|Death: ||May 5, 1944|
Scotts Bluff County
Morrill, NE Bomber Crash, May 1944
Posted November 15th, 2009 by Stu Beitler
SIX FLIERS DIE IN PLANE CRASH.
Scotts Bluff, Neb. (AP) -- Six of the crew, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed and three men injured Friday in the crash of a Liberator bomber from the McCook, Neb., air base, 13 miles northeast of Morrill, Neb.
Straight Townsend, Scottsbluff county attorney, and Deputy Sheriff Steve Warrick who investigated the crash, said that the big plane broke in two after striking the ground and the fore part burst into flames. The fire burned grassland for a half mile around the wrecked plane.
Three crewmen were hospitalized here.
Council Bluffs Nonpareil Iowa 1944-05-06
May 5, 1944
A B-24 (42--100124) from the McCook Army Air Field was conducting low-level gunnery training at the Scottsbluff Gunnery Range north of Morrill. The pilots chose to fly lower to the ground than what was a safe altitude. An unexpected rise in the ground caught the bottom of the plane and it skidded along and caught fire. Six of the airmen were killed while two others survived.
The site was originally visited on May 19, 2007, along with a couple of area landowners. The exact location was only vaguely known by the landowners. No physical evidence was found at the site during the first trip.
A return trip on December 12, 2008, proved to be a huge success. Not only was the crash site found, but also over thirty scattered white stones which I had been told once marked the site in the form of a cross.
Sgt. Billy Dean Queen, gunner, St. Joseph, Mo.
Second Lt. O. A. JONES, pilot, Mt. Sterling, Ill.
Second Lt. Kenneth L. Hutzel, copilot, Sanborn, N.Y.
Flight Officer Walter L Jensen, bombardier, St. Paul, Minn.
Staff Sgt. Charles W Runnion engineer, Benton, Tenn.
Staff Sgt. Robert D Harris, radioman, Dravosburg, Pa.
Survivors of the crash were:
Second Lt. WILLIAM N. SALOMON, navigator.
Cpl. WILLIAM F. KILKEARY, gunner, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!
Created by: Theresa Hernandez -White...
Record added: Jan 24, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 83935973