This small group of eight people held destiny of 68 others in their hands. Their skill and calm meant the difference between death and survival. Not all of those so committed to duty made it out alive.
Here are their stories::
> Captain John Murray (Pilot)
Captain John Murray says the controls were in God’s hands while Murray’s hands grasped the controls. It was a masterful ditching especially considering the violent circumstances.
> One light – One raft – 51 people > Capt. Murray remembers a flashlight and returns to the cockpit to retrieve it. Good thing! That light turns out to be the only light that could be used as a signal. The life raft was upside down and the rim lights were facing down into the water.
> Carol Ann Gould (Hansen – Flight Attendant)
Carol Ann Gould Hansen has been the most highly visible and memorable of the crew. She was just filling in for a friend. She might have passed on the last-minute assignment, but what a difference it would have made for 47 survivors. She was an inspiration and motivator.
And a recent follow up story on Carol Ann: Carol Ann to Attend Flying Tiger Convention
>Nicholson Controls the Raft (Navigator)
Sam Nicholson was in charge of getting a life raft out the back door and inflated. That life raft turned out to be the only raft available to survivors. Fifty one piled in. Forty eight got out alive.
Those who died:
> Newlywed Attendant Shows Bravery On Her Final Flight (Betty Sims, Flight Attendant)
Betty Sims was on her last official flight. She had secretly gotten married just a few weeks before. The passengers could have never suspected that. She was a dedicated and exceptionally competent professional right up to the last moments of her life.
> Flight Engineer Garrett (Flight Engineer)
James Garrett is reported to have flipped the wrong switch and in doing so cut off the oil supply to functioning engine rather than trigger the fire extinguishing mechanisms on the engine on fire. In the Civil Aeronoutics Board report, he is quoted as saying, “Sorry John, it looks like I goofed.” He is not here to explain his actions.
Three other crew members perished:
> Robert W. Parker (Co-Pilot) of Brentwood, Long Island
> Jacqueline Brotman (Flight Attendant) of Chicago, Illinois
> Ruth Mudd (Flight Attendant) of Brown Mills, New Jersey
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These articles are important to a better understanding of this and other indexed subjects:
> Not your typical airplane crash > If asked, most people say that there is no such thing as a “typical” airplane crash. There are a number of reasons why, however, Flying Tiger Flight 923 stands out as NOT typical at all.
> Going Down with FT923 > This is a list of all passengers and crew, dead, missing and surviving as reported in the New York Times of 24 September 1962.
> CAB Report Available for Free Download > This official report totals only 37 pages. Investigations didn’t go into as much detail as they do today. In any event, it is something and an important document to have.
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> O’CARUSO > About Fred Caruso, the Irish O’Caruso and the developer, editor and writer and of this site. This article tells of his roll as a survivor and author of a book centered around the crash and its impact on his life. The book, Born Again Irish, tells how Flying Tiger 923 drove his life into a career of journalism and the adoption of Ireland as home.