Missouri Valley, IA Train Collision, Sep 1944

NINE DEAD, MANY INJURED IN FREIGHT-PASSENGER CRASH AT MISSOURI VALLEY, THURSDAY.

FAST MERCHANDISE TRAIN CRASHES INTO SIDE OF PASSENGER; FORTY-THREE REPORTED IN HOSPITALS OF COUNCIL BLUFFS AND OMAHA.

Nine are dead and 43 persons are in Council Bluffs hospitals Friday as the result of an accident on the North Western railroad just south of Missouri Valley Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The Calumet, fast Omaha to Chicago freight, plowed into the Minneapolis-Omaha southbound passenger train as it was crossing the "Y" to the main line, overturning five cars on the passenger train and scattering wreckage for half a mile.
In addition to those in hospitals here, five soldiers are known to have been taken to the Fort Crook hospital to ease the crowded conditions at the two local institutions.
The Seventh Service command announced late Friday afternoon that 39 soldiers had been injured in the wreck, none from southwestern Iowa.
The dead are:
BEN WHITE, 53, Route 4, Council Bluffs, machinist foreman, North Western railroad.
MRS. BEN WHITE, 52, Route 4, Council Bluffs, president of the Back to the Rails auxiliary.
EDWIN MAYER, 50, Ashland, Neb.
IDA McLARNAN, Moville.
PAUL G. STORAASLI, Lavune, Minn.
Baby STEENHOVEN, about 2 years old, Hull.
Pvt. HENRY OSCAR ELI, Lawler, Minn.
Pvt. LEO D. HENSEN, Willston, N.D.
Pvt. STEVE STEENHOVEN, Hull, Ia., husband of MRS. STEENHOVEN.
In Critical Condition:
MRS. AGNES STEENHOVEN, Hull, mother of the dead baby.
CHARLOTTE ERWIN, 3 years old, Omaha, fractured skull.
MRS. FLORENCE NORTON, Denver, surgical supervisor, Colorado General Hospital, arm amputated.
S. Sgt. CHESTER HALBURG, 27, Dodge City, Kan., fractured skull.
MRS. RENEE WAUGH, 26, 620 Avenue D, Council Bluffs, head and back injuries.
MRS. JOHN ANDERSON, San Marco, Tex., chest and internal injuries, two leg fractures.
A search was reported under way at the scene of the wreckage for a 5-year-old girl. Rescuers said one coach had not been examined thoroughly but that a check would be made as soon as wrecking crews had completed righting the car.
Railroad cranes, which were called into service Thursday night, have re-established service on the line and traffic is reported moving through to Omaha.

Service Men to Omaha.
Most of the injured service men on board the train were given first aid treatment at the Mercy Hospital here and then taken to the hospital at Fort Crook to ease the crowded condition at local hospitals. Only five are believed to have been hospitalized at Fort Crook.

Continued on Page 2.

Comments

Paul G. Storaasli photo & background

More on my Uncle Paul G. Storaasli who died in the Missouri Valley Iowa train Wreck just after reciving his Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota in August and beinf commissioned in the U.S. Navy as a Mrdical Officer (surgeon) enroute
from a family reunion in Luverne Minnesota to Fitzimmons Hospital in Denver Colorado for internship.

Here's a photo of Paul, who was just engaged to Marie Christiansen:

http://tinyurl.com/PaulTrainWreck

Uncle Paul G. Storaasli died in Train Wreck

More on my Uncle Paul G. Storaasli who died in the Missouri Valley Iowa train Wreck just after reciving his Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota in August and beinf commissioned in the U.S. Navy as a Mrdical Officer (surgeon) enroute
from a family reunion in Luverne Minnesota to Fitzimmons Hospital in Denver Colorado for internship.

Here's a photo of Paul, who was just engaged to Marie Christiansen:

http://tinyurl.com/PaulTrainWreck

I'd like to communicate with

I'd like to communicate with you as my uncle, Lt. Dr. Paul Storaasli was killed in the train wreck.

Lt. Dr. Paul Gerhart Storaasli

My Uncle Paul had just completed his MD at the University of Minnesota, graduating on the wartime V-6 program, where he simultaneously received his Lt. commission in the U. S. Navy as a surgeon. He was killed on the train (the only one killed in his car by a suitcase that had flown across the car hitting him on the forehead, the only wound on his body) while traveling to Ft. Fitzimmins Hospital in Denver for his first assignment as a physician. He'd just visited his father and sister Alida and family in Luverne Minnesota before they saw him off on the train to Omaha and then his new position in Denver. However, his life which was cut short by his untimely death at the beginning of and future outstanding career in service to our nation was cut short in the prime of his life..

We named our son, also Paul Storaasli, in honor of Uncle Paul, in hopes our Paul can carry on where uncle Paul left off. So far, Paul is doing a fantastic job in service to our country as an electrical engineer and pilot who graduated from Caltech.

I'm interested in getting in touch with others whose families were touched by this 1944 tragedy.

I was there

I was in that train wreck with my parents. I was 3 1/2 years old at the time but I can remember bits of it.

Thanks for correcting spelling

Thanks for correcting the spelling of uncle Paul's name.
Incidentally, although Paul's service as a naval Physician was drawn short by the train
wreck, my other uncle, an MIT EE grad worked
on the Manhattan Project at Berkeley and Oak Ridge Y12 which hastened the end of WW2 and preventing what
otherwise would have been a bloody land invasion of Japan.

Name

Thank you so much for your comments and being a GenDisaster fan
I have changed the spelling of your uncle's name as a tribute to him
sincerely
Stu Beitler

Paul Storaasli killed (misspelled name)

Thanks for posting this story which was a trajedy for our Storaasli, with the death of my uncle Paul Storaasli.
He was just at a family "send off" gathering in Luverne MN at his sister's home where my grandfather was also staying. Paul had just received his MD degree from the U of M
where he was simultaneously commissioned a medical officer in the U.S. Navy as part of the V6 program. He was on his way to his duty at Fitzimmins Hospital in Denver Colorado. My Dad examined his body and found no injury other than a mark on his forehead wher a flying suitcase hit Paul. Paul was the only one killed on his train car. There was another Paul Storaasli from the far west (WA?) who served in the war in Europe at that time. I was told egen those western "relatives" heard og our Paul Storaasll's tragic death, they thought it was their Paul Storaasli, the name being so unique. (note how mixed up the spelling is og uncle Paul's name)