The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1976 · Page 1
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December 7, 1976

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 1

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Tuesday, December 7, 1976
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Page 1
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Pearl Harbor Survivor Says It 'Was Just One Big Black Ball of Smoke By LINDA HARBISON Post Staff Writer Remember where you were 35 years ago today? If you're over 40 you'll probably never forget Dec. 7, 1941. There were those news flashes on the radio: "Pearl Harbor has been bombed, America is going to war." For Roy Reid of Stuart the day holds special memories. He was copilot of the first B17 shot down by the Japanese that day. "I consider myself lucky to be alive today," said Reid. "The only thing I lost was my hair." Digging out his scrapbook of World War II memorabilia yesterday, Reid, now a real estate broker, noted that the clippings and pictures keep his recollections of what occurred on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941 pretty sharp. There are photographs of Reid as a young pilot, newspaper articles and a terse five-word telegram: "Am safe. Wire mother. Love Roy." "I think the cable might have been the only one to get out that day," Reid said. He described his experience as frightening, noting that his plane was enroute to Hawaii for a brief stopover at Pearl when suddenly it became the target of Japanese bombers. Reid and his crew found out later, of course, the Japanese had begun an undeclared war against the United States just minutes before the B17 began circling Hickam Field. "We landed on the field during the attack but not before a Japanese burst of bullets set fire to some flares we were carrying. "There was no time to fight the fire," he said. "And when we landed, the whole plane burst into flames. I was okay except for having all the hair singed off my head." Reid said while on the approach to Hickam Field, which is just a couple miles from Pearl Harbor, he and his crew noticed puffs of smoke in the sky which they assumed came from some type of practice maneuvers. "It didn't particularly bother us at first until we saw some single-engine planes flying close to the anti-aircraft fire. "It was then that we realized something was wrong and all of us got a feeling of uneasiness. Then we saw about eight planes burning down on the field. "I knew a war must be on," Reid said. The bullets that hit the B17 came from three Japanese planes that had pulled up in the rear. Reid and a couple of his buddies managed to make their way off the field and to a hospital without injury, although the attack still was in progress. "It dawned on us when we saw all the ambulances that it really was war. Pearl Harbor was just one big black ball of smoke." Reid said the attack couldn't have lasted much more than an hour. "We made it to the home of an officer and since none of us had ever been in a bombing attack before, we had to rely on what we had seen in the movies," he said. Awaris The Palm Beach Post WEATHER Partly cloudy through Wednesday with a 40 per cent chance of showers. Low in the low to mid-60s. High around 80. Data, A2 Pyle Kenned PuHtier 40 PAGES-: -PRICE FIFTEEN CENTS WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, TUESDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 7, 1976 VOL. LXVIII NO. 216 Plane Crash in Fog Kills Five Wreckage Found In Lake Okeechobee it - . r' . If'- , , , . ' f v I 1 L ffijiffi )k'erhob'ej.jx:- v:. V- Krra hokee Cl.wi.lon By JOHN KOTLER Pott Staff Writtr CLEWISTON - Five people were killed yesterday when a twin-engine airplane plunged into Lake Okeechobee about 2 miles north of here. Hendry County Sheriff Earl Dyess said his office learned of the crash about 2 a.m. and began a preliminary search. It wasn't until 5 hours later that Coast Guard helicopters from St. Petersburg sighted a wing tip in about 7 feet of grass-filled water. The search continued throughout the day until 4 p.m. when all five bodies were discovered and removed from the fuselage of the plane about 75 yards from where the wing was found earlier. Parts of the plane were scattered in a 400-yard radius of the main wreck. The victims were identified as Ernest Henry Cormier, 53, of Fort Lauderdale, the pilot; Dennis Coulter, 34, and his 14-year-old son, Roddy, of Hollywood; Russell Johns, 32, of Ball. Clod. t t y lw mil 0t' r , . 1M (-3 ? Stitt Photet by Ron Llnduy Searchers from Clewiston view floating piece of wreckage (above) and point toward private plane's fuselage as divers stand by. The plane was in about 7 feet of water. Miami, and Raymond Hensler, 29, of Fort Lauderdale. The Apache aircraft was registered to Herbert L. Vaughn of Fort Lauderdale, co-owner with Cormier. Cormier was president of A&E Interior Aircraft Service of Fort Lauderdale. Chuck Smith of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Opa-locka said there were "lots of unanswered questions" about the crash but, he said, the plane appeared to have been mechanically sound. "I don't think it was airplane failure. It looks like the plane bounced down and then cartwheeled over," he said. Smith said Cormier had filed a flight plan when he left Pensacola. He said the pilot may have lost control due to bad weather. He said he may be able to determine the cause of the accident by checking tapes on conversations the pilot had with the control tower in Fort Lauderdale. There were reports that Cormier had requested permission to reduce altitude because of driving rain and heavy fog and that radar contact was lost after he descended. Relatives of the victims began arriving at the city marina about noon. Most waited at the nearby public boat ramp for word from the rescue teams. Millard Coulter, of