Dubuque, IA Bomber Crashes, Feb 1944


Dubuque, Ia. (AP) -- Col. A. B. Ogden of Chanute Field, Rantoul, Ill., said Tuesday night that five officers and enlisted men were killed in the crash of a B-17 heavy bomber five miles west of Dubuque at 2:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Colonel Ogden headed a party of four which arrived here to investigate the crash. He said the plane which crashed after exploding in the air was from Chanute Field.
Names of the victims were not released pending notification of next of kin. The five comprised the entire crew, Colonel Ogden said.
Three bodies had been removed from the wreckage by 8 o'clock Tuesday night and Dubuque firemen were continuing their search for the bodies of the other two men known to have been on the plane.
The four-engine bomber crashed into the side of a hill on the J. N. Seifker farm after having passed over Dubuque a short time before. Seifker said the plane was flying upside down when it sheared off a tree top, exploded in the air and plowed into the side of a hill. It burst into flames immediately.
Seifker said the plane narrowly missed striking his farm home.
The plane circled the hill section just before the crash and just missed Heller's tavern when it came down. Parts of the ship were tangled in trees.

The Nebraska State Journal Lincoln 1944-02-09



Chanute Field, Ill. (AP) -- Four officers and an enlisted man were killed Tuesday in the crash of a B-17 Fortress bomber near Dubuque, Ia., on a flight originating from this field, the commanding general announced Wednesday.
They were:
2nd Lt. ROBERT J. BREITBACH, 23, pilot, son of Mrs. Susan Breitbach, Dubuque, Ia.
Cpl. WILLIAM C. AKERS, 25, son of Mrs. Hazel C. Akers, Denver, Colo.
2nd Lt. ERNEST D. MACMANUS, 23, married; son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest D. Macmanus, Chicago.
2nd Lt. WILLIAM D. MALONEY, JR., married; Punxsutawney, Pa.
Flight Officer ERNEST H. WOOD, married; Cedar Bluff, Ala.
The wives of the three married officers were residing near Chanute Field, the field public relations office said.

Nebraska State Journal Lincoln 1944-02-10


Plane crash

I have heard this story all of my life. When my mother died, and we were looking through some of her things, we found newspaper articles, post cards from Texas you had sent to our parents, your name in the wedding announcement of our parents, and your and Harwell's name in our mother's bridal shower book.

We have both heard the story of popcorn and Rook parties at our house with the popcorn being popped in an iron skillet on Momma's wood stove and then placed in a dish pan. When it got to the point that you could hear Nancy Jo screaming, Harwell would quietly and calmly get up and yell out the front door, "Be quiet, Nancy Jo!'

I hope that this will help your happy memories and that you will acknowledge my e-mail.


plane crash on February 8, 1944

I was so glad to read the comments from viewers on this plane crash.
I am the widow of Ernest H. Wood who was killed in this plane crash. I am now 87 years old,
living in Keller, Texas and have re-lived this day many times. A short sweet chapter in my live
with a sad ending and I never got over this tragedy even though I re-married and have two
wonderful children and now have been a widow again for 18 years. As Memorial Day
approaches on Monday I will relive this day all over again.

b 17 crash dubuque ia

i was 7 years old, when i heard noise coming but i could not see the plane because of the big tree, and when i did see it, in front was a big farm wind mill, it was so low that the wind mill shook and the top of it spund like a top and the fins spun so fast, it frighten me so much my eyes stayed glued to the plane and then i seen the black smoke come up.the crash was on english mill road dubuque ia.

I had been searching for

I had been searching for information on this accident for a few months now. I first learned about it by a seeing a poster in the Betty Jane's ice cream and candy store in Dubuque, with a picture history of Dubuque, A picture of a B-17 caught my eye, and read a very brief description of the crash, saying the pilot was flying over his home town and lost control and crashed. Up til now, attempts at internet searches came up empty, so this answers some of my questions.