During World War II Nebraska was home to eleven air bases, which filled the sky with planes engaged in training aircrews. On June 7, 1944, fifteen B-24 bombers departed from the Lincoln Army Air Base en route to the west coast.
During a thunderstorm B-24J #44-40758 caught fire, descended to 500 feet, and began circling the town of Chappell, Nebraska, when it exploded about two miles southeast of here. All personnel aboard were killed instantly.
The ten airmen who made the supreme sacrifice while serving their country were: 2nd Lt. Donald S. Wallace, Peculiar, MO; 2nd Lt. Colon A. Holland, Waynesboro, MS; 2nd Lt. Frank K. Duffey, Cranford, NJ; 2nd Lt. Paul E. Rose, Mammoth Springs, AK; S/Sgt. Robert E. Rogers, Camilla, GA; S/Sgt. Vance C. Johnson, Stromsburg, NE; Sgt. Bernard T. Clark, New York, NY; Sgt. Ralph A. Young, Anadarko, OK; Sgt. Peter L. Zamboto, Rochester, NY; and M/Sgt. William E. Webster, Oneonta, NY. All were members of the 866th Bombardment Squadron (H), Seventh Air Force.