Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

May 22, 2012

The untold story of Continental Flight 11

CENTERVILLE — Forward and italics by Duane Crawford

Since 2008, I have been searching for the coroner or the FBI reports to find the accurate names and other information about the Continental Airlines Boeing 707 Flight 11 that crashed near Unionville on May 22, 1962, killing all 45 crew members and passengers. Despite letters to Continental Airlines and other inquiries, I was unsuccessful. Recently, I found even more than I was looking for in the Putnam County Historical Society and Museum.

Mr. Charles B. DePuy, a reporter for the Daily Iowegian, wrote the “untold story” on June 22, 1962, because Centerville and surrounding areas played a huge role in helping with the tragedy. The rest of this article is credited to his research and writing, and I am deeply grateful for his contribution, as we will have a 50th Anniversary Remembrance Service at 11 a.m. on May 26, 2012 on the northeast corner of the Unionville square.    

            *                *                *

It would seem impossible, considering the reams that have been written, but there is still a story about the crash of Flight 11 that hasn’t been written.

It’s a sad story, but one that can be written with pride, for everyone who had a part in it far beyond the normal and in the best tradition of the Golden Rule.

It was the heart of the tragedy, the broken heart, the business of identifying and caring for the dead.

Identity had to be final and complete. If a crime was involved, it had to be final and complete for that reason, and tragic fake hope had to be allayed if any existed.

We talked to L. J. Johnson, of the Johnson Funeral Home in Centerville and with Dr. Charles L. Judd of Unionville, Mo.

Ambulances and funeral home officials were asked to stand by together with physicians of the area on the night of the crash. That started about 10 p.m. Tuesday night, May 22, 1962.

From that time and until the last body was returned to relatives and friends at the point of origin, a monumental task was completed with reverence and respect to the dead, and their grieving families.

Key man in the task of caring for the dead outside the FBI was Dr. Judd, head of the Monroe Hospital in Unionville, Mo., who is also coroner of Putnam County. He has received two letters since. They are as follows:

Text Only
Local News
  • Ceremony to honor cancer survivors A special luminaria ceremony to be held during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Appanoose County will remember those lost to cancer and honor those who have survived. Luminaria will be lit at Appanoose County Courthouse lawn on Friday, A

    July 30, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 28, 1929: Feelings between coal owners and the county’s miners were about to explode. Complicating the situation, the miners were divided between two unions. The United Mineworkers of America was led by a

    July 30, 2014

  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 29, 2014

  • Three year old case ends in prison term suspended A 36-year-old Moulton man was sentenced to state prison suspended to probation in the Appanoose County Courthouse July 18.Donnie D. Vanderlinden Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison, all but 30 days suspended, to five years probation to the Eigh

    July 29, 2014

  • Mercy receives Award Mercy Medical Center — Centerville received a 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Award from Gov. Terry E. Branstad during a special recognition ceremony held June 20 in Ottumwa.The hospital was honored with a length of service award by the Iowa Senior Health

    July 29, 2014

  • County attorney requests an assistant

    Monday morning the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors in the Courthouse boardroom moved to table a request from Appanoose County Attorney Susan C. Daniels to hire an assistant county attorney and amend her budget by $38,833.60 to cover the cost.

    July 28, 2014

  • 072514 CCC Meeting Photo Delay in street paving project Nancy Huisman, with Hall Engineering, Monday delivered to the Centerville City Council an update on the East and West State streets and North 10th Street paving project.Huisman recommended the city delay the project until the spring of 2015.The new t

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 23, 2014

  • Appanoose County Farm Bureau annual meeting President Mark McGill welcomed 85 members and guests to the annual meeting of the Appanoose County Farm Bureau on Tuesday, July 15 at the Faith United Methodist Church, south of Centerville. Guest speaker Walt Hackney, who writes DTN’s “Talkin’ Lives

    July 23, 2014

  • School board reviews legislative priorities The Centerville School Board met for a regular meeting Monday, July 14, welcoming new member Steve Hoch, who replaced Tom Lange after his resignation.High School band director Jim DePrizio approached the board to see if the Band Boosters could receiv

    July 22, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 23,1920-1926: For some people, the changing role of women in this time, was leading to the breakdown of the family. The "Divorce Rate Is Appalling," said one headline. It was the KKK Southern Iowa America

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 Medics Skills Photo Local medics advance skills Recently, six EMT’s from Mercy Medical Center advanced their credentials and skill levels to become paramedics.Dan Howington, Brenda Howington, Jeff Devoll, Katy Devoll, Andy Mericle and Jerilyn Inman invested their time over the last 18 months to ob

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved. July 22, 1945: Exline’s L. Jay Johnson, who opened a funeral home on East Maple Street on his return to Centerville from World War 2, survived the U.S. 8th AAF. He won a “Lucky Bastard” award from his fellow airmen on completion of 25 dangerous missi

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 AC Fair Photo1 Antique tractor display The Lapland Plowboys Antique Tractor Club will be displaying a large selection of antique tractors Monday through Friday at the Appanoose County Fair.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fire protection score improves CENTERVILLE – The Centerville Fire Department recently received word that the community’s rating on Insurance Services Office’s Public Protection Classification survey had improved.The survey in question analyzes the fire suppression services in a co

    July 22, 2014

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook