Lebo, KS Airplane Wreck and Tornado, Jun 1928

Army Pilot's Brother Killed Flying Air Mail From North to Texas

C. B. NEVILLE, manager of ERNST and ERNST, and Lieut, FOREST T. NEVILLE, aviator stationed at Fort Sam Houston, brothers of WAYNE NEVILLE, mail pilot killed in Kansas Friday morning, left San Antonio by plane at 1:30 p. m. Friday to fly to Dallas, where they will take charge of the body and accompany it to the home of their parents in Oklahoma.

Lieutenant NEVILLE was in his plane flying over Duncan Field when the message telling of his brother's death reached here. He was signaled to land and the message was delivered. He was then joined at the field by his brother, C. B. NEVILLE, and they hopped off, after filling the gasoline tank.

WAYNE NEVILLE has visited his brothers here on several occasions and was well acquainted with flyers at the four Army flying fields here.

First Death in Two Years.

EMPORIA, Kan., June 22. -- Speeding southward through the darkness with the night air mail, WAYNE G. NEVILLE, 20, Dallas, Tex., was dashed to death by a tornado near Lebo, Kan., 20 miles east of here, early today.

His plane crashed nose-first in a pasture on the farm of JOHN SIEBOUR, 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 buildings, broke over Kansas soon after NEVILLE had taken off at Kansas City at 3:25 a. m. and a tornado, swirling high in the air passed over Garnett, about 30 miles southeast of Lebo. Whether the pilot struck the tornado or was dashed to earth by the whipping 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. Later he was a test pilot for an airplane company in Wichita, Kan., and became well known in the Middle West over which he “barnstormed” for several years. He had about 5,000 hours 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.

Funeral arrangements were not announced pending the arrival in Dallas of NEVILLE'S father from Chickasha, Okla., and two brothers from San Antonio, Tex.

San Antonio Express Texas 1928-06-23