Fairchild AFB, WA
7 Mar 1959
Note: The type of aircraft and the base it was stationed at are not confirmed. These are estimates based on the date of the mishap and news story report. If anyone has updated information, please contact us.
The San Bernadino County Sun (San Bernardino, CA)
Sun, Mar. 8, 1959, page 1
Copter Crashes While Crossing Spokane River
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – An Air Force helicopter crashed into the Spokane River yesterday while searching for a 9 year-old Camp Fire Girl who disappeared mysteriously Friday while selling mints door to door.
Two search volunteers, standing along the bank pulled three men from the helicopter as it quickly settled in the river, a deputy said. Two men were missing aboard the craft. One of the three men rescued died later on the way to a hospital.
The two survivors, Airman Michael R. Holloway, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack A. Holloway, San Francisco, and Sgt. James L. Fisher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry L. Fisher, Greeley, Colo, were reported in “good condition” at a military hospital.
Airman Marlice D. Ray was dead on arrival at the hospital here. He was the son of Mrs. Dixie Lee Ray, Boonesville, Miss.
The pilot,, who was believed to have gone down with the helicopter, was identified as Lt. Keneth G. Fauteck, hometown unknown. The third victim of the crash wasn’t identified immediately. (later identified as SSgt. William A. McDowell)
The copter apparently struck high tension wires while crisscrossing the river in the search for Candice Elaine Rogers and plunged into “water so deep, we can’t even see it,” said a deputy sheriff. The craft apparently rests in water behind the Nine Mile Dam.
The helicopter had joined the search for the missing Camp Fire Girl about two hours before the tragic crash and was making a low level search of the river banks for the little girl. Hight tension wires cross the river near the dam.