Guy L. Gearhart
Major, United States Army Air Service
Scout Hits Bomber at Langley Field
Machines Fall in Flames - No One Is Saved
Collision Takes Place 250 Feet in the Air
NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, December 5, 1922 - Major Guy L. Gearhart of Leavenworth, Kansas, Captain Benton A. Doyle of St. Louis, Missouri, and foue enlisted men were killed at Langley Field today when a Martin Bombing Plane, carrying five of them, and a Fokker Scouting machine piloted by Major Gearhart, were in collision about 250 feet in the air, both machines crashing to earth in flames.
The enlisted men killed were: Staff Sergeant Marsick of Cleveland; Private F. J. Blunka of Chicago; Private Thomas Jordan of Deer Step, Georgia; and Private Leon Rolas of Philadelphia.
The bomber, piloted by Captain Doyle was leading a formation and was making a banking when the Fokker arose in the air from a long take off. The smaller machine struck the bomber almost amidship, cutting off the tail. Both planes hovered a moment and then both broke into flames and crashed to the ground.
Private Rolas leaped from the bomber as it neared the earth, but was fatally injured. He died while being placed in an ambulance.
The others were pinned beneath the two machines and before aid could reach them their bodies were burned almost beyong recognition.
Michael Robert Patterson
Posted: 26 October 2007