Commemorating Deportees, 70 Years Later

What happened in Coalinga’s backyard 70 years ago was again recognized by the California State Senate last January.

It was a chilly morning in 1948 when a lone DC-3 was flying to Mexico with 28 nationals on board along with a crew of four Americans. Many of these were bracerros, legally working under a government program. At the end of WWII, the program was abruptly cut short, and workers were taken back to Mexico.

Tragically, an engine exploded and the left wing tore off from the fuselage as it flew over Los Gatos Canyon. Everyone on board died, even as reportedly, more than 100 people gazed in horror at the sight. (More in May 16 edition of Coalinga Press. Available at 192 East Elm Avenue, Suite 102)DSC_0414

Supervisor Buddy mendes and Museum board member, Bill Morris stand in front of the RC Baker Museum display about the plane crash and the people involved. Mendes presented a commemorative plaque thanking the museum for their good work.