Laurel, NE Bomber Collision, Aug 1944


Laurel, Neb. -- Seventeen men from the Sioux City air base were believed killed in a collision of two Flying Fortresses two miles east of here shortly before noon Saturday, the commanding officer of the Sioux City base, Lt. Col. Wallace S. Dawson, announced Saturday night.
Col. Dawson announced that one man from the two crews parachuted to safety.
He was treated for minor injuries at a physician's office here.
Earlier reports by witnesses to the crash had three planes involved.
They said the collision was occasioned by a smaller plane but Col. Dawson Saturday night announced that all small craft accompanying the formation of Fortresses had returned to the Sioux City base.
A tail section of one of the planes was severed in the collision and it was believed that this was mistaken by witnesses for a smaller plane.
On preliminary examination of the wreckage strewn over several miles, army and civilian police officials had not been able to determine the number of planes in the crash.
One of the large planes exploded when it neared the ground and the other burned.

Waterloo Daily Courier Iowa 1944-08-06



Sioux City, Ia. (AP) -- Names of 17 men killed Saturday in the collision of two Flying Fortress bombers near Laurel, Neb., were disclosed Sunday by Lt. Col. Wallace S. Dawson, commander of the army air base here.
The crash brought to 45 the number of army fliers to die in Nebraska last week. Twenty-eight men were killed last Thursday night when a C-47 army transport crashed near Naper, Neb., just south of the Nebraska-South Dakota line.
Only one man escaped death in the collision of the Flying Fortresses. He was Second Lt. CHARLES A. VAN PELT, of Dayton, Ohio, pilot of one of the planes and parachuted to safety, receiving only slight injuries. Officers said one of the Fortresses exploded and the other burned as they neared the ground.
The names of the dead and next of kin (if available) are:
Second Lt. GEORGE M. NELSON, JR. co-pilot, wife, Mrs. Gloria B. Nelson, Goldfield, Ia.
Flight Officer WILLIAM KAVNER, bombarbier, brother, Israel Kevner, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cpl. BEN E. WALL, navigator, mother, Mrs. Sadie M. Wall, Madison, N.C.
Cpl. RICHARD L. DAVIS, radioman, mother, Mrs. Helen R. Forbes, Oakland, Calif.
Pfc. JACK L. McCULLOUGH, gunner, wife, Mrs. Ruth M. McCullough, Coolidge, Ariz.
Pfc. JACK C. INCE, gunner, mother, Mrs. Novella A. Ince, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cpl. GEORGE B. BRADA, gunner, wife, Mrs. Helen K. Brada, and mother, Mrs. Mary Brada, Cleveland, O.
Cpl. WALTER L. JACQUES, gunner, father, Walter Jacques, Pawtucket, R.I.

Second Lt. JOSEPH E. MEAD, pilot, father, Silas J. Mead, Danbury, Conn.
Second Lt. ARCHIE E. MORAN, JR., co-pilot, father, Archie E. Moran, Chicago, Ill.
Second Lt. KENNETH M. DEWEY, bombardier, mother, Mrs. Irene B. Dewey, Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Sgt. CHESTER A. JURKOWSKI, engineer, mother, Mrs. Clara Jurkowski, New Boston, Mich.
Cpl. NEVIN B. MATTHEWS, radioman, mother, Mrs. Laura E. Matthews, Jeannette, Pa.
Cpl. BERNARD D. RYDER, gunner, mother, Mrs. Julia Ryder, Haskins, Ohio.
Pfc. WILBER J. UTTER, gunner, mother, Mrs. Myrtle G. Utter, Prescott, Wash.
Pfc. DEAN W. STILL, gunner, mother, Mrs. Gertrude A. Still, San Diego, Calif.
Pfc. PAUL J. BERUMIN, gunner, mother, Mrs. Maria L. Berumin, Tucson, Ariz.

Nebraska State Journal Lincoln 1944-08-07