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Milligan in Fillmore County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Two B-24 "Liberators" Crash Near Milligan, 1943

 
 
Two B-24 "Liberators" Crash Near Milligan, 1943 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2022
1. Two B-24 "Liberators" Crash Near Milligan, 1943 Marker
Inscription.  
On October 25, 1943, four B-24 “Liberator” bombers from the Fairmont Army Air Field were flying in formation. At approximately 4 p.m., one bomber broke formation and the pilot of a second, as trained, moved toward the vacated position. When the first bomber returned to its position, the two planes collided. At an altitude of 20,000 feet, it was the highest fatal World War II training accident in Nebraska.

One bomber crashed in the adjoining farm fields of Frank Hromadka Sr. and Anna Matejka, 2 miles north and ˝ mile east of Milligan. The other crashed in the farmyard of Mike and Fred Stech, 3 miles north and 2 miles east of Milligan. Killed were 2nd Lt. James H. Williams, 2nd Lt. William E. Herzog, 2nd Lt. Kenneth S. Ordway, 2nd Lt. Charles L. Brown, 2nd Lt. Clyde H. Frye, Sgt. James H. Bobbitt, Sgt. William D. Watkins, Sgt. William G. Williams, Sgt. Wilbur H. Chamberlin, Sgt. Edward O. Boucher, Sgt. Ursulo Galindo Jr., Sgt. William C. Wilson, Sgt. Albert R. Mogavero, Sgt. Arthur O. Doria, Sgt. Eugene A. Hubbell, F/O Achille P. Augelli, and Pfc. Andrew G. Bivona. The sole survivor was 2nd Lt. Melvin Klein.
 
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2010 by Milligan Memorial Committee/Milligan Public Library; Nebraska State Historical Society; and Families of the Crewman and Friends of the Community. (Marker Number 475.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceDisastersWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is October 25, 1943.
 
Location. 40° 30.606′ N, 97° 23.11′ W. Marker is in Milligan, Nebraska, in Fillmore County. Marker is on State Highway 41 just east of N Street (Road 24), on the left when traveling east. Marker is leftmost of three Nebraska World War II air training disaster markers at this location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Milligan NE 68406, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. BT-13B "Valiant" and P-47D "Thunderbolt" Crash, 1944 (here, next to this marker); The Blizzard of 1888 (here, next to this marker); B-17G "Flying Fortress" and P-47D "Thunderbolt" Crash, 1944 (here, next to this marker); Milligan Auditorium (approx. 0.7 miles away); Pioneer Chapel (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Pioneer Chapel and Cesky Bratri Cemetery (approx. 1.1 miles away); Sergeant Leodegar Schnyder
Milligan, Nebraska • WWII Fatal Air Crash Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2022
2. Milligan, Nebraska • WWII Fatal Air Crash Markers
(looking north from Nebraska Highway 41 • leftmost of three Nebraska World War II air training disaster markers at this location)
(approx. 6.6 miles away); The Ohiowa Auditorium (approx. 7˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milligan.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. WWII Fatal Air Crashes near Milligan, Nebraska
 
Also see . . .
1. Consolidated B-24 Liberator.
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. At its inception, the B-24 was a modern design featuring a highly efficient shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing. The wing gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load. The B-24 was used extensively in World War II. It served in every branch of the American armed forces as well as several Allied air forces and navies. It saw use in every theater of operations. Along with the B-17, the B-24 was the mainstay of the US strategic bombing campaign in the Western European theater. By the end of World War II, the technological breakthroughs of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and other modern types had surpassed the bombers that served from the start of the war. The B-24 was rapidly phased out of U.S. service.
(Submitted on September 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
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2. Accidents and incidents involving the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.
25 October 1943: Two Consolidated B-24H Liberators of the 724th Bomb Squadron (Heavy), 451st Bomb Group (Heavy), from Fairmont Army Air Field, Nebraska, collided while flying in a formation of four B-24Hs during a training flight. The bombers crashed in agricultural fields NE of Milligan. All eight crew died aboard B-24H-1-FO, 42-7657, while the sole survivor of ten crew on B-24H-1-FO, 42-7673, was copilot 2nd Lt. Melvin Klein, who was thrown free of the wreckage and deployed his parachute.
(Submitted on September 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Milligan Memorial Committee for the WWII Fatal Air Crashes.
The members of the Milligan Memorial Committee made every effort to write each airman's story as accurately as possible with the information available to them. It was the committee's goal to put a face and a story with each name that appears on the Nebraska State Historical Markers, while providing historical and factual information to the reader. It was done with respect and admiration of the airmen and their families.
(Submitted on September 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 25, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 126 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 13, 2024