Chicago Tribune (IL) - May 10, 1966
4 FOUND DEAD IN PLANE CRASH
Pennsylvania's Atty. General Victim
Somerset, Pa., May 9 (AP)-- The bodies of Pennsylvania Atty Gen. Walter E. Alessandroni, his wife, Ethel, and two other persons were found tonight in the wreckage of their plane near here.
The plane, missing since yesterday afternoon, had been on a flight from Harrisburg to Uniontown, carrying the Alessandronis, James E. Staudinger of Abington township and Republican chairman of Montgomery county, and the pilot, Melvin E. Ladin, Collingswood, N.J.
On Campaign Flight
It was a political campaign flight for Alessandroni, 51, who was running for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor with state G.O.P. backing. Alessandroni had managed Gov. William Scranton's bid for the 1964 Presidential nomination.
The plane wreckage was spotted near nightfall this evening by a search pilot, Jim Knepper of Somerset. Ground crews then worked their way to the scene, which is in mountainous terrain.
Later, fire officials reported
[Continued on page 7, col. 3]
that firemen had reached the
scene and found four bodies.
Tells of Icing
Authorities said the private twin-engine Piper Aztec took off at the Harrisburg-York state airport at 2:40 p.m. yesterday and a short time later it made a radio check with an airport at Morgantown, W. Va., for an instrument fix. At the time, Ladin was quoted as saying:
"Conditions are not good and there is some icing."
Alessandroni was to have returned to the state capitol at Harrisburg today. His aids said they were not immediately concerned when he did not appear because they thought he had changed his plans.
Later in the day, Gov. Scranton announced the disappearance of the craft and ordered into the search state police, the civil air patrol, game wardens. and civil defense personnel.
The search was delayed by bad weather and snow in some areas.
Alessandroni was to have spoken at a meeting of the Fayette County Tavern association.
Law Deep Tradition
The practice of law is a deeprooted tradition in Alessandromi's family. His father, Joseph, and two uncles, the sons of an immigrant Italian business man, all became lawyers. So did Alessandroni's brother. So did one of his sons, Eugene V., 2d, now an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia.
Alessandroni had practiced law for two decades and served as a United States attorney before Gov. Scranton named him to Pennsylvania's top legal post in 1963.
In 1962, Alessandroni sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination which eventually went to Scranton. He then became one of Scranton's firmest supporters, and was his campaign manager in both the successful gubernatorial election of that year, and Scranton's unsuccessful bid for the G.O.P. Presidential nomination.
Attains Rank of Major
His military service brought him the rank of major in the marine corps during World War II.
He was graduated from Villanova university in 1935 with a bachelor of science degree in economics. In 1938, he obtained a bachelor of laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania law school in his native Philadelphia.
In 1935 Alessandroni married the former Ethel E. Decius. The couple had another son, Eric G., a sophomore at Dickinson college.
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