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aussie 11-01-2003 10:16 AM

Find information on my sister Darlene Bee
Some time between 1968 to 1973 . Darlene was killed in a plane crash after leaving the Lae air port. She and the pilot and I believe 3 other missonaries lost their lives. If any one has any information I would be grateful.

All the information I have on Darlene"s death is that her party had just returned from New Zealand or Australia after being on holiday. They were aboard a bush plane and about 15 miles from the Lae airport. On the way back to the village of their residence. When the plane went into the jungle. Sorry but this is all I can tell you.


RA Winchell

PS She was white and a US Citizen

Editors Note: Richard was adopted and is trying to trace his real family tree. He has not had much luck coz it appears most have died.

So I guess this would be some consolation to him if he knew what happened on his sisters final destination that took her life.

Any aviators out there know what happened ? or how we can find out ?

Bob Petras 06-03-2003 04:18 PM

I was at the crash site
I just stumbled across your posting about Darlene Bee.

I was in Lae, the Friday afternoon that the SIL Piper Aztec crashed outside of Lae on the flight back to Ukarumpa.

Seven people were killed in the crash. I was at the crash site on the Sunday afternoon. I knew several people on that flight including the New Zealand pilot, Doug Hunt and Kathleen McNeil who was based at Lae, Papua New
Guinea. Kathleen attended Lae Baptist Church where I attended. She was a buyer for SIL.

The crash occurred on April 7, 1972

I still have a lot of info of the crash as well as some slides of the grave site
in Lae where Darlene is buried. Darlene was a Wycliffe Bible Translators translator to the Usarufa tribe in Papua New Guinea.

I still have several copies of the Wycliffe publication called "Sharing" that detail
all of the info regarding the crash.

I am an Australian who was working in Lae at the National Bank (1971-1973) and then spent three months working at the SIL Base at Ukarumpa before returning to Sydney, Australia. I left Sydney in September 1973 and travelled to North America where I
have lived ever since.

I trust this message gets through to you. Don't hestitate to contact me for more

Take care,

Bob Petras

TERRACE, B.C. Canada

aussie 06-03-2003 07:41 PM

Sincere thanks Bob as I know this will mean a lot to Richard when he gets to read your message.

Reading things like this make me so happy that I started this website otherwise how would Richard for example ever have come across this information.

It certainly also gives me strength to keep on posting and spending hours developing what I hope is an asset to Papua New Guinea people both here in PNG and abroad.

Once again, thank you for providing this information !


Bob Petras 07-03-2003 04:13 PM

Darlene Bee
I posted a full e-mail to Richard today detailing the full story of the crash of the SIL Piper Aztec including the Civil Avitation findings into the cause of the crash.

I was able to read this report many months after the crash and subsequent investigation.

I have also mailed several things to Richard in Washington State, including publications plus a slide of Darlene's grave at the Lae Cemetery that I had.

Richard sent me an e-mail last night.

I'm still amazed that I came across this posting and to find something that I was involved in at the time.

I'm glad you set up this conference.

aussie 07-03-2003 07:52 PM

Excellent News !

This thread was posted some months back and Richard must have just about given up - he must be now so happy, many thanks.

Once again, proves how small the world really is !!!


Frank Pittenger 22-07-2003 09:54 AM

Darlene Bee's poetry, etc.
I came across Darlene Bee's name in some linguistics publications and also some Christian poetry, and couldn't help but be intrigued by what I put together to be her story. Could one of you (aussie or Mr. Petras) provide me with a slightly longer biography of her, especially as regards her experience as a Wycliffe translator and person of faith? Many thanks. :)

willigeekers 14-08-2007 11:27 AM

Finding Information on Darlene Bee
I realize that these messages were written long ago, but I am also looking for biographical information on Dr. Bee. She wrote a poem called "Earthen Vessels" which was published post-humously, and I am trying to find out more about her life and work. If anyone has any information, I would greatly appreciate getting in contact with you. Thanks so much.

Stan 21-01-2008 09:19 PM

SIL Graves
When my brother email this to me tonight I had to reply straight away.

We knew these people, some more than others. I remember the day well. I am happy to share what I can.

I still have the paper of the day with the details of the crash. I can still remember the last moments of the flight as it was relayed to me. I know why the plane crashed.

In 2001, while in Lae, I visited the cemetery only to find that no headstones existed. All were gone. However I knew where these graves were and were able to find them.

I didn't want them to be "lost" forever, so talked to a cousin and we decided to do something about them.

In 2005, myself and this cousin flew to PNG and took with us an engraved "stone" headstone. We left it with some people we knew and late last year, these graves were done up and the headstone put in place. I still have not seen the finish of our project, but there is a chance that I will be going back up again this year. (2008)
Please email me so we can at lease make contact.


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