Survivors from a plane crash off the coast of County Galway are brought to Cork Airport.
On Sunday 23 September 1962 a Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation aircraft operated by The Flying Tigers airline company made an emergency landing in the Atlantic ocean five hundred miles off the County Galway coast.
The plane was bringing US (United States) military personnel and their family members from McGuire US Air Force base in New Jersey to Frankfurt via Shannon. There were seventy six people on board in total, fifty five of them US military personnel with thirteen of their dependents and a crew of eight.
An air-sea rescue operation was mounted following reports from the Constellation's captain that the aircraft’s engines were failing. Assisted by RAF (Royal Air Force) US Air Force planes, Swiss freighter the Celerina took forty four of the survivors on board. They were then airlifted to Cork Airport and transferred to the Mercy Hospital.
A Canadian aircraft carrier the Bonaventure sailed to the Shannon estuary with the remains of the twelve persons who perished as a result of the crash. Thirteen passengers are unaccounted for.
Major Richard Elander, his wife Lois and two other injured survivors are brought to Cork Airport by helicopter from the Celerina.
Speaking to the press at the airport, Major Elander describes the minutes before the crash as
Very quiet...no sound at all...and it was dark.
Major Elander, his wife and the surviving passengers boarded a life raft and remained there for five hours, bailing out water and waiting to be rescued,
We sang a few hymns and talked and just tried to calm everybody down.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 September 1962.