Moundsville, WV Army Bomber Crashes On Automobiles, July 1921





Moundsville, W. Va., July 10. - Ten persons are known to have been killed, a machinist is believed to have been burned to death, fifty-four were injured seriously and a United States army plane and fourteen automobiles were destroyed at 2:30 p.m. today, when the plane, after flying a short distance over the Langin Flying Field here, suddenly tilted, shot downward and crashed to the ground, alighting on about twenty automobiles and pinning occupants of machines beneath it.
An explosion occurred as the plane struck the machines, destroying most of them. It is believed that the death list will increase, as several persons supposed to have been at the field are unaccounted for, and it is expected that some of the injured will die.

List of Dead.
The known dead are:
MRS. GEORGE LONG, aged 32, Moundsville.
FREDERICK EDGE, 45, Woodland, W. Va.
CARL PETTIT, 16, Moundsville.
RALPH HARTZELL, 13, Moundsville.
CHARLES HARTZELL, 50, father of the HARTZELL boy.
MRS. A. STEPHENS, 28, Moundsville.
WALTER MONTGOMERY, 40, Bellaire, Ohio.
Three unidentified charred bodies.

List of Injured.
In Moundsville Hospital are:
STANLEY PATRICK, 8, of Moundsville, skull fractured, condition critical.
LEONARD DARRAH, 52, Moundsville, skull fractured.
MISS MARY RULONG, 18, Moundsville, right leg burned and bruised.
MRS. GEORGE STEVENS, 38, Moundsville, burns and bruises.
ELSIE STEVENS, 10, a daughter, burns and bruises.
MRS. GEORGE MERTS, Bellaire, collar bone injury.
LIEUT. IVERS, pilot of the plane, bruised and shaken.
LIEUT. GUNSTON, assistant pilot, burns about the face and hands.
CARL V. MILLER, burns to arms and face.
R. ELMER ROBERTS, burns to arms and face.
FRANK R. TAYLOR, burns to face and hands.
J. M. McBROOM, burns to the face and hands.
MRS. M. KEYSER, bruises.
LEO HILL, 17, burned on both arms.
CAREY NATION, right leg hurt.
MISS ELIZABETH McDONALD, left side of head and arms bruised.
W. M. KITTLE, president of County Court, burned on hands and face.
FRANK ZELNIK, burned on arms.
WALTER McADAM, of Mannington, burned on face.
WILLIAM ROHR, of Wheeling, cut on head.
C. W. CALDABAUGH, burned on neck and arms.
JASPER HARDING, 40, of Panama Mine, laid out on field between wreck and hangar, later taken away.
ELMER FOGEL, 6, of 1035 Jefferson Avenue, badly burned about hands, feet and face.
Six other persons, most of them suffering from minor injuries, were taken to their homes here, where they were attended by local physicians.
The big Martin bombing plane was flying from Dayton, Ohio, to Washington, D.C. The field here is a regular government landing field and the plane, in charge of Lieut. IVERS and GUNSTON, stopped here yesterday because of a heavy storm it encountered.

On Way Here.
Renewing its flight to Washington, the plane had just got up thirty feet and gone scarcely 300 yards, when it suddenly listed to one side and dropped. Occupants of the automobiles parked on the field and other spectators had no time to gain places of safety, so unexpected was the accident. Nearly twenty-five persons, according to the estimates of witnesses, were caught beneath the falling plane, one of the largest types used by the United States army. The automobiles on which the plane fell caught the full force of the blow and saved many persons from death.
Lieutenants IVERS and GUNSTON leaped from the plane after a quick but unsuccessful effort to right it. Both fell clear of the plane. The injuries of neither are regarded as serious.
As the plane struck the automobiles there was a crash of splintering wood, followed by a terrific explosion of one of the three tanks of gasoline. Thick clouds of smoke and hot tongues of flame made attempts at rescue impossible. Following the first explosion there was a series of explosions as tanks of the burning automobiles let go.

Burned in Rescue Work.
Just as the plane crashed upon the automobiles and airplane, owned by H. L. LAMBERT, of Lambert, was circling above the field. Mr. LAMBERT himself was standing among the parked machines a short distance from where the army plane fell. Catching sight of a man whom he did not recognize, pinned under one of the machines, he dashed forward and tried to drag the man to safety. The man was caught so firmly under the wrecked machine that it was impossible to extricate him, and Lambert, who continued his efforts till he was severely burned about the face and hands, had to leave the victim to his fate.

The Washington Herald Washington D.C. 1921-07-11