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From the Vault: News from the Friday, Aug. 22, 1952 edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 8/23/17

Test pilot and mechanic escape injury in plane crash

A veteran test pilot at Olmsted Air Force Base and a civilian mechanic from town escaped injury early Wednesday afternoon when a twin-engined …

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From the Vault: News from the Friday, Aug. 22, 1952 edition of the Press & Journal


Test pilot and mechanic escape injury in plane crash

A veteran test pilot at Olmsted Air Force Base and a civilian mechanic from town escaped injury early Wednesday afternoon when a twin-engined training plane crashed shortly after taking off due to engine failure. The plane was forced down opposite Stine’s Landing in three feet of water.

Maj. Charles Dascombe, currently serving his second tour of duty at Olmsted, and Oliver D. Strauss, 444 S. Catherine St., a civilian mechanic, were rescued immediately after the crash by Robert Stickell, of town.

Jack Faust Sr. and his son Jack Jr. witnessed the emergency landing from their nearby Hill Island summer camp. They reported the plane made a perfect approach to the river near the northern tip of Three Mile Island. Upon impact, the twin-engined craft flipped about and faced the Dauphin County shore after settling into the muddy bottom of the river.

The accident soon drew hundreds of people to Stine’s Landing and State Police were called to keep traffic moving. Crash boat equipment was rushed from Olmsted Air Base and moved immediately to the submerged plane.

By late afternoon personnel and equipment from the base reclamation section, headed by Harry Resh, South Catherine Street, was being organized to salvage the plane. A group of base officers, meanwhile, were taken by boat to the plane to start an investigation.

Salvage operations were organized to tow the plane to the Dauphin County shore, near Stine’s Landing, A river coal dredge flat was pressed into service but was unsuccessful in freeing the plane from the mud.

A second flat was moved to the scene last evening and the two craft slowly inched the plane shoreward, By nightfall the plane had been towed to Stine’s Landing and workers prepared to use heavy towing equipment to ease the plane onto crash trailer equipment when salvage continued.

Five area schools to discuss jointure

Highspire becomes the next point of interest in the campaign to arouse concern for the establishment of a school jointure involving the five area school districts.

School directors from Middletown, Royalton, Lower Swatara Township, Highspire and Steelton will convene Tuesday night, Sept. 9, in the Highspire High School auditorium to consider the degree of interest towards the formation of a jointure involving the above districts.

The meeting will be held at 8 o’clock and will be open to the public.

Twelve directors from four districts — Highspire, Middletown, Royaltown and Lower Swatara —attended the PTA-sponsored meeting held Tuesday night in the local high school gymnasium-auditorium annex.

Invited but absent were representatives from adjacent Londonderry Township. Tuesday night’s session was presided over by attorney Thomas H. Lane, chairman of the committee on school facilities for the Middletown PTA.

Lane told the school directors in attendance and the group of some 20 local citizens the primary purpose of the meeting was to determine if there was sufficient interest to warrant a study on a school jointure and to learn if a satisfactory arrangement could be arranged for all interested districts to convene at a later date for a more detailed discussion. The Sept. 9 session ultimately grew out of the discussions held at this week’s meeting.

Lane briefly summarized the conditions facing the districts represented Tuesday night. Lower Swatara Township is without any school buildings and students are being accommodated in the local schools. Royalton depends on Middletown for high school training and operates several buildings which match Middletown’s insofar as age is concerned. He cited rising costs and the increasing burden on the part of individual districts and pouting out that jointure today is the logical solution and one which the state recommends and supports to alleviate financial burdens as well as providing the means to construct modern facilities for distressed districts.

Although uninvited and not considered by the PTA for Tuesday’s meeting, the Steelton School District was mentioned as another potential district to constitute the jointure embracing lower Dauphin County. This matter was presented by a spokesman from the six-member delegation present from Highspire.

John Springer is appointed MCSO director

John Springer, 105 Oak Hill Drive, has been appointed director of activities with the Middletown Community Service Organization.

He will succeed William Troutman, formerly a teacher in the Middletown School District who has resigned to accept a similar position at Bloomsburg.

A native of Lower Swatara Township, Springer is a graduate of Middletown High School in 1928. He will assume his new position about mid-September. He served in the Pacific Theater of operations for three years in World War II.

He will have charge of all the widely varied programs at the MCSO, which are sponsored nightly for youngsters of all ages and adults, according to George Mansberger, president of the group.

Headlines from the edition

• Large crowd at Auto Club annual picnic

• Two men face charges in Lancaster County

• Power lines in First Ward to be extended

• National Guard to observe Governor’s Day

• Local Legion men given appointments

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