Reader interest and comments have driven the continuation of this project after the 50th anniversary last September 23. Most or these comments were the result of random searches of the world wide web. Some of those commenting added photos and text to expand the reach of this site.
#1-Submitted on 2013/07/27 at 10:44 am
I was a little boy when Capt. Murray visited his sister in our apartment building in Chicago during his layovers. I really looked up to him and eventually learned too fly, too. I completed my flying career as a Capt. at UPS on May 4, 2012. If it wasn’t for Capt. Murray, I might not have learned to fly.
Christopher W. Connor
#2-Submitted on 2013/07/20 at 10:07 pm
I’ve always been riveted by the story of the ditching of N6923C. In the late 70s and early 80s, I flew it’s sister ship, N6922C, on cargo flights out of Miami. I was a young co-pilot then. Interestingly, N6922C eventually was sold to a Dominican Republic Airline, AMSA, and flew into the 1990s before being damaged beyond repair in Borinquen, Puerto Rico, where it remains to this day. By a twist of fate, in 1987 AMSA bought an ex-USAF Super Connie, which I flew as flight engineer for the ferry flight.
It met its fate in 1990, when it ditched off San Juan. Its last flight was three-engine ferry that incurred an uncontrollable fire on a second engine. Then, the flight engineer on that fatal flight committed the same error as on N6923C: He shut off the oil to #1 engine, causing it to fail. With just one operative engine, a ditching was inevitable. The captain, Bill Bailes, did not survive the impact. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Stefan A. Bailis, PsyD firstname.lastname@example.org
[Editor’s note: This comment strikes incredibly close to home. See the story about James Garrett, who was flight engineer on FT 923. Click here.]
#3-Submitted on 2013/07/18 at 4:38 pm
I was 5 years old flying from McGuire AFB to Paris in 1962 on this very plane. My father was an Air Force Sergeant. He was being transferred to Chalmount AFB. I remember several things:
1. We stopped in New Foundland and then made another stop in the Azores.
2. I remember seeing the exhaust flaming all night, I had a window seat.
3. When we were approaching Paris, the left #2 engine was shut down. I distinctly remember me and my brothers saying something to my father at the time. To assure us, my father said the pilot always shuts down engines when landing.
Of course this is not so, but it helped assure us.
4. I remember my father telling us the plane crashed on its next trip.
Luckily, when we returned to McGuire AFB in 1966 we were on a Pan Am 707.
Just thought I would share this.
Cary, North Carolina
[Editor’s note: Paul, your father was extremely kind. He had to have nerves of steel to come up with that explanation. 1962 was a very bad year for the Flying Tiger Line and as an Air Force Sergeant, he had to know something. The story of that very bad year to come soon.]
#4-Submitted on 2013/07/12 at 2:59 pm
My father was Juan Alejos. I would like more information about this plane crash and if anyone knew him
[Editor’s note: Liza’s father was listed as Juan Alepos in the initial New York Times roster of Survivors and Deceased and subsequently in our list of those “Going Down with Flying Tiger 923” on this site. We apologize if we reported an incorrect spelling. The first reports were compiled during a rushed time-frame, even for the New York Times. Anyone know anything about Juan? Perhaps someone sat next to him?]
#5-Submitted on 2013/07/03 at 2:23 pm
My Uncle, Private Harold Keith Binford, was one of the dead of the Flying Tiger 923 crash. He had just turned 23. I was 5 years old at the time, but remember the confusion within my family when they found out the news – from the local news station. My mom always wondered if he survived the crash, but died while waiting for the rescue ship. I read the book “Born Again Irish” and this answered a lot of my questions of what my uncle went through his last hours of his life.
#6-Submitted on 2013/06/19 at 3:37 pm
I am slowly progressing my way through this amazing web site. I was totally unaware of this crash. Thank you for such an effort at compiling it. Is there a publication dedicated to the crash and rescue? Is “Born again Irish” an autobiography of the life and times of Fred Caruso?
#7-Submitted on 2013/06/12 at 9:11 am
I was with Helga Groves when we were pulled up onto the ship.
The Celerina captain gave Helga and I his cabin and I had all that I could do
to stop her from jumping overboard to join John. He had been explaining
some of the crazy American songs to her. (One such song was Patches which depicted
a similar instance as the ditching). I would love to get in touch with Helga Groves.
Carol Gould Hansen,
[Editor's note: Click here for information on John and Helga Groves.]
