Charles Winston Runnion, S/Sgt. 493rd Bomb Group, 862nd Squadron, was the son of Charles L. and Sarah Woody Runnion. His siblings were Pearl, Clyde(female), Estel, Bettie and Billie (male), and Ina B. who died as an infant.
Winston enlisted in the U.S Army Air Corp at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia 14 January 1943. Just 6 days short of his 20th birthday, he was involved in a fatal crash of the B-24 Libertor bomber that took his life and six of his fellow airmen. The plane from McCook Army Airfield was conducting low level gunnery training at the Scottsbluff Gunnery Range north of Morrill. According to reports, the pilots chose to fly lower to the ground than what was a safe altitude and an unexpected rise in the ground caught the bottom of the plane and it skidded along and caught fire.
There were two survivors of the Nebraska training crash, William Salomon and William Kilkeary. (See the picture caption for the names of the others in "The Jones' Boys" crew.)
(Submitted by Marian Bailey Presswood, Polk County Historian.)