tears, that she had received a letter from her brother Friday in which he had said that he didn’t want to come home by plane.

He never before had flown, but time was precious and he must have finally decided to make the trip by air.

Until a late hour last night, the girls were still at the airport, hoping against hope, although everyone else knew by that time that Joe Pesci was dead.

Donelli There, Too

With them at the airport was “Buff” Donelli, Duquesne Athletics Director, one of Pesci’s classmates.

Pesci, whose home was in Blairsville, graduated from the Duquesne Law School in 1934. Thereafter he served as assistant treasurer of the school. He received an appointment to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about two months ago and had been in the FBI school in Washington. In Pittsburgh, he lived at Murphy Hall, 809 Vickroy St.

CRASH CLIMAXES PITTSBURGHER’S VACATION TRIP

Woman Killed in Plane Tragedy While En Route Home From South

A pleasant vacation at the summer home of a close family friend ended in disaster for Mrs. Ralph M. Hale of the Pennsylvania Apartment, 4403 Center Ave., in the crash of the PCA airliner yesterday.

Mrs. Hale was the wife of Ralph M. Hale, an insurance broker head of the firm of Hale & Hale, in the Investment Building. Mrs. Hale had spent a few days at the summer home of Alfred Morrell, president of the Kroger Grocery Co., at Charlottesville, Va. She wired her husband that she was taking the PCA liner from the Washington Airport yesterday afternoon. He was at the Allegheny County Airport to meet her when the news of the crash came. Mrs. Hale was the former Rose Zinsmaster of Des Moines, Ia. She and Mr. Hale celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary last June.

Mrs. Hale’s family in Des Moines are owners of the Zinsmaster Master Bakeries.

She is survived by her brother Harry Zinsmaster of Duluth, two sisters in Omaha and Des Moines, a nephew, William McFarlane of Pittsburgh and two nieces of Charlottesville, Va., whom she also visited on her trip.

Mr. and Mrs. Hale lived in Pittsburgh seven years, coming here from Philadelphia. Mrs. Hale was a native of Des Moines, Ia., and spent much of her life in the west. Mr. Hale’s father was Governor of Wyoming during the administration of President Arthur.

AIRPLANE CRASHES NEAR VICTIM’S KIN

Edward G. Bowler, one of the Pittsburgh victims in the Pennsylvania Central airline crash yesterday, died within 15 miles of where his sister was visiting, friends here said last night.

Mr. Bowler’s wife Electa, and his 12-year-old son had gone to the airport to meet the liner when they learned of the crash. The airline had received only meager reports of the accident when Mrs. Bowler left the airport and drove to the home of a neighbor.

When they learned it was feared all passengers on the plane had been killed, Mrs. Bowler called her sister-in-law visiting relatives in Charlestown, a small town near Lovettsville, the scene of the crash.

The sister-in-law, Sally Parker, went to the scene of the accident and then telephoned that all aboard had been killed, including her brother.

She told neighbors of Mrs. Bowler that eyewitnesses said the ship appeared to explode when it struck the ground at the height of a severe electrical storm.

HOSTESS KILLED IN AIRLINER GIVEN ‘RAISE’ WEDNESDAY

Miss Margaret Carson, Pennsylvania Central Airlines hostess only since last May was called into the office of Operations Manager J. H. Carmichael last Wednesday. “You have done well, Miss Carson,” he said, “and I am happy to tell you that you have earned a raise.”

Yesterday, three days later, Miss Carson was killed in the crash of the PCA liner in Virginia.

Peabody High Graduate

Miss Carson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Carson of 4950 Kincaid St., was a graduate of Peabody High School in the class of 1935.

She hadn’t given much thought to planes in those days and, with many girls in her crowd, she decided to study stenography. She entered Duff’s Iron City College and stayed there for a year. The following winter, she transferred to the University of Pittsburgh where she studied English and Psychology.

Then came aviation.

Went to Detroit School

She enrolled in the Pennsylvania Central Airlines Training School in Detroit and last May was taken into the hostess corps. Miss Carson became interested in aviation as a career, friends said, and studied subjects which ordinarily are out of the scope of a hostess. She was vivacious and did not hesitate to question pilots and airline officials alike about the various aspects of the work.

Her father said last night that Miss Carson entered Pitt with an eye on an aviation career.

’Had Made Up Her Mind’

She had made up her mind on it and took up subjects which she thought would help her. She enjoyed flying to the limit.

Lived in Virginia

The last time Miss Carson was home was on June 29. She lived at Arlington, Va., a suburb of Washington, with several other PCA hostesses.

“We used to go out to the airport regularly and see her,” Mr. Carson said. “We enjoyed seeing her when her plane stopped here on the way to Detroit or on the way east to Washington.”

Mr. and Mrs. Carson were not at the airport yesterday to see their daughter.

“We didn’t expect her home for the holiday,” Mr. Carson said.

Miss Carson was a studious girl, her father said.

She was interested in oratory. She would make lots of speeches, on almost every subject, at the Fourth United Presbyterian Church. She was keenly interested in young people’s work there.

SQUIRREL HILL GIRL AMONG PLANE VICTIMS

A Squirrel Hill woman who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh only last June with the highest honors was one of the victims of the Pennsylvania Airlines crash at Lovettsville, Va., yesterday.

She was 21-year-old Evelyn W. Goldsmith, 5847 Douglas St.

Miss Goldsmith, friends said, was one of the most brilliant members of her class and, during her senior year at Pitt, served as an assistant to the dean of women.

She received the B.A. degree in the School of Education and was planning to specialize in Government Service.

She had obtained a temporary job with the Government in Washington, had been in the Capitol a month. Miss Goldsmith was returning home for the Labor Day weekend and the first visit with her parents since leaving Pittsburgh.

She was an only child.


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I’d feel the same way!


#4

It wasn’t until 1956 that annual fatalities by rail travel exceeded air travel in the USA. It was a very perilous way to travel especially prior to WWII. Even in post-war times during the “Golden Age” it was safer- but still had high mortality rates. See https://www.fastcompany.com/3022215/what-it-was-really-like-to-fly-during-the-golden-age-of-travel for a reminder of the 1950’s. Nothing like today’s safety and reliability.