#8-Submitted on 2013/03/29 at 2:11 pm
Can anyone tell me the aircraft number, the tail number of the Connie that crashed!!!!! Not the serial number!!!! I have a picture of a tiger connie number 808 on the nose wheel door, but no place in all of the stories of flt 923 do I see a tail or company number, again not the mfg serial number. Thanks. Paul
#9-Submitted on 2013/06/01 at 1:53 pm
Are people still monitoring this site? Would you like more information? If so – I would like to share some.
#10-Submitted on 2013/02/28 at 4:25 pm
I have just discovered this site and am extremely moved.
Our father Robert C. Eldred and our mother were on that plane. For about 8 hours on that terrible day in 1962, my brother Bob and I thought we were orphans. I was 17, he was 19. No one knew anything, only that our parents’ plane had ditched and that they were still searching.
Sometime in the late evening (Massachusetts time) we had word that my father had been rescued and was on a ship. As I discovered in reading here on the web site (and I thank you for that) he was then airlifted to Cork. Although Willie Smith’s story says he didn’t seem to be injured, indeed he was and landed in the hospital for some weeks with severe burns (he told us that it was the combination of salt water and aviation fuel that burned the skin).
I will take my time now to read through the site over the next days and then I will try to tell the story as our father told it to us. Perhaps there is something I can add to the story as a whole.
There are also several errors in details concerning my parents that I will try to correct.
I am so terribly sorry that I didn’t know about the ceremony last year. I live in Germany now and very likely could have made it over to Ireland.
Once more, I thank you Fred for this site. I will be writing to my brother so he can read it as well.
#11-Submitted on 2012/12/19 at 2:09 pm
Captain John Murray is the grandfather of my fiance. After learning about the plane crash I was very interested to get more information. This is a great site. Thank you!
#12-Submitted on 2012/12/05 at 6:36 pm | In reply to Ragnar Domstad.
I WAS AT FORT BENNING WHEN N6923C AND TWO OTHER FLYING TIGER CONNIES TOOK OFF FOR EUROPE WITH OUR PARATROOP SCHOOL CLASSMATES ON BOARD. WE HAD WALKED TO THE AIRFIELD TO WATCH DEPARTURE. WE WERE STAYING STATESIDE AND WERE SAD BECAUSE WE
WANTED TO GO TO GERMANY. OR SO WE THOUGHT.
[Editor’s note: Ragnar Domstad provided us (by way of Swiss National Radio Reporter Peter Frey) with a photo of the actual Flying Tiger 923 aircraft, then known as Super Constellation N6923C. Domstad took the photo at Torslanda Airport, Gothenburg, Sweden, one year prior to the ditching while he was an engineering student at Chalmers Technical University at Gothenurg. He and his university club had chartered the aircraft through the Flying Tiger Line to bring fellow students to the United States for a familiarization tour. You can imagine how he and his fellow students felt a year later when they learned of the fate of N6923C. Click here for the photo and story.]
#13- Submitted on 2013/01/03 at 4:52 pm
Hello to all of my FLYING TIGER LINE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS!
This is Cherrie Hildreth and I have been trying to reconnect with many of what I called My Flight Attendant Family. There were not many of us, therefore a bond internally that will live on with and in me.
If someone would please contact me 832 721 6999 (Houston), I t would make 2013 even more of a promise fullfield year.
I started working the front desk HDQ, for Mr. Prescott and then on to Flight Attendant Training flying into countries I never imagined I would see. What memories…
#14-Submitted on 2013/02/24 at 10:43 am
This is my dad! If you need to know where he is please email me. This is awesome to see! I hope he knows you are honoring him!!
#15- Submitted on 2012/10/26 at 3:59 am
I remember being on guard duty in Weisbaden, Germany in 1962 when a young paratrooper (just out of jump school) handed me his orders to enter our post.
Little did I know that standing before me was a hero. He never mentioned to me – or anyone else – that he had just help save many lives from an airplane crash in the North Atlantic. The crash of Flying Tiger 923.
For some reason I always remembered this young paratrooper (don’t remember his name) standing before me, while not quite knowing what he had been through.
I remember thinking to myself, “This rookie doesn’t know what he has in store,” All the time not really knowing what he had just been through. I learned later that he had found a flashlight and waved it at a plane overhead resulting in most being rescued. Always remember that you never know what that person is who is standing before you. He just might be a hero.
[Editors note: That person was Joe E. Hofer from Birmingham, Alabama. We have not yet been able to locate him. Any information will be appreciated.]