This information was sent in by Donna Williams to be added to Gerald K. Beem's memorial. Thank you Donna.
Buddies Pay Final Tribute to Accident Victims
Great Falls, Dec. 31 - Fighting men of the Army air base said a final goodbye tonight to 12 of their buddies who died in the flaming wreckage of a Flying Fortress yesterday. Thronging the brown, steepled chapel at the base, officers and men heard memorial services conducted by Chaplain Selcraig. As flying mates of the dead service men and others attached to the post were at attention, the chaplain read the names of the men who died when the big ship crashed near Musselshell. Then silently they filed out, ready again for the grim business of war. The bodies, accompanied by military escorts, are to be forwarded from here to the homes of the men.
ANOTHER VICTIM Musselshell, Dec. 31. - Finding of another body today in the shattered, fire-twisted plane fixed at 12 the number of Army fliers who died yesterday in the plunge of their Flying Fortress on a knoll in the foothills near here. Capt. John Lloyd, public relations officer at the Great Falls air base, today released this casualty list:
First Lieut. Edward T. Layfield, 25, Baltimore, Md, pilot; Second Lieut. Gerald K. Beem, 23, Omaha, Neb., copilot; Major Orville A. Ralston, 48, Valentine, Neb.; Second Lieut. Regis J. Newland, 21, Millville, Pa.; Second Lieut. Chester A. Knight, 21, Prescott, Ariz.; Staff Serg. Hulon B. Dutton, Adairville, Ga.; Staff Serg. Frederick T. Brown, Almont, Mich.; Corp. Fred E. Murray, Danville, Ill.; Staff Serg. Charles T. Valys, Creston, Calif.; Pvt. Jacob V. Reiss, Cleveland, Ohio; Corp. Hobart L. Hall, Sioux Falls, S.D. The bodies were taken to Great Falls from Roundup, county seat near Mussellshell. The four-engined bomber, a B-17, was on a routine training flight from its Great Falls base. Civilians who visited the crash scene, 11 miles south of Musselshell, said the plane apparently had barely failed to clear the gentle slope Roundup newspaperman George Swertelle said that deep gashes in the earth indicated the ship struck, then snakee across the ground about 100 yards before a gasoline-fed blaze engulfed it. Two bodies were hurled clear. Captain Lloyd said the plane was "almost a complete wreck." Immediately the Army undertook an official investigation.
The Independent Record newspaper; Helena, Montana January 1, 1943; Pages One and Two