March 15, 1935, Lockheed Electra 1012 was delivered to Walker Patterson Inman in Somerville, New Jersey, with registration NC3138; Inman was stepson to James Buchanan Duke (President of the American Tobacco Co., and a major benefactor to Duke University). Inman must have only kept the Electra for several months to maybe a year before it ended up with Braniff Airways, what is certain is that it was flying for the airline by 1936.
In 1940 the aircraft was given to the Canadian Department of National Defense where the registration was changed to CF-BSZ or 7841. By 1942 the Electra was acting as a service aircraft. On January 26, 1942, the aircraft took off from Winnipeg with seven men onboard; visibility, according to reports at the time, was poor with a light snow having begun to fall. A farmer on the ground near MacGregor reported the Electra had circled a beacon south of the farm once and had begun to circle a second time attempting an emergency landing in the field indicated by the beacon but crashed in an adjacent farm. The plane impacted the ground with enough force to destroy it completely. Wings, motors, and bits of the fuselage were found across a radius of about 200 feet; all seven men onboard were killed, two officers and five aircraftsmen.
The victims of this crash were Flight Lieut. W. J. Dyson, Victoria, B.C.; First Officer J. H. Thrift, Estevan, Sask.; Sgt.-Pilot W. F. Field, Calgary; and Leading Aircraftman T. C. Bate, Winnipeg. The three other men's names were never released in the papers but we still remember these men and their service.
Electras in production, 1012's tail fin is seen at the left.
NC3138 sitting on a ramp, location unknown
Advert for Braniff's Lockheed Electra
Wichita Daily Times, Friday March 1, 1935
The Calgary Herald, Tuesday January 27, 1942
The Albertan, Thursday January 29, 1942
The Montreal Daily Star, Wednesday January 28, 1942