Friday, March 12, 2010

P-38 Crashes Near Russell

From the Chariton Leader, April 24, 1945

A P-38 army fighter plane, piloted by Lt. Joe Edwards of the Coffeyville, Kansas army air base made a crash landing three miles south of Russell at 3:00pm Saturday.  Carol DeBok who was driving past the field and saw the plane hit the ground, summoned Lucas County Sheriff Paul T. Laing's office and Laing and Deputy Sheriff Byron Blanchard went to the crash and took charge.  Laing then notified military authorities.

An army regulation censorship was clamped down on the whole affair immediatelyh following the crash and few details have been revealed.  However, the pilot was not injured and guards from the Des Moines army air base were thrown about the wreckage within a couple of hours after the accident.  Officials from the Coffeyville base were flown to Des Moines and were in Chariton by 11:00 the same evening.

It is thought that the motors gave out and the pilot made an expert landing in order to come out unscratched.  It landed in an oat field on the Evans estate farm.  A huge army air base transport came Monday and hauled the wreckage away

Another Plane is Forced Down
From the Chariton Leader, May 1, 1945

It's getting to be an epidemic.  Last week a P-38 made a forced landing near Russell and Sunday night another army plane, this one a liaison scouting plane, was forced to land just south of Chariton.

However, the landing Sunday night was much more fortunate than was the P-38.  The pilot who was delivering the plane from a base in Wichita, Kansas to a private hanger in Ohio, ran out of gas and began to look around for a place to put down.  He flew over the depot in an attempt to find out what town he was over and then looked around for an airport.

As the Chariton airport exists only in the minds of the planning committee as yet, he did the next best thing and spotted a level field in which to land.  He chose the Roy Mitchell farm southwest of town and going in over some power wires, managed to land in a small field.  No damage was done.  Monday morning he filled up with gas from the Chandler farm and left on his way leaving some suggestions that Chariton should build a port.

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