A Final Resting Place

May 12, 2023 at 5:31 p.m.
Pat D'Amico and her husband on their wedding day. They were about ready to take off for their honeymoon in his airplane.
Pat D'Amico and her husband on their wedding day. They were about ready to take off for their honeymoon in his airplane.

...by Pat D'Amico

My husband loved aviation. Through high school and college in the late 1940s and early 50s, he worked part time at Lake Union Air Service so he could be around airplanes. He took flying lessons and had his pilot’s license before his driver’s license.
When he got his first full time job, he used the money he had saved and bought a Cessna 140. I came into the picture in 1957. We flew a lot in the Cessna and spent our spare time hanging out at the old Bellevue Airport. Before we were married in 1958, he sold the Cessna to someone from the Civil Air Patrol and bought a used Beechcraft Bonanza.

This is a narrative from September 2, 1959: “CAP Cessna 140 N6749 – The WA Wing Operations Officer and the Mount Rainier Squadron Commander were killed when they crashed during an attempt to drop emergency supplies to a scientific expedition exploring the summit of Mount Rainier. A rescue team reached the crash site two days later, but both the remains and the wreckage were frozen and were left entombed on the mountain due to the dangerous conditions that existed.”

We were quite sure at the time that this was our airplane but never saw the official report with the call numbers. Recently, my son’s friend, a corporate pilot, became interested and looked up the old reports. I found a picture of our Cessna and the call numbers matched. God rest their souls.

Aviation was once our great passion;
We flew in a small private plane—
Escaping the earth in our fashion—
Set free from the stress and the strain.
Time, in the end, is man’s master.
Each lifetime is certainly bounded.
It seemed like the minutes beat faster
Before we were finally grounded.
But, oh, what a joy to remember:
Full throttle—then lift off—then trim it,
And as I approach life’s December,
The sky in mind’s eye is the limit. 

     ~Pat D'Amico

Pat D'Amico is a frequent contributor to Northwest Prime Time


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