On this tragic 40th anniversary of the Tenerife disaster Clipper Crew remembers those who were in the worst recorded airline disaster to this day when KLM Flight 4805 collided with Clipper Victor, Pan Am Flight 1736 on March 27, 1977.  CBS News broadcast a memorial segment which may be accessed by clicking here.


We honor those in this tragedy and  salute their memory and courage:  Captain Victor Grubbs (now deceased) , Co-Pilot Robert Bragg (now deceased) and Flight Engineer George Warn (now deceased), Jump Seat Observers John Cooper and Juan Antonio Murillo Rivas, Dorothy Kelly, Purser, Carla Johnson, Joan Jackson and Suzanne Donovan flight attendants.   We cherish the memory of those who perished,  Purser Francoise Colbert de Beaulieu Greenbaum, Flight Attendants Miguel Torrech-Pérez, Mari Asai, Sachiko Hirano, Marilyn Luker, Carol Thomas , Aysel Sarp Buck and Luisa Garcia Flood, and all the passengers and KLM crew.

A Dutch national memorial and final resting place for the victims of the KLM plane is located in Amsterdam, at Westgaarde cemetery. There is also a memorial at the Westminster Memorial Park and Mortuary in Westminster, California. On March 27, 2007, an International Tenerife Monument Memorial was inaugurated in Mesa Mota Mountain in memory of the 583 victims.   The monument is shaped like a spiral staircase, with steps that connect the earth and sky. It is a structure of 18 meters high, and was designed by a Dutch artist.


Flight Attendant Carol E. Thomas

Carol E. Thomas
Awareness Newsletter Spring 1977
Awareness Newsletter Spring 1977
Awareness Newsletter Spring 1977




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  1. Wonderful tributes. My sister perished on this flight as she helped others escape to safety. She spent her last day home, prior to scheduled take off, with her newly born nephew, my son Anthony W. Luker.
    Please correct the spelling of her name: Marilyn Luker

  2. I was 8 years old that time and I still remember watching the aftermath on Belgian television.
    It is one of the things of my childhood I never forget, even I have no relatives involved.
    There were also children of my age who perished that day. It touches me knowing the short life they had.
    Rest in peace all crew members and passengers who lost they lives that horrible day.

  3. One of the surviving flight attendants was Joan Jackson. She now is a purser for Delta on overseas flights. She is our purser on our flight back from Barcelona as I type this and is one the most lovely people I have ever met. A true hero as well as a wonderful person.

  4. When I was a young lad and a NY based Pan Am Flight Attendant, I was lucky enough to fly with the co- pilot first officer of that terrible Tenerife flight. I also strongly remember flying with a female FA who told me she was also on that flight and I believe she told me she pulled the first officer out of the cockpit that day. I do not remember their names since my Pan Am days were from 1979-1983. That first officer however was a captain when I flew with him. It’s all foggy to me but I am sure of this. If anybody knows these folks and if they actually did remain flying after Tenerife please let me know. I always wanted to fact check myself on this.
    Flight 103-104 was my most popular flight. I know I flew at once on Clipper Mermaid of the Sea. Tragic, yet very real and haunting.

  5. I hope they all come back someday!! They shouldn’t have died.. People shouldn’t die in accidents…..at least not like this…I want them to know that we’re thinking about them, we will never forget them!!!!!

  6. I was in class four, 1973, with Carrie Thomas. Last week I was in Tenerife and went to the Pan Am/KLM Memorial on Mesa Mota. This area of Tenerife is known for its bad weather, swirling fog, shifting winds. This is the coldest place on the island and he airport is almost always socked in. Surprisingly, when I was there, the sun was shining brilliantly and the skies were crystal clear. I could see the runway at Los Rodeos just down there below me. I said a prayer for Carrie and all the crew and passengers on those two 747s. May they all rest in peace and know they will never, ever be forgotten.

  7. My grandmother, aunt, and uncle were passengers on the PanAm flight and all perished. Only my uncle’s remains were identified. Very difficult to get over this type of tragedy, even after all these years.

  8. Recalling that day in March so many years ago, the memory does not fade away gently. I had just enjoyed lunch with Miguel Torrech, who had stopped by the JFK Training Center in Cargo Bldg. 19 before he was to leave on this charter. Little did I know it would be the last time I would fly with him, as he had been in the upper deck that day. Having to make the announcement of what had taken place to our students was one of the toughest roles I have had to take on. Here they were ready to take on Pan Am’s World and here we were as trainers and mentors getting ready to bring the harsh reality of what can happen in the blink of an eye that day in March thirty-eight years ago.

  9. My husband, Peter Lyon, PAA co-pilot, bid to fly this trip, but was out bid by one number by Bob Bragg who was in the same initial training class!

  10. Once again, Clipper Crew, this is beautifully and tastefully done. Thank you for reminding us of our fallen angels.

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