Lebo, KS Air Mail Pilot Flies into Tornado, Jun 1928


EMPORIA, Kas., June 22---(AP)---Speeding southward through the darkness with the night air mail. Wayne G. Neville, 29, Dallas, Tex., was dashed to death by a terrific wind storm, or a tornado near Lebo, Kas., 20 miles east of here early to-day.

His plane crashed nose-first in a pasture on the farm of John Siebuhr, who reached the wreck in time to extinguish the fire which followed.

Neville was the first pilot of the National Air Transport, Inc., air mail contractor, to be killed since the Chicago-Dallas route was established two years ago.

A violent windstorm which blew down telephone poles, uprooted trees and unroofed small building, broke over Kansas soon after Neville had taken off at Kansas soon after Neville had taken off at Kansas City at 3:25 a. m. and a tornado, swinging high in the air passed over Garnett, about 30 miles southeast of Lebo. Whether the plane was struck by the shipping straight wind was not known.

Neville's body was found near his plane. Apparently he had been killed instantly.

The mail was taken on to Dallas by a relief plane from Kansas City.

Neville had been flying for the National Air Transport Inc., since establishment of the route and began night flying between Kansas City and Dallas when it was inaugurated several months ago. During the war Neville was a test pilot and instructor in the army air service at Love Field, Dallas.

He had about 5,000 hours experienced in flying.

Neville was married four years ago while flying in St. Joseph, Mo., Mrs. Neville was at home in Dallas when informed of her husband's death.

The Times Recorder, Zanesville, OH 23 Jun 1928