Charles J. COMBS Jr.
Husband: Charles J. COMBS Jr.
Birth: 1 Feb 1924, Richland Twp., Stoddard Co., Missouri
Death: 22 Mar 1955, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Burial: 12 May 1955, Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, St. Louis Co., Missouri
Father: Charles J. COMBS
Mother: Minnie E. FOSTER
1. Charlene COMBS, b: 1948, Missouri
From the St. Louis Post; Associated Press Article:
66 Killed as Navy Plane Hits Hawaiian Peak
Honolulu, Mar 22, 1955 - A Navy transport plane crashed into a mountain top today and exploded with a roar "like a thunder-clap", killing all persons aboard. It was the most disastrous airplane accident in Hawaii's history, and one of the worst in aviation records.
Victims included a woman, her child, and 64 servicemen, including the nine-man Navy crew, 17 Air Force passengers, 22 Army men, 12 Marines, and four navy men.
The R6D four-engine transport was ferrying the passengers-including a serviceman with his wife and three year old daughter from Tokyo to California. It had turned back toward Hickam Field in Honolulu on the last leg of the transpacific flight because of trouble.
Eight miles off course and in a heavy rainstorm the big plane plowed into Pali Kea peak about 15 miles northwest of Honolulu at the southern end of the Waianae range. It was at 2:03 a.m. The pilot turned on his landing lights just before the crash, witnesses said. He apparently saw the mountain looming in front and tried to bank away. It was too late. The plane hit the bare face of the mountain 200 feet from the top, and exploded. "It sounded like 100 gasoline drums exploding," said Clarence Hoe, civilian employee of the Lualualie Naval Ammunitions depot 2000 yards away from the crash scene on the wast coast of Oahu Island. Hoe, the first to reach the scene, said the wings were sheared off but the body of the plane fell in one flaming piece to the bottom of a gully. The heat was so intense, the rescuers could not approach for hours. "The whole sky was red for more than two hours", said policeman Philo Owen. The officer, who was five miles away, said the plane blew up in "one big explosion like a thunderclap".
The transport, based at Moffett Field in California, took off from Hickam field for the mainland at 6:06 o'clock last night. It was loaded to capacity. Fours hours and 20 minutes later, it turned back because of radio trouble.
St. Louis Soldier Among Victims of Plane Crash
A St. Louis soldier en route home on emergency leave to the bedside of his seriously ill mother, was among the 66 persons killed in the Navy transport plane which crashed into an Hawaiian mountain top yesterday. The Defense Department's list of the dead, released last night in Washington, included Army Private Charles J. Combs, son of Mrs. Minnie Combs 0f 6132 Bartmer Ave. He was 31 years old.
Pvt. Combs, stationed in Japan, had received the emergency leave after his mother suffered a stroke a few days ago at her home. The stroke followed a previous one suffered last October which had left her paralyzed, her daughter, Mrs. Helen Smith of the Bartmer Avenue address, said last night.
Combs came to St. Louis in 1946 to join his mother and other members of his family after they moved here from Cape Girardeau, Mo., during World War II, in which he served as a Marine in the Pacific Theater. A factory worker, he enlisted in the Army two years ago. Besides is mother and sister, he is survived by Charlene Combs, his 7-year-old daughter by a marriage which ended in divorce; another sister, Miss Vernetta Combs, and a brother, Russell.
The list of dead in the plane crash also included another Missourian, Naval AN. William Richard Rimer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard N. Rimer of Edina, Mo.