GAGNON, John Chester

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GAGNON, John Chester (c. 1946 -1979), 33-year-old passenger killed on September 17, 1979 at Santa Catalina Island in the crash of a Gumman Goose owned by Catalina Airlines.



In the News~

September 19, 1979 [LAT]: “The search for a Rancho Palos Verdes man presumed killed Monday when a Catalina Airlines plane crashed off Santa Catalina Island cannot continue without special deep-sea equipment, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. John Gagnon, 33, was a passenger in the twin-engine Grumman Goose that went down shortly after take-off in water about 350 feet deep. The pilot, Vern McGee, 54, of Lakewood, received major injuries in the crash and two other passengers—a father and son—escaped injury. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, the second fatal rash in five months for the airline.”


September 22, 1979 [San Diego Union]: “Body found. Avalon— The crew of a miniature submarine has recovered the body of a man who died in the crash of a Catalina Airlines amphibian that plunged into the ocean off Catalina Island, officials said. The pilot and two other passengers managed to escape from the Grumman Goose before it sank Monday and were picked up by a passing yacht. The airline chartered the mini-sub, and its crew found the body of John Chester Gagnon, 33, in the wreckage in 260 feet of water, about 300 feet off Pebbly Beach a mile east of Avalon.”