Died non Battle

Sgt Ottinger served as a flight engineer of a B-17 flying fortress bomber, who was killed on August 28, 1943 in a mid-air collision involving three bombers during a preparatory to landing at the Harvard, Nebraska Army Airfield. In the late evening, a formation of eight B-17´s were approaching the airfield and were to simulate a peel-off out of formation landing. The pilot of one bomber, who was preparing to land, aborted the landing, pulled upward and collided with another bomber with both airplanes crashing on the airfield. The third bomber, severely damaged, crashed landed in an open field, as the pilot was unable to avoid the wreckage and debris of the two bombers that had collided in mid-air. Thirteen airmen were killed from the mid-air collision, two crewman from the 3rd bomber parachuted to safety and one died while attempting a parachute jump.


Harvard, Nebr., (AP) — The collision and crash of 2 4-engine bombers during a routine training flight late Saturday night killed 14 men, base officials announced Sunday night.
A formation of eight B-17 bombers were coming into Harvard Army Air Field in a simultation of a peel-off out of formation for landing. One of the B-17’s went upwards into the path of another. The wing of the higher plane cut the fuselage of the plane coming upward in half. Another B-17 flew into the wreckage, but was able to land in an open field. One of the crew was killed after parachuting out of the third plane.
Both burned after falling on farms about 1/2 mile apart several several miles north of here. One bomber crashed on the Albert Bishoss farm, resting in a gully, while the other plane fell into a corn field on the Blanche Hartman place.
Army authorities placed a guard around the wreckage areas and conducted an investigation.
No Iowans were among the victims.
Mason City Globe Gazette Iowa 1943-08-30
First B-17 Killed:
Second Lt. ROBERT R. TWITCHELL, pilot, Seattle, Wash.
Second Lt. ROY H. NUNN, JR., copilot, Houston Tex.
Sgt. EDWARD M. KULISEK, engineer, Canfield, Ohio.
Sgt. WILBERT MILLER, radioman, Ashley, N.D.
Cpl. SAMUEL J. LANDRY, assistant radioman, Houma, La.
Sgt. CHARLES F. BIONDOLILLO, tail gunner, Chicago, Ill.
Second B-17 Killed:
First Lt. JOHN E. GIMPERLING, pilot, Dayton, Ohio.
Second Lt. PETER HIRT, JR., copilot, Glendive, Mont.
Second Lt. LAVERE W. CLEGG, student pilot, Springville, Utah.
Sgt. HAROLD LOVEJOY, radioman, Hubball, W. Va.
Sgt. CHARLES D. OTTINGER, engineer, Knoxville, Tenn.
Sgt. RICHARD C. BUSH, gunner, Wysox, Penn.
Sgt. RICHARD E. BURCHELL, gunner, Berkeley, Calif.
Third B-17 Killed:
Second Lt. CARL W. HANSEN, copilot, Badera, Calif.
First Lt. DAVID ROWLAND, pilot, unknown.
Second Lt. HAYDEN T. HUGHES, student pilot, Washington, Iowa.
Sgt. EARL S. LYNES, engineer, Holyoke, Mass.

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 27 February 1923
  • Date of death: 28 August 1943
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 709th Bomber Squadron, 447th Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Oak Grove Cemetery, Greeneville, Greene County, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VIII, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Charles D. Ottinger

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