Lockheed Electra 10A, 1061, was delivered July 1, 1936, registration NC16050, to Hanford Airlines, based out of Kansas City; two years later the airline would change its name to Mid-Continent Airlines. On June 8, 1942, the Electra was pressed into service with the USAAF and its registration was changed to 42-56639; following the war, on January 19, 1945, the aircraft was sold to Ted Colbert, of Oklahoma, with the registration having been restored to the original NC16050. Eight months later NC16050 was sold to Cuba's Cia Cubana de Aviacion, registration NM-24; within the next year or so the aircraft was sold and imported back to the United States to Florida where the aircraft became N57777. By the late 1940s the Electra was sold to Monarch Airways, Ohio, where the registration changed to N3941C, and from there to Indiana Gear Works.
The end came for Electra 1061 on January 10, 1952, when the aircraft was being flown from Memphis, Tenn., to Indianapolis, Ind. While en-route the crew, David Sherrier and Jack Hungerford, lost their way; according to news reports, the Electra had drifted off course somewhere over Indiana and was unable to locate O'Neals' Airport, where cars had been lined up to light the field. In searching for a suitable place to land, the crew noticed the plane was almost out of gas and selecting a field on the outskirts of Lawrenceville, IL, (the men believed they were over Evansville, IN) attempted to land the plane. According to The Lawrence County News, Thursday, January 17, 1952, "The Electra made contact with the ground heading east, clipped through a fence, and travelled about 450 feet, but in the darkness, the plane veered toward the railroad tracks." As the aircraft reached a right of way the right rudder was sheered off by a fence, after which the aircraft struck a power line pole, the force of which turned the aircraft back around so that it now faced west. The right engine was heavily damaged and the pole had been splintered. The plane came to rest with only four to five feet of clearance between the wing tip and the railroad tracks.
Following the accident the aircraft was likely scrapped; its registration was cancelled on June 30, 1970, almost 35 years since the aircraft was first delivered to Hanford Airlines.
Electra 1061, at the beginning of its career with Hanford Airlines (Ed Coates Collection)
Electra 1061 at the end of its career. The Lawrence County News, Thursday, January 17, 1952