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2nd Lt. Charles E. Bostedor & crew, killed in training.
7 July 1944 | Maxwell Field, Alabama
On the morning of 7 July 1944, student pilot 2nd Lt. Leonard G. Glass, student co-pilot 2nd Lt. Charles E. Bostedor, and flight engineers PFC Grady M. Henderson and PFC Francis R. Brown, took off from Maxwell Field, Alabama, in a B-24E "Liberator" bomber, on a mission of pilot solo training. Their plane was observed making several steep dives from approximately 7,000 feet down to around 4,000 feet, as well as several steep curves around towering clouds. Then, after flying level for 2 to 3 minutes, the plane was observed making a sudden steep dive, past vertical, and crashed nose first into the ground. All four aboard were killed instantly, with the plane completely destroyed, at 9:35 a.m., Central War Time.
Upon investigation, parts of both their left and right elevator assemblies were found 18 miles from the crash site, near the location of their first dive. The crash occurred 3 miles northwest of Tuskegee Army Air Field, in rural Macon county, Alabama. Investigators believed the pilots exceeded the speed rating of the aircraft during the initial dive which resulted in the damage to the plane, but could not determine if the pilots were aware that they had exceeded the ratings.
At the time of the crash, Lt. Glass had 9 1/2 hours of flight time, with 8 3/4 hours of that in a B-24. Lt. Bostedor also had 9 1/2 hours of flight time, 6 1/4 hours of which was in a B-24. They were assigned to the Army Air Force Eastern Flight Training Command, Section C-2.