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Butte Fork airplane wreck graves

Along the remote Butte Fork Trail in the Red Buttes Wilderness in California lies this pile of stacked native rocks & plaque marking the graves of three individuals who were killed in a civilian single engine airplane wreck here on July 28, 1945.  Their flight destination was from Red Bluff to Eugene, Oregon & the exact cause of the accident remains a mystery to this day.  Here's a description from a sourced website below:


"It was mid-afternoon, July 28, 1945, when Rob Armstrong took off in his Stinson airplane from Red Butte, Calif. His three passengers were Sylvan Gosliner, a San Francisco businessman, his wife, Ruby, and her sister, Alma Pratt.

A few hours later a Forest Service lookout north of Yreka reported seeing a low-flying airplane, "obviously having engine trouble and searching for a landing spot."

It took three days to locate the wreck from the air. A burial party assembled, and the next day its members drove and hiked through the rugged, thickly forested Red Butte Wilderness. They found the nose of the plane driven four feet into the ground and the cabin crushed by the engine. All aboard were dead.  The group did what they came for, wrapping the bodies in blankets, placing them in a gully, and covering them with rocks and dirt.
Armstrong’s brother hiked in later and carried out his brother’s body for burial in Tulare County’s “Olive Cemetery.”  A brass plate marks the grave of the three passengers along the Butte Fork Trail above the remnants of the plane."


Reading on headstone:

Sylvan L. Gosliner : May 2, 1905 - July 28, 1945

Ruby May Gosliner : Nov. 4, 1913 - July 28, 1945

Alma Virgie Pratt - Feb. 14, 1922 - July 28, 1945


I personally had wanted to visit this somber location for several years now & finally got a chance.  The remains of the wreck are apparently located nearby & when it crashed it apparently did not even strike a single tree.  I didn't get to locate it but maybe during a future visit & some probing around.




Picture of pilot:

Picture of passengers:

View More »

Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 20756x10378
Taken: 15/05/2020
Uploaded: 17/05/2020


Tags: butte fork; airplane; wreck; out of place graves; california; trail; red buttes wilderness; klamath mountains; siskiyou mountains; western; woods; knedyl; stinson; plane; aviation
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