Fort Lauderdale, brother of one of the passengers, fought back tears as he waited with his family throughout the afternoon. Turn to CRASH, A9 wM 4J AHgfe- DNR Advises State Scuttle Barge Canal From Post Wirt Services TALLAHASSEE - The state agency responsible for the $425 million Cross-Florida Barge Canal recommended yesterday the Cabinet withdraw its support of the waterway. The opposition of the Department of Natural Resources was a serious, possibly fatal blow to advocates of the 110-mile canal from Yankeetown on the Gulf Coast to Palatka on the St. Johns River. Natural Resources Director Harmon Shields recommended against completion of the halted canal in a letter to Gov. Reubin Askew and Cabinet members, who will decide after hearings on Dec. 16-17 whether to support or oppose the project. The department is the final state agency to submit a recommendation to the Cabinet on the canal and its report is expected to be persuasive. "A realistic cost-benefit ratio is simply not there," Shields said. "And we had grave environmental concerns. The only way we would ever consider completing it is if it were rerouted around the Oklawaha River." The new cost-benefits ratio is $1 to $1.13. Shields also said proposed barge off-loading facilities necessary for the canal pose serious environmental threats. Cabinet opposition is expected to kill the canal as Congress rarely funds public works projects opposed by state officials. A majority of Cabinet members have expressed opposition to the canal, but they are coming under heavy lobbying from supporters and opponents of the waterway. Shields said he recommended a withdrawal of state support for the canal because information available to Turn to CANAL, A9 v ?' Billy Clipped by Barber in Election counting on for sure was that of Jimmy Carter. Plains has about 300 eligible voters, "give or take a couple of dozen," according to Blanton. They were trickling into City Hall, a small prefabricated metal building next to Billy Carter's gas station, throughout the day. Jimmy Carter voted shortly before 9 a.m. It was raining at the time and an intermittent drizzle followed. While Billy welcomed the rains, the president-elect offered another assessment of the election outlook, telling reporters, "If there is a low turnout, the better Billy will do." PLAINS, Ga. (AP) - Jimmy Carter's kid brother Billy was defeated by the town barber yesterday in a bid for a two-year term as mayor of his hometown at a $50-a -month salary. Carter lost by a 90-71 vote to A.L. Blanton, who is also an air traffic controller and who was seeking a second term in City Hall. When the two men first faced each other in a mayoral election two years ago, Carter lost by six votes, although he has sometimes claimed he lost by only four. Billy had expected day-long rains to boost his chances, saying the weather would not deter beer drinkers from visit he said before television cameras. "Is it too late to save the town?" someone asked. "I think it is probably too late," Billy Carter replied. "If the people want it to go to hell, I'll back out and let it go." Carter said his next project is to build a new house on some land he owns a half mile out of town that he hopes will be so secluded he won't be bothered by tourists. "Do you think your brother did all he could to help?" the younger Carter was asked. He replied with one word: "No." Earlier in the day, however, he acknowledged that the only vote he was ing the polls. Billy's service station, next door to City Hall, is one of only three establishments in Plains that sell beer. The younger Carter, who campaigned on a platform of preserving this city of 683 much as it was before his brother was elected president, began dispensing free beer to his friends and supporters at the service station as soon as the polls closed. Billy's campaign manager, Leon Johnson, a local contractor, took the defeat stoically, saying, "We fouled up." But Billy himself was not especially gracious. "I see Plains going straight to hell," Inside Today Industry Leaders Fight FA U-FIU Merger Plan CELEBRATION - Supporters of former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka of Japan, under indictment on a charge of receiving a $1.67 million Lockheed bribe, cheer as news that his re-election to a Parliament seat is certain reaches his native province of Niigata late Sunday. Story, A7 Index Amusements BS Bassine D1 Business D9 Classified C5-11 Comics B6 Editorials A8 Letters A8 Obituaries C4 Stocks D6-8 TV Column B7 m i - w n j i m y m bf m ir-m i mm "Florida Atlantic University was the key in IBM's moving to Boca Raton," said IBM plant manager David Chapman. "We have a unique operating relationship with FAU and we are very concerned about the future of this university." "It is easy to show where consolidation (of FAU and Fill) saves money, but difficult to show where responsiveness begins to fail," Chapman warned. "An administration in Miami would not be as sympathetic to our problems," William Dwyer, vice president for personnel relations with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, said. Turn to BOARD, A9 By CHARLES KEEFER Pott Stiff Wrltor BOCA RATON Area industry leaders paraded before the state university system's Board of Regents yesterday in an effort to squelch further consideration of proposals to eliminate graduate programs at Florida Atlantic University and to merge FAU with Florida International University in Miami. Officials from the Arvida Corp. a land development firm holding millions of dollars worth of property including the Boca Raton Hotel and Club Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, IBM and Fort Lauderdale-based Bendix Avionics all on the FAU Council of Advisers made pitches for strengthening, not decreasing FAU's programs. Effll UPI Toitphoto f. 1

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