Accident Northrop A-17A 36-183,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 114863
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Date:Sunday 10 March 1940
Type:Silhouette image of generic a17 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Northrop A-17A
Owner/operator:21st Air Base Sqn USAAC
Registration: 36-183
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:four miles southwest of Sharon Springs, Kansas -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Albuquerque
Destination airport:Lowry Field, Denver
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On 10 March 1940, Major Devereux Myers and Corp Maurice E. Melvin of 21st Air Base Squadron took off with the A-17A 36-183 from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to return to their home base, Lowry Field, Denver. En route, Myers radioed the Trinidad, Colo., airport: "I'm 15 miles due west of Trinidad. We're hitting soup and I'm turning east." "Soup" is flying men's language for fog. Shortly after that their aircraft crashed in flames in the wild, fog-shrouded hill country southwest of Sharon Springs, Kansas, and both men were killed. Myers body was buried under the wreckage and was almost cremated. Melvin was thrown clear but his body was badly burned and his clothes were seared away. The spot was about 150 miles east of Trinidad.

Dolph Simpson, a rancher four miles southwest of Sharon Springs, saw plane crash and burn. He made his way over the rocky country through the heavy fog and sleet to the plane, but there was nothing he can do. He came to town and notified Sheriff Orvill Walker. Walker, Coroner W. W. Carter and County Attorney James Taylor went to the wreck but lacked equipment to make a thorough investigation. Two metal discs bearing army insignia fell from Melvin's clothes. One was inscribed "Mrs. Ruth Melvin, and the other "Norma Andrews, Mendon, 111." There was no further identification, but Walker called Lowry field and field officers said they were satisfied the two were Melvin and Myers.

Myers was 53 and a native of Virginia. He was a graduate of army mechanics and engineering schools and had served tours of duty at Hamilton, Selfridge, Langley and Boeing fields and at El Paso with the border patrol. His family included his wife, Marjorie, of Denver. Melvin was the son of Mrs. Eva Melvin, Olivet, Michigan.

Marshfield News-Herald from Marshfield, Wisconsin, 11 March 1940 (available online at
San Antonio Light, 11 March 1940 (available online at,_Kansas

Revision history:

29-Nov-2017 14:21 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Oct-2018 13:58 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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