Bodies Recovered from Navy Plane Crash in Gulf
Apr. 05, 1996
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) _ Navy divers today recovered the bodies of three military aviators who died last month in a crash during a training mission over the Gulf of Mexico.
Working under about 100 feet of water, divers found the bodies 33 miles southeast of the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. Strong winds and currents had hampered the recovery.
A flight instructor and two student aviators were aboard the VT-31 T-44A Beechcraft twin-engine turboprop when it disappeared from radar screens March 25.
The Navy has not yet determined the cause of the crash, spokesman Lt. Anthony Gallegos said today.
Sonar readings from a Navy minesweeper had located the plane's fuselage a few days after the crash.
The dead have been identified as Marine Corps Capt. John C. Krafft, an instructor pilot; Navy Lt. j.g. Robert Paul Roch; and Marine Corps Lt. Ronald S. Pahl. Roch was from Valley View, Ohio; families of the other two asked that their hometowns not be disclosed.
Burial arrangements were pending.