Bridge, ID Bomber Crashes, Apr 1942
PLANE DIVES TO EARTH IN DARKNESS.
STREVELL FARMER REPORTS SEEING EXPLOSION IN AIR.
Bridge, Idaho -- (AP) -- A four-motored Army bomber on a night flight from Ogden to Boise crashed with terrific force near this Utah-Idaho border town, killing seven fliers and presumably an eighth whose body had not been found late Saturday.
Wreckage of the huge ship was scattered over a wide area. First reports were that there were nine aboard, but Captain R. S. Gibbs, Gowen Field public relations officer at Boise said clearance papers showed only eight.
The dead were listed by Gibbs as:
Second Lt. JAMES R. WALKER, pilot, Seattle, Wash.
Second Lt. ALBERT J. RICH, Co-pilot, Hemet, Calif.
Second Lt. MAURICE V. BRADLEY, passenger, Hydro, Okla.
Sgt. HUGH P. JENNINGS, Gunner, New Bedford, Mass.
Sgt. HENRY O. WILLIAMS, JR., Radioman, Bellville, Ark.
Pvt. JOSEPH W. KOURY, Kansas City, Mo.
Pvt. CHARLES J. GNEIDING, Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Also listed as a crew member was Pvt. KENNETH S. BIDDINGER, Engineer, Indianapolis, Ind. Rescuers expressed belief his body was covered by part of the plane. Gowen Field officials announced the plane missing Saturday morning, saying it had left Hill Field at Ogden, approximately 150 miles from Bridge on a routine training flight at 8:18 p.m. They theorized the crash, about 10 miles north of the Utah line, occurred shortly after takeoff.
Louis Gunnell of Stevell, a few miles from Bridge on U.S. Highway 30 South, discovered the wreckage and reported that two men were dead.
When Gowen Field crash crews arrived on the scene, the additional bodies were discovered. Terrain at the site is fairly level and covered with sage brush.
An Army board of officers will investigate in an effort to determine cause of the mishap, Capt. Gibbs announced.
The crew had been stationed at Gowen Field and was returning to its base after a trip to Hill Field at Ogden.
The Idaho Sunday Statesman Boise 1942-04-05