June 1, 1943: British actor
Leslie Howard (42) and sixteen others were
killed when their KLM Royal Dutch Airlinces DC-3 was shot down off the coast of
France by the German military during World War II.
June 1, 2002: South African cricket
captain Wessel Johannes “Hansie” Cronje (32)
died along with two pilots when their plane went down in bad weather in the
Outeniqua Mountains near George, Western Cape, South Africa. He had taken this
flight after missing the regular plane because of a huge hailstorm in
Johannesburg. Cronje had been banned in 2000 for his involvement in rigging matches.
June 2, 1943: Heisman trophy winner
Nile Kinnick (24) died when the motor of his
plane failed during a training flight and he had to make an emergency landing
off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. His body was never recovered.
During the 1939 university football season, Kinnick played quarterback, punt
returner, punter, and defensive back for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Besides winning the
Heisman trophy, he also was voted the top male athlete in the U.S. for 1939.
Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City is named after him.
June 2, 1983: Canadian folk singer
Stan Rogers, Curtis
Mathes (president of Curtis Mathes), and 21 others were killed when
their Air Canada DC-9 caught fire and made an emergency landing at the
Cincinnati International Airport. Most of the fatalities were caused by smoke
inhalation and a flash fire that flared up when the emergency doors were opened.
23 people survived the fire. Stan Rogers rescued several passengers and went
back to the plane to help another person, but died in the attempt.
June 4, 1969: Mexican Davis Cup tennis
player Rafael Osuna was killed in the crash
of a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727. The crash was attributed to pilot error as
the plane flew directly into a mountain near Monterrey, Mexico.
June 4, 1986: Bruce
Wayne, a popular and long-time traffic reporter for L.A. radio
station KFI, was broadcasting from the airplane he piloted during the Lohman and
Barkley morning drive-time show. On June 4, 1986, Wayne took off from the
airport moments after broadcasting his first traffic report from the taxiway.
His engine quit as he was climbing out, and he crashed in a nearby industrial
area and was killed instantly.
June 4, 2007: Six members of the
University of Michigan organ transplant team, were killed when their
leased Cessna 550 crashed into Lake Michigan shortly after taking off from
Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The victims were Dr. David Ashburn, a
physician-in-training in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery; Dr. Martinus Spoor, a
cardiac surgeon; transplant donation specialists Richard Chenault II and Richard
Lapensee; and pilots Dennis Hoyes and Bill Serra.
June 5, 1921: Pioneering woman aviator
Laura Bromwell died when she lost control of
her airplane and crashed from over 1000 feet in the air. Only a month earlier,
she had set a new world's record by looping the loop 199 times at speeds up to 135 miles per hour.
June 6, 1997: Stunt pilot
Jeffery Ethell died when his P-38 stalled and
crashed at an air show in Tillamook, Oregon. Ethel had hosted several episodes of Planes of Fame.
June 10, 2012: Kenyan internal security
minister George Saitoti (66) and five others were killed when his helicopter
went down near Nairobi, Kenya, and exploded into flames. The crash may have been
caused by the rebel group Al-Shabab.
June 14, 1995: Drew
Stephens, former boyfriend of Karen Silkwood, died in a plane crash
while practicing aerobatic loops outside El Reno, Oklahoma. Stephens was played
by Kurt Russell in the 1983 movie, Silkwood, which dramatised the death
of Silkwood, a worker in a nuclear plant who alleged serious safety violations in that plant.
June 16, 1985: Lee Mace,
the founder of Lee Mace's Ozark Opry, was killed while attempting to land on the
Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. When the wing tip of the plane hit the end of a
floating dock, the plane flipped several times and crashed hard. Bystanders were
unsuccessful in attempting to rescue Mace and his flight instructor.
June 17, 1948: Theatrical impresario and
night club owner Earl Carroll (55) along
with 42 others died in the crash of a United Airlines Douglas DC-6. After a fire
began in the cargo hold, the crew were incapacitated by carbon dioxide extinguishers (obviously a design fault).
June 17, 1989: Astronaut
S. David Griggs (50) died in the crash of a
World War II training plane near Earle, Arkansas.
June 19, 1964: Senator
Edward M. Kennedy was severely injured in a private plane crash in
Southhamton, Massachusetts while on his way to the Democratic state convention.
One of his aides, Edward Moss, and another man were killed.
June 19, 1996: G. David
Schine, the Harvard-educated aide to Senator Joseph McCarthy whose
draft into the Army caused the downfall of the senator, was killed in a crash of
a private plane piloted by his son. Schine, his wife, and his son were killed in
the crash just after taking off from the Burbank, California airport. Schine had
also been the executive producer of the 1971 movie The French Connection.
June 19, 2000: Artist and journalist
Bill Papas (73), who covered the South African
trial of Nelson Mandela in the 1950s, drowned when the float plane he was riding
in crashed while taking off in British Columbia, Canada. Two other friends among
twelve passengers on a fishing vacation also died.
June 22, 1928: Norwegian explorer
Roald Amundsen (56) was lost at sea while
attempting to fly a rescue mission to the airship Italia, which was stranded in the Arctic Ocean.
June 22, 2015: Oscar-winning and
Grammy-winning composer James Homer (61)
died when his single-engine S312 Tucano crashed near Cuyama in central
June 23, 1980: Sanjay
Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi, premier of India, died when the plane
he was piloting crashed.
June 24, 1935: Argentine actor and tango
singer Carlos Gardel (44) and lyricist
Alfredo Le Pera were two of 17 killed when two
Servicio Aereo Columbiano Ford Tri Motor airplanes collided in midair over
June 24, 1975: Wendell
Ladner, New York Nets forward, was one of 113 people killed when an
Eastern Airlines 727 crashed during a storm while trying to land at JFK Airport in New York City.
June 26: Alioune
Blondin Beye, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to
Angola, was killed when his airplane crashed in the Ivory Coast.
June 26, 1996: One of four
Flying Elvises died from injuries after being
blown off course into a yacht club in Quincy, Massachusetts. He and his partners
were parachuting in celebration of the opening of a night club on Boston Harbor
when they were hit by whipping winds.
June 27, 1983: World-famous balloonists
Maxie Anderson and
Don Ida were killed when their helium balloon crashed in a West
German forest during a race.
June 27: 2005:
John T. Walton (58), the second son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
and a member of the company's board died when his ultra-light aircraft crashed
shortly after taking off from a field in Wyoming. During the Vietnam War, Walton
served as a medic with the U.S. Army Green Berets. He also worked as a crop
duster in the 1970s and a boat builder in the 1980s and 1990s. As an heir to the
Walton fortune and a net worth of $18.2 billion, he was one of the richest men
June 28, 1979: Philippe
Cousteau (35), son of Jacques Cousteau, was killed when his Catalina
PBY-6A airplane crashed as he was landing. His plane had just been repaired when
he took it out for a flight. As he landed, one of the plane's propeller's
sheared off, cut through the cockpit, and killed Cousteau.
June 30, 1954: Two members of the
Blackwood Brothers Quartet were killed when their twin engine Beechcraft went
down near Clanton, Alabama. Baritone R. W. Blackwood
and bass Bill Lyles died in the crash as did a friend, Johnny Ogburn. The crash
occurred just 16 days after the Blackwood Brothers won Arthur Godfrey’s
Talent Scouts competition on national television in New York City with their
rendition of “Have You Talked To The Man Upstairs?” 5,000 people attended their
funeral, the South’s largest until that of Elvis Presley.