Frankfort Morning Times (Frankfort, Indiana) December 27, 1957


Frankfort Man In Navy Plane Down in Pacific

A Frankfort man, Air Controlman 3/C Robert O. Clark, is among 17 members of a Navy WV-2 Superconstellation radar plane missing in the plane's tragic crash into the sea somewhere near Oahu, Hawaii, Monday night.

Clark, is attributed to saving the life of Lt. (j.g.) Thomas Kline of East Willston, North Dakota, when he courageously swam into a mass of burning oil and debris and hauled Kline from the flaming inferno.

The crash occurred suddenly after the plane commander had ordered a fire drill.  The plane lost altitude too fast and a few seconds later crashed into the sea.

According to the plane's commander, Clark and two other crew members still are possibly alive after the ordeal," the commander stated, "We saw them soon after the crash, but we last saw them disappearing into the distance."

Clark was born August 2, 1938, and attended elementary and high school in Frankfort.  He graduated from F.H.S. in l956 and entered the service just one week after graduation. He was very active during his high school years in several organizations.  He served as senior class president and held other offices in different clubs.  He also quarterbacked the Frankfort Hot Dogs football team in his last year of school.  His achievements didn't stop with just high school.  He went on to compete in Navy sports programs and gained distinction by being a member of a championship company basketball team in the Memphis, Tennessee area.

Bob was stationed at Barber's Point, Oahu, Hawaii, and just recently took tests to enter the Navy ROTC program in the  college of his choice.  He was last home on leave in June of this year.

Clark's father, Orville D. Clark, Frankfort, and sister Judy, who resides in Mishawaka, anxiously await a final disposition report from the Navy department.  All attention is being focused on the area where the plane made its descent  and a full scale search is underway to find the bodies of the 17 missing crewmen.