Camp Shelby, MS - Tornado Hits Hattiesburg; One Soldier Killed - Thursday 18 April 1918

Courier Journal newspaper, Louisville, KY - Thursday 18 April 1918


One Soldier Killed, Score Injured When Tornado Sweeps Camp


Special to The Courier-Journal
Camp Shelby, Miss., April 17 - One soldier was killed and a score or more injured when a cyclone struck Camp Shelby shortly after 1 o'clock to-day. The tornado hit in the region of the base hospital and cut a path about seventy feet wide through this section. Fortunately none of the occcupied wards was struck. Two buildings on the reservation, one of which had just been completed, and another in the course of construction, were hit by the wind, the latter being demolished and the portico of the former being torn off.

PRIVATE VAUGHN BEEKMAN, 152D Ambulance Company, of Marion, IN, was the soldier killed. He was struck by lightning during the height of the storm and crushed beneath falling debris. The other soldiers injured during the blow were slightly wounded by flying debris. Three carpenters were also injured, one of them suffering three broken ribs and other injuries.

One of the buildings which was being erected to serve as a ward was leveled to the ground. The 150-foot porch of another which had been completed earlier in the day was torn off and blown over the roof of the structure, hitting and damaging another building which had just been built.

The damage to the buildings of the hospital reservation alone amounts to several thousand dollars. In addition several stables were razed at the remount station and three mules killed. The wind also took the ordinance building of the 151st Infantry and Y. M. C. A. building No. 4 off their foundations.

FRED J. BLAIR, of the 113th Signal Battalion, died at the base hospital to-day following injuries received yesterday on the rifle range, where the 113th Engineers are engaged in practice. Private Orvill was also hurt in the accident, receiving a slight wound in the arm. Nothing was divulged concerning the nature of the accident.

Private Vaughn Beekman
Find A Grave Memorial# 66579856