Park City, UT (near) Bomber Crash, Nov 1941
2 ARMY AIRMEN MEET DEATH IN BOMBER CRASH.
ONE BODY, IDENTIFIED AS MAJOR R. E. L. PIRTLE, FOUND TWO MILES FROM WRECKAGE.
BELIEVED RIPPED AS HE LEAPED; ANOTHER BODY IN WRECKAGE; 5 PARACHUTE TO SAFETY.
Park City, Utah, Nov. 17 -- (AP) -- Two army airmen, one of them Maj. R. E. L. PIRTLE, 88th reconaissance squadron commander, were killed when a blizzard spun a two-motored bomber onto a wooded Wasatch mountain ridge last night after five crewmen had parachuted to safety.
One body, tentatively identified as that of Major PIRTLE, a native of Council Grove, Kas., was found two miles from the plane wreckage. Attached to his body was his torn parachute, apparently ripped as he jumped from the plane, thus plummeting him to the earth.
Referring to a body burned with the wreckage of the plane, army authorities at Salt Lake said it probable was that of Sgt. J. D. ANDERSON, the other missing crew member.
First Lieut. W. E. BAYSIE, pilot of the B-18 on the return leg of a flight from Salt Lake to Denver, reported to his base here that the order to abandon ship had been given when the plane encountered blizzard conditions shortly before midnight. He did not know, however, whether all bailed out before the ship crashed.
BAYSIE was carried four miles in his parachute and brought to Park City by farmers. Four other members of the crew landed near Park City and all were taken to a hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises and for shock. First reports were that the most serious injury was a possible broken ankle suffered by one of the men.
In the hospital, in addition to BAYSIE were Second Lieut. M. SIMMONS, Second Lieut. C. A. SMITH, Staff Sgt. E. V. BYNUM and Pvt. First Class B. L. TORGERSEN.
The roar of a plane flying low brought Park City residents to the alert and William Woods said he heard a crash on a ridge on Thayne's Canyon.
F. M. Stone, master mechanic at the Silver King Coalition Mines, said he was awakened by the plane and saw what appeared to be red flares dropping.
BAYSIE was brought to town about two hours later and the other four walked in shortly afterward.
Cumberland Evening Times Maryland 1941-11-17