06-1950-insertAn intensive search on Lake Michigan commenced at daylight on Saturday June 24, 1950 in hopes of finding survivors in the water. The initial search operation took place off Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where reports of two oil slicks were made, but that search turned up nothing. The effort moved to South Haven, Michigan, on Sunday after lifesaving personnel located debris from the plane floating in Lake Michigan ten miles offshore. Coast Guard and Navy search and rescue vessels operated out of Benton Harbor, Michigan. In the ensuing three days the crew of five destroyers including the Woodbine, Daniel Joy, Fredrick Lee, Mackinaw, and Hollyhock retrieved numerous floating chunks of the destroyed aircraft, pieces of luggage, and small bits of human remains. The Navy sent divers down at the location of oil slicks, but bad visibility and silty bottom conditions combined to make any discovery of wreckage impossible. Dragging operations did not locate any submerged portions of the aircraft. On the fifth day after the crash, the search was abandoned.

In the week that followed additional debris and human remains from the crash washed up on public and private beaches for a stretch of ten miles north and south of South Haven. Beaches were closed as a clean-up operation ensued. The town of South Haven, barely surviving on a summer tourism economy, was concerned that the beach closure would adversely affect the Fourth of July tourist influx to their small city. By the holiday, however, the majority of debris had been collected and the beaches were reopened.

The submerged wreckage was never located and so it was not surprising that the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) report, issued on January 18, 1951, did not assign cause to the accident. The report did, however, acknowledge that the flight entered an area of known severe turbulence and that it crashed shortly afterwards. The CAB report surmised that the accident may have resulted from structural failure caused by turbulence or because control of the airplane was lost.