The NC14935:
Evidence of a 1936 Airplane Crash
Near Kellogg, Idaho
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery
August 1, 2004

On December 18, 1936, Northwest Airlines Westbound Flight 1, carrying mail from Missoula, Montana bound for Spokane, Washington, crashed on the Saint Joe National Forest.1 The aircraft was a Lockheed Electra 10A #1024, registered as NC 14935. A Bureau of Air Commerce analysis of the crash concluded that Pilot Joe Livermore and co-pilot Arthur Haid had become lost, and perhaps had trouble with their instruments,2 though local media accounts alluded to bad weather conditions as well. Livermore and Haid were killed in the crash into a mountain ridge, where their bodies, together with several sacks of mail, were recovered a week later.3

On July 9–10, 2004, an 8-man team from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), aided by personnel from the Idaho Panhandle National Forests and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, relocated the wreck site and briefly documented its character. This is the report of TIGHAR’s archeological fieldwork.4

View of wreck
An overview of the crash site. TIGHAR photo.

In the course of fifteen years research into the 1937 disappearance of aviation pioneers Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, TIGHAR has found four dados – aluminum panels that ran along the deck/fuselage interface inside a commercial aircraft – on Nikumaroro Island in the Republic of Kiribati. These dados may be from Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E, which according to TIGHAR’s hypothesis Earhart landed on Nikumaroro before expiring there.5

Unfortunately, specifications for the Lockheed Electra discovered to date do not provide details about whatever dados Earhart’s aircraft may have had, and surviving Electras have all experienced so much interior modification that they cannot be trusted to reflect original conditions. To discover whether Electras of Earhart’s day had dados like those found on Nikumaroro, TIGHAR needs to examine contemporary wreck sites. The aircraft that crashed on the St. Joe National Forest in 1936 is the best analog to Earhart’s plane currently known.

Accordingly, the core purpose of TIGHAR’s fieldwork was to identify and describe any dados that might be found on the NC 14935 wreck site. This, of course, required that the site be found and carefully inspected.

1 Now the St. Joe Ranger District, Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
2 Report of the Accident Board: Statement of probable causes concerning an accident which occurred to an aircraft of Northwest Airlines, Incorporated, near Kellogg, Idaho, on December 18, 1936. Bureau of Air Commerce, Department of Commerce, Washington DC, June 9, 1937
3 Kellogg Evening News, December 26, 1936.
4 TIGHAR’s work was carried out under the terms of a letter-permit from St. Joe District Ranger Charles A. Mark, dated June 7, 2004 (File Code 2360).
5 For details, see King et al 2001, and on this website The Dado, Part One, and Dados Galore, accessed 11/03.

Introduction & Purpose Background Research Fieldwork Site Description Aircraft Parts Noted Interpretation
Research Results; Eligibility for National Register; Acknowledgements Bibliography Appendix 1: Advertisement for LUX Airplane Fire System

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