Nebraska WWII Fatal Crash Site # 8

Wood River
August 17, 1943

An instructor pilot was flying B-17F (43-30542) on a local familiarization flight with a crew based at the Kearney Army Air Field. Eyewitnesses observed the plane flying low and while in a steep bank, which brought the bomber almost perpendicular with the ground, the plane stalled and then crashed in a cornfield killing all eight occupants. Pilot error was listed as the cause of the crash despite at least two eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen one engine on fire.

Crew Members

The site was visited on March 14, 2007. The exact site was verified with the discovery of wreckage in a cultivated field after determining the location from statements made by eye-witnesses. Pieces of the plane were found with the use of a metal detector.

Memorial Sign

The Wood River location is a typical Nebraska crash site in a field of corn!

B-17 Aircraft

Crash Site Book