Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

BT-13B "Valiant" and P-47D "Thunderbolt" Crash, 1944

        On May 10, 1944, an instructor pilot and a student pilot were flying a BT-13B "Valiant" aircraft back to the Bruning Army Air Field after a training session. At the same time, a P-47D "Thunderbolt" fighter, whose pilot had been conducting individual training, was returning to the same airfield. Neither pilot was aware of the other aircraft's presence and both planes were far from the airfield control tower. After both aircraft made simultaneous turns, they were suddenly headed directly toward one another at a high rate of speed.
        A midair collision occurred at approximately 4,000 feet, causing both aircraft to spiral toward the ground. The BT-13 crashed on the Frank Stych farm, approximately 3 miles west and 2 miles south of Milligan. The P-47 crashed on the Fred and Dorothy Stych farm, approximately 3 miles west and 3 miles south of Milligan. The P-47 pilot, F/O John Dobony, was killed. Both pilots in the BT-13 bailed out. The instructor pilot, 2nd Lt. Frank W. Mrenak, survived, but the student pilot, 1st Lt. William D. Jaeger, lost his life.

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
Fillmore County
Marker 476

 


NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Markers

http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/markers/texts/milligan_air_crash_BT-13B.htm
Last updated 8 September 2010

For questions or comments on the website itself, email nshs.web@nebraska.gov
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2010 All Rights Reserved