Memorial Recalling Tragic Eastern Airlines Plane Crash Outside Port Deposit Erected

Sixty-four years after Eastern Airlines Flight 605 crashed outside Port Deposit, taking 53 lives on Memorial Day 1947, a monument has been erected at the place when the plane hit a Cecil County hillside. Jeanette Nesbit Hillyer, 89, whose father was one of the first to respond to the terrible accident, made the arrangement to have the memorial placed near the intersection of Jackson Park and Principio Roads, the Cecil Whig reported.

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Investigators inspect a section of he fuselage of the plane.

Memorial erected in June 2011


21 responses to “Memorial Recalling Tragic Eastern Airlines Plane Crash Outside Port Deposit Erected

  1. harriet bernstein pollon

    To the City of Port Deposit-
    Thank you for erecting the monument for the victims of the 1947 crash. I was five at that time and my father, Henry Bernstein of Woodbridge, New Jersey died in that crash. I visited the site with my mother not too long after the crash occurred. I never forgot the trees and the pieces of white material hanging from them like spanish moss.
    Harriet Bernstein Pollon

  2. Harriet thank you for sharing your memory of that sad time with us.

  3. where exactly is this monument, i have driven down jackson pk rd and principio, did not see it … ty dori smith

  4. Dori, it’s on Principo Road just a little south of Jackson Park Road. Heading south it’s on the left hand side of the road before you reach I-95.

  5. George Starrett was a first cousin of mine on my father’s family side. He was a passenger on the Eastern Airlines flight that crashed in 1947. He had survived combat in the Battle of the Bulge and his capture by the German’s.
    He was on his way to South America as a performing member of the New York City Center Ballet when he perished in that awful crash. I think about him often. I want to thank those who erected the monument that recalls
    that event and the people who lost their lives.

  6. JIm, we’ll pass your note along to Mrs. Hillyard.

  7. Thank you for the memorial. I look forward to visiting it with my father who is now 87. His father perished in that crash, en route to Miami. He was a local attorney who had, together with his wife, adopted my father a few years prior.
    I remember my grandmother, who bravely once recounted the story for me, saying that she never again flew in an airplane because of it.

  8. James, I’ll pass your note along Mrs. Hillyard. A local person, she was determined to get that memorial erected to everyone’s loss that tragic day. Please let us know when you visit with yur grandfather. We’ve had a number of relatives contact the Historical Society of Cecil County and visit the area over the years. On the day they dedicated the memorial, some family members came back and there was one sailor from the crew that responded from Bainbridge Naval Training Center there.

  9. I’ve lived in Cecil County for five years, and have driven past that memorial marker at least a dozen times since it was erected. Today was the first day I stopped to read it, and then looked online to see what happened that day. Thank you for leading me to a piece of history, albeit a tragic piece, so I could pay respects to those who lost their lives that day.

  10. Jennifer, thanks for sharing your story. Surf back over this way often to keep up on heritage matters in the county.

  11. Sally Storch Cooney Anderson

    My grandfather, Samuel Storch was also on that plane. My dad, Clifford Storch, who passed away in 2004, often spoke of his father and it was clear to everyone in my family that Samuel had a major impact during his lifetime and for many years afterwards. He came to America from Eastern Europe as a poor orphan; he started as a peddler and worked to become a successful businessman. Although I never met him, throughout my life, I heard numerous stories about his extraordinary character, achievements and generosity. Only two men are still alive with my grandfather’s name, my brother and one of my father’s cousins. Both have only female children. Our family knew nothing of this memorial until two weeks ago when a few of us were together talking about the past. One of my cousins took out her phone and we were all surprised to not only find information about the crash but to also learn of the memorial. I plan to visit some time in the next few months and I know I will be grateful for the opportunity to connect with the man whose portrait hung in our living room for most of my life.

    • Thank you so much Sally for sharing your family story. The monument is right off the Perryville Interchange on I-95. Also feel free to stop by the Historical Society if you want to look at the files on the subject.

  12. Mike
    I am the other cousin mentioned in Sally’s comments. I was 9 years old when this happened. Sam Storch visited my Dad, Max Storch, on his way to the airport that day. My Mom asked him to stay for dinner and get a later flight, but he had to get to Miami. That day is still clear in my mind, the rest is history.
    We have stopped at the Perryville exit many times on our way South from New York. Where exactly is the Monument as you get off the exit and is it far from the actual crash site .We plan to visit soon.
    Martin Storch

  13. Martin good to hear from you. It’s on Principio Road, but to get you started Google up the intersection of Principio Road and Jackson Park Road, Port Deposit. It’s just south of that intersection. And it’s just off of the Perryville I-95 interchange though these are rural county roads. I can sketch it out on a Google Map and send it to you. Also we have many more photos of the monument dedication if you want to see any more of those. Feel free to contact us anytime we can help. Right now are getting ready for a remembrance service for another airliner crash about 12 miles east of there in Elkton. It went down in a thunderstorm on Sunday, Dec, 8, 1963. We’ve heard for a number of families who lost family in that disaster.

  14. Martin while you are in the county let us know if we can do anything to help.

  15. Mike. I got a visual location on a hybrid aerial map from mapquest. It’s hard to say how old the map is, but I have a pretty good idea where it is from this and your description.

    • Great Martin. I was down that way today doing some work and had intended to drive by to get the precise GPS coordinates, but time got away from me. I will do that one day this week and post it in a blog post, as others frequently have the same question.

  16. Mike. I was touched by Sally’s comments. In the crash, we too lost a loved one known to us only through photographs. My grandfather, Lewis King, was returning to Miami from Mamaroneck New York on that flight. I regret we didn’t know of the memorial at the time of the dedication. We are, however, planning to visit on the up-coming anniversary date, Memorial Day, and were wondering if anything is being planned, or if there would be any others coming that we could meet. We would also be pleased of an opportunity to speak with Mrs. Hillyard and thank her for her efforts. We plan to visit the Historical Society to view its holdings on the event and,of course, visit the memorial.

    • James I haven’t heard of any plans. I will get Mrs. Hillyard’s phone number for you and address and email you directly on that. We’ll look forward to helping you when you visit the Society. Also if you and others should want a place to meet, we can probably arrange for you to use one of our meeting rooms and it doesn’t have to be during our normal business hours if that helps.

  17. Rafael Grillo

    I just left a comment in an older, related post. My grandfather and two aunts died in this crash on their way back home to Costa Rica. Mr. Dixon, please pass along our thanks to Mrs. Hylliard for her thoughtfulness and generosity. We shall visit the site soon and will make a point to stop by the Historical Society. So many times I’ve driven close to the area without realizing the meaningful event that took place there.

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