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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Friday, January 27, 2006 at 05:30:05 :

Mill Valley Record
Thursday, June 7, 1951
Section 3, page 1

Mill Valley Pilot Killed Sunday During Maneuvers
L. James Lyle, CAP Pilot, Dies When Plane Crashes into Hill

A Mill Valley Civil Air Patrol pilot was instantly killed and his 17-year-old observer critically injured Sunday when their light plane crashed while on CAP maneuvers near Petaluma.

Dead is L. James Lyle, 30, of 182 Florence, pilot of the plane. James Collins, 17, of San Anselmo, Lyle’s observer, received a fractured knee and head injuries, and was taken in critical condition to a Petaluma hospital.

Witness to the fatal crash was William Casper of Mill Valley, a CAP ground crew member. He said the plane was readying for a landing when it pulled into a steep bank at 150 feet altitude then crashed into the hill.

Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at the Memorial Chapels of Russell and Gooch. Interment was private.

Mr. Lyle is survived by his wife Juanita Lyle, four children: Sharon, 11; Dennis, 7; and Karen and Katherine, 10-month-old twins. He is the son of Leo N. Lyle of Paso Robles and Mrs. Wilson Hoper (sic) of San Diego, and has two step-sisters, Virginia Hooper and Mrs. Lacey Hilton.

A native of Missouri and a veteran of World War II, Mr. Lyle lived in Mill Valley for the past four years. He was a correspondent for the United Press service in San Francisco.

Independent Journal
Monday, June 4, 1951
Page 1

S.A. Youth Critical, 1 Dead In CAP Maneuver Crash
Services Set For M.V. News Service Writer

A Mill Valley man was killed and a San Anselmo youth is in critical condition today as a result of an airplane crash yesterday in the hills northeast of Petaluma.

Killed was James Lyle, 30, of 202 Cascade drive, Mill Valley. Lyle was a member of the United Press wire service in San Francisco and pilot of a plane taking part in the two day Civil Air Patrol maneuvers.

Injured was 17-year-old James Collins, of San Anselmo, an observer in the plane. The youth was taken to Petaluma General hospital by a ground party waiting for the plane to land. He was moved this morning to St. Mary’s hospital in San Francisco where attendants reported his condition as critical but did not disclose the nature of his injuries.

Collins, a student at Tamalpais High School, resides at 96 Hillside avenue. He is t he son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Collins.

Reports from the United Press said Lyle learned to fly during World War II and asked for the assignment of covering “Operation Marmat” conducted by the CAP Marin Squadron in cooperation with the Smith Squadron of San Mateo.

Civil Air Patrol Captain Robert A. Harker, commanding a ground party which had just made contact with the plane carrying Lyle and Collins, was reported by UP as saying the plane made a low pass and pulled up to an altitude of 150 feet before going into a steep bank and crashing in some hills.

In the ground party with Harker were Cadets William Casper of Mill Valley and Leonard Walker and John Malaby of San Anselmo. After hearing the plane crash they rushed to aid and found Lyle dead. Collins was immediately taken to Petaluma General hospital.

Lyle is survived by his wife, Juanita, and four children, Sharon, 11, Dennis, 7, and Karen and Katherine, 10-months-old twins.

Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel of Russell and Gooch, 270 Miller avenue, Mill Valley. Burial will be private.

Collins is a part time employee of the Independent Journal.

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