Kansas City, MO Plane Crash Kills 20 Veterans, Sep 1945


Kansas City -- AP -- Only one of twenty-one homeward-bound European war veterans, passengers aboard a military air transport plane which crashed early Saturday, remained alive Saturday night -- and his condition was critical.
A crew of three died in the craft which crashed and burned only a few seconds after it took off from Fairfax Airport.
Three of the veterans were alive when rescue parties reached the charred wreckage on the north bank of the Missouri River. Of these, Sgt. BERNARD C. TUCKER, Etna, Calif., and Cpl. FRED EBERT, Pasadena, Calif., died later at a local hospital. Sgt. ORA D. DeLONG, whose papers indicated he had relatives at Fort Scott, Kas., Winfield, Kas., and San Bernardino, Calif., remained alive Saturday afternoon but his condition was described as critical.
At Rosecrans Field, St. Joseph, Mo., the Army announced the names of the three-man crew as:
Pilot -- 1st Lieut. WARREN E. DERRICKSON, wife, Mrs. Lucille M. Derrickson, Broken Bow, Neb.
Co-pilot -- 1st Lieut. JAMES E. WUEST, father, Michael E. Wuest, 531 S. 11th St., Hamilton, Ohio.
Flight clerk -- Pfc. ELBERT P. KAZIAH, mother, Mrs. Mary C. Outten, Lackey Post Office, York Town, Va.
Because of a delay in notifying next of kin, names of the passengers had not been released.
The big Douglas C-47 military plane had just left the runway at the local airport after refueling to continue its flight westward from Newark, N. J. Witnesses said one engine sputtered as the craft left the field. The ship made it across the Missouri River, immediately north of the field, but lost altitude rapidly and topped a tree on the bank of the river. One wing caught the embankment of the Burlington Railroad tracks and the ship caught fire, falling in flames north of the track. The radio tower at the field said it was not in contact with the plane at the time.
The tail assembly was the only large piece of the plane that retained its shape.

Kingsport Times-News Tennessee 1945-09-16