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Copyright © 2013
by John Kremer

Hot Times, Cool Places

Celebrities Air Deaths: November

November 1, 1949: U.S. representative George Bates (58) of Massachusetts and U.S. representative Michael Kennedy (52) of New York were among 56 people killed when a U.S. Air Force P-38 collided with an Eastern Air Lines DC-54B over Arlington, Virginia. The pilot, testing the plane for a South American country, survived the crash but all aboard the commercial airliner were killed.

November 4, 1967: On her way back home from Malaga, British actress June Thorburn (36) was killed along with 36 other passengers and crew when their Iberia Airlines Caravelle crashed into the side of Blackdown Hill near London. The jet crashed as it was making its final approach into London. Authorities believe the jet exploded in flight. It tore into a 100-foot oak tree, gouged windows out of a farmhouse, and came to rest in buckled fragments halfway up a 900-foot hillside.

November 4, 2008: Mexican Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino, who was in charge of Mexico's anti-drug efforts, and former anti-drug prosecutor Jose Luis Santiago Vanconcelos were killed along with six others when their small government plane crashed into a busy road in a wealthy section of Mexico City (after narrowly missing several high-rise office buildings). Five people were also killed on the ground.

November 9, 1929: Pioneer aviators Carl Ben Eielsen and Earl Borland were killed when their plane was wrecked in Siberia.

November 11, 1944: British air chief marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory (52) and his wife Dora were killed when their RAF Avro York airliner crashed in mountains west of Grenoble, France while en route to India where Mallory was to lead the Allied Air Forces in Southeast Asia. He was the brother of George Mallory, who died while attempting to climb Mount Everest in June 1924 (last seen about 800 feet below the summit).

November 12, 1999: A United Nations ATR 42 turboprop carrying officials from the World Food Program crashed near Pristina in Kosovo. 24 people, including the crew, were killed in the crash. The WFP was responsible for supplying food aid to about 900,000 people in the war-scarred Serbian province.

November 12, 2001: 250 people on board American Airlines flight 587 and five people on the ground were killed when the jetliner crashed on Rockaway Point minutes after taking off from Kennedy International Airport. Among those killed were the mother and sister of Dominican baseball pitcher Yorkis Perez.

November 14, 1970: 75 people, including 43 Marshall University football players and coaches, were killed when a Southern Airways DC-9 crashed in the mountains just short of the Huntington, West Virginia, Tri-State Airport.

November 16, 1937: The Grand Duke and Duchess of Hess were among 11 people killed when a Sabena Junkers JU-52 airplane crashed near Ostende, Belgium.

November 18, 1967: Engineer James Grant Ghormley (42), inventor of the chain drive mechanism for the modern offset printing press and co-founder of Vanguard Press, was killed in the crash of his P-51 airplane.

November 20, 2002: Henry Taylor Howard (70), a pioneer in the satellite television industry, was killed when the single-engine airplane he was piloting crashed shortly after taking off from the San Andreas, California airport.

November 21, 1998: Actor William Gardner Knight (56) was killed when his Burgess RV-6 light plane crashed as he was trying to land at Lee Airport in Edgewater, Maryland. Knight, who had appeared in such movies as Wall Street and Born on the Fourth of July, might have taken Viagra before the flight and been unable to distinguish colors on the cockpit flight panel and in airport lighting. It was the first time Viagra was associated with a plane crash. Note: It's also possible that he simply ran out of fuel.

November 22, 1941: German air ace Werner Mölders (28), the first ace to achieve a 100 kills, died when a Heinkel He-111 airliner lost an engine and crashed in bad weather while attempting to land at Breslau-Gandau, Germany. He had been on his way from Crimea to the Berlin state funeral of Ernst Udet, a great aerobatic pilot.

November 22, 1947: French general Philippe Leclerc (45), who led the Allied force which liberated Paris in August 1944, was among those killed when a French military transporter crashed in the Sahara desert.

November 23, 1982: Grady Lee Nutt of Hee Haw fame was the guest speaker at a youth rally and banquet in Cullman, Alabama. Later that night he and two employees of Central American Airways in Louisville were killed when the plane in which they were flying crashed soon after taking off from the airport in Vinemont, Alabama.

November 24, 1956: Orchestra conductor Guido Cantelli was one of 23 people who died when a Linee Aeree Italiane DC-6B airplane crashed on taking off from Paris, France.

November 24, 1972: Pilot Michael Burmeister was killed when he crashed into the mountains northwest of Hamilton Air Force Base just minutes after taking off in an F106 jet.

November 24, 2001: Singer Melanie Thornton died when a Crossair Avro RJ100 Jumbolino crashed outside Zurich, Switzerland as it attempted to land. Formerly with the group LaBouche, Thornton had just gone solo with her debut album titled Ready to Fly. Among the ten others killed were Maria Serrano-Serrano and Nathaly van het Ende (27) of the German dance-music group Passion Fruit.

November 25, 1985: Members of the Iowa State University women's cross-country team died when their plane crashed in Des Moines, Iowa.

November 25, 2207: Several descendents of the founders of the Mayo Clinic died after their plane flipped, crashed, and disintegrated into flames as they were trying to land under heavy winds at the Faribault, Minnesota airport. Dr. Chester W. P. Mayo (51) was bringing his son, Chester Mayo Jr. (17) back to boarding school at Shattuck-St. Mary's School after the Thanksgiving break when his 2007 Cirrus SR22 crashed during his second landing attempt. Two other people, Lyn Creger (19) and Jay Wang, also died in the crash.

November 26, 1999: William “Tiger” Warren, founder of Macheezmo Mouse restaurants and his three boys (Jack, 14; Will, 13; and Rob 9) were killed when their De Havilland Beaver float plane crashed into the Columbia River 45 miles east of Portland, Oregon.

November 27, 1956: St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Charlie Peete was killed in a plane crash in Venezuela.

November 28, 2004: A plane carrying NBC executive Dick Ebersol and two of his sons (with actress Susan St. James) crashed in Colorado. Dick Ebersol and son Charles survived, but son Teddy Ebersol (14) died, as did the pilot and flight attendant. Dick Ebersol is chairman of NBC television sports and was formerly an executive producer of Saturday Night Live.

November 29, 1975: Formula 1 race car driver Graham Hill (46) was killed when he got lost in a heavy fog and crashed his Piper PA-23-250 Aztec near Elstree Airport near Hertfordshire, England. Five passengers were also killed in the crash, including Grand Prix race car driver Tony Brise (23).

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