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Rohrs Family

Harold Willard Miner

Born - December 17, 1903

Auburn, Nemaha County, Nebraska

Died - May 1, 1942

Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah


Three Members of the Crew

were Among the 17 Persons Killed


Captain  Donald W. Brown - Pilot - San Francisco

Neva Cantwell - Stewardess - San Francisco


Sleeper Plane Crashes Into
Peak in Utah
Seventeen Killed
As Eastbound Liner Plunges

SALT LAKE CITY, May 2, 1942 (United Press)
 A sleeper transport ploughed into a storm-lashed ridge within sight of Salt Lake City's airport late last night, killing fourteen passengers and a crew of three.

George Benton Gearhart watchman at an inn on the highway about a mile below the site and first to reach the scene, said one man lived for a few minutes. All others, including the infant, apparently were instantly killed.  Scars on the ground indicated the United Airlines plane struck on the edge of a shallow gully near the summit of the ridge, approximately four and one-half miles from the airport, destination of the east-bound San Francisco transport. Wreckage was scattered over a wide area. Some bodies, mangled, were thrown clear. Others lay in the debris. Bodies in the wreckage were charred by a gasoline fire that flared up as the big liner smashed 'against the rocky slope.
One body, entirely nude, lay in the bottom of the gully, untouched by fire. One wing, broken off, came to rest parallel to the ridge. The other pointed toward the valley. The crash scene was only a short distance from Ensign peak, which Mormon pioneers climbed in 1847 for a glimpse of the then


Gearhart said he watched the plane circle and glide along the ridge, apparently headed for the airport. Airlines officials said visibility was good. Gearhart said a light rain was falling, but the clouds were high and he could see the plane's wing lights. "I watched the plane fly along the mountain and saw it hit. I could tell it hit the side of the mountain because the lights in the plane seemed to bounce. "About two or three seconds after the plane hit, there was a huge flash and the plane began to burn." Gearhart estimated it took him twenty-five minutes to reach the
scene. He found one man alive and tried to talk to him.
"I think the man knew I was there but he wouldn't talk. He
opened his eyes. He was groaning and waving his arms. I found some blankets near the wreckage and covered him up. I looked around to see if anyone else was alive. "Finding none, Gearhart returned to the inn and called officers. A wind-driven sleet storm which bore out an earlier published forecast was in progress on the mountainside, but the fire was clearly visible from a long distance. Only light rain fell in the valley. The ship came in from San Francisco for a landing at 11:31 p.m. mountain war time and was circling the valley. A crash crew from the airport, police and fire department rescue crews were quickly on the scene. City officers borrowed four wheel drive army trucks in an effort to negotiate a roundabout road to bring out the bodies. Mud bogged down regular equipment. No one could offer an explanation of the crash but the civil aeronautics board at Washington ordered four investigators to the scene. The airline's last passenger fatality was on December 4, 1940.
Since then, the line has flown between 400,000,000 and 500,000,000 miles without accident and last year had a perfect record and received the safety award for major airlines.




United Airlines issued the following
list of passengers and crew:

Captain Donald W. Brown, pilot, San Francisco

Harold Miner, Co-pilot, San Francisco

Neva Cantwell, stewardess, San Francisco

Marvin Shapiro, 432 Oakdale Avenue, Chicago

Lieut. Herman J. Frankenberg,
U. S. army, 733 Lorraine street, Wichita, Kansas

J. Kershisnik, Cheyenne Wyoming

Mrs. J. A. Lloyd and year-old son, J. A. Lloyd, jr., 1217 Capuchino Avenue, Burlingame, California

C. R. Drenk, 4618 Edgewood avenue, Fruitvale, California

Armond Herg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

M. L. Patterson, New Jersey (town unknown).

F.B.Voss, Brooklyn, N. Y. Voss and Patterson, associated with the Sperry Gyroscope company were en route to New York

R. P. Barrett, en route to St. Louis

Mrs. J. Palermo, 3413 East 139th Street, Cleveland

C. M. Cole, San Francisco, International
Business Machines, en route to Buffalo, N. Y.

Lieut. Comm. John G. Burrow, U. S. N., en route to Washington

Lieut. (JG) Claire Tucker, U.S.N. en route to Washington




Father - Willard Henry Miner

Mother - Ida Pearl (Rohrs) Miner


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