Crestview, FL Army Trainer Crash, Oct 1941

Pilot Killed As Plane Dives To Earth – Student Goes Down With Ship Thursday

Flying cadet W. H. Snyder, stationed at Gunters [sic] Field, Alabama was killed here (Crestview, Florida) when his plane crashed in a black-jack thicket near the new CAA airport Thursday morning [October 9].

He was brought to Enzor Brothers Hospital following the crash and died at about 4:00 Thursday afternoon from his injuries. Snyder was one of two groups of 30 planes each from Gunters [sic] Field here on a routine training flight, Mr. B. M. Dove, in charge of the CAA airport said.

"His plane apparently developed motor trouble as he was preparing to land and the plane crashed before he could reach the field", Mr. Dove said.

Henry Spencer and his brother, Jason, who live within 300 yards of the scene of the accident were watching the plane when it went into its fatal dive. "I was looking right at him", Henry Spencer said, "He was flying along pretty low and suddenly made a dive for the ground. His plane tore out the top of a large oak tree before he hit the ground; He was going mighty fast and his motor seemed to be going at full speed", he declared.

The Spencer brothers were the first to reach the scene and found the pilot badly injured and bleeding about the head. They did not attempt [sic] to remove him from the tangled wreckage until Army ground units arrived a few minutes later."

It was reported that Snyder was "an English student flyer but this statement could not be verified by Army officers who referred all questions to the public relations department at Gunters [sic] Field. The plane was so badly damaged that it could not be repaired and a wrecking crew from Eglin Field were dismanteling [sic] it late Thursday for salvage."

Okaloosa News-Journal, Crestview, FL, Friday, 10-10-1941, Volume 27, Number 40, page 1.