In Memory of James Gille Oppel (1955-1970) - Died on a CAP Activity at 14

Started by Cindi, August 21, 2011, 03:27:56 PM

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Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday for James Gillie Oppel, 14, who died Sunday when the plane in which he was riding crashed near Scappoose, Oregon.
Oppel, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rollin Oppel of Vancouver, Washington, was born July 31, 1955, in Minneapolis, Minn. He lived the past two years at 5505 N.E. Drexel Ave., in the Hazel Dell area.
A member of the Vancouver Composite Squadron in the Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Oppel participated in the Youth Group of the First United Congregational Church of Vancouver and attended Lewis Junior High School, where he lettered in track.
He is survived by his parents, at home; a brother, Timothy, at home; two sisters, Debra and Marcia, both at home; and his grandparents, Mrs. Edna Gillie, Vanoucouver and Mrs. Harris S. Jones of Duluth, Minn.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at the Vancouver Funeral Chapel. The Rev. William Graham will officiate.


From the June 15, 1970 Columbian newspaper, Vancouver, Washington:

Local man, youth die in plane crash

Federal Aviation Administration officials continued their investigation today into the mid-air collision that claimed the lives of two Vancouver residents and one other person Sunday during an antique air show at Scappoose, Oregon.
Investigators on the scene were sifting through the wreckage of two early-model planes this morning, but reports from the FAA team were scanty.
The local victims of the crash were Arthur K. Underwood, 47, of 6207 McKinley Dr., and James Gillie Oppel, 14, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rollin Oppel of 5505 N.E. Drexel Ave.
A third person, Maynard Parsons, 46, of Bellevue, was also killed in the accident.
Preliminary reports from witnesses Sunday indicated the crash occurred while several antique planes were flying an oval formation at an altitude of about 500 feet.
Apparently one of the planes flew into the underside of the other, witnesses said.
An estimated 5,000 persons had gathered at the Scappoose Airport for the show. Most did not see the collision.
Underwood, flying out of the Evergreen Air Park, was piloting a restored Meyers bi-plane. He had served with the 101st Airborne Division during World War II, and had some 25 years flying experience.
Oppel, a passenger in Underwood's plane, was a member of the Vancouver Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. He was one of 25 cadets flown from Vancouver by the Northwest Antique Airplane club as a reciprocation for the cadets assistance during the Evergreen Air Show last summer.
FAA officials declined to say when their findings would be released, but added that it will take a couple of weeks to gather all the information.
One of those who saw the collision was Melvin Blackburn from a farm adjoining the airport.


Link to the National Transportation Safety Board accident report: