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West Lafayette in Coshocton County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident, September 1950

 
 
Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident, September 1950 Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
1. Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident, September 1950 Marker
Inscription. In the early morning hours of September 11, 1950, Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train #4, disabled 3/4 mile east of this monument, was struck in the rear by the passenger train, Spirit of St. Louis, resulting in the deaths of 33 soldiers.

The troop train, commanded by LTC Townend, was carrying members of the 109th Field Artillery Battalion en route from Wilkes-Barre to Camp Atterbury before being deployed to Germany during the Korean Conflict.

Radio station WTNS in Coshocton and news director John R. Terry broadcast a live radio-telephone hook-up to a radio station in Wilkes-Barre.

The rescue effort involved citizens of West Lafayette, Coshocton and surrounding areas.

In memory of the thirty three members of the 109th Field Artillery Battalion, Pennsylvania National Guard, killed Sept. 11, 1950

[South facade]:
Service Battery
Carl W. Armbruster • John L. Barna • William R. Disbrow • Wiliam C. Edwards • Joseph E. Fletcher • Edward W. Gallagher • Wallace R. Ludwig • James F. McGinley • Thomas M. Ostrazewski • William F. Tierney • Arthur J. Thomas • Thomas W. Wallace

[North facade]:
Battery B
Leonard Balonis • Eugene Carr • John W. Cox • William J. Dougherty • Hugh L. Fargus • Harold Handlos
Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
2. Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial
Battery B Members Killed (north facade)
• Clyde P. Harding • Martin Hornlein • Ronald J. Jackson • Lester J. Kuehn • Larry L. Luzinski • Frank C. Martinez • Charles Norton • Bernard S. Okrasinski • Raymond Pudlowski • Richard A. Royer • William F. Sobers • William M. Wellington • Gilbert B. Wharton • Edmund F. Zabicki • Donald C. Zieker

[East facade]:
This memorial is dedicated to the many citizens of Coshocton County who aided in the early morning rescue effort during the troop train accident of September 1950.
 
Erected 1990 by West Lafayette American Legion Post 446 and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 159 of Coshocton County.
 
Location. 40° 16.589′ N, 81° 45.054′ W. Marker is in West Lafayette, Ohio, in Coshocton County. Marker is at the intersection of Railroad Street (Ohio Route 93) and Kirk Street, on the right when traveling east on Railroad Street. Click for map. Markers are in park on south side of railroad right of way. Marker is in this post office area: West Lafayette OH 43845, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. West Lafayette Volunteer Fire Department Centennial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); West Lafayette War Memorial (approx.
Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
3. Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial
Service Battery members killed. (south facade)
0.8 miles away); Koquechagachton (approx. 1.2 miles away); Old Stone Fort (approx. 3.9 miles away); Broadhead Massacre (approx. 4.9 miles away); George W. Crile, M. D. (approx. 5 miles away); Plainfield Cemetery (approx. 5 miles away); Dr. William Edgar Lower Co/Founder of Cleveland Clinic (approx. 5.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in West Lafayette.
 
Regarding Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident, September 1950. On September 5, 1950, the 109th was mobilized for the Korean War. On September 11, at Coshocton, Ohio, while en route to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, a civilian train struck the battalion’s troop train. Thirty-three soldiers were killed and scores wounded. Annual memorial services are held at monuments in Coshocton and at the Kingston (Pennsylvania) Armory to remember the soldiers lost in the train wreck.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum/28th Division Shrine.
 
Also see . . .  28th Infantry Division on the Military History of Indiana web page
Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
4. Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial
Rescue workers (east facade)
. Pictures, history and remembrance of the wreck. Click on the "Train Disaster" link in the left-hand drop-down menu. (Submitted on January 15, 2009, by Jim West of Franklin, Indiana.) 
 
Categories. 20th CenturyMilitaryNotable EventsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, Korean
 
Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
5. Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial
"We Care" (west facade)
Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
6. Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial
Looking north along Kirk Street past railroad right of way.
Al Williams Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
7. Al Williams Marker
In memory of troop train survivor Al Williams, 1932-2006.
Al Williams was one of only three men in his rail car who survived the wreck. Williams and his wife, Delores, were frequent visitors to West Lafayette, making about three or four trips each year.
Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial Park Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 22, 2008
8. Pennsylvania National Guard Troop Train Accident Memorial Park
Looking north. Artillery piece in honor of 109th Field Artillery Battalion.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 3,900 times since then and 145 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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