Rockford, IL Trench Motar Explosion, Aug 1925

EIGHT NEGRO SOLDIERS KILLED IN EXPLOSION.

FIELD PIECE, PROBABLY OVERLOADED, BLOWS UP DURING CAMP INSTRUCTION -- OTHERS HURT.

Rockford, Ill., Aug. 24. -- (AP) -- Eight negro soldiers, including one officer, were killed at Camp Grant today by the explosion of a trench mortar on the field range.
Six others suffered serious injuries and perhaps a score received first aid treatment for minor hurts.
An inquiry has been started by Major General Milton J. Foreman, commander of the Thirty-third division, of which the Eighth Illinois infantry the negro regiment, is a unit.
Captain O. A. BROWNING, commanding the howitzer company, was the officer killed. He served overseas with the Eighth infantry and was decorated with the French Croix De Guerre for gallantry.
Two of the injured lost their right arms and a third victim was saved by an amputation of a foot.
The explosion occurred as Captain BROWNING and his men were gathered closely around the field piece for firing instructions. Army officers believe the mortar was overloaded.
The investigation wil be difficult because of the fact that all of those close to the instructor were killed. Several of the enlisted men were mutilated beyond recognition.

Titusville Herald Pennsylvania 1925-08-25