Wood River, NE Army Plane Crashes, Aug 1943

Wood River NEB B17 bomber crash 8-17-1943.JPG


Kearney, Neb. -- (AP) -- A four-engined plane from the Kearney army air base crashed and burned in a corn field near Wood River Tuesday afternoon and all persons aboard the plane, which normally carries a crew of ten, were believed killed.
The base public relations office said announcement of casualties would be made after next of kin had been notified.
An eye witness, Walter E. Thompson, Wood River farmer, said he had seen no crew members parachute from the bomber. Thompson and his wife, standing about a half mile from the crash scene, noted the plane apparently was in trouble.
Thompson said it made a sharp turn and then nosed downward, landing out of his sight, after which he heard an explosion and saw a puff of fire. Flames destroyed the plane and wreckage scattered over several hundred yards of the cornfield, while corn within a radius of 50 to 75 yards was scorched by the flames, he related.
The plane fell in a corn field on the farm of Loren Bruce, about six miles northwest of Wood River.
Two fire trucks from the Cornhusker ordnance plant at Grand Island extinguished flames and ordnance plant guards established a patrol about the wreckage and directed traffic.

List of Casualties:
2nd Lt. SYLVESTER J. DIEBOLD, pilot, Benton, Missouri.
2nd Lt. ERNEST H. ENDEMANO, instructor pilot, Los Angeles.
2nd Lt. JOHN F. HICKEY, copilot, Port Henry, N.Y.
S/Sgt. JIMMIE EcENTIRE, gunner, Wharton, Tex.
S/Sgt. ALBERT PICKUL, gunner, West Warren, Mass.
Sgt. CYRIL B. BUTLER, gunner, Crooksville, Ohio.
Sgt. JAMES V. POLLICITA, radioman, Bridgeport, Conn.
Sgt. FRANK E. SAMPLER, engineer, College Park, Ga.

Muscatine Journal and News Tribune Iowa 1943-08-18