Navy SNJ-5

Missing Plane Tail# 90586

The plane took off on March 11, 1949 from Sand Point Naval Air Station for a planned 2 hour training flight in the foothills. He told a nurse he'd checkout Snoqualmie Pass for driving conditions because she'd told him at breakfast she planned to drive east over the mountains that weekend. He never returned.

Loggers in the North Bend area said they'd seen a similar plane fly low over their area. The Ensign's mother came from Kingsport, Tn. every year from 1949 until last check 1969 to keep up interest as best as she could to search for him. At the time of his disappearance the Navy and CAP logged 250 hours searching for him

In 1961 she was able to interest divers to search Black Lake which I believe is a shallow muddy lake about 11 miles or so north of North Bend. They said they found a few items that might have been associated to a SNJ but never offered enough proof they found it definitely and the Navy never followed up on it. The divers said they thought it could've hit an iced over lake and disintegrated and sank when the ice melted. They never said they studied weather to show whether the lake was iced on that day or whether they were just surmising that it was iced over.

I also never read any discussion they used metal detectors. I say that knowing the fuselage was steel tubing.

Missing AirMen

Benjamin O. Vreeland, Pilot

Gaston Mayes, Passenger