On September 8, 1944, P-47 "Thunderbolt" fighters from the Bruning Army Air Field conducted training attack maneuvers with two formations of B-17 "Flying Fortress" bombers from the Sioux City Army Air Field. When one P-47 attempted to terminate its mock attack, it collided with the left wing of a B-17, rupturing the bomber's fuel tank. Both planes exploded.
Most of the
B-17 wreckage landed on the Milo Buzek, Dea Baldwin, and Henry
Nezda farms, 9 miles south and 1/2 mile east of Milligan. The
tail section fell on the Lester Krupicka farm. Military officials
conducted an extensive search to recover the B-17's top secret
Norden bombsight. The P-47 crashed on the Reinhart Schielke farm,
9 miles south and 1 mile west of Milligan, and its pilot, 2nd
Lt. John T. McCarthy, was killed. Of the B-17 crewmen, Cpl. LeNoir
A. Greer, Cpl. Walter A. Divan, Pfc.. Reuben L. Larson, and Pvt.
Albert L. Mikels survived, while 2nd Lt. William F. Washburn,
2nd Lt. Bernard I. Hall, 2nd Lt. Lyle C. Baxmann, F/O George
A. Budovsky, Cpl. John E. Tuchols, and Pvt. Henry C. Sedberry
lost their lives.
Milligan Memorial Committee/Milligan Public Library
Families of the Crewmen and Friends of the Community
Nebraska State Historical Society, 2010
Nebr. Highway 41, north of Milligan