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Tallmadge ’58 Dies in Plane Crash

From the Record (text) in November 1957:

Tallmadge Killed In Air Crash

Senior Edward S. Tallmadge, Jr. was killed instantly Sunday night
when a plane he chartered to fly a date home crashed into a moun-
tain 15 miles west of Williamstown.

Also killed was Pilot Donald P. Duquette, 25, of Adams. He was
an employee of Mohawk Valley Aviation Co. of North Adams, own-
er of the plane.

The victims were on the last leg of a round trip to LaGuardia Air-
port, N. Y., where they dropped off Tallmadge’s Amherst weekend
date. The plane plowed into a wooded area near Grafton, N. Y., at a 45 degree angle.

Tallmadge, 21, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Tallmadge
of Milwaukee. He was president of WMS and instrumental in its
recent expansion program. He was social chairman of Delta Kappa
Epsilon and had participated in woe, the German Club, the Flying Club and varsity soccer and skiing.

CAP Search

The plane was reported overdue at North Adams airport Sunday
evening, but wreckage was not found until early Monday. Local
Civil Air Patrol officials organized a search which involved 16 planes and 40 college students.

Exact causes of the wreck were not known Tuesday, but a probe
by the Civil Aeronautics Administration is underway. Raymond E.
Gaudette, an airport mechanic, indicated there is some evidence
the plane came down with a dead engine. Some speculate that It was
out of gas.

According to airport officials the plane was a Cessna 172 delivered
brand new one week before the wreck.

A memorial service for Tallmadge was held in Thompson Memorial Chapel Tuesday evening by Rev. William S. Coffin, chaplain. At press time, arrangements were not complete for his fueral
in Milwaukee.

Was that sermon truly the event that led to the shot-gunning of College Chaplain William Sloane Coffin’s house the following April? David HT Kane ’58 wrote:

If memory serves, Coffin was the floundering son of wealth who decided to try the Chaplain’s path opened by his uncle, a reknowned theologian. An early stop on that path was Williams where he alienated many when, in his first weeks on campus, a Deke Senior was killed in the crash of a chartered small plane after a Fall ’57 home football weekend. Coffin, in his capacity as Chaplain, led the memorial service at Thompson Chapel and appeared to fault the Deke for his own death. Coffin’s theory was that the lost classmate had too much money and therefore chartered the plane to return his weekend date to her home in New Jersey. The crash occurred as the plane was returning in bad weather. If our classmate had taken the bus all would have been fine. A number in attendance at Thompson that day stood and walked out in protest.
Neither Coffin nor the undergraduates changed much in the ensuing months and it was not recorded that any protested his decampment for Yale at the end of the year.

What did Coffin say, 58 years ago this fall?