O’Connor Report to Emergency Relief Committee

February 16, 1979

TO: THE EMERGENCY RELIEF COMMITTEE
FROM: FR. JOHN O’CONNOR
RE: TRANSPORTATION OF THE REMAINING GUYANA VICTIMS BODIES BACK TO CALIFORNIA

The following is an updated report. The report I submitted on February 8, 1979 was as follows:

TRANS INTERNATIONAL AIRWAYS: TIA expects to be able to move the bodies on two cargo jets, on six flights over two weekends. The total projected cost as of January 30, 1979, for 599 bodies was, at that time, $139,177.00 or $232.35 per body. However, this did not include loading at Dover, which TIA expects will be performed by the Air Force or for surface transportation in Oakland to the storage facilities. The contact person is Mr. Gene Ehlers – 577-6200.

UNITED AIRLINES: Including surface transportation in Oakland, United expects to be able to perform the task as of January 30, 1979, based on 599 bodies for $137,830.00 or $230.00 per body. However, it is not clear whether this includes loading in Dover, and I have not yet been able to clarify this. Contact person is Ms. Nicole Gettins – 876-3302.

PAUL FULLER, FUNERAL DIRECTOR: Including surface transportation from Dover, loading and unloading, as of February 15, 1979, Mr. Fuller’s bid was for 570 bodies was $142,500.00 or $250.00 per body. Mr. Fuller is the contact person and his phone number is 235-4109.

AMTRAK: Shipping the remains fron Philadelphia to San Francisco, and not including transportation from Dover to Philadelphia or from San Francisco to Philadelphia Amtrak’s estimate is $162.85 per casket, a total of $97,547.00, based on 599 bodies or $162.85 per body. It should be noted that Amtrak cannot move more than five bodies per regularly scheduled train, and this obviously creates a scheduling bottleneck in terms of moving the remains from Dover to Philadelphia. The contact person is Mr. Bell at 556-5755 or Mr. Tim Aufmuth at 202-383-2084.

ALL STATE TRUCKING: As of February 16, 1979, I had not received anything in writing from All State, which was one of three companies asked for written bids. I called Mr. Harry Kay (201-344-2850) on February 16th to confirm his bid of $90,500.00 and to ask him to put that in a telegram. Mr. Kay indicated that he had received information from Congressman Evans staff that the coffins measured 86″x26″x36½”, which was different than the information we had given him and that each adult casket weighed 400 lbs. He had not had the time to prepare his figure and put them in writing at that time.

On the morning that I called him, he had a number of calls coming in and he said that he would try to put that in a telegram later that same day (February 16th). Therefore, as of this date and time, I do not have a firm figure from All State Trucking.

CHESAPEAKE TRANSPORT: I received in writing a letter dated February 7, 1979 from David Friedman, President of Chesapeake Motor Lines, that they would be able to transport the bodies at $175.00 per coffin. For 570 bodies that comes to $99,750.00. This would be transportation from Dover Air Force Base to Oakland Army Base. The contact person is Mr. Friedman at 301-799-4000.

LARMORE MOVING SYSTEMS: I received a letter dated February 12, 1979 from Mr. John J. Mulholland, Vice President and General Manager of Larmore, Inc., who indicated that he could move the bodies from Dover Air Force Base to the West Coast with 55 bodies in each 44 foot air-ride trailer with up to 55 bodies going to L. A. and up to 55 bodies going to Ukiah for a total cost of $55,440.00 for 582 bodies. That comes out to $95.26 per body.

NOTE: As of this writing some of the bids, as you will note, represented 599 bodies, some 582 and some have been translated to 570. This is because we had different body counts at different times when we presented the material to the various transport companies.

As I indicated above, I only asked for bids in writing as directed by the Emergency Relief Company from three companies, those which we thought were the lowest. It should also be noted that Mr. Paul Fuller submitted his bid in writing.

If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to call me.

JJO’C/pc

Originally posted on April 13th, 2021.

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