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17 Years of Service

Almost a week after receiving 1026, Braniff received Electra 1027 on June 15, 1935 with registration NC14938. It's the same story with this aircraft; after flying with the airline for roughly five to seven years it's sold to the Canadian Department of National Defense during the war where its registration is changed to CF-BRE and then to 7650. After the war it ended in someone's hands, we could never find a name, however the registration was reverted back to NC14938. In the mid-late 1940s it was sold to Lease Air out of Burbank, CA, where the registration changed to N14938. From Lease Air it traded hands to California Air Actives. In the early 1950s the aircraft was being flown by Golden State Airways.

On December 8, 1951, the Electra crashed during an emergency landing. At the time of the crash the aircraft was carrying Army and Air Force personnel who were on their way to Camp Stoneman for shipment overseas. Having flown in from Chicago they boarded the Electra at Burbank. As the plane was flying over San Jose it began developing engine trouble; soon one engine failed and pilot Russell Rew began to turn back in an attempt to make an emergency landing at the San Jose Municipal Airport. Witnesses on the ground told reporters that they saw the other engine fail and watched as the Electra smashed into a pear orchard, ripping out 17 trees, on the northeast corner of the airfield. Following an investigation the cause of the crash was discovered to be an ice-covered air intake. The Electra was damaged beyond repair; however, the fuselage remained intact saving all those aboard from serious injury. All those aboard the aircraft were the following:

Pilot Russell Rew, Air Force T/Sgt. Ronald First, 36, Army Pfc. Frank Zallar, 23, US Navy sailor, Herman Geisecke, 20, Air Force Pfc. Rudy Zanzano, 21, Army Pfc. Alan Jansen, 22, Army Pfc. Edward Ives, 22, Air Force Pfc. Robert W. Jordan, 19, Army Cpl. Robert F. Longley, 19, Army Pfc. Fred Zakrzewski, 22, Air Force Cpl. James Beckman, 22, and Army Pvt. Lloyd Archambault, 23.

NC14938 while flying for Braniff (Ed Coates collection)

1027 as it would have looked while flying in Canada during the war

The Oakland Tribune, Sunday, December 9, 1951


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