MINNICH, LuVerne 1923-1944
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/22/2013 at 10:11:41
LuVerne Minnich Killed Sunday In Plane Crash
Was On Practice Bomb Diving Mission At Santa Rosa, California; Was Alone In Plane When It Crashed
Lieut. LuVerne Minnich, son of Mrs. Vallera Minnich of Grundy Center, was killed instantly Sunday afternoon when his fighter plane crashed during a practice bomb diving mission about 50 miles south of Tubbs Island Bombing and Gunnery Range at Santa Rosa, California. He was in the plane alone at the time that it crashed. The accident happened at 5:05 o'clock Sunday afternoon. What caused the plane to get out of control and crash, has not been told to his relatives here.
The mother received the message about ten o'clock Sunday night telling of the tragedy which befell her son. The message was from the commanding officer at the bombing range near Santa Rosa. The officer in the message stated that death was instantaneous and he asked to be advised whether the body should be sent to his home. No details helping to explain the cause of the crash were given in the message. They will be forwarded to the mother later.
Instructions were given to send the body to the home in Grundy Center and its arrival is expected here Friday or Saturday. Time for the funeral service will not be fixed until after the body arrives.
Was One of the Best
LuVerne Minnich was one of the best. They don't come any better. No one knows that any better than the publishers of The Register. He was employed here for part- and full-time two years before he entered the air service. Losing him so suddenly is coming very close home. He was as a member of the family and we looked forward hopefully to his return after the war to step into the place that was kept open for him. He was tops at The Register office, as he was at his home and as he was in school and in all of his athletic activities.
He excelled in basketball, in football and in tennis. In his senior year he was awarded the most valuable player award in basketball. He led his team through all competition that year to the district tournament. He was a member of the National Honor Society at school. When he was 16 he became an Eagle Scout. He graduated with the '42 class of Grundy Center high school. After finishing school he devoted full time to his work in The Register office. Later in the year following his graduation and before he was called into the service he served part time as parcel post delivery man at the Grundy post office.
He was a member of the Methodist church.
Wanted to Get Into The Air Service
LuVerne Minnich was anxious to get into the army air service. On December 4, 1942, he made application for the army air service and was accepted. He anxiously awaited his call to enter the service. The call came on Feb. 23, 1943. His first four months' training was at the Minnesota state college at St. Cloud, Minn. After completing his training there he was sent to air training camps in California and Arizona. He received his wings as a pilot on April 15th of this year at William Field, Arizona, and with it his commission as lieutenant. He employed himself as vigorously in his training for air service as he did in every other job that had been assigned him in earlier years and he liked the work and was looking forward to the time when he would be sent overseas and into real action. His last training was for overseas service.
Would Have Been 21 in December
LuVerne Minnich would have been 21 years old had he lived until the 29th of December. He was born on a farm in Palermo township. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Loren Minnich. His father died when LuVerne was but three years old. The mother left the farm shortly thereafter and moved to Grundy Center with her two small sons and their home has been here ever since. Lee, LuVerne's older brother, has been in the armed service nearly four years. He enlisted with the Iowa National Guard and was sent overseas with the 34th Division 34 months ago. He served with that Division in No. Africa. He returned home on a 30-day furlough the day after his brother's death.
Second in His Class to Meet With Misfortune
LuVerne Minnich is the second in his high school class of 1942 to be called upon to give his life in the service of his country. George Haren, who was killed in action in France only a short time ago, was LuVerne's classmate.
Cousin Meets Same Fate
Rex Shirk, who was killed in a plane crash while in training in the army air force in the West two years ago, was a cousin of LuVerne Minnich.
--newspaper clipping, source unknown
Lieut. Minnich's Accident First Of Its Kind
The accident which resulted in the death of Lt. LuVerne Minnich near Santa Rosa, Calif., was the first of its kind in that area. That was the report of Lieut. Judson Sloan, who accompanied the body of the dead flyer from California to his home in Grundy Center. Lieut. Sloan is serving as a flying instructor. A thorough investigation is being made to try to learn the cause of the accident. The investigation so far has proven that there was nothing wrong with the inside operations of the plane. Lt. Minnich was out of the plane when it struck the ground.
The body of Lieut. Minnich arrived here Sunday morning. Services were held at the Methodist church in the afternoon. The attendance was large. The overflow were given seats in the basement. The services were conducted by the local Methodist pastor, Rev. H. H. Palmer. Burial was by the side of the father in the Alice church cemetery. Members of the Grundy Center Legion Post assisted in the service at the grave.
Taps were sounded by Scouts Jim Mol and Roger Stachour. Pallbearers were classmates, Roland Newton, Harold Mooty, Howard Kahl, Delbert Kitner, James Cech and Henry R. Mol.
A men's quartet, A. R. Trevillyan, Russell Kruse, Beveridge Nickerson and Dale Canfield, sang two numbers.
Relatives from nearby and distant towns who attended the funeral services were: Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Allen, Iowa Falls; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bowers, Dike; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Minnich, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Minnich, Mrs. Faye Stover and family, Mr. and Mrs. Gale Stover, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Kline, Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Kline and family, Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Kline and family, all of Conrad.
Mr. and Mrs. Merle Stover, Vinton; Mrs. Ford Thompson and Mrs. H. Allen, Of Albion; Dr. R. W. Allen, Ben Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Lighter, Mrs. Lloyd Howard, all of Marshalltown; Lt. and Mrs. Robert Drexler, of Big Spring, Texas; Mrs. Max Shirk, Mr. and Mrs. G. K. Edwards, of Conrad; Mr. and Mrs. Alva Vinton and Rhea, Whitten.
--newspaper clipping, source unknown
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