Nebraska WWII Fatal Crash Site # 12
August 31, 1943
The first of three B-17's that would crash involving fatalities on or near the Kearney Army Air Field occurred during the evening of August 31, 1943. Witnesses noticed a fire of unknown origin coming from B-17F (42-5451) as it flew approximately 3,500 feet above the ground near the air field. It appeared the plane turned and tried to return to the air field, but it then lost altitude and dove into the ground exploding on impact. All eight airmen were killed instantly.
This site was visited on May 3, 2007, along with the assistance of a local older Kearney resident who remembered the crash. Evidence of the exact crash site was found in a cultivated field with a metal detector.
The crash site is in the foreground. The former Kearney Army Air Field is in the background.
Crash Site Book