THE BONESTEEL ENTERPRISE


Bonesteel, South Dakota

This editor went beyond the news restictions in force at the time. According to his daughter Doreen Peppel he wrote way more about the accident then was permissible by the war department..but we now can thank him for the courage...dh


28 Airmen Killed In Transport Plane Crash


The biggest U. S. Army Air Force single home air tragedy occurred last Thursday about 8 :30 in the hilly country 7 miles southwest of Naper, Nebraska. when an Army C-47 twin motored transport crashed with 28 men aboard during a violent rain and lightning storm. All on board were killed.

The plane (crashed on the Connie Sattler farm in a gulley about 8 feet, deep, after skidding and bouncing along the ground down a rough slope for nearly a half a mile. Parts of the plane were torn from it and scattered along the way. The transport was from the Bruning, Nebraska air base and was on its way to the base at Pierre, S. Dakota ,

One South Dakotan, Capt. Robert K. Bohle of Claremont was on board. Also in the crash were 2d Lt. Herbert A. Blakeslee, Eddyville Nebr 2nd Lt. William F. Acree Fairbury, Nebr Capt. Stanley i J. Meadows, Grimes, Iowa, a set of twins 1st. Lts. Clayton R. and I Leonard C. Jolley, Del Rey, Calif Other victims as listed by the Bruning field were Capt. Leslie B. Roberts, Brooklyn, N. Y 1 Lt. Lloyd L. Hemphill, Joplin, Mo 2nd Lt. Bruce S. Patterson, Cleveland, 0 2nd Lt. DonaId J. Clarkson, Kansas City, Mo. 2nd Lt. Richard E. Brown, San Leandro, Calif. 2nd Lt. Jack E. Lytle, Morton, Tex 2nd Lt. William C. Armstrong, Mineral, Ill 2nd Lt. George E. Boeckmann, Charlotte, N. C. 2nd Lt. Jack L. Brown, Milwaukee, Ore 2nd Lt. James C. Burke, Jr., Milton, Mass 2nd Lt. Robert E. Nesbitt, Chicago 2nd Lt. Charles V. Porter, Pros per, Tex. 2nd Lt. Millard F. Arnett, Jr., Short Fairmont, W. Va. 2nd Lt. Lavon Sehorn, Kalmath Falls, Ore. 2nd Lt. Arthur Johnson, San Diego, Cal 2nd Lt. Gerald C. Keller, Middle- town Md 2nd Lt. Anthony Paladino, Los Angeles 2nd Lt. Pat N. Roberts, Jr., McKinney, Tex 2nd Lt. Bernard W. O'Malley, Little Rock, Ark. 2nd Lt. Lelan A. Pope, Oklahoma City Flight Officer John F. Albert, Chicago and Sgt. Orson H. Hutslar, Springfield, OH

Eye witnesses told the Enterprise reporter the following stories:

At the Connie Sattler farm Mrs. Helen Durham, Mrs. Connie Sattler, 10-year-old Natalie Sattler and Connie, Jr., were inter? ???????... the grain field and then rolled a half a mile. We heard the " terrible explosion." Mrs. Fee also phoned to report the crash. Mrs. Arthur Martin (the Martins live a mile west of the scene) said she heard Mrs. Fee and Mrs. Sattler on the phone. She said, "We went to the scene of the crash arriving about 20 minutes after it occurred. It was still burning and we saw several men lying on the ground lifeless. I could see the names on the identification tags of two of the men, one was Nesbitt and the other O'Malley. Some of the bodies were about a hundred feet west from the plane which was in the gulley. Many of the neighbors commenced arriving."

The sheriff and states attorney of Boyd County took charge of affairs and deputized the farmers and others to keep peopIe away until army authorities arrived. These came within several hours from Bruning, Ainsworth and Pierre and on Friday the bodies of the men were removed from the wreckage. Connie Sattler brought them out of the gulley with a team and wagon two at a time. All were removed late Friday afternoon and identified.

The plane was scattered for a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. A large portion of one wing fell in a field about a half mile northwest of the SattIer farmyard. From there in a northwesterly direction and down the rough slope there was a motor about a quarter of a mile from the wing. A short distance from the motor was a propeller, one blade stuck in the ground. One of the landing gears was some distance west from there and other parts of metal on down to the main body of the plane. It appears that the plane struck the ground some distance below the crest of the slope and then 'bounced along the ground.

Army crews completed the " recovery and removal of the plane wreckage Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of cars drove to the scene during several days following the crash.