B-17 Bomber Crash, 1944

On February 25, 1944, a B-17G bomber from the Grand Island Army Air Field crashed half a mile east of here on the Langenheder farm, killing nine aboard. The Grand Island base served as a training location for aircrews prior to their leaving for overseas. The B-17 was on a training flight in the early morning hours, crashing shortly after takeoff and sliding in the field before impacting a berm next to an irrigation ditch and exploding.

Losing their lives were 2nd Lt. John T. McMillen, Cleveland, OH; 2nd Lt. Kenneth E. Pierce, Brownsville, VT; F/O Alfred R. Flock, Boise, ID; S/Sgt. Glen M. Cox, Newport, KY; S/Sgt. Donald J. Vitale, Crockett, CA; Sgt. John M. Robertson, Atlanta, GA; Sgt. Stanley S. Sala, Cohoes, CA; Sgt. Lloyd D. McNeil, Somers, IA; and Sgt. Edward Machos, Manchester, NH. Pilot 1st Lt. Howard T. Talbert was the lone survivor.

This marker memorializes the more than 15,500 Army Air Forces airmen who died in nearly 6,350 air crash training accidents in the U.S. during World War II.



5537 St. Paul Road, Grand Island