Musselshell, MT Army Bomber Crash, Dec 1942

The bodies, accompanied by military escorts, are to be forwarded from here to the homes of the men.

Musselshell, Dec. 31. -- (AP) -- Finding of another body today in the shattered, fire-twisted plane fixed at 12 the number of Army fliers who died yesterday in the plunge of their Flying Fortress on a knoll in the foothills near here.
Capt. John Lloyd, public relations officer at the Grand Falls air base, today released this casualty list:
First Lieut. EDWARD T. LAYFIELD, 25, Baltimore, Md., pilot.
Second Lieut. GERALD K. BEEM, 23, Omaha, Neb., co-pilot.
Major ORVILLE A. RALSTON, 48, Valentine, Neb.
Second Lieut. REGIS J. NEWLAND, 21, Millville, Pa.
Second Lieut. CHESTER A. KNIGHT, 21, Prescott, Ariz.
Staff Serg. RULON B. DUTTON, Adairville, Ga.
Staff Serg. FREDERICK T. BROWN, Almont, Mich.
Corp. FRED E. MURRAY, Danville, Ill.
Staff Serg. CHARLES T. VALYS, Creston, Calif.
Pvt. JACOB V. REISS, Cleveland, Ohio.
Corp. HOBART L. HALL, Sioux Falls, S.D.
The bodies were taken to Great Falls from Roundup, county seat near Musselshell.
The four-engined bomber, a B-17, was on a routine training flight from its Great Falls base. Civilians who visited the crash scene, 11 miles south of Musselshell, said the plane apparently had barely failed to clear the gentle slope. Roundup newspaperman George Swertelle said that deep gashes in the earth indicated the ship struck, then snaked across the ground about 100 yards before a gasoline-fed blaze engulfed it.
Two bodies were hurled clear.
Captain Lloyd said the plane was "almost a complete wreck."
Immediately the Army undertook an official investigation.

Independent Helena Montana 1943-01-01


Musselshell Crash

Cpl Murray was my Uncle whom I never knew. I happened to visit the crash site many years ago just outside of Musselshell. There were still ruts from the crash and scattered debris. It is my understanding that a pilot from another plane who was in formation when the plane met its fate had written a book recalling the account. I would appreciate hearing from any other family members of the deceased. Further if anyone has the name of the book I would appreciate this also.
I certainly appreciate Mr.Beitler's entry on this website.

Musselshell MT Army Plane Crash December 1942

Mr. Beitler:

Hulon (shown as Rulon) B. Dutton was my grandfather. My father David never knew him, but had heard about him from his Grandmother. My dad was less than six months old when he died. He tried to do some research about my grandfather and got finally found out that the location was near Musselshell, MT. He wanted to visit the site some day, but he his gettng older and not able to travel as well now.

Hulon Boyce Dutton was a basketball player in school and helped build the Old Rock Gymnasium with many of the young men in a little community called Sonoraville. The school was called Sonoraville and he attended school there as a young man until hign school. I attended elementary school there myself. It was eventually closed, but the Old Rock Gym remains and Sonoraville High School was built around the site.

Thank you for keeping the article about the plane crash alive.