U.S. Army Corps B-34 Bomber Strikes American Airlines Flight 28
American Airlines Flight 28 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight that crashed on October 23, 1942 in Chino Canyon, near Palm Springs, California after being struck by a U.S. Army Air Corps B-34 bomber.
The B-34 suffered only minor damage, and landed safely at the Army Airport of the Sixth Ferrying Command, Palm Springs, California.
All nine passengers and three crewmembers on board the airliner perished in the crash and subsequent fire; neither of the two Army pilots aboard the B-34 was injured. The army pilot was later tried on manslaughter charges, but was acquitted by a court martial trial board.
Watching from a telephone-repeater station, Civilian Air-Raid Spotter R. M. Martin saw the airliner cruising smoothly ahead, followed by another twin-motored plane. Spotter Martin saw the trailing plane veer off to the side, then come back toward the transport at an angle. Suddenly "they looked like one plane, they were so close." Sky-watching citizens in Palm Springs thought they saw someone bail out in a parachute. But what they saw was the transport's tail assembly. Then the airliner screamed crazily earthward, careened into a mountainside. The wreckage burned for five hours; the three crew members and nine passengers, including Songwriter Ralph Rainger (Moanin' Low, Love in Bloom), were dead.
The American Air Lines plane which crashed near here Friday evening, killing nine passengers and its crew of three, was in a collision with an army bomber, the Air Lines officials announced yesterday.
The dead included RALPH RAINGER, author of such outstanding polular songs as "June in January," "Moanin' Low," and "Love In Bloom."
B. R. VEST, JR., an executive of the Allison Engine company of Indianapolis and M. C. HENDERSON state industrial commissioner for Arizona.
Plane En Route To New York.
The big Douglas plane, eastbound from Los Angeles to New York, was coming in for a routine landing at the airport here. It was seen to go into a flat spin at approximentely 2,000 feet and whirl down over the north ridge of the San Jacinto mountains.
Midair collision with an Army B-34 bomber. The bomber pilot attempted to draw attention to his friend the co-pilot in the airliner and struck the tail of the airliner. All 12 aboard the airliner killed. The bomber landed safely.