GORSKI, Edward

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GORSKI, Edward Thomas (1919-1944), born in Minnesota, he was one of six killed in the crash of a Goodyear blimp on Santa Catalina Island on October 17, 1944.

He was 24 years old at the time of his death.

In the News~

October 17, 1944: “Another notable accident at Catalina Island during World War II involved the loss of a U.S. Navy airship, a Goodyear K-series Blimp, assigned to an antisubmarine warfare patrol on October 17, 1944. Most K-series airships were powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-2 engines, which provide a top speed of seventy-five miles per hour. The K-series Blimps had crews of three officers and six enlisted ratings. The K-111 could be armed with four depth charges and one flex-mounted Browning .50-inch machine gun. The K-111 had a range of two thousand miles while cruising fully loaded at forty-six miles per hour. The 10:00 p.m. departure of the K-111 on October 17, 1944, from the Naval Auxiliary Air Facility at Del Mar in San Diego County was to begin a twenty-two-hour operational training and patrol mission that would take the K-111 northwest to Newport Beach in Orange County and then on a course to the east end of Santa Catalina Island. From there, the K-111 was to fly south to a point near Scammon's Lagoon in Mexico's Baja California del Norte and then fly back to Del Mar. Dense stratus clouds and fog obscured the Southern California coastline, and the K-111 flew farther north than intended until it finally turned and headed toward Catalina Island. Although the K-111 was radar equipped and the navigator could see the island on his scope, the pilot officer did not change his course. Instead, he ordered the second pilot to climb to 1,500 feet, but the K-111 struck a mountain ridge line west of Avalon at 11:30 p.m., killing five crewmen and critically injuring three others, one of whom would die the following day. Two other crewmen received only minor injuries.” [G. Pat Macha. Historic Aircraft Wrecks of Los Angeles County (2014) p. 51-52]