RAY, Billy W.
RAY, Billy W. (c. 1941-1969), 28-year-old pilot, and his four crewmen were killed when their navy plane crashed into Silver Peak, Santa Catalina Island. Also killed were: Lt. Melvin D. Brewer, 28; Lt. (j.g.) Francis Horahan, 25; Lt. (j.g.) Edward Karaldsen, 27; and Larry W. Garrison, 25. The had taken off from the aircraft carrier Kearsarge on a routine flight back to San Diego.
In the News~
February 19, 1969 [Reno Gazette-Journal]: “Five Navy Fliers' Bodies Found in Catalina Crash. Avalon—Bodies of five Navy fliers were found in the wreckage of their sub-hunter plane Tuesday on the slopes of a mountain on the west end of Santa Catalina Island. Their twin-engine radar plane apparently crashed shortly after taking off from the aircraft carrier Kearsarge on what was to be a routine 45-minute flight to San Diego. The crash was the second of a sub-hunter plane in southern California in a week. Seven Navy reservists were killed last week when their plane hit a mountain near El Toro. Killed in Tuesday's crash were Lt. Billy W. Way, 28, New Orleans, the pilot; Lt. Melvin D. Brewer, 28, and Lt. (j.g.) Francis Horahan, 25, both of Coronado, and Lt. (j.g.) Edward Karaldsen, 27, and Lt. (j.g.) Larry W. Garrison, 25, both if Imperial Beach. The plane slammed into fog-shrouded 1,804=foot Silver Peak. Radar contact was lost almost as soon as the plane left the carrier. A Navy helicopter spotted the wreckage shortly after dawn, but was unable to land because of weather conditions.”