Phoenix, AZ (near) Bombers Collide, Feb 1944


Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 17 (AP) -- Seventeen army fliers and crewmen were killed instantly Friday when two B-24 bombers cruising together on a training mission locked wings and crashed on the rugged Salt River Indian Reservation, 20 miles northeast of Phoenix, the public relations officer at near-by Williams Field reported.
An investigating board said a lone Indian and a British cadet were watching the planes as they soared overhead and collided. No official details of the crash were immediately available but an account may be forthcoming from the two witnesses.
Wreckage was scattered over a wide area and parts of the fuselage were still smouldering when officers arrived, indicating the planes had either exploded when they hit or burst into flames on the ground.

The Salt Lake Tribune Utah 1944-02-19



Phoenix, Feb. 19. -- (INS) -- The Williams field public relations office today disclosed the names of 17 army airmen killed 20 miles northeast of Phoenix yesterday when two B-24 Liberator bombers, flying in formation, collided in midair and crashed.
The victims were:
2nd Lieutenants:
PETER J. BLOCK, 22, Brooklyn, N.Y.
JOHN S. GLASS, 24, Boulder, Mont.
GEORGE W. ZELLERS, 21, Holton, Kan.
EARL LIEBERMAN, 22, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
ROBERT J. POETT, 24, Worcester, Mass.
MERLE H. MAHAN, 21, Cleveland.
DONALD F. WEST, 26, Courtland, N.Y.
S/Sgt. WILLIAM R. BASSETT, 19, Cincinnati.
S/Sgt. ROBERT H. DRUMMOND, 19, Kansas City, Mo.
Sgt. HARVEY M. FANNING, 21, Neeses, S.C.
Sgt. EDWARD F. CHESTNUT, 20, Los Angeles.
Sgt. ROBERT DENNIS, 21, Spokane.
Sgt. WALTER L. BRADFORD, 21, Marysville, Ky.
Sgt. THOMAS J. JABLONSKY, 19, Chicago.
Cpl. ROBERT E. HENTGEN, 23, South Milwaukee, Wis.
Pvt. RUSSELL V. JOHNSON, 21, of Red Oak, Iowa.

Long Beach Independent California 1944-02-20

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