Nebraska WWII Fatal Crash Site # 16 & 17
October 25, 1943
Four B-24's from the Fairmont Army Air Field were in a diamond formation near Milligan flying at 20,000 feet. One of the outside planes in the formation momentarily left formation (not planned). The rear plane thought the first plane had purposely left the formation, so procedure was to move up into that empty spot. At the same time the rear B-24H (42-7673) decided to move into the slot, the original B-24H (42-7657) decided to pull back into formation. The result was a high-altitude mid-air collision. The pilots of the lead plane were able to somewhat bring their plane under control, but it started to spin as they approached the ground. When the plane struck the ground near a farmhouse it exploded killing all eight airmen. The rear plane broke up in the sky and began to spiral down. The copilot of this plane was thrown out of the wreckage as it was coming down and deployed his parachute and survived. The other nine airmen in the plane were killed. The death total was 17 from the two bombers.
Both crash sites were visited on December 16, 2006, along with the assistance of several local landowners who had witnessed the crashes. Evidence of the exact crash sites for both planes were found at each site with the use of a metal detector.
The site of the south Milligan crash was scattered across these fields.
The site of the north Milligan crash blew out the windows of this house in 1943.
Crash Site Book