Ironton, MO Private Plane Crash, July 1954


Ironton, Mo. (UP) -- The Army released today the names of four Western Michigan soldiers and their civilian pilot who were killed when their twin-engined plane exploded and crashed in the rugged Ozark Hills near here.
The Army said the victims were:
Pvt. KENNETH M. VANDENBERG, 19, Byron Center, Mich.
Pvt. EARLE W. SIMMONS, 19, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Pvt. FREDERICK W. VANDERLUGT, 19, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Pvt. JACK R. HILL, 19, Grand Rapids, Mich.
The civilian pilot was identified as FRED MURPHY of Fort Smith, Ark.
Army authorities at Camp Chaffee, Ark., said the four youths had completed eight weeks of basic training there last Friday and were en route home on furlough. They had planned to take a DC-3 plane to Michigan but settled for the smaller single-engined craft when they found the larger plane filled to capacity.
The plane crashed into the hills Saturday but the wreckage was not found until Sunday. Military authorities withheld details of the accident.

The Holland Evening Sentinel Michigan 1954-07-26