Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Flight 5 1941

I have been enjoying the Minnesota history photo Link Heath provided the other day.

Type:Douglas DC-3A-269
Operator:Northwest Orient Airlines
C/n / msn:2124
Fatalities:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 15
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage:Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Moorhead, MN -    United States of America
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Minneapolis, MN
Destination airport:Fargo, ND
Crashed in fog due to icing. Twelve passengers and three crew were on board. The pilot Clarence Bates was the only survivor

Here is what else I could find:  The plane crashed where the Crystal sugar plant is now and the pilot Clarence Bates was found wandering 250 feet away.  He was thrown out the cockpit windscreen.   

Almost exactly one year later on October 28 1942 the 42 year old Clarence crashed a  B-24 Liberator he was testing for the military.  The crash happened at take off in St. Paul and he did not survive this one.  He is buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.  The following is written by his son from an obituary:
Clarence Bates, was a romantic, barnstorming white silk scarf and helmeted pilot in the 1920s and 30s.
He loved flying more than money. In that era the idea of greed did not enter the minds of those who were pursuing their dream. He joined Northwest Airlines as operation manager at Hector Field in Fargo in 1933. He flew the mail run to Chicago and Winnipeg in a plane with skis. Amelia Earhart was stranded at the Fargo airport and he invited her to our home for supper where she regaled our family with tales of her exploits. He was promoted to Minneapolis as co-pilot in 1934. When he became captain he was elected as chairman of the pilots union where the issue was safety, not money. His love of flying was shared by his fellow pilots along with his loyalty to the company under Croil Hunter.
My father was killed testing B-24s for the army on Oct. 31, 1942, while on his vacation from NWA. 


Jared said...

Looking at the tire tracks just before the creek bed area I wonder if the plane would have kept rolling and they would have all survived if it was not there.

Jared said...

I still think it is impressive that he got it to land exactly in the center of that kiddy pool.