This coming Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the crash of a C-119 “Flying Boxcar” on April 17, 1966, also a Sunday, while attempting to land at Scott Air Force Base during a test flight.
According to the Progress at the time the plane, with a crew of 3, had been in the air 45 minutes of an hour scheduled flight when it attempted to land.
After circling once, “the left engine was feathered and the crew decided on an emergency landing” on the farm of Edward Mueller, just south of what was then Gerardi’s Nursery at Shiloh Rd. and Route 50, now Joe’s Market Basket in east O’Fallon.
The landing wasn’t a soft one. The plane crashed with what Mrs. Mueller described as a loud thump.
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The two pilots, Maj. Leroy A. Kinzel and Capt. Van D. McNiel, were able to get out by themselves.
Flight engineer SSgt. John G. Brown was helped out of the plane, while one engine was burning, by Merril Loyet who lived across the road.
All three had been strapped in with safety harnesses. The fire was extinguished by Scott firefighters. There were no fatalities. All the crew were Air Force reservists attached to the 932nd Troop Carrier Group stationed at Scott.
75 years ago, Apr. 17, 1941.
In one of the quietest elections held in O’Fallon in many a year, only a total of 275 ballots were cast at Tuesday’s city election.
All incumbents were unopposed. Elected were Ridge Smith, mayor; Edwin Hesse, city clerk; John Lawrence, treasurer and aldermen John Feicht (Ward 1, 4 years), Miles Lesher (Ward 1, unexpired 2 year term), Charles Miller (Ward 2, 4 years) and Ernest Evans (Ward 3, 4 years).
Also, a proposition to continue the oiling of all streets and principal alleys until 1946 paid through property tax passed 254 to 18.