DISASTER: Eight Minutes to Search

Eastbound from Okinawa, the big Air Force C-54 droned steadily into the night. At .glowing instrument board and hood-lighted desk the six men of its crew worked. In the cabin the passengers, 31 Spokane-bound soldiers of the 98th Bomber Group, shifted uncomfortably in their bucket seats and tried to sleep.

In the darkness before dawn things began to go wrong. On the flight engineer's board, instrument needles flickered away from their reassuring positions. An outboard engine began to lose oil; it flowed back over the wing like blood in the moonlight. The plane...

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