James T. Neely – First Lieutenant. United States Army Air Service

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LIGHTNING HOLT WRECKS BALLOON, TAKES TWOLIVES

BELLEVILLE, Illinois, June 3, 1924 – Dr. C. Leroy Meisinger, Federal Meteorologist, and First Lieutenant James T. Neely, Air Pilot, whose mangled bodied and charred balloon were found near Belent, Illinois, today, sacrificed their lives for the advancement of science, Scott Field officials declared tonight.

The ill-fated flight of the Army Balloon S-3, started from Scott Field late yesterday, was to have been the ninth and final in a series of weather observation trips which began March 31. Lieutenant Neely was the pilot for Dr. Meisinger except on the first trip.  The two men had been friends for years.

THe observations were directed by the Weather Bureau at Washington and were said to have been the most comprehensive of their kind ever attempted.  The resulting data were expected to be of great value in weather forecasting, particularly in predicting.

Both men were veterans of the World War and government officials had prepared to make burial in Arlington Cemetery, Washington, if relatives desired.


NEELY, JAMES M G T

  • 1 LT AIR SVC
  • DATE OF DEATH: 06/04/1924
  • BURIED AT:   SITE 315
  • ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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