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1962 Unionville, Missouri Flight 11 disaster...



Item # 574841

May 23, 1962

FITCHBURG SENTINEL, Massachusetts, May 23, 1962 

* Unionville, Missouri 
* Continental Airlines Flight 11 
* Jet airplane explosion disaster 

This 36 page newspaper has a four column headline on the front page:
"45 Persons Meet Death In $5-Million-Jet Crash"

Tells of the airplane suicide bomb explosion of Continental Airlines Flight 11 which crashed in Unionville, Missouri.

Other news of the day. Good condition.

wikipedia notes: Continental Airlines Flight 11, registration N70775, was a Boeing 707 aircraft which exploded close to Centerville, Iowa, while en route from O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois, to Kansas City, Missouri, on May 22, 1962. The aircraft crashed in a clover field near Unionville, in Putnam County, Missouri, killing all 45 crew and passengers on board.

Flight 11 departed O'Hare at 8:35 PM. The flight was routine until just before the Mississippi River, when it deviated from its filed flight plan to the north to avoid a line of thunderstorms. In the vicinity of Centerville, Iowa, the radar image of the aircraft disappeared from the scope of the Waverly, Iowa, Flight Following Service. At approximately 9:17 p.m. an explosion occurred in the right rear lavatory, resulting in separation of the tail section from the fuselage. The aircraft broke up and the main part of the fuselage struck the ground about 6 miles north-northwest of Unionville, Missouri.

Witnesses in and around Cincinnati, Iowa, and Unionville reported hearing loud and unusual noises at around 9:20 p.m., and two more saw a big flash or ball of fire in the sky. A B-47 Stratojet bomber out of Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas, was flying at the altitude of 26,500 feet in the vicinity of Kirksville, Missouri. The aircraft commander saw a bright flash in the sky forward of and above his aircraft's position. After referring to his navigation logs he estimated the flash to have occurred at 9:22 p.m. near the location where the last radar target of Flight 11 had been seen. Most of the fuselage was found near Unionville, but the engines and parts of the tail section and left wing were found up to six miles away from the main wreckage.

Of the 45 individuals on board, 44 were dead when rescuers reached the crash site. One passenger, 27-year old Takehiko Nakano of Evanston, Illinois, was alive when rescuers found him in the wreckage, but he died of internal injuries at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Centerville, Iowa, an hour and a half after being rescued. Another of the victims was passenger Fred P. Herman, a recipient of the United States Medal of Freedom.

FBI agents discovered that one of the passengers, Thomas G. Doty, a married man with a five-year-old daughter, had purchased a life insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha for $150,000, the maximum available; his death would also bring in another $150,000 in additional insurance (some purchased at the airport) and death benefits. Doty had recently been arrested for armed robbery and was to soon face a preliminary hearing in the matter. Investigators determined that Doty had purchased dynamite shortly before the crash, and were able to deduce that a bomb had been placed in the used towel bin of the right rear lavatory.

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Category: The 20th Century

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