Rantoul, IL Two Army Planes Collide, Dec 1926



Rantoul, Illinois, Dec. 23. (U.P.) -- Government authorities have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the collision between two army airplanes here last night in which four officers met their deaths.
The men were killed when the planes in which they were riding, crashed together at a height of 550 feet, two miles off Chanute Field. Three of the officers died instantly and the fourth a few minutes later.
The names of the dead follow:
Captain HAROLD G. FOSTER, of Chicago.
First Lieutenant HENRY W. KUNKEL, Rantoul, Illinois.
First Lieutenant ALBERT J. CLAYTON, Scott Field, Delleville, Illinois.
Second Lieutenant RALPH L. LAUTER, Bolling Field, Washington, D.C.
The machines were traveling rapidly when they collided and the crash was so terrific that motorists along the road for nearly a mile were attracted to the scene.
Both machines were in flames before they reached the ground. One of them, a Dehaviland, in which Capt. FOSTER and Lieut. LAUTER were riding, exploded as it struck the earth.
Lieutenants KUNKEL, CLAYTON and LAUTER died instantly buty Capt. FOSTER lived for a few minutes.
The two machines were but a mass of twisted materials as they lay on the ground.
The bodies of Capt. FOSTER and Lieuts. CLAYTON and LAUTER will be taken to their homes for burial. KUNKEL will be buried here.

Evening Chronicle Marshall Michigan 1926-12-23