Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Coquitlam Mountain plane crash

On June 17, 1955  Frederick Hill Atkinson, a student at Columbia University, was flying a Cessna 120 registration number N72843  from Sea Island to Cranbrook., B.C.

     He sadly crashed the plane into Coquitlam Mountain, also sometimes erroneously known as Mount Coquitlam. Reported to be located on the eastern side of the mountain at 49° 23' N;  122° 42' W although according to those coordinates it is another unnamed mountain nearby, to the east of Coquitlam Mountain  ( Google Earth KML file ) His body was recovered two days later on Sunday, June 19, 1955.   From what I have been told in the past, the remains of the aircraft were recovered.( but it is unknown if that is just a story to keep people away from the crash site, since it is located inside the watershed.  A person could identify any parts found by downloading the 1954 Cessna parts catalogue for the 120-140 series (PDF))
He was born in New York on the 22nd of May 1935, and at the time of the fatal crash his address was  150 East 52nd Street, New York, New York.
A Cessna 120 similar to the plane that crashed; the Cessna 120 was first built in 1946, and was the first all metal aircraft from the Company.

The Vancouver Sun Atkinson. Passed away suddenly June 17, 1955, Frederick Hill, in his 21st year, beloved son of General and Mrs. Frederick G. Atkinson, vice-president of R.H. Macy & Co. Inc., New York, N.Y. Survived also by his grandfather, Mr. Van Dyke Hill, and his grandmother, Mrs. Bransford L. Hill, both of New York City.  Funeral service was held in Simmons & McBride Funeral Chapel, Broadway at Maple St., Friday morning, followed by cremation.

The Vancouver Sun: Tuesday, June 21, 1955, page 9
Dad Says Flier Died on too-Wide Turn

New Westminster  —  "He made too wide a turn. If it had been tighter he would have been OK."
With soldierly calmness that the father of a 20-year-old United States airman described to a coroner's jury here Monday his theory of the crash on Coquitlam Mountain Friday that claimed the life of his only son.
The witness was Brigadier-General F.G. Atkinson of New York, a USAF reserve officer and vice-president of Macy's department store.
He was testifying at the inquest into the death of his son, Frederick Hill Atkinson, whose body was found on Mount Coquitlam near the wreckage of his plane Sunday.
The dead pilot left Sea Island airport for Cranbrook, but had apparently turned back because of thickening weather just before the crash.

Frederick’s father’s obituary from the New York Times May 8, 1991

Frederick G. Atkinson, Ex-Macy executive, 86

         Frederick Griswold Atkinson, a former vice-president for personnel at R.H. Macy & Company, died on Sunday at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was 86 years old and lived in Palm Beach.
He died of heart failure, a funeral home representative said.
Mr. Atkinson joined Macy's in 1940 after heading employment and training at Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati and working in personnel at the Cities Service Company.
He was named director of personnel and industrial relations at Macy's in 1947, a vice president in 1948 and a director in 1966. He retired in 1970.
During World War II he served with the Air Transport Command and later was a brigadier general in the Air Force Reserve. He was also a consultant for several Federal agencies and for the New York City Police Department.
Mr. Atkinson was active in the Episcopal Church and was a director of General Theological Seminary. He was also a director of Roosevelt Hospital and an honorary life member of the American Management Association.
He is survived by his wife, the former Joyce Mallory Hill, and two sisters.

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