Wendover, UT (near) Bomber Crashes On Railroad, Aug 1943
W. P. FREIGHT WRECKED BY ARMY PLANE.
BOMBER LANDS ON TRACK TO CAUSE WRECK NEAR WENDOVER.
Wendover, Utah, Aug. 9 (UP) -- One flier was killed, a bomber demolished, and a freight engine and 29 cars wrecked near here last night when an army plane crashed on a highway, bounced onto the Western Pacific railroad tracks and left wreckage that was struck a few minutes later by a freight train, it was disclosed today.
Killed was 2nd Lieut. RICHARD L. BLUE of Rantoul, Illinois, co-pilot of the bomber.
Ten other members of the bomber crew were injured, several seriously.
Lt. Alphonse Madden, Wendover air base public relations officer, said that full details of the freak accident were not known yet. An army board and railroad officials were investigating.
Madden said the plane was on a routine flight about 9 p.m. last night. For some unexplained reason it came down on transcontinental highway 40 about 40 miles east of Wendover. The plane, the officer said, hit the hard surface of the road, bounced onto the saline surface of the Bonneville salt flats, bounced again onto the railroad tracks, and continued over to the salt flats on the other side of the tracks.
About 10 minutes later, a Diesel-powered fast Western Pacific freight ploughed into the wreckage.
The power unit of the train and 29 cars went over on their sides in the wet salty mud. Twenty-six of the fully-laden cars were piled in a heap, their contents strewn over the desert. None of the train crew, railroad officials said, was believed injured.
The tracks were still jammed at 10:45 a.m., MWT., today, and Western Pacific traffic was being routed over Southern Pacific tracks to the north. Repair work was being directed from the Elk, Nev., yards of the railroad, and it was believed the tracks would not be in service until tomorrow morning.
The injured, as listed by Lieutenant Madden, were:
2nd Lieut. ALBERT E. SHEELEY, Detroit.
2nd Lieut. HENRY R. RANDALL, Waukeegan, Illinois.
Flight Officer HERBERT H. WILLIAMS, Long Beach, Cal.
Sgt. DEAN W. SCHIMMELL, Evansville, Ind.
Sgt. FRANCIS A. McCUSTER, Lambertville, N. J.
Sgt. CLARENCE W. TUBBS, Des Moines, Ia.
Sgt. HARRY I. KIPPLEY, Memphis, Tenn.
Sgt. ROBERT K. SNYDER, Roscommon, Mich.
Pvt. IRWIN LANDAU, New York, N. Y.
Corp. ROBERT D. SHEARL, Springfield, Illinois.
The site of the accident was about 123 miles west of Salt Lake CIty. The plane hit the highway within a few yards of the now abandoned starting pits used by such famous automobile racers as Capt. George E. T. Eyston, John Cobb, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Ab Jenkins in their world record-breaking auto races across the Bonneville salt flats. It is about 150 miles east of Beowawe, Nev., where a Diesel powered passenger train was wrecked four years ago, killing 24 persons and injuring more than 100.
Daily Herald Provo Utah 1943-08-09