Air Crash (Part-1)

April 18, 1964

A Middle East Airlines Caravelle en route from Beirut to Dhahran crashed into the Gulf about 15 miles south of Dhahran International Airport shortly after midnight Friday during a severe sand and windstorm.

The jet, MEA Flight 444, carried 42 passengers, including 22 Aramco employees or family members, and a crew of seven. Sunday morning Aramco confirmed an earlier MEA report that there were no survivors.

A wing and the submerged fuselage of the plane were found by a U. S. Navy helicopter at 1:14 p.m. Saturday. The 'copter, from the landing ship U. S. S. Spiegel Grove, then in port at Bahrain, had joined a huge land-sea air search organized at daybreak to look for the missing aircraft.

Ninety Aramco desert vehicles from all three districts covered an area south from Jubail to the tip of Half Moon Bay, and west to Abqaiq, beginning shortly after 9 a.m. Later in the morning two launches put out from Bahrain to cover the water areas. Aircraft joined the search about noon.

The search was hampered all morning by visibility which never exceeded a quarter of a mile.

The last radio contact from the plane received by the Dhahran Airport tower was at 12:32 a.m., when the pilot reported he was completing a procedure turn before making his approach to land. His position at that time was approximately 10 miles south of the airport.

The aircraft was on a normal approach path, with its flaps down in landing position when discovered in the water.

A company DC-3 circled the area after the first sighting and helped guide power craft to the scene, and later to look for possible floating debris.

Aramco's 60-ton floating crane was dispatched from Ras Tanura Saturday afternoon to recover the fuselage. Recovery operations were being coordinated on the scene by the Middle East Airlines vice president of operations, who was assisted by Aramco personnel from Abqaiq, Dhahran and Ras Tanura.

Aramco employees or dependents aboard the stricken plane were: William Kelley Jewell, Ralph Henry Devenney, William Anthony Scott, Thomas Allen, Mrs. Imogene Allen, Terry and Laura Allen, Omar Jinawy Ahmed, Mrs. Aisha Ahmed Jinawy (presumed to be Miss Aisha Ahmed Jinawy), Paul Arvin, Mrs. Sheryl Cook Arvin, Mrs. Margery Baumgartner, Jane Baumgartner, Thelma Carter, George Hoyle, Rashid Ibrahim al-Rashid, Mrs. Ruth Young, Judith Rhodes, Robert Keith Souders, Mrs. Robert Keith Souders, Derek Souders and Ahmed F. Limssally.

Combined memorial services were held at 8 a.m. this morning in Dhahran, at 10 a.m. in Abqaiq and at 11 a.m. in Ras Tanura.

MEA Lists Passengers

Rashid Ibrahim al-Rashid

William Kelly Jewell

Ralph Henry Devenney

Howard W. Lynch

Dr. Isaak Khalil Mikhail

William Anthony Scott

Dr. Frank Joseph Zukoski

Omar Jinawy Ahmad

Mrs. Aisha Ahmad Jinawy

M. al-Dosari

Talil al-Dosari

Ibrahim Khalil Obeid

Yousuf S. al-Ajaji

Karim M. Mumen

Saliman S. Dosari

Abdullah S. Dosari

Thomas Allen

Mrs. Imogene Allen

Terry Allen

Laura Allen

Ahmad F. Limssally

Paul Arvin

Mrs. Sheryl Cook Arvin

Mrs. Margery Baumgartner

Jane Baumgartner

Thelma Carter

Chafec Bechara Costandy

Mrs. Han Tanna

Gosine Michael Ghatas

George Hoyle

Fouad Salim Najjar

Paul Thomas Schooder

Ali Jumaa

Antoun Jorgi To'ma

Mrs. Ruth Young

Judith Rhodes

Robert Shaffer

Robert Keith Souders

Mrs. Robert Keith Souders

Derek Souders

Brent McDonald

Abdullah Abdul Jabbar

1 Comment for “Air Crash Obituaries (Part - 1)”

  1. Posted Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 11:59:45 AM

    My dad, Wayne McDonald, was waiting to fly out of Dhahran on that plane. For approximately 24 hours, our family in Fresno, California, thought he had been aboard because Bechtel notified us that there had been a McDonald aboard. My dad called us in the early hours of the next day.

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