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Mail Tribune 100, Oct. 8, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Oct. 8, 1919


There seemed to be no doubt today that Lieutenant John C. McGinn, who was seriously injured Tuesday forenoon near Gold Ray by the fall of the DeHaviland airplane which instantly killed Lieutenant H. W. Webb, would recover. His condition is very much improved, the bandages being taken off today. He has recovered well from the shock, altho he is badly cut and bruised and suffered a broken nose and wrist.

In a brief conversation with Dr. Stearns today McGinn said he could not explain the accident. The last thing he knew the engine stopped and in maneuvering for a landing the machine went into a tail spin. His last view of Webb was his struggle with the stick to regain control and bring the plane back to equilibrium. His next recollection was waking up in the hospital.

“I don’t think we were short of oil or gas,” said McGinn, “and as far as I know there was no serious engine trouble. We were about 1,000 feet up when the engine suddenly stopped, why I don’t know. In going down we apparently lost momentum and fell back in a tail spin. Webb worked hard to get her back but it was too late.”

The body of Lieutenant Webb will probably be shipped Thursday to Glendale, Calif., his home where his wife and mother reside. Coroner Perl received a telegram today from the First National bank of Glendale saying that the widow had made this request of the commanding aviation officer. The coroner’s inquest will not be held until Lieutenant McGinn is sufficiently recovered to attend and testify.

There seems to be no doubt but that the accident to the plane was primarily due to engine trouble, entailing a forced landing in a too small landing place. Lieutenant C. H. Ridenour and Sergeant H. P. Fisher of the state forest patrol service arrived here yesterday afternoon and a formal investigation of the accident will be made. They flew here from Eugene shortly after receiving the news of the accident.

“We flew over the course Lieutenants Webb and McGinn had followed and studied the vicinity of the accident and the remains of the ruined plane, besides talking with witnesses of the plane’s fall,” said Lieutenant Ridenour today.

News from 100 years ago