Last week I described the tragic crash of the 18-ton Lockheed Hudson bomber on the Leroy Foust farm south of Cardington on July 22, 1941.
Flying the plane were two members of the U.S. Army Air Corps new Ferry Command who lost their lives. The Ferry Command was composed of regular U.S. Army pilots who had volunteered to fly U.S. built planes from factories here to take off points in Canada and in some cases to fly the ships across the North Atlantic route in the British Isles.
The victims were First Lt. R. F. Rush, Tucson, Arizona, and Second Lt. N. F. Warner.
It was estimated that more than 10,000 persons jammed the area for hours after the crash. Ropes held them back from the wreckage. Automobiles lined the highway for nearly two miles on either side of the Foust Farm.
In addition to the Foust brothers, their father and mother, other witnesses were Bob Uncapher and Robert Van Sickle, nearby farmers who were working in their fields. Both noticed the plane having trouble and “when it got to Fousts, it seemed to try a combination loop and bank.”
It did that three times and then it fell. We could hear the explosion, but we couldn’t see the flames from here. As soon as I saw it fall I started running, but it landed a good half mile beyond where it seemed to be falling,” Uncapher said.
The crash was covered by radio crews and news writers from around the state. One of those interviewed was Mrs. Agnes Palmer, 72 of Thrapton, Northamptonshire, England, who lived across the road in a tiny cottage.
She looked out in time to see it plummet out of sight behind the Fousts’ big barn, heard the explosion and saw the flames leap into the air. “I was scared, I was beside myself with nerves,” she said later. “I had just turned down the wireless when I heard the plane. I looked out and saw it fall.”
The writer was invited into her cottage for tea where she said she had almost sailed on the Titanic, but put off her voyage for two weeks and finally sailed on the Lusitania. It had been 30 years since she came to the U.S.
She sometimes longed for the old sights in England where she lived close to Buckingham Palace. “We use to see the fine people, Queen Victoria, too, when she was alive. I saw both her Jubilees. And Hyde Park and the Parliament Buildings.” She had come here and worked as a nurse maid in Cleveland for wealthy families.
Under the mirror above the little kitchen sink, she had tucked a picture of Winston Churchill, clipped from a newspaper. As the writer rose to go, Nannie looked at it and said “Mr. Churchill will be sad when he hears about this.”
OTHER NEWS FROM JULY 3, 1941 UNION REGISTER:
J. W. Blakely who resided just east of Cardington on the farm that has been in his family since 1835, quietly celebrated his 82nd birthday on June 30. He was still quite active and went to town frequently. For 60 years he had penned the Beggar Louise Hill correspondence column that appeared in the
Morrow County Independent and other local newspapers. The column, which included every day activities of his neighborhood, local history and comment, was signed with his name Col. Jack Short, PhD, the name he signed to all of his magazine and newspaper articles.
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