ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Thursday marks the 70th anniversary of a glider crash that killed 10 people, including the mayor of St. Louis at the time, William Becker.
On Aug. 1, 1943 Mayor Becker and nine others boarded the glider, made by Robertson Aircraft Corp., at Lambert St. Louis Airport. Approximately 5,000 people crowded the area to watch the flight.
Shortly after its release from a cargo plane, the glider's left wing broke. A moment later the right wing started to fold, and both fell off the plane. All 10 occupants plummeted 2,000 feet to the ground, killing everyone onboard.
The nine other victims were:
Thomas N. Dysart - President of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce
Max H. Duyne - Director of St. Louis Public Utilities
Charles L. Cunningham - Deputy comptroller
Judge Henry L. Mueller - Presiding judge of the court of St. Louis County
Maj. William B. Robertson - President of Robertson Aircraft Corp.
Harold A. Krueger - Vice president, chief engineer of Robertson Aircraft Corp.
Capt. Milton C. Klugh - Pilot of the glider
Lt. Col. Paul H. Hazelton - Army Air Forces
Pfc. J.M. Davis
The glider was considered the city's worst air accident at the time.
In 1973 an accident at the University of Missouri-St. Louis became the worst plane crash in St. Louis history when an Ozark Airliner crashed July 23. Thirty-six people were killed in that accident. Eight survived.