Tuesday, October 19, 2021

4. Plane Plunged into MS River; Lt. Brumfield Died, Feb. 1944

Searching through Newspapers.com has led me to many interesting discoveries related to our family. Charles Brumfield appears in several newspaper articles. I will be sharing 5 posts about this young man, in the order they appeared in the newspaper: 1. Lost in a Swamp; 2. His Wedding & Happy times; 3. World War II; 4. A tragic Crash, 5. A Memorial.

4. A Tragic Crash

Charles Brumfield had joined the Army Air Corps with the onset of World War II. With other soldiers he was "en route from Los Angeles to New York" when the plane plunged into the Mississippi River. Searching through the articles published about this event, I was not able to find a cause for the crash. 

Charles Edgar Brumfield, Jr.

18 December 1918 MS – 10 February 1944

Son of Charles Edgar Brumfield & Katie Leona Freeman

Husband of Virginia Rawls



Plunges into Mississippi River Memphis

Sinks After Explosion


The Coast Guard reported Friday that drag lines had located part of an American Airlines Transcontinental plane that had crashed into the Mississippi River with 24 passengers aboard. The radio message from patrol boats to headquarters said that the luggage door had been recovered but there was no immediate contact with the remainder of the wreckage. The Coast Guard and United States Army engineers are conducting a search on the 22-foot channel 15 miles below Mississippi.


Charley Williams, night watchman for the engineers, said he saw the plane hit the water and sink, seconds after being enveloped in flames. “There was a terrific explosion and fire,” he said, “and it seemed to sink immediately.” He said the plane was on a course to land at the Memphis Airport where it was due at 11:38 Thursday night. The plane was en route from Los Angeles to New York and the last stop was a Little Rock. At least 10 of the 21 passengers aboard were members of the armed services. Three of the crewmen were based at Fort Worth.


Was Son of Former Pike County Chancery Clerk

Attended Southwest


First Lieutenant Charles Edgar Brumfield, Jr., formerly of Magnolia, was reported to have lost his life Thursday night in a plane crash near Memphis. Although not announced officially, members of his family have received word that he was on the American Airlines Transcontinental plane that crashed into the Mississippi river Thursday night near Memphis.


Lieutenant Brumfield, who was about 27 years of age, was born and reared in Magnolia, and attended Southwest Mississippi Junior College at Summit and Millsaps college in Jackson. Prior to his enlistment in the Army Air Corps he was a civilian instructor at the Jackson Air Base. After joining the air corps, he was transferred to the Ferry Command and had been in this division of the air corps for about two years.


Survivors. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Virginia Brumfield of Jackson; two children, a daughter, Virginia, age 4, and a son, Charles Edgar Brumfield III, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Brumfield, Sr., of Jackson, Miss., formerly of Magnolia two brothers, Dr. Robert H. Brumfield of McComb; Pvt. Max Brumfield, in the Marine Corps, stationed at Quantico, Va., and his two sisters, Mrs. W. A. Bilbo of Magnolia and Mrs. George H. Gulley of Brookhaven.


For a long period of years the young flyer’s father was chancery clerk of Pike county, during which time the family resided in Magnolia.


He was popular among the students while attending Millsaps and Southwest Junior College and was a young man of rare ability.


His life’s ambition was fulfilled when he received his wings ass an army pilot and he had proved his ability as a skillful pilot by the successful way in which he performed his duties in the Ferry Command.


Formerly stationed at Memphis, Tenn., in the Ferry Command, he was recently transferred to Evansville, Ind.



Source: Lieut. Charles Edgar Brumfield, Jr. Dies in Crash of Plane. (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 12 Feb 1944) 1; digital image, Newsspapers.com: accessed April 2021.

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1 comment:

  1. Colleen, the loss of Charles is so tragic. Try this article.


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