Disasters: Rescue at Sea

Over the murky North Atlantic one night last week, the engines of a Super Constellation coughed and sputtered. One failed, then a second, then a third. At last, some 500 miles off the coast of Ireland, Pilot John D. Murray of the chartered Flying Tiger transport radioed the message: "One engine left. Preparing to ditch."

Below, 30-mile gales were churning the Atlantic into loft whitecaps. On impact, the plane's left wing snapped off, and the 76 people aboard—many U.S. paratroopers en route to duty in Europe—were catapulted forward. Thanks to the pilot's...

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