El Paso, TX Bomber Crashes, July 1944
BOMBER CRASHER INTO MOUNTAIN; EIGHT KILLED.
El Paso, July 12 (UP) -- Biggs Field authorities announced today that eight Army airmen were killed near midnight last night when a B-24 bomber crashed into Mt. Franklin in a residential district of the city.
The dead were listed as:
Second Lt. PAUL CHERNEFSKY, pilot, East Orange, N.J.
Flight Officer RICHARD T. YOUNG, co-pilot, Columbus, Ga.
Second Lt. DARIO L. RIZZI, navigator, Superior, Wyo.
Second Lt. PAUL G. THORNTON, bombardier, Schenectady, N.Y.
Cpl. EDWIN J. FRANKLIN, JR., gunner, Newport, R.I.
Cpl. WILLIAM V. BAUER, radio operator, Louisville, Ky.
Pfc. WILLIAM A. JUECKSTOCK, gunner, Detroit, Mich.
Pfc. CLAUDE N. GRANT, gunner, Louisville, Ky.
The huge ship failed to clear the mountain peak by 100 feet.
The bomber had just taken off from Biggs Field when it hit the mountain not far from Scenic Drive and the Mt. Franklin beacon light. A Biggs Field board was investigating today.
J. J. Gregor of 3600 McKinley Avenue, said he saw the bomber crash. "The plane had its landing lights on, and it flew straight toward the mountain,"
Mr. Gregor said. "The lights showed for three or four seconds against the mountain, and then the pilot must have seen that he was about to crash into the rocks. He nosed the plane up, and it zoomed about 100 feet, then crashed head-on into the mountain. There was no fire before the plane hit, and the plane did not dive or fall. When it hit, there where three or four small fires that sprang up, then all at once a big flash and a big fire."
Mr. Gregor said that because of the noise of his own automobile motor he could not tell whether any of the bomber engines were failing.
Morning Avalanche Lubbock Texas 1944-07-14