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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Grand Canyon Village in Coconino County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Tragedy Remembered

TWA-United Airlines Accident

— Grand Canyon —

 
 
Tragedy Remembered Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 9, 2018
1. Tragedy Remembered Marker
Inscription.  Catastrophe can happen even in spectacular beauty. When technological achievements and human actions fail, disasters may happen.

On June 30, 1956, a United Airlines DC-7 and a TWA Super Constellation maneuvered around towering cumulus clouds on a partly clear day. All 128 passengers and crew perished when the planes collided at an altitude of 21,000 feet (6,400 m) above Temple and Chuar buttes. Passengers included prominent business people and families. Every passenger had loved ones waiting for them, though their journey ended unexpectedly.

The Grand Canyon disaster "rocked the aviation world." It was the deadliest crash in American commercial aviation history at the time. Within a few years, the United States Congress created the Federal Aviation Administration to increase air safety.

Due to its importance in aviation history, this hallowed ground is a National Historic Landmark. This designation protects artifacts remaining in this remote area of the canyon and provides learning opportunities about the events of that day and beyond.

(photo captions:)
Grand Canyon's Pioneer Cemetery
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(L) is the final resting place for 29 unidentified passengers from United Airlines. Recovery personnel removed the remains of 70 accident victims from the TWA flight, and all but three were interred in a mass grave at Flagstaff Citizens Cemetery (R). 29 identified passengers were returned home for burial.

Reminders of that tragic day.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceCemeteries & Burial SitesDisastersParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical date for this entry is June 30, 1956.
 
Location. 36° 2.654′ N, 111° 49.56′ W. Marker is near Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, in Coconino County. Marker can be reached from Desert View Drive (Arizona Route 64) 21.4 miles east of South Entrance Road, on the left when traveling east. Located at the Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon National Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grand Canyon AZ 86023, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines Aviation Accident Site (within shouting distance of this marker); The Watchtower (within shouting distance of this marker); Ancient Illusion (about 300 feet
Tragedy Remembered Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 9, 2018
2. Tragedy Remembered Marker
away, measured in a direct line); Like Nowhere Else (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tribal Connections (approx. ¾ mile away); Grand Canyon's Gateway (approx. ¾ mile away); Delta Farmers (approx. 1.7 miles away); Hance Rapid (approx. 1.7 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Grand Canyon National Park. National Park Service (Submitted on October 11, 2018.) 
 
Chuar Butte and Temple Butte image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 9, 2018
3. Chuar Butte and Temple Butte
Desert View in Grand Canyon National Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 9, 2018
4. Desert View in Grand Canyon National Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2024. It was originally submitted on October 10, 2018, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 510 times since then and 104 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 10, 2018, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   2, 3, 4. submitted on October 14, 2018, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Jul. 20, 2024