LARUE C. LAWBAUGH, LCDR, USN
LaRue Lawbaugh '20
Date of birth: February 12, 1897
Date of death: March 28, 1938
From the 1920 Lucky Bag:
From Pace Aeropress:
Enroute from Palm Springs, CA to NAS North Island, San Diego, CA [on March 28, 1938]. The aircraft had flown earlier in the day from San Diego to March Field & then on to Palm Springs where they rested. The aircraft departed Palm Springs at 1415 for its return flight & failed to arrive. The aircraft was not equipped with a radio, but was seen entering in the San Gorgonio Pass.
A search by 25 USN & USMC aircraft was grounded by bad wx on the first day. By 31 Mar, over USN, USMC & USAAC aircraft from NAS North Island & the March Field were searching the San Gorgonio & San Jacinto Mountain areas. Storms & low ceilings continued to hamper the search. By early April, the search had extended to the coastal areas of Southern CA. Though the USN expressed optimism that the aircraft would be found, no trace of the aircraft was ever found. On 18 April, the USN posted a $500 reward.
Pilot LCDR Larue C. Lawbaugh & AMM1c Erin Key.