Burlington, IA Navy Plane Crashes, May 1947 - 2 Killed, 6 Hurt
PILOT, 2 BOYS KILLED AS NAVY PLANE CRASHES IN SCHOOL YARD.
6 HURT, HOMES ARE DAMAGED AT BURLINGTON.
Burlington, Ia. (AP) -- A cavorting navy plane crashed on a school playground here yesterday, killing the pilot and two school boys and injuring six other youths as wreckage showered the neighborhood over a four-block area.
The plane, one of a fighter squadron from Lambert Field, St. Louis, putting on a naval air show, plummeted to the ground where 14 children were playing baseball, hurtled across the yard, crashed into a tree and exploded.
Commander J. D. Taylor, leader of the squadron, said an unofficial investigation of the crash indicated the plane had been caught in the slipstream from a ship ahead in the formation. This flipped the plane over in a one-and-a-half-turn from which the pilot was unable to right it, Taylor said.
The dead were:
RONALD HAGEMEIER, 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Hagemeier.
RICHARD CHARLES GRANT, 14, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jess Grant.
The boys had been playing baseball with 12 other youths in the playground.
The pilot of the plane, identified by Lieutenant Commander Bart Slattery, public relations officer at Lambert Field, St. Louis, as Lieutenant (jg) JOHN PEELER, son of Mrs. Ethel Peeler, of St. Louis.
List of the injured:
HARRY DARRAH, 19, navy veteran, head cuts and bruises.
JACKIE BRUNAT, 5-year-old girl, severe arm and leg burns from flaming gasoline which sprayed on her as she stood across the street from the playground.
NORBERT DUNN, 18, cuts, burns and bruises.
HERBERT SALOME, 20, burned back and leg.
ALLEN KELLY, 15, head injury, burns and lacerations.
LYLE LEWIS, 14, head and arm bruises.
DARRAH, DUNN and SALOME were reported improved Monday morning and KELLY was said to have had a fair night.
Flying debris from the plane, which Cort Klein, city editor of the Burlington Hawk-eye Gazette, said might have been traveling 350 and 400 miles an hour, damaged several homes over an area of four blocks.
The propeller and part of the engine hurtled through the porch roof and south wall of a house occupied by the William Waugh family, continued on through the north wall, and landed in the garden. The piece of wreckage laded with a foot of where James Waugh, 9, was standing. The Waugh family had been sitting at the kitchen table but went out into the yard when they heard the plane at such a low altitude.
Klein said the plane plowed through the backstop fence of the Perkins school playground.
Carroll Times Herald Iowa 1947-05